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Comments sought on government proposal to simplify residence permits for researchers

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 11.8.2022 15.00 | Published in English on 12.8.2022 at 12.18
Press release
Two women doing research.

The Government’s proposal to amend the act on residence permits for researchers has been sent out for comments. It would extend the duration of residence permits to make it easier for researchers to stay in Finland and conduct research. At the same time, it would improve the position of researchers conducting postgraduate research. 

Based on the Government Programme of Marin’s Government, Finland will facilitate the opportunities for foreign researchers, students and graduates and their families to stay in Finland by reforming permit practices, streamlining residence permit processes and reinforcing connections between higher education and working life. 

In order to reach this objective, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has prepared a government proposal for an act amending the Act on the Conditions of Entry and Residence of Third-Country Nationals for the Purposes of Research, Studies, Training and Voluntary Service.  

According to the proposal, the duration of residence permits would be extended to those completing a postgraduate degree in higher education institutions as well as other researchers. The amendment would apply to residence permits under EU and national regulation.

“This amendment would give researchers better opportunities to focus on their work and make Finland their home. The proposal would also facilitate the immigration of experts and strengthen Finland’s innovation environment,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen

Similar regulation to apply to students and those pursuing a postgraduate degree

The proposal now out for comments follows the government proposal concerning students (HE 232/2021 vp). The amendments laid down in that act entered into force on 15 April 2022. 

The proposal now out for comments would lay down provisions on a new type of residence permit for researchers completing a postgraduate graduate degree. The permit would be granted for five years, but the applicant would only be required to provide proof of sufficient financial resources for the first year. However, the applicant’s financial resources should be sufficient during the whole duration of the residence permit, with the requirement subject to monitoring by authorities. 

Amendments to enter into force as soon as possible  

The government proposal was prepared under the leadership of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The following bodies have participated in the preparation: Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Finnish National Agency for Education, Finnish Immigration Service, Council of Rectors of Finnish Universities UNIFI, Finnish Union of University Professors and Finnish Union of University Researchers. 

The proposal is circulated for comments from 10 August to 20 September 2022. The legislative amendments may enter into force already during 2023, depending on the schedule for developing the Register of Aliens.

Iiris Niinikoski, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 047 372
Kimmo Kari, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 269

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