Living in Finland

Cities

Oleskelulupa puolisolle

Residence permit for a spouse

Spouse of a Finnish citizen

If you are married to a Finnish citizen who lives in Finland, you may be eligible to receive a residence permit in Finland based on family ties.There is information about applying for a permit in section Applying for a residence permit.

A same-sex spouse may also be eligible for a residence permit, if the spouses live in a registered partnership. Information on registering your partnership is available on the Infopankki page Registered partnership.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Spouse of a Finnish citizenFinnish | Swedish | English

Spouse of a foreign citizen

If your spouse has a residence permit in Finland and he or she lives in Finland, you may be eligible to receive a residence permit in Finland based on family ties.

A same-sex spouse may also be eligible for a residence permit, if the spouses live in a registered partnership.

Livelihood

In order to receive a residence permit in Finland, you or your spouse must also have sufficient income to guarantee your livelihood. At the Finnish Immigration Service website, you can check how much income you need.

The requirement for sufficient income does not apply to you if you have been married before your spouse’s arrival in Finland and your spouse holds refugee status in Finland. If your spouse gained refugee status on 1 July 2016 or later, you must apply for a residence permit within three months of your spouse receiving refugee status. You can also lodge the application later, but if you do so, the requirement for sufficient income will apply to you. If you have been married after your spouse’s arrival in Finland, the requirement for sufficient income applies to you.

If your spouse has gained a residence permit based on international protection but he or she does not hold refugee status, the requirement for sufficient income applies to you.

There is information about applying for a permit in section Applying for a residence permit.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Spouse of a foreign citizenFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Income requirementFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Spouse of a recipient of international protectionFinnish | Swedish | English

Common-law spouse of a Finnish citizen

If you live in a common-law relationship (avoliitto) with a Finnish citizen who lives in Finland, you may be eligible to receive a residence permit in Finland based on family ties. You may be eligible for the permit, if:

  • you and your common-law spouse have lived together for at least two years or
  • you and your common-law spouse have a child together (in which case you need not have lived together for the last two years) or
  • there is another important reason why you should be granted the permit.

You and your common-law spouse must be able to prove you have lived together for two years, if this is the basis of your permit application. This can be demonstrated, for example, by a register of occupants or a rental agreement bearing both of your names. If you and your common-law spouse have domiciles in different countries, living together during periods such as holidays is not considered adequate grounds for granting a residence permit.

There is information about applying for a permit in section Applying for a residence permit.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Common law spouse of a Finnish citizenFinnish | Swedish | English

Common-law spouse of a foreign citizen

If your common-law spouse has a residence permit for Finland and he/she lives in Finland, you may be eligible to receive a residence permit in Finland based on family ties. You may be eligible for the permit, if:

  • you and your common-law spouse have lived together for at least two years or
  • you and your common-law spouse have a child together (in which case you need not have lived together for the past two years)

You and your common-law spouse must be able to prove you have lived together for two years, if this is the basis of your permit application. This can be demonstrated by, for example, a register of occupants or a rental agreement with both your names on it. If you and your common-law spouse have domiciles in different countries, living together during, say, holidays is not considered adequate grounds for granting a residence permit.

You and your common-law spouse cannot be married to third parties.

Livelihood

In order to receive a residence permit in Finland, you or your spouse must also have sufficient income to guarantee your livelihood. At the Finnish Immigration Service website, you can check how much income you need for your livelihood.

The requirement for sufficient income does not apply to you if you have lived in a common-law relationship before your spouse’s arrival in Finland and your spouse holds refugee status in Finland. If your common-law spouse gained refugee status on 1 July 2016 or later, you must apply for a residence permit within three months of your spouse receiving refugee status. You can also lodge the application later, but if you do so, the requirement for sufficient income will apply to you.

If your common-law spouse has gained a residence permit based on international protection but he or she does not hold refugee status, the requirement for sufficient income applies to you.

There is information about applying for a permit in section Applying for a residence permit.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Common law spouse of a foreign citizenFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Common law spouse of a recipient of international protectionFinnish | Swedish | English

Partner in a relationship

A residence permit is not usually granted to unmarried partners who do not live together. According to Finnish law, partners in such a relationship are not considered family members.

In some cases, however, you may be eligible for a temporary (B) residence permit in Finland based on a romantic relationship. In order for you to receive such a residence permit in Finland, the relationship between you and your partner must be established. Proof of an established relationship would be, for example, intent to marry each other in Finland.

To satisfy these conditions, neither you nor your partner may be married to a third party.

In order to obtain a residence permit, you must have sufficient funds to secure your income. These funds must be at your free disposal, for example in a bank account under your own name. The income of your partner residing in Finland will not be considered.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Relationship partner of a Finnish citizenFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Relationship partner of a foreign citizenFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Relationship partner of a recipient of international protectionFinnish | Swedish | English

Applying for a residence permit

Usually, you must apply for the first residence permit before you come to Finland. Apply for the permit in your home country or another country where you are residing legally. If your spouse is a Finnish citizen, you can also apply for a permit in Finland. If you enter Finland before you have a residence permit, remember that you may need a visa for Finland.

You can apply for a permit online through the Enter Finland service. After applying, you must visit the closest Finnish diplomatic mission or a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service to prove your identity, and present original copies of the application appendices. You must visit a Finnish diplomatic mission or service point within three months of submitting the application online. The application cannot be processed until you have visited the Finnish diplomatic mission or service point. You usually need to make an appointment in advance to visit a diplomatic mission or service point.

Remember to check your Enter Finland account regularly. If further clarifications are needed, you will be informed through your account.

If you are unable to apply online, you can bring a paper application form and its appendices to the closest Finnish diplomatic mission or, in Finland, to a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. You can print out the application form from the Finnish Immigration Service website.

A residence permit is subject to a fee. You must pay the fee when applying for the permit.

linkkiEnterfinland.fi:
Electronic applicationFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMinistry for Foreign Affairs:
Finnish Diplomatic Missions abroadFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Electronic appointment bookingFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Service points of the Finnish Immigration ServiceFinnish | Swedish | English

Finnish personal ID code

When you apply for your first residence permit for Finland, you can ask to be registered in the Finnish Population Information System. You will then receive a Finnish personal ID code when you get your residence permit. You can find more information about the personal ID code on the Infopankki page Registering as a resident.

If your spouse is refused a residence permit

Your spouse will not be granted a residence permit, if he/she does not meet the prerequisites for a residence permit. The permit can also be refused if Finnish officials deem the spouses to have entered into matrimony purely for the sake of the residence permit with no intention of leading a family life together. Officials may suspect that you have married purely for the sake of a residence permit, for example if you married after a short courtship, there is a large age difference between you or one of you has had several short marriages. If you receive a negative residence permit decision, you may file an appeal to the Administrative Court. Appeal instructions are appended to the notification letter.