Maahanmuuttovirasto

Specialists’ and start-up entrepreneurs’ entry becomes quicker – fast track service will be introduced on 1 June

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As of 1 June 2022, specialists’, start-up entrepreneurs’ and their family members’ move to Finland will become quicker along with the introduction of the fast track service.

Specialists include, among others, IT experts and employees with a higher education degree, whose work in Finland requires expert knowledge.

The processing time of a fast-track application is two weeks at the most.

The fast track service is introduced together with a new type of permit, the national D visa. The national D visa enables travelling to Finland as soon as a residence permit has been granted and the customer has proved their identity. Unlike before, customers now receive their residence permit cards in Finland.

“The fast track service is an important signal of the Finnish society’s willingness to welcome international experts to Finland and to improve the customer-friendliness of the actions of public authorities. Earlier this spring, also a legislative amendment facilitating the entry of foreign students into Finland entered into force. Due to the fast track service, international experts can arrive in Finland immediately after being granted a residence permit, regardless of where they come from,” says Elina Immonen, Acting Director General at the Finnish Immigration Service.

An even easier and quicker entry into the country

Persons applying via the fast track service will get a residence permit decision in a maximum of two weeks. In order to move to Finland via the fast track procedure, the customer must submit and pay for the application online as well as prove their identity at a service point abroad within five working days.

If the application contains all the required information and attachments, the processing starts immediately and proceeds quickly. After paying for and submitting the application, the applicants prove their identity abroad and have their fingerprints taken for the residence permit card.

The decision is served via Enter Finland, the online service of the Finnish Immigration Service. Customers who also apply for a D visa, or who come from a visa-free country or do not need a visa to enter Finland, do not have to wait for their residence permit cards abroad.

Instead, the residence permit card will be delivered to the address in Finland that they have given in the application.

More detailed instructions on how to apply via the fast track service can be found on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service. The Finnish Immigration service has invested in the customer guidance of the fast track service, and customers and their employers are instructed with the help of frequent automated messages.

Fast track service stems from close developmental cooperation

The Finnish Immigration Service has actively participated in the preparation of the fast track for experts and the D visa. Preparatory work has been carried out during the whole year.

The fast track service has been developed with the help of extensive and close cooperation. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, Business Finland, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, among others, have participated in the preparation of the fast track service.

The preparation and introduction of the fast track service have already received praise and positive feedback from customers and companies. The new procedure has been described as a welcome improvement and an excellent development.

“The views of customers and companies have played an important role in the preparatory work. The fast track service meets their expectations of a more foreseeable and transparent permit process. Now, the customer is aware of what will happen in each phase of the process and when. The success of the fast track requires that everyone does their part. We will support customers and employers in this in various ways,” says Immonen.

The processing of specialists’ applications is partly automated, and the development work continues. Increased automation has been the most important way to accelerate permit processing. In addition, the authorities participating in the process have, for their part, committed to tight deadlines to make it possible to keep the 14-day service pledge.

The number of residence permit applications has increased every year and an increasing number of people move to Finland to work, study or join their family. International employees, students and researchers are important to Finland’s innovations and growth. Because the international competition for employees is tough, it needs to be quick and easy to move to Finland to work or study.

In addition to specialists’ and start-up entrepreneurs’ permits, the aim is to process also other residence permits for work or studies within a maximum of one month in 2023.

More information:

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Contacts

Elina Immonen, Acting Director-General, Deputy Director-General, tel. +358 295 433 842, email: firstname.lastname@migri.fi

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The Finnish Immigration Service is a decision-making organisation in matters related to immigration, asylum, refugee status and citizenship and maintains the reception system.

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