Comments invited on proposal for long-term D visa expediting entry for students and researchers
On 18 February, the Ministry of the Interior sent out for comments draft amendments to the Aliens Act which would extend the use of a long-term visa known as a D visa. Long-term visas would speed up entry into the country for people who have been issued with residence permits.
The proposed amendments to the Aliens Act would make it possible to issue D visas to students, researchers, employees of certified employers, persons in managerial positions in companies and family members of the above-mentioned individuals.
The Finnish Immigration Service would issue a D visa in connection with a favourable decision on a residence permit. This would allow those people who have been granted a residence permit to travel to Finland more quickly, as they would not need to wait for a residence permit card abroad. A D visa could also be issued for entry to a residence permit holder residing abroad whose residence permit card has been lost, stolen or expired.
The Ministry of the Interior’s legislative project has also prepared an amendment to the Aliens Act which would enable the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to grant a temporary residence permit to young people from diplomatic families arriving in Finland until they reach the age of 20. This would be in line with the international practice. At the moment, after turning 18, young people from diplomatic families must apply to the Finnish Immigration Service for extension of their residence permit.
The deadline for submitting comments is 1 April. The government proposal is due to be submitted to Parliament during the spring session 2022.
Legal basis already exists for the use of D visa
On 11 February, the President of the Republic approved legislative amendments under which a D visa can be issued to specialists, high-growth startup entrepreneurs and their family members. The amendments that were prepared by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will enter into force on 1 June. In future, the use of D visas can be extended to other categories of persons with legislative amendments.
The Government Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government aims to increase education-based and work-based immigration. The Government Programme pays particular attention to improving and speeding up permit procedures. The proposal now sent out for comments supports these objectives and, in particular, the streamlining of entry procedures.
Berit Kiuru, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 283, [email protected]