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Faster entry into Finland for foreign experts working in growth companies

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 30.11.2016 9.55
Press release

There is intense competition among growth companies for the best experts in their field, and Finnish companies are looking for experts not only in Finland and the EU but also globally. The competition for experts involves not only leading gaming companies, but also small, fast-growth startups where the input of a few experts, or the lack of it, can a have significant impact on growth.

The entrepreneurship package, adopted by the Government last spring, includes several measures to boost economic growth and wellbeing in Finland. Improving the residence permit system for foreign experts is part of this package, and the Government aims to streamline the regulatory framework for companies and create an operating environment that gives companies opportunities for sustainable growth and higher competitiveness.

By international standards, special experts can enter Finland fairly quickly already. This year the processes have been studied further so that they would be clearly understood and get well-known among growth companies who are recruiting experts from abroad.

The residence permit process for specialists is a significant opportunity for growth companies. If there are no delays in the residence permit process, the recruited experts can come to Finland and start working as soon as possible. A specialist is someone who has special expertise and a university degree and who earns at least around EUR 3,000 gross per month. Where no higher education is available in the field of expertise, as can be the case in the fast-developing IT sector, it is important that there are other means for showing that the criteria for a specialist are met.

The residence permit process for family members is now easier because in mid-November it became possible to apply for a permit online at

First residence permits are issued by the Finnish Immigration Service and extended residence permits by the police until the end of this year. From the start of 2017 the Finnish Immigration Service will deal with all residence permit matters, which will likely speed up the processing of extended residence permits.

Communication and information about residence permits will be further developed in collaboration with key operators. The Ministry of the Interior is also working on a legislative project that aims to allow residence permits for foreigners who found a startup in Finland or invest in companies already operating in Finland. Another aim is to further streamline the residence permit process for specialists. The Government proposal will be submitted to Parliament in autumn 2017 at the latest.

Growth companies and experts meet at Slush. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Team Finland will provide information about their services at the Team Finland booth.

Eija Laineenoja, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 5047099
Elina Immonen, Senior Adviser, Ministry of the Interior, (legislative project), tel. +358 29 548 8593

Residence permit for a specialist on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service:
The Finnish Immigration Service’s EnterFinland e-service:

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