Returning Finnish citizens and residents can still enter Finland. In contrast, those foreign nationals who are in the process of moving to Finland and those coming for short visits for tourism or business would not be allowed to enter. If you have any specific needs or requests in relation to the current circumstance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, the authorities announced the restriction of passenger traffic at Finland’s borders as of 19 March 00:00 AM (Finnish time) until 13 April 24:00 PM. Furthermore, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland announced the suspension of processing for normal visa applications and residence permit applications in Finland’s missions abroad, in line with other Schengen countries, with immediate effect on 19 March.
Returning Finnish citizens and residents can still enter Finland. Finnish residents are defined as those EU citizens and family members who have registered their right of residence in Finland as well as third-country nationals residing in Finland with a residence permit, who have previously settled in Finland. In addition, essential commuter traffic is still permitted.
In contrast, those foreign nationals who are in the process of moving to Finland and those coming for short visits for tourism or business would not be allowed to enter.
With a special focus on the arrival of employees to Finland, based on the current authority advice it seems at the moment that the following groups can enter Finland, at least in most cases:
- Third-country nationals holding a residence permit to Finland (A, B, or P permit) who are returning to their home in Finland
- EU citizens who have registered their right of residence in Finland who are returning to their home in Finland
- Citizens of Nordic countries who reside/work in Finland who are returning to their home in Finland
- In addition, until 31st March 2020: Third-country nationals who have not settled in Finland previously, if they are already travelling to Finland or about to start travelling to Finland, and they have an existing accommodation plan in Finland (subject to individual assessment). After the mentioned date, the entry is allowed only for necessary traffic.
The border authorities have the right to assess the entry of individuals on a case-by-case basis both in the context of third country nationals and EU citizens in situations where the individual has not yet resided in Finland prior (arriving for the first time with the purpose of residing in Finland). Only necessary traffic is allowed for those who do not have a home in Finland yet – please see more about necessary traffic on the border authorities’ website.
The border authority may also consider the individual’s state of health in the case-by-case assessment. The Finnish Government has also outlined that anyone arriving in Finland from abroad should remain in conditions equivalent to quarantine for 14 days.
The authorities highlight that the situation may change at short notice, as the government may decide on new restrictions.
We already anticipate the post-corona landscape in immigration – it is likely that once the international mobility and transport connections are normalized, there will be an influx of pending international assignments and international hires to be arranged. In this situation, an increase in the number of residence permit applications can be expected which might result in longer processing times.
For this reason, in most cases it is recommendable to already start preparing the relocation plans for the assignments and international hires forthcoming in the next 6 months.
Preparations for the residence permit applications can be completed already before the personal visit to the embassy or service point. The reception and processing of ordinary visa and residence permit applications at the Finnish missions and service points have been suspended until further notice.
However, the documents collection, potential legalizations, and filling in the online application in EnterFinland service can be taken care of already while waiting for the missions/service points to open again. Consequently, the appointment to the embassy/service point can be booked as soon as the situation returns back to normal.
We recommend you to contact us regarding planned international hires and assignments so that we can anticipate the preparations.
We would also like to take the opportunity to remind you that KPMG continues to assist the new arrivals with the relocation and settling-in steps to be completed after arrival in Finland. For the time being, KPMG restricts meetings with individuals arriving from abroad, while we continue to provide thorough advice and personal phone guidance with for example registrations and other practicalities. It is to be noted, however, that the authorities have restricted opening hours, which will delay the completion of the relocation steps. For example International House Helsinki has limited its services considerably. Also the Digital and Population Data Services Agency has turned to serving customers by appointment only.
We also continue to provide assistance with accommodation arrangements. Access to apartment viewings is currently restricted due to the COVID-19 situation, however, we aim to find customized solutions to those who need support with finding housing during the exceptional circumstances.
Similarly for all the settling-in services, including registrations, tax card, bank accounts, apartment search, and other needs you and your employees may have, we always aim to find the best solution to take care of your/their matters, regardless of the restricted availability of services provided by the authorities and other service providers.
Finally, if you have any specific needs or requests in relation to the current circumstance, please do not hesitate to reach out. We at KPMG are happy to help.
+358 20 760 3272
+358 20 760 3575
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