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Can I lose my residence permit?

If you have a fixed-term residence permit in Finland and your situation in life changes, this may also affect your residence permit. This page provides information on the most common situations where you may lose your residence permit.

Coronavirus COVID-19

The Finnish Immigration Service has made some temporary changes to applying for a residence permit. Identification periods have been extended and some facilitations are applied to permit extensions. Read more about the impact of coronavirus on residence permits on the InfoFinland page: Coronavirus and moving to Finland.

Cancellation of residence permit

Your permanent or fixed-term residence permit will be cancelled if

  • you move away from Finland permanently,
  • you continuously reside abroad for two years.

Your permanent or fixed-term residence permit can also be cancelled if

  • you provided incorrect information when applying for the permit,
  • you withheld a factor that could have prevented you from receiving the permit, or
  • another Schengen country requests Finland to revoke your residence permit.

A fixed-term residence permit can also be revoked if the grounds on which it was granted no longer exist. Bear in mind that in certain cases you must also have sufficient income for living in Finland. You can check who must have sufficient income, and how much, on the Immigration Service website.

The decisions regarding residence permit cancellations are made by the Finnish Immigration Service.

If you move abroad

If you intend to move away from Finland for two years due to, for example, work or studies, you can submit an application to the Finnish Immigration Service to prevent the cancellation of your residence permit. The application can be free form but must include the date, along with your signature and personal information. It must also indicate the duration of and reason for your stay abroad. In addition, it must include justification for why your residence permit should not be cancelled. You must submit the application before residing abroad for two years.

If your Finnish employer has assigned you to work abroad, you will not lose your residence permit for Finland even if your work forces you to reside abroad for more than two years.

More information on applying for a residence permit is available on the InfoFinland page Moving abroad from Finland.

If your marriage or registered partnership ends

If you have a fixed-term residence permit based on family ties, the end of your marriage or registered partnership may affect your residence permit. The death of a family member may also affect your residence permit if he/she was the family reunification sponsor in Finland.

If the family tie no longer exists, a residence permit granted on that basis will not necessarily be extended. It is also possible that your residence permit currently in force will be cancelled.

However, your residence permit can be extended if you continue to have strong ties to Finland. Examples of such strong ties include:

  • children or other family members in Finland
  • a job or a business in Finland
  • a student position in Finland.

If you divorce your spouse because of his or her violent behaviour towards you, your residence permit can be extended despite the divorce. You should present a clarifying document, such as a doctor’s certificate or a statement from a family counselling centre. You should also attach your account of the circumstances to the residence permit application.

More information on divorce and the termination of a registered partnership is available on the InfoFinland page Divorce.

If you lose your job

If you have a worker’s residence permit, which only applies to working for a particular employer and you lose your job, you must apply for an entirely new worker’s residence permit or base your permit application on other grounds.

If the Finnish Immigration Service has granted you a worker’s residence permit and your employment ends before the permit, you or your employer must notify the Immigration Service in writing that employment will end.

If your worker’s residence permit has not been limited to working for a particular employer and instead applies to a specific professional field and is effective, you can switch jobs within the same field.

More information on working and running a business in Finland is available on the InfoFinland page Employment and entrepreneurship. Information on residence permits for employees and entrepreneurs can be found on the pages Work in Finland and Entrepreneur in Finland.


If you already have a residence permit in Finland but are not granted a residence permit extension, the Finnish Immigration Service makes a deportation decision.

If you commit crimes in Finland, you can also be deported based on the crimes.

If you are deported, any valid residence permit that you have will become void and you must leave the country. You will usually be given a deadline by which you must leave Finland.

If you do not leave Finland before the deadline, the police or Border Guard will remove you from the country.

According to the law, you will not be deported if you are in danger of the death penalty, torture, persecution or other inhumane or degrading treatment in your home country.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Cancelling a residence permitFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Refusal of entry and deportationFinnish | Swedish | English