If you have a family member who lives in Finland and you want to move in to live with him or her, you need a residence permit on the basis of family ties. Your family member who lives in Finland is called a ‘sponsor’. The sponsor cannot apply for a residence permit on your behalf. You need to do it yourself. A requirement for getting a residence permit is that you must lead a family life with the sponsor.
All relatives cannot act as sponsors: the Finnish law defines the persons considered to be family members. The concept of family is narrower in Finland than in many other countries.
These are the family members of a Finnish citizen or of a third-country national who is not an EU citizen:
- Your spouse;
- Your partner if you have been living continuously in a marriage-like relationship within the same household for at least two years, demonstrated by a rental contract or any other document. The two year period is not required when the relationship has resulted in children;
- Your registered partner (same-sex partners having registered their relationship may benefit from family reunification);
- Your unmarried minor, natural and adopted children for whom you are responsible and those of your spouse;
- Persons with parental authority over a minor holding a residence permit and residing in Finland (to be proved with appropriate documentation from the country of origin).
You must have secure means of support. ‘Secure means of support’ means that you have sufficient funds for you and your family to live in Finland. Your income can come for example from employment, a private enterprise, assets or pensions.
The required amount of income depends on the size of your family. Not everyone who applies for a residence permit on the basis of family ties is required to have secure means of support. Read more about income requirement.
|Where to apply|
(including information on fees)
Submit your application in the e-service Enter Finland. After you have submitted your application, you have to visit the Finnish diplomatic mission or consulate in your country of origin/residence to prove your identity and have your fingerprints taken. A paper application is submitted to the Finnish diplomatic mission or consulate in your country of origin/residence.
An application on behalf of an underage child is filled in and submitted by the child’s guardian. The child must be present, however, when the identity is proved or the paper application is submitted.
Processing fee (EUR): online 420 (minor 220), paper application 470 (minor 250).
Documentation establishing family ties must be presented. In the absence of sufficient evidence, the family link may be proved by a DNA test, paid for by the State. You and your family members may be interviewed either in writing or orally by the Finnish Immigration Service or Finnish embassy or consulate in order to establish the family ties.
Documents required depend on your family ties.
|Further requirements||Upon arrival in Finland, your family member must register at the Local Register Office the municipality where he/she will be resident.|
|Duration of validity of permits|
The residence permit granted to the family member will be valid for one year or the same duration as sponsor’s residence permit if it is valid for less than one year.
The residence permit will be withdrawn in the following circumstances:
|Conditions for renewal||Apply for an extended permit before your residence permit expires. If you still meet the same requirements you met when your previous residence permit was granted to you, the Finnish Immigration Service will grant you an extended permit. Alternatively, you can apply for an extended permit on new grounds. Remember that you need to meet the requirements for the residence permit you apply for.|
It is possible to appeal negative decisions made by the Finnish Immigration Service before an Administrative Court 30 days following the notification. The appeal procedures are indicated in the decision.
|Access to employment||If you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of family ties, your right to work in Finland is not limited in any way.|
|Change of employment||There are no limitations.|
|Access to education||If you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of family ties, you have unlimited access to education.|
|Change of status||If the grounds for your residence change and you meet the necessary conditions, you should apply for a new residence permit.|
After four years of continuous residence (permit A), you can apply for a permanent residence permit P if you still meet the requirements for a continuous residence permit. You must have spent at least half of the validity period of your permit in Finland and your permit must still be valid at the time you submit your application.
After five years of continuous and legal residence, you may obtain a long-term resident EC residence permit.