As part of the overall reform of the Aliens Act, Migri, the Finnish Immigration Service, launched a residence permit Fast Track at the beginning of June. Fast Track processing is possible for specialists, those who are applying for a permit based on an internal transfer, startup entrepreneurs, and family members who apply for permits simultaneously. We asked our immigration specialists about their experiences with the new Fast Track.
Migri’s service promise is to process the application within 14 days of submitting the electronic application. The identification time must be completed within five days of submitting the application. If clarification requests are made to the application, the processing time cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, it is even more important that the applications can be submitted without missing documents or other deficiencies. The fast track gives a little less mercy than the normal process – although usually, clarification requests are not disasters either. Migri does process applications quickly as soon as they have been completed.
The standardized process eliminates the duration between countries
Even before the fast track’s introduction, Migri processed the permit applications of specialists quickly. The median processing time has been nine days at the beginning of 2022. However, access to identification in some countries has slowed down the application process.
For example, in India, it may have taken up to a month for the identification time, while an applicant in a European country could have been able to identify himself within a few days. Thus, the biggest advantage of the Fast Track is that the duration of the application process is standardized and the variation depending on the applicant’s country of origin has been eliminated.
Along with the Fast Track, a national D visa (valid for 100 days) was introduced, which can be applied for with the same application – just tick the box! – like a residence permit. D-visas can also be applied for those specialists, ICT permit applicants, and startup entrepreneurs who cannot apply in the Fast Track. It is also planned to introduce the D visa for researchers during the next year. With the D-visa, residence permit cards can be delivered to Finland – of course, this option is also available to citizens of visa-free countries.
From the perspective of the applicant and the employer, there are two important requirements for Fast Track processing:
1) the applicant must be able to pay the application processing fee through their own EnterFinland account and
2) the employer must supplement the terms of employment within two days of submitting the application through the employer’s EnterFinland account.
FRS Immigration team offers a full-service residence permit package, if the employer’s EnterFinland account has been activated. Our Immigration team can both manage the fulfillment of the terms of employment on behalf of the employer and pay the processing fees in those cases where the applicants cannot pay them themselves.
The new process has been a learning experience for everyone
Our immigration team’s experiences with the Fast Track have been mostly positive. There have been some initial technical difficulties in the process, but these have been corrected along the way. We have also been actively in contact with Migri to develop various parts of the process, and to improve business on behalf of the employer.
As far as Migri is concerned, the fast-track has mostly worked almost perfectly, but there has been some uncertainty in the Finnish embassies about the use of the fast-track. In addition, the introduction of the fast-track seems to have somewhat slowed down the processing of other residence permits, and it has clearly slowed down the process of the Digital and Population Information Agency, e.g., for EU citizens. The new process has clearly been a learning experience for everyone involved, but it also clearly shows determination to improve the immigration process.
Contact us – and lets discuss how the Fast Track would speed up the residence permit process for your specialists!