Lower residence permit fees for people staying in Finland due to coronavirus crisis
The Decree on Fees Charged for Services Provided by the Finnish Immigration Service will be temporarily amended. Because of the travel restrictions imposed due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, there are people in Finland whose right of residence is about to end or has already ended and who are unable to leave the country. They will be charged a lower fee for the processing of their residence permit application than usual.
Under the Decree on Fees Charged for Services Provided by the Finnish Immigration Service issued for 2020, the processing fee for a residence permit application is EUR 520 for adults and EUR 270 for minors. The Decree will be temporarily amended so that the processing fee is EUR 150 for adults and EUR 100 for minors in cases where the permit is applied for because of the travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The amendment enters into force on 22 May 2020 and will remain in force until 31 October 2020. The residence permits granted on the basis of the travel restrictions will also be valid until 31 October 2020 at the latest.
Possible applicants include people whose visa-free stay, visa, or residence permit has expired. The Finnish Immigration Service has already received residence permit applications from people whose departure from Finland has been prevented or significantly hampered because of the coronavirus crisis. It is fair and reasonable to reduce the fees, as these people remain in Finland against their will, the duration of the stay is estimated to be short, and the validity of the permit is also shorter than usual.
If the reason for submitting an application is other than the applicant’s inability to leave the country due to the coronavirus epidemic, the applicant is requested to supplement the application and pay the processing fee for the correct type of application.
The processing fees for residence permit applications are determined annually by decree of the Ministry of the Interior. The Decree is issued under the Act on Criteria for Charges Payable to the State. Under the Act, the fee charged by the Finnish Immigration Service for a residence permit application must correspond to the cost price of the application, i.e. the cost of processing the application. However, for special reasons, the fee can be lower than the cost price or it can be completely waived.
The proposed amendment was circulated for comments to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and the Finnish Immigration Service.
Satu Kaskinen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 680, [email protected]