Finland: EU Blue Card changes
and 'EnterFinland' maintenance

A legislative change concerning the EU Blue Card (a subtype of a specialist’s residence permit) came into force in Finland on 13 May 2024. This change broadens the scope of the EU Blue Card making it accessible to a wider group of highly qualified employees.

The new EU Blue Card also facilitates the EU mobility of Blue Card holders, both long-term and short-term, as outlined in the EU Directive 2021/1883, which is now being implemented.

The new requirements for an EU Blue Card are:

  • The duration of employment or assignment must be at least six months (previously 12 months).
  • The employee’s salary must be at least the same as the Finnish median salary (EUR 3,638 in 2024; previously 1.5 times the median salary).
  • The employee must be able to prove, upon request, that they have sufficient professional qualifications:
    • A higher education degree (bachelor or equivalent, with a three-year course duration);
    • Employment history in the same professional field, consisting of 3–5 years of experience, depending on the professional field.
  • Employment history qualifying for a sufficient professional qualification is a new addition, as previously the provisions of the Finnish Aliens Act required a bachelor’s degree or higher academic degree for an EU Blue Card.

The provisions on an EU Blue Card’s duration remain unchanged:

  • EU Blue Card’s maximum validity period is two years, also as an extended permit.
  • If the duration of employment is less than two years, an EU Blue Card will be issued for the duration of the employment plus an additional three months, but not exceeding two years.

The EU Blue Card can now be considered the best residence permit option for the majority of applicants who qualify for the specialist’s residence permit. The Finnish national residence permit for specialists remains unchanged and can still be applied for by specialists who do not fulfill the requirements for the EU Blue Card. The application fees for these two permit types are identical.

Upcoming Maintenance Break on EnterFinland

Applicants of Work-Based Residence Permits should be aware of an upcoming maintenance break on EnterFinland that may impact application submissions.

The Finnish Immigration Service is implementing a major update of the electronic work-based residence permit application process. This will cause a service interruption in the EnterFinland e-service on 5 June at 17:00-23:59 (estimated timeframe).

All unsubmitted application drafts for work-based residence permits will be deleted from the system during this update. This maintenance break will not affect submitted application forms or issued decisions, or processing of initiated applications. The new application forms should be in use on 6 June.

For more information, please contact the Smith Stone Walters global immigration team.

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