Moving for permanent residence in Finland: difficulties for foreigners, pluses of life

Residence permit


Moving for permanent residence in Finland: difficulties for foreigners, pluses of life

The land of the thousand lakes — Finland frequently becomes a subject of immigrants’ close attention. Foreigners are attracted by the stable economy, developed medical care, well-designed pre-, and school education, amazing nature, and high index of the population’s well-being. 

KAM in Finland: how to? 

To get a document that allows one to reside in Finland on the constant ground, one should pass three steps:

get a temporary residence permit (TRP) for 12 months;

prolong its validity;

in 4 years after getting the first permet to apply for the permanent one (KMA);

By the way, the primary residence permit can be of 2 types:

transient (type B) which is designed for students and seasonal workers and is valid from 6 months to 2 years. Prolongation is possible for an additional 6 months only;

uninterrupted (type A) — depending on the basis for obtaining, this permit can be valid from 1 to 4 years. It allows to use of standard social benefit pack, made for Finland citizens;

A permanent residence permit (KMA, type R)  can be obtained if the foreigner had type A TRP and lived in Finland for 4 years.

Bases for residence in Finland 

The easiest and most convenient way for moving to Finland is the acquisition of an existing business or search and get official employment within the country. Yet there are alternative options: 

getting an education at the local universities; 

family reunion or marriage; 

re-immigration (for those with Finnish roots);

Furthermore, since June 2022 Finland simplified the list of requirements of TRP for qualified specialists and start-uppers. The simplified procedure presumes 2 weeks for the examination term of requests, whereas the standard one takes half a year. 

Living in Finland: pros 

Finland would be perfect for those who dream about peaceful, quiet, steady life in a prosperous European country. Life amongst Finns will be most comfortable for introverts and cottage-core lifestyle fans because of: 

low city population, lots of small, one-store buildings and parks;

picturesque nature and apt care for the environment;

the preference to live, not to survive, which eliminates such issues as workaholism, overwork, and necessity to be in touch 24/7; 

paid-free medical care and education;

absence of corruption and accessible state services: most common issues can be solved online;

English-speaking communication is not a problem here;

Challenges of living in Finland

Immigration to Finland may require a real Finnish coolness, as foreigners may face specific aspects of living in this country. For example: 

learning Finn or the Swedish language is a must. To get KMA one needs to prove knowledge of the language at B1 level at least (the exam can be passed with Finn-Swedish sign language too); 

having a car if the place of residence is not the capital of the state: public transport is good in Helsinki only; 

absence of high salaries: local labor remuneration is sufficient for comfortable living, but does not allow one to make a fortune; 

high taxes;

absence of active city life and entertainment; 

Moreover, foreigners usually are not ready for the quite harsh climate, locals’ solidity, and the expensiveness of Eurotrips which takes place despite Finland’s remoteness from the other countries.