Long-term D visa would expedite entry into the country for students and researchers who have been issued with residence permits
Amendments to the Aliens Act would extend the use of a long-term visa known as a D visa. The amendments would contribute to promoting education-based and labour-based immigration and streamline entry procedures. The Government submitted a proposal on the amendments to Parliament on 16 June.
In future, D visas could be issued 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 people who have been granted a residence permit to travel to Finland sooner than at present, as they would not need to wait for a residence permit card abroad; instead, a visa sticker attached to the travel document at a Finnish mission would prove their right of entry. This would make it easier for them to start their studies, research and work on time, facilitate the recruitment of experts and enhance Finland’s attractiveness.
“Finland’s objective is to have a balanced migration policy in which work-based and education-based immigration play a significant role. The proposed amendments are part of an extensive package of measures by which the Government aims to respond to the shortage of skilled labour and increase Finland’s attractiveness,” says Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen.
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.
D visa for specialists and high-growth startup entrepreneurs already in use
A D visa was introduced in Finland at the beginning of June. At that time, legislative amendments prepared by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs entered into force. Under these amendments, a D visa can be issued to specialists, high-growth startup entrepreneurs and their family members.
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 submitted supports these objectives.
The provision on issuing long-term visas is due to enter into force on 1 April 2023. The time required for changes to information systems has been taken into account in the entry into force. The other proposed amendments would enter into force on 1 January 2023.
Berit Kiuru, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 283, [email protected]