Finland: New Government and Proposed Stricter Immigration Measures

Key Points  

  • Finland is anticipated to introduce stricter immigration measures over the next year as a result of government change 


The government of Finland appointed a new government on 17 June 2023. Under this new government, changes are anticipated to occur to the country’s immigration process. Some of these proposed changes include the following:  

International Protection: 

  • Shorten the permitted period of stay for individuals under international protection. 
  • Introduce stricter punishments for crimes and endangerment of public order. 
  • Implement stricter border and entry verification measures. 

Family Reunification: 

  • Restricting conditions for granting family reunification, including an age limit of 21 for children. 
  • Consider reintroducing pre-arrival language assessment tests. 

Permanent Residence and Naturalization: 

  • Tighten conditions for granting permanent residence and citizenship. 
  • Require a minimum of six years of legal residence in Finland. 
  • Additional language tests and proof of work experience may be required. 
  • Allowance for a four-year residence period for certain individuals who meet specific criteria: 
    • Minimum annual income of EUR 40,000. 
    • Completion of a recognized master’s degree in Finland with a two-year work history without relying on unemployment security or social assistance. 
    • Demonstrated proficiency in the Finnish or Swedish language through a language test and a three-year work history. 
  • Reduce the permitted period of stay abroad for citizenship applicants. 

European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) Citizens: 

  • Priority is given to foreign national employees from EU and EEA countries. 
  • Higher education requirements for foreign nationals from third countries. 
  • Introduce stricter labor market tests. 

Work-Based Residence Permits: 

  • Stricter reporting measures for terminated employees. 
  • Increased income requirements. 
  • Automation of immigration processes. 
  • Allow transfers of employees with work permits within related sectors.
  • Specific recruitment efforts in India, the Philippines, Brazil, and Vietnam for specialized groups of experts. 

What are the Changes? 

The newly elected Finnish government is undergoing a transitional period and will implement more stringent immigration measures in the near future. These measures aim to tighten immigration policies and regulations. 

Looking Ahead  

According to the government announcement, these proposed changes will be submitted for governmental review by spring 2024 or sooner. Continue to check the government of Finland’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.

Subscribe to Envoy's Global Blog Digest

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.