It is not easy for foreign start-ups in Finland. All hope for a new law

New entrepreneurs are increasingly being refused to renew their residence permit.

Situation. Despite the desire to attract more and more investors, foreign specialists and “remote workers”, the system of issuing residence permits in Finland for workers from abroad is not the easiest. This is especially true for startups with their own development specifics, according to the local portal yle.

In particular, startups who came from Russia face a number of problems: too long a period for considering an application for an extension or insufficient income from the main business.

Another look. Nevertheless, the executive director of the foreign direct investment company Helsinki Business Hub, Marya-Liisa Niinikoski, believes that the Finnish state is doing everything possible to support talented and promising projects. In particular, it gives a chance to receive a development grant, and Helsinki Business Hub, in particular, helps to fill out documents and negotiate with the Migration Service about the specifics of doing business.

Marya-Liisa Niinikoski also noted that in recent years, the volume of bureaucratic procedures for issuing a primary residence permit to start-up entrepreneurs has been greatly reduced. But he admits that consideration of an application for an extension can still take a long time – up to five months, during which a startup cannot leave the country.

What now. The Migration Service said that there are indeed refusals to extend a startup visa, mainly due to the organization’s unstable financial situation. For example, in 2020, 29 renewal applications were reviewed, of which 12 were refused. For comparison, there were only two failures in the previous two years. The nuance is that the Migration Service wants to see the development of the project in two years – if the company does not prove its worth, the visa is unlikely to be extended.

New law. Representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Employment of Finland said that in early 2021 it is planned to issue a law that allows you to obtain a type D visa in order to quickly enter Finland, and apply for a residence permit already in place. And although the new law is more focused on employees and students, next year the authorities promised to consider amendments for faster issuance of residence permits to startups. A large project that takes into account the interests of this category of employees is planned to be launched in 2022.

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Author: Chief Editor