Finland

    Guidance

    1.1 Has any guidance already been issued in relation to Brexit, for example on residence or work permits in the event of a no-deal Brexit?

    Yes.

    Finland has issued contingency rules that would apply in the evnnt of a no-deal Brexit. Finland has approved a special act (370/2019) that entered into force on 30 March 2019 regulating UK citizens’ right of residence in Finland after Brexit. Under the act, British citizens currently living in Finland can stay in Finland until 31 December 2020 (i.e. the transition period), but only if they have registered their right of residence before the final withdrawal date. However, the special act will only apply from the date on which the UK withdraws from the EU without an agreement.

    In addition, the Finnish Immigration Service has indicated that it will publish more information about the right of residence in Finland as soon as more information and further instructions are available to Finnish authorities.

    At the moment, the Finnish Immigration Service recommends British citizens living in Finland:

    • register a right of residence in Finland (if they have not already done so); and
    • apply for a certificate of the right of permanent residence of an EU citizen at the Finnish Immigration Service.
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    Business visas

    2.1 When UK employees become third-country nationals will they require a business visa?

    No, Regulation (EU) 2019/592 of 10 April 2019 exempts UK citizens from the requirement for a Schengen visa. It will apply from the day the UK is no longer subject to EU law. When it takes effect, UK citizens will be able to enter and stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    The Schengen exemption will apply:

    • from Brexit date in the event of no deal;
    • from 1 January 2021 if the Withdrawal Agreement (‘WA’) is ratified (under the WA, UK nationals keep their EU free movement rights until 31 December 2020).

    However, even if allowed to enter and stay visa-free they might, depending on the circumstances, need a residence permit for an employed person – at least if they intend to stay and work in Finland for more than 90 days. A residence permit can be granted on the basis of either temporary work or work of a continuous nature. The residence permit is obtained via a single application procedure.

    2.2 What documentation will be required for business travel on arrival at the border once UK citizens are considered third-country nationals?

    Assuming that UK employees will be treated as third-country nationals and in circumstances where the Schengen exemption will not apply, they will require a visa for business travel.

    In all cases, they will also be asked to produce a valid passport or travel document, an insurance document for the duration of the stay and certain supporting documents.

    They must prove that they have enough funds (EUR 30 per day) to support themselves. The funds need to be sufficient for the stay and return from or continuation of the trip. If they have a valid return ticket, its value reduces the amount of funds they are required to have with them.

    (They must not have an entry ban to the Schengen area. Their entry into the country can be prohibited also if they are considered to constitute a danger to the public order and security, public health, or Finland's relations with other countries.)

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    Permission to work

    3.1 When UK citizens become third-country nationals will they need permission to work?   

    Generally yes. They would need a residence permit to work in Finland. However, UK citizens who are living in Finland and who have registered their right of residence as EU citizens before the final withdrawal date may continue to stay, live, work and study in the country and receive social security benefits until the end of 2020 without the need to obtain additional permission to work in Finland.

    Nevertheless, third-country nationals with a right to stay in Finland (generally a visa) may have a right to work in Finland without a residence permit if they are employed as, for example, an interpreter, a teacher, a specialist or a sports judge or referee, or a professional artist, coach, athlete, or a member of an assistance or support team for such a person (please note that this is not an exhaustive list). In addition, they must have been have been invited to work in Finland or have signed a contract to work in Finland and will work for a maximum of 90 days.

    3.2 If permission to work is needed do any quotas apply for employing third-country nationals?

    No

    3.3 If permission to work is needed, as of when will it be needed?

    Current status:

    • UK citizens who have not registered and wish to continue their stay/work in Finland must apply for a residence permit for a third-country national from withdrawal date in the event of no deal;
    • from 1 January 2021 (for new arrivals) if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified.

    3.4 If permission to work is needed, what are the most common categories?

    Please find below the list of application categories for a residence permit:

    • Residence permit for an employed person
    • Entrepreneur
    • Startup entrepreneur
    • Specialist
    • EU Blue Card
    • Researcher
    • Degree completed in Finland
    • Internship through an exchange programme
    • Internship
    • Seasonal work
    • Employee of a religious community or a nonprofit association
    • Working holiday
    • Internal transfer within a company (ICT)
    • Intra-corporate transfer (Mobile ICT)
    • Volunteering
    • Work in the field of science, culture or arts
    • Work in the field of mass media
    • International organisations and cooperation between states
    • Preparation of a company’s arrival in Finland and supervision of orders
    • Delivery of a machine or a system
    • Athlete, coach or trainer
    • Top and middle management
    • Visiting consultant or instructor
    • Au pair.

    3.5 If permission to work or stay is needed, how long does the procedure take?

    As a general rule, the total processing time should be up to four months. In practice, processing times may be materially longer. We would expect delays in the processing times in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    3.6 If permission to work and stay is needed, what Government fees would be due for such a permission?

    Currently, there are two types of fees for a general resident permit for an employed person:

    • Electronic application fee:
      • First permit EUR 400  / extended permit EUR 190; and
    • Paper application fee:
      • First permit EUR 600  / extended permit EUR 190
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    Permanent residence

    4.1 From when can third-country nationals obtain permanent residence?

    As a general rule, third-country nationals may get a permanent residence permit if:

    • they have lived in Finland continuously for four years with a continuous residence permit (the A permit); and
    • the requirements for granting a continuous residence permit still apply.
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    Residence Status

    5.1 What steps could UK nationals still take to secure their residence status?

    At the moment, the Finnish Immigration Service recommends British citizens living in Finland:

    • register a right of residence in Finland as soon as possible and, in any event, before the final withdrawal date (if they have not done that already); and
    • apply for a certificate of the right of permanent residence of an EU citizen at the Finnish Immigration Service.

    Further instructions are expected.

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