Finland is an attractive country to many investors. It comes with a high living standard and is far away from most political troubles. However, business immigration there is difficult. Finland doesn’t provide passive residence by investment programs or golden visas to high net worth people, and is strict with who it accepts.
Regardless, it still does offer a program for entrepreneurs looking to relocate there. If approved, an applicant gets a residency permit for 4 years. After that, it’s possible to acquire permanent residency. Following 5 years of permanent residency, an entrepreneur can apply for Finnish citizenship.
Finland Entrepreneur Visa
First, individuals should only submit an application if they plan on residing in Finland most of the year.
Second, before permits are given out, an entrepreneur needs to sign up their business with the Trade Register, which is a branch of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.
Before applying for a residency permit, startups need a positive statement issued by the parliament’s Business Finland (a fund directed by the Ministry of Employment and Economy).
How Does Finland Define Entrepreneurs?
Finland allows the following individuals into its program:
- Private trades who own their individual businesses (toiminimi)
- Startup entrepreneurs
- Partners in general partnerships
- General partners in limited partnerships (silent partners do not qualify)
- Members of cooperatives who have an unlimited refinancing liability. Such obligations must be registered at the trade register
Also – upper management in companies can qualify for the program. They include:
- Shareholders in managerial roles of a limited-liability enterprise (board of director member or managing director)
- Individuals working in a managerial position in other types of companies – assuming they own 30% minimum of the company share capital. Alternatively, if they have votes representing 30% of the company’s capital, they still qualify
- Individuals in managerial positions with an authority that provides them vote that amount to 30% of the company’s shares
Start by ensuring that you fulfill the requirements to acquiring a residency permit.
Next, ensure that all the documents and attachments needed are within your position. Legalize and translate them if possible.
Afterward, you can fill and submit the application. The fee for it is paid at the Enter Finland e-service, which can be found at any Finnish consulate/embassy.
If you’re traveling, visiting a consulate or embassy is your best option. However, if you’re in Finland, then you can schedule an appointment with the service point (at Finland’s Immigration Service).
After applying, there’s a waiting period before a decision arrives. The service will contact you when necessary. The government website often states the average processing period per application.
Upon approval, the residency permit will be handed to you in the same country/city where you first submitted the application.