Residence permits for students and researchers from outside the EU will be extended and job-seeking encouraged

Ministry of the Interior 10.8.2018 9.45 | Published in English on 10.8.2018 at 13.55
Press release 90/2018

Residence permits for researchers and students from outside the EU will be extended and job-seeking and entrepreneurship will be encouraged through a residence permit granted for these purposes. The Government submitted the relevant bills for approval on 9 August. The President of the Republic is to approve the bills on 10 August, and they are to enter into force on 1 September 2018.

The goal of the new act implementing the EU Directive on students and researchers is that most students completing their degrees in EU countries would stay and work in the Union. With the act, all researchers will receive a researcher’s residence permit, irrespective of whether they are in an employment relationship or, for example receive a grant. This residence permit will be a continuous residence permit, which is granted for a maximum of two years. The extended residence permit will be issued for a maximum of four years.

All students will continue to be granted a temporary residence permit, but as a rule, it will be issued for two years instead of one year if the conditions for granting the residence permit are met throughout the stay. The extended permit will also be issued for up to two years at a time.

The new act will enable researchers and higher education students who have been issued with a residence permit in another Member State to arrive in Finland to carry out research and to study for a certain period without an obligation to apply for a residence permit in Finland. They must, however, submit a notification, which then needs to be approved by the authorities. Similarly, third-country national researchers or higher education students who have been granted a residence permit in Finland may move to another Member State, but they must first find out what the conditions for moving to the Member State concerned are.

Through the Directive, both students and researchers may be granted a residence permit for job-seeking and starting business activity, after they have completed their studies or research. This residence permit will continue to be granted for one year.

New act also applies to training and voluntary service

The implementation of the Directive applies only to training within an employment relationship. The new act will bring together provisions on work-related training. The Directive covers applicants who have completed a higher education degree within the two years preceding the date of application, or who are pursuing a course of study that leads to a higher education degree. The traineeship must not replace a job.

The new act will apply only to voluntary service within the scope of the EU’s voluntary programmes, not any kind of voluntary work.

In addition, a provision on a residence permit granted on the basis of an au pair placement will be added to the Aliens Act.

Jarmo Tiukkanen, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 606, [email protected]