New startup residence permit!

A new type of residence permit is now available for growth or startup entrepreneurs. The application process for an extended permit will also be simplified, and the validity period of a first residence permit for specialists will be extended.

The aim is to make it easier for entrepreneurs and experts to move to Finland and thus promote economic growth and employment.

As the global competition for international experts is fierce, the residence permit system, along with other factors affecting choosing Finland, needs to be effortless. The new legislative amendments are part of a wider package introduced in April 2018 to facilitate the immigration and entrepreneurship of experts.


Company’s business model shall show potential for rapid international growth

  • Growth entrepreneurs can get a residence permit as quickly as possible. The residence permit will be issued by the Finnish Immigration Service but the applicant must obtain a business assessment from the Business Finland Innovation Funding Agency before applying for a residence permit.
  • Business Finland will assess the company’s business model and its potential for rapid international growth. Business Finland is a national authority with solid experience of startups. The Finnish Immigration Service will no longer assess business activities. Instead, it will make sure that the applicant has secure means of subsistence and there are no reasons related to national security that would hinder the issue of a residence permit.
  • The residence permit will be issued for two years, after which it can be renewed. It will take only a few weeks to issue a residence permit.


Residence permit for entrepreneurs covers limited liability companies

  • The other residence permits than the permit for growth entrepreneurs will be changed. In future it will also be possible to issue residence permits for entrepreneurs operating on a limited liability basis. At the moment, the permit can only be issued to a self-employed person who has full personal liability for her business activities.
  • At the same time, the current name ‘residence permit for a self-employed person’ will be changed into ‘residence permit for an entrepreneur’.
  • In future, there will be two kinds of residence permits for entrepreneurs — a residence permit for a growth entrepreneur and a residence permit for an entrepreneur.


Specialists residence permits for two years and online extended permit applications allowed

  • A first residence permit for a specialist can be issued for a period of two years instead of the current one year. This also applies to their family members. The requirement for issuing the permit is that the employment relationship is valid for at least two years.
  • It will also be possible to apply for an extended permit online without visiting the Finnish Immigration Service.
  • This applies to all residence permits.


Janne Jokinen
Advocate, Trained on Bench
Lecturer at Haaga-Helia Startup School