COVID-19 pandemic - Relocation related Questions & Answers

Closing borders as measures to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic affect the economy and overall cause uncertainty. Employers and employees have had to change their plans on very short notice. Newly recruited or internally transferring foreign employees are not able to proceed with their relocation. Issues concerning the residence permit applications, local authority registrations, taxation and social security raise questions and the processes are quickly adapted to this new situation.

In this force major situation, we are all experiencing difficulties in our personal and professional life. Barona Relocation's priority is the safety and well-being of our employees and clients. We are working hard to find the answers to the questions we receive, find ways to complete the services we can and help our customers to re-adjust to this new set-up.

Our team collected some questions and answers that we have investigated during the past couple of weeks. We will keep updating this list during the coming weeks, so please share your experience, concerns and questions.

 

I have submitted my residence permit application but my appointment at the local Finland’s Mission was canceled. What do I do?

Currently Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs has suspended the reception and processing of residence permit applications in Finnish missions. Missions have discretionary powers to receive and process individual visa applications in exceptional cases.

In other words, residence permit applications are put temporarily on hold. Follow up on the latest updates by the Finnish Immigration Service here and on your residence permit application status in EnterFinland.

 

I have been granted a residence permit for Finland and have planned to arrive in the near days. Will I be able to enter the country?

Third-country nationals who have been granted a residence permit and are entering Finland for the first time may enter Finland until 31 March 2020, if they are already traveling to Finland or starting their travel to Finland and have agreed on housing arrangements in Finland before traveling. After 31 March, persons with a residence permit entering Finland for the first time may not enter Finland unless the travel is considered necessary. For more information on Corona and global mobility.

 

What happens when I manage to enter Finland?

According to Government policy, Finns and permanent residents in Finland returning from abroad will be placed in quarantine-like conditions for two weeks. The employer and the employee need to agree on the quarantine arrangements. You may proceed with any local authority registrations only after your 2-week quarantine has expired.

 

Can the employee postpone their arrival to Finland and start working remotely in their home country?

Yes, if possible, remote work may be the best, if not the only option in these circumstances. In that case, the employee would need to apply for a tax at source card. Please note that in that case the employee is not covered by Finnish social security. Barona Relocation team can help you with the tax card application as well as additional clarifications for the particular situation.

 

I am in Finland and need to apply for a residence permit or residence permit extension. Can I do this?

It is still possible to submit an application in Finland. You would need to submit the application via EnterFinland.

Please note that some of the Migri's service points have temporarily changed their appointment booking practices. Check the availability of appointments when filling your application. In some cases, Migri makes an appointment for you for identification when it becomes possible to do so. Please make sure that your application fee has been paid and your contact details are entered correctly in the application, especially your telephone number and email address. Normally, you would be required to visit a service point within three months of the date when you submitted your application. Due to the coronavirus situation, the time limit for proving your identity has been extended until 31 August 2020 (further changes may come into force, depending on how long the current state of emergency will last).  Contact Barona Relocation for the latest update and assistance with this.

 

I arrived in Finland with Visa and it is about to expire during the coming weeks. What should I do?

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs issues visas to Finland. However, under the current circumstances, the police may extend the validity of a visa and/or duration of an authorized stay. More information here.

 

I am in Finland, how do I do my local authority registrations?

The first and most important priority is health. Proceed with the two-week quarantine and follow the latest updates on Corona COVID-19 on Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare’s website.

The process for local authority registrations has been adapted for the current pandemic situation. If you are located in Helsinki region, more information is available on International House Helsinki's website or consult with Barona Relocation for more details and help.

 

I have employees who are staying in Finland with a residence permit on the basis of employment (first residence permit). If I need to temporarily lay off staff during the epidemic. Will Migri consider that the work requirement has not been met? Will the employees be entitled for any unemployment benefits?

The permit will stay valid for the duration of the lay-off.

Read more information regarding registration with TE Office and the right to unemployment benefit from Kela as well as information on applying for unemployment benefits when temporarily laid off.

 

I would like to leave Finland. What do I need to do?

If you intend to leave Finland, make sure to take care of all necessary de-registrations with the local authorities, rental apartment pertaining agreements, school/daycare de-registration and others. In case you are planning to come back to Finland in the (near) future, make sure you meet the requirements to come back to Finland.

 

The internal or newly recruited foreign employees delay in arrival will significantly affect the deadline on my project. How can I resource the project with the right skillsets?

Barona offers temporary resourcing for a variety of skillsets and industries (IT, Luova, Engineering, Sales and Retail, Customer Support, Construction, Production, Maintenance and many others). Please contact us, if you need resourcing support.