Quick Visa Facts
Finland Digital Nomad Visa Overview
While Finland is a very attractive destination for digital nomads with amazing natural beauty and excellent internet infrastructure, the country does not currently offer a Finland nomad visa. The best way for most remote workers to travel to Finland is on a standard Schengen tourist visa, which will allow you to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.
Residents of many countries do not need to pre-apply for the Schengen tourist visa but will receive the visa upon arrival in one of the Schengen countries. Citizens of other countries should book an appointment at the embassy or consulate of their destination country to obtain a visa.
Some digital nomads wishing to stay in Finland for longer than 90 days could be eligible to apply for a Finland self-employment visa or start-up visa. The self-employment visa allows freelancers and entrepreneurs that own a business or are a working partner in a business to stay in Finland for up to six months, and the visa is renewable.
The start-up visa allows entrepreneurs who have recently opened a business or intend to open a business for the potential for international growth to stay in Finland for up to two years in the first instance, and the visa is renewable.
However, with both the self-employment and start-up visas you are required to register your company in Finland. There it should not be considered a Finland remote work visa, and you will be liable to pay Finnish taxes.
Entering Finland on a Schengen Tourist Visa
The easiest way for most people to enter Finland is on a Schengen tourist visa, which allows you to stay in the Schengen area, including Finland, for up to 90 days in a 180 day period. On this visa, you are not eligible to work for local companies. Moreover, conducting remote work as a digital nomad in Finland under a tourist visa or during a visa-free stay is illegal. However, this is still a fantastic opportunity to get acquainted with the country before considering a longer-term visa option.
If You Are a United States Citizen
If you are a United States citizen, you do not need to pre-apply for a Schengen tourist visa but will receive the visa upon arrival. This will allow you to visit the area for up to 90 days within a 180 day period.
If You Are an EU Citizen
EU and EEA citizens, plus citizens of Liechtenstein and Switzerland, do not require a visa to travel to Finland. However, if you choose to stay for more than three months you should register with the Finnish Immigration Service. You are free to work in Finland for local companies or remotely.
If You Hold an EU Residence Visa
If you are a non-EU citizen but you hold a residence visa for another EU country, for example a digital nomad visa, you can travel to Finland for a period of up to 90 days in any 180 day period. You do not need to pre-apply for the visa.
If You Are a Citizen from Canada, Australia, or New Zealand
Citizens of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand also enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen area. You do not need to pre-apply for a visa, but your visit is limited to 90 days within any 180 day period.
If You Reside in Any Other Country
Residents of around 60 countries enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen area. You can check if your country is on the list here.
Citizens of countries that do need to pre-apply for a tourist visa to travel to the Schengen area should book an appointment at the consulate or the embassy of their European destination country. If you are traveling to more than one country, choose the country where you will enter the Schengen area or pass the most time.
You will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Europe, which is considered to be about €65 per day. You should also demonstrate that you have a return or onward flight booked for before the expiration of your visa. The standard Schengen visa fee is €80.
Other Finland Visa Options for Digital Nomads
Some digital nomads who wish to travel to Finland and stay for a longer period of time could be eligible to apply for a self-employment visa or a start-up visa, both of which some people dub the “digital nomad visa Finland”. But these visas will be suitable for a limited number of remote workers.
Finland Self-Employment Visa
The Finland Self-Employment visa allows some entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals to stay in Finland for up to six months in the first instance. The visa is renewable if you continue to meet the criteria.
Finland Self-Employment Visa Requirements
To qualify for the visa you must be:
- A private entrepreneur who owns their own business
- A partner in a general partnership
- A general partner in a limited company (and not just a silent partner)
- A member of a cooperative who has unlimited liability for refinancing
- A shareholder with a managerial role in a limited liability company
You will also need to register your business with the trade registry maintained by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. This can cost between €50 and €5,000 depending on the type of business. It is important to note that when you register your business in Finland, you are eligible to pay Finnish tax on your worldwide income. The general corporate tax rate is 20%. However, Finland does provide double taxation relief to businesses.
As part of your visa application, you must submit a dossier of your company to the Centre for Economic Development, Transport, and the Environment in Finland for them to evaluate the profitability of the business. You must be able to show that your business provides you with an income of at least $1,270 per month for an individual. You should also show proof of your supporting qualifications.
Once your business has been approved, the Finnish Immigration Service will proceed with your application.
For this, you should provide:
- Proof of appropriate health insurance and international travel insurance
- A clean criminal record verified by an apostille
- Proof that you have the right to reside in the country where you are applying from
Just because your business is approved does not necessarily mean that your final visa will be approved.
How to Apply for a Finland Self-Employment Visa
You can apply for a self-employment visa for Finland online or in person.
To apply online, create an account via the Finland e-service portal. There you will be able to complete the application online and upload relevant documents. You may also need to make an appointment at your local embassy or consulate to verify your identity and submit your fingerprints. This can be booked through the online portal. There is a fee of €490 to make the application online.
You can also make the application in person at a Finnish embassy or consulate, but this is more expensive with a €740 fee.
All documents must be submitted in Finnish, Swedish or English. Foreign language documents should be accompanied by an authorized translation.
Finland Self-Employment Visa Timeline and Costs
The process of registering your business with the Finnish Trade Register usually takes about three weeks, after which time you can submit your visa application. The standard waiting time for these kinds of visa applications for Finland is four months, but you can pay extra for a two week fast track service for a small additional fee.
In terms of costs, you can expect to pay:
- €50-€5,000 to register your business depending on the type of business
- €490 for an electronic visa application and €740 for an in-person application
- Plus fees for the translation and authentication of documents
- Demonstrate a stable monthly income of €1,270
If you intend to bring family members with you, there is an additional cost per residence permit, €470 when the application is made online and €520 when made in person.
If your application is denied, all fees are non-refundable. You can apply for an administrative review of your application if you think it has been rejected in error. This has a fee of €255.
Finland Start-Up Visa
The Finland Start-Up visa is for people who have recently established a new business or intend to establish a new business with the potential for international growth. If you qualify, you can be granted a visa for two years in the first instance, and it is renewable if you continue to meet the criteria.
Finland Start-Up Visa Requirements
Before you can apply for a Finland Start-Up visa you must obtain an Eligibility Statement from Business Finland. They will evaluate your business model, team, and resources to determine whether it has the potential for rapid international growth. If you are granted an Eligibility Statement, it should be submitted with your visa application.
While startups are assessed on a case-by-case basis, in general you need:
- A startup team with at least two founders with versatile skills that intend to move to Finland. The team must have at least 60% holding in the company and work full-time for the company.
- Resources sufficient to fund the early stages of the company and support the team financially.
- An innovative business plan and a commitment to growing the business quickly within Finland.
Business Finland provides guidance on making your startup application here and the application is free of charge. You must also have access to €26,790 to cover your personal expenses while living in Finland.
How to Apply for a Finland Start-Up Visa
You can apply for a self-employment visa for Finland in person at a consulate or embassy or online via the Finland e-service portal. There is a fee of €350 for an online application and €480 for an in-person application.
You will be required to submit:
- A valid passport and color copy of personal data page
- Document showing you legally have the right to stay in the country where you are submitting your application from
- An Eligibility Statement from Business Finland
- Proof of sufficient resources such as bank statements, decisions on funding, rental agreements, and employment contracts
Regardless of whether you make your application in person or online, you will receive updates and requests for further information via email, and you will receive a link to follow the progress of your application online.
Once your visa is granted you are free to move to Finland and start your business. You can find detailed information on how to start and run a business in Finland here.
Finland Start-Up Visa Timeline and Costs
It takes about two weeks from submission to receive your Eligibility Statement from Business Finland, at which point it is valid for two months for submission with your visa application. Startup visas are fast tracked, so you should receive your visa within two weeks of submitting your application.
You should prepare for the following costs:
- There is no cost for an Eligibility Statement and you only need one statement for all entrepreneurs involved in the business
- €350 for an electronic visa application and €480 for an in-person application
- An additional €520 for residence permits for any dependent family members
If your application is denied, all fees are non-refundable. You can apply for an administrative review of your application if you think it has been rejected in error. This has a fee of €255.
Paying Taxes in Finland
If you stay in Finland for less than 183 days, you are not a resident for tax purposes and will not have to pay taxes on your digital nomad income. However, if you enter Finland on a self-employment or entrepreneur visa, you will be required to register your business in Finland and therefore pay taxes.
This means that you will be required to pay income tax on your global income in Finland, unless you are also paying tax in a country with which Finland has a double taxation agreement. You can find details of Finland’s double taxation agreements here.
If you are paying local taxes, