Third-country nationals who have family members in Finland can apply for a Finland family visa. The majority of residence applications are on the basis of family ties, however, it’s important to know exactly who is considered a family member and how to apply for a family visa in Finland.
Who Can Get a Finland Family Visa?
A Finland family visa is given to immediate family members of either Finnish citizens or to those who hold a residence permit. The definition of who is considered to be an immediate family member varies from country to country. In Finland it is:
- A spouse.
- A registered partner.
- A cohabiting partner.
- A legal guardian (in the case where the applicant is a child under 18).
- A child.
In specific cases, a visa can be issued to someone you are dating on the basis of an intimate relationship.
When you apply for your family visa you need to specify whether your sponsor is your legal spouse, your child, or your parent/legal guardian.
Finland Family Visa Requirements
These are the family visa requirements for Finland:
- Your passport must be valid and up-to-date at the time of your application and during your entire stay in Finland. An outdated passport will not be accepted and you won’t receive a visa.
- Form PK1_plus. This form needs to be filled in and signed by your sponsor in Finland and then sent to you, so that you can attach it to the rest of the application.
- Identity picture. You have to attach a recent identity picture to your application, you have to follow the guidelines as set by the Schengen visa photo rules.
- Copy of your passport’s bio page. You must also have a separate copy of the bio page in your passport.
- Copy of your sponsor’s passport bio page. Your spouse needs to provide you with a copy of their passport’s bio page so that you can attach it to your application.
- Civil documents. Civil status documents must be recent and valid from your country of residence. These documents include:
- Birth certificates.
- Marriage license.
- Divorce license (if you and your spouse were divorced once and now are married again).
- Certificate of registered partnership.
- Certificate of dissolved partnership (if you and your partner dissolved your partnership and registered again).
- Death certificate (if you or your spouse/partner are widowers).
- Adoption papers. If the application deals with a child that was adopted.
- Proof of financial stability. You must provide proof that you can financially support yourself if you move to Finland. If your spouse/partner is financing your stay, you have to provide their income statement. Financial security depends on the size of the family; the requirements are different for each application.
- Document proving your place of residence. You also need to provide a certificate proving that you are legally residing in your current country.
- Certificate of good standing. This is a certificate that is usually issued by civil courts which proves that you are not under investigation and that there are no criminal charges against you.
- Employment contract. If you are by any chance employed in Finland then you must provide a copy of your employment contract.
- Proof of your spouse’s financial state. You also need to provide these documents:
- Your spouse’s/partner’s bank statements from the last six months.
- Copies of your spouse’s/partner’s recent tax card, tax decision, and tax return.
- Documents related to your spouse’s/partner’s business, such as business license, income sheet, bank statements, number of employees, etc.
- Documents related to your spouse’s/partner’s pension.
- Documents related to other income assets.
- Certificate of paternity. If you are applying to reunite with your child in Finland, or you are applying at the same time with your child, you need to provide a paternity certificate in cases where the child was born out of wedlock.
- Letter of consent. If a minor is applying to reunite with a parent/legal guardian while the other parent/legal guardian is in another country a letter of consent is obligatory.
Finland Family Visa on the Basis of Cohabiting Partners
If you apply for a visa regarding a cohabiting partner you also need to meet these extra requirements:
- Proof of cohabiting. You and your partner must submit proof that you were living together in a committed relationship for the last two years. This could be a rental agreement or an owned property. If you and your partner live in different cities and you live together only during the holidays, you won’t be given a visa.
- Not married. You also need to submit proof that you and your partner are not married to someone else.
- Joint custody. If you and your partner have a child and share custody you must provide evidence, such as the child’s birth certificate or family certificate. If you do have joint custody over your child you won’t be required to submit evidence of living together for two years.
- Weighty reasons. If you don’t meet the general criteria for granting a visa on the basis of cohabiting partners, then you can argue your case why you should be given a residence permit. These cases are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the embassy.
Finland Family Visa on the Basis of Intimate Relationship
The person you are dating is not considered to be a family member, however, if you want to apply for a family visa you can do so on the grounds of an intimate relationship. Here are the requirements you need to meet in this case:
- Financial stability. You must provide evidence that you can finance your stay in Finland on your own. Usually, for an adult, it’s required to have €1,000 in a personal bank account for living expenses.
