Permit Matters

Residence permits and EU citizen registration

You can apply for a residence permit or registration of the right of residence in Finland from the Finnish Immigration Service. 
If you come to Finland from outside the EU or the Nordic Countries for more than 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit. You can apply for a residence permit based on work, study, family ties, return migration or some other reason.
Read more about the different residence permits and the application criteria on the website of Finnish Immigration Service. 

If you are a citizen of an EU member state, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit for Finland, but you must register for your right of residence in Finland. See the instructions from the Finnish Immigration Service for how to apply for registration: 

If you are a citizen of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Iceland), register your stay with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency:

If you are a British citizen, see the information on registering an EU citizen's right of residence here:

The Lahti Finnish Immigration Service point is open to customers from Monday-Wednesday and Friday 8:00-16:15, address Kirkkokatu 12 D. You need to book an appointment in advance in Migri's online service: Numbered tickets are handed out only for urgent matters. Check the opening hours: 

Personal Identity Code and the Kela Card

If the Finnish Immigration Service issues you with a residence permit or a residence card, or registers your right of residence, your personal data will also be automatically registered in the Population Information System. At the same time, you will receive a personal identity code. Please note that registration can only be performed if a positive decision on your application has first been made, and the conditions for registration have been fulfilled,
If the registration in the Population Information System is not successful in terms of receiving a positive decision, you can request registration with the Finnish Digital and Population Data Agency after arriving in Finland.

You can apply for Kela benefits and a Kela card from Kela's e- services. If you have not previously applied for benefits or for a Kela card and have moved to Finland, in addition to applying for these benefits or the Kela card, you need to make a notification of the move to Finland at:

Registering as a resident and your home municipality 

After moving to Finland, you must register as a resident with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. You must also report moving temporarily to Finland if you live in the country for more than three months. 

If you move to Finland to live for a year or longer, you may have the right to have a municipality of residence in Finland. You will need a home municipality in order to be entitled to use city or municipal services such as healthcare or daycare for children. The Finnish Digital and Population Data Agency will find out whether you have the right to a municipality of residence in Finland and if you can then be registered with one.  In order to be able to get a municipality of residence, you must move to live in Finland permanently. If you live in Finland temporarily, for example, you move to Finland for a maximum of one year to study or work, you cannot usually be assigned a municipality of residence. The office of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency in Lahti is at Kirkkokatu 12 B, on the 5th floor. Check the opening hours here:

A foreigner’s identity card 

As a foreigner you can be issued with a foreigner’s identity card if you have a valid residence permit or residence card, or if your right of residence is registered and you have a municipality of residence in Finland in accordance with the Local Government Act, and your information has been stored in the Population Information System. 

A foreigner’s identity card can be issued for a maximum of five years, but for no longer than the period of validity of their residence permit or residence card. You can apply for a foreigner's identity card from the Police. You can make most police applications online. A personal visit to the police station is not always required. The on-line police service will inform you if you need to visit the police station to handle your affairs. See this link for electronic services:

Family Reunification  

You can apply for family reunification if you have, for example, a spouse or under-aged children. Not just anybody can be approved as a family member, so carefully read the instructions on the Finnish Immigration Service's website for how to apply for family reunification and how family members are defined by Finnish law:

If your family member is abroad, he or she must submit an application to the Finnish mission in that country. Check the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for country-specific instructions on where your family members turn to in order to submit a residence permit application for Finland:


If you want to apply for Finnish citizenship, you must meet certain citizenship requirements. Check what the Finnish Immigration Service requires of you in order to apply for Finnish citizenship: