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Migri: UK citizens must get Finnish residence permit cards

Immigration authorities said that what was interpreted as a recommendation is actually an obligation.

A sample residence permit card
Sample residence permit card issued by Finland. Image: Poliisi

UK citizens who don’t already have Finnish permanent residents cards are being urged to apply for the right to reside in the country. The call came from the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) and the Ministry of the Interior as Finland sought to clarify post-Brexit residence guidelines.

In statements issued Tuesday afternoon, both Migri and the ministry said that under the Brexit withdrawal agreement, UK citizens, including persons with documentary proof of a permanent right to reside in the EU, must trade in the document for a Finnish permanent residence card.

Finnish authorities had previously issued the advisory as a recommendation, however they now say that making the change is -compulsory. The background to the updated information is advice from the European Commission, which has pointed out that Finland misinterpreted the need for UK citizens to register as permanent residents as a recommendation rather than a requirement.

Immigration authorities said that applying for right of residence in Finland under the withdrawal agreement is free of charge for individuals who already have a document certifying the right to reside in the EU.

The application period for the right of residence will run until the end of September 2021. The Ministry of the Interior apologised for previous misleading guidance on the matter.

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