- A written statement about your relationship. You need to provide a letter where you explain the nature of your relationship and why you want to move to Finland.
- Verification of pregnancy. If one reason why you want to move together is pregnancy then you must provide a certificate of pregnancy.
When to Apply for a Family Reunion Visa?
If your sponsor is already a Finnish citizen or a resident then you can apply whenever you are ready and you’ve gathered all the required documents. You may also apply at the same time when your sponsor applies for their residence permit.
How Do I Apply for a Family Finland Visa?
This is how you apply for a Finland Family Visa:
- Prepare all your documents.
- Apply for the visa.
- Go to a local Finnish mission.
- Wait for an answer.
- Go to Finland.
Prepare all your documents
Gather all the necessary documents you need for the application and make sure that any necessary documents are legalized if required. Before you start collecting your documents check with the embassy and get a list of requirements and which documents need to be legalized. The embassies might ask for extra documents.
Your documents also need to be translated if they are not in English, Finnish, or Swedish.
Apply for a visa
Once you have everything ready then you can apply for a visa. You can either apply through the e-service online or go to a local Finnish mission and apply in person. Either way, you are the only one who can make the application your sponsor cannot apply for you even if you give them authorization.
If the applicant is a minor then the legal guardian can apply for the child or another person authorized by the legal guardian.
Go to a local Finnish mission
As soon as you submit your application you have to go to your local embassy/consulate and submit your fingerprints and prove your identity. Also, bring the original documents that you attached to the online application.
If you apply in person then you can fill in the application there and attach your documents with the paper application.
Prepare yourself for a possible interview, a representative officer from the embassy may ask you questions related to your relationship with the sponsor.
If you applied for your child then bring them with you, even if your child is still a baby.
Don’t forget: You have to pay the service fee for both online applications and in-person applications when you go to a Finnish embassy.
Wait for an answer
The processing time for a Finland family visa is usually from 2 to 9 months. The online service will take less time to get processed than the paper application. If something is missing from your application the processing time will be prolonged so make sure that you have everything the first time you submit your papers.
Go to Finland
After your application has been processed and you receive a positive answer, the Immigration Office will send your residence card to the embassy. You can pick it up and then you can depart for Finland whenever you are ready. After you arrive you must register at a local registration office.
Supplementing Your Visa Application
In cases where the embassies suspect dubious relationships you may be asked to provide proof of family ties:
- DNA test. In order to determine the biological connection between the sponsor and the applicant.
- Age test. This is done when there are suspicions about the age of the applicant or the sponsor.
The embassies hold the authority to ask for any additional documents.
How Long is the Finland Family Visa Valid?
The first family visa is always valid for 12 months. However, your permit may be valid for up to 4 years, depending on your specific circumstances when you applied for the visa.
Can I Extend a Finland Family Visa?
Yes, you can extend a family visa in Finland. The extension will depend on the type of permit you have:
- If you have a temporary B permit then you can renew your visa every year; afterward, if you want you can switch to a continuous permit.
- If you have a continuous A permit then you have to renew your visa every 4 years.
If your situation has changed when applying for an extension then you can’t use the same application form. If you applied for a residence permit on the basis of family ties, specifically marriage but you are no longer married to the same person then you must apply on the basis of changed family ties.
If you are no longer married to your sponsor when you first applied but you are working then you must apply for a new residence permit on the basis of employment. Please make sure you do so before your residence expires, if it does then you can’t work until the new residence has been issued.
If you were under the age of 18 when you first applied for your permit then you can’t apply for an extension on the same grounds as before.
Make sure to check with an official Immigration Office before your residence expires, you will have the expiration date printed on your residence card.
Can Family Visa Holders Work in Finland?
Yes. Family members who apply for a family visa in Finland have unrestricted access to the workforce. However, if you have a residence permit on the basis of an intimate relationship then you are restricted in your work.
How Much Does the Finland Family Reunion Visa Cost?
An electronic application costs €470, while a paper application costs €520. You have to pay a fee for your visa renewal as well.
Can I Get Permanent Residence in Finland With a Family Visa?
Yes. You can get permanent residency after you’ve spent five years in Finland under a continuous residency permit.
Can I Get Finland Citizenship With a Family Visa?
After 5 years of living in Finland, you can apply for citizenship. If your spouse is a Finnish citizen the residency period is shortened to four years.