Finland’s Investor Visa
Situated in Europe and bordered by Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Estonia, the nation of Finland is another possible choice for foreign investors seeking to relocate to a different country and diversify their portfolio. Though sometimes overlooked due to its larger neighbors, Finland is the eighth largest country in Europe and has one of the highest national rankings for per capita income, education, quality of life, and economic competitiveness in the world, making the country a great option for potential investors.
How to Become a Finnish Resident through Investment
For purposes of Finnish immigration opportunities, foreign investors qualify for a visa based upon self-employment. Self-employed foreign nationals are required to have a resident permit in order to conduct their business activities in the country. A foreign national will qualify as a self-employed worker if the individual personally owns his/her commercial enterprise or if the individual us a general partner in a limited partnership.
Importantly, Finland will not approve a residence permit application for an individual if the individual only owns shares in a commercial enterprise – the person must also perform work for the company and the work must be physically performed in Finland.
The application must contain the commercial enterprise’s formation documents, financial information, and business plan. The application process consists of two steps. First, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment reviews the application and evaluates the profitability of the business and whether the profits will be sufficient to sustain the foreign national in Finland. After the Centre provisionally approves the application, the application is forwarded to the Finnish Immigration Service. The Service makes the final decision on the application.
When you have been granted a continuous residence permit (A-permit) for a self-employed person, you are allowed to do some work for another employer during the initial stages of starting your business, while you are not yet making a sufficient living with your business. If you intend to primarily work for another employer, you may not do so with a residence permit for a self-employed person. You must apply for a residence permit for the job in question.
Becoming a Finnish Citizen
After the investor has been a Finnish resident for five years, the investor may apply for citizenship through a process called naturalization. In addition to the residency requirement, the citizenship applicant must also have a clean criminal record, must have met all financial obligations (such as student loans, healthcare payments, etc.), must have sufficient funds for support, and have satisfactory oral and written language skills in Finnish or Swedish. Upon meeting these requirements and approval of the naturalization application, the investor will be come a Finnish citizen.
In order to expedite the processing and maximize the approval of the Finnish investor visa, it is advisable that interested individuals contact skilled immigration attorneys for assistance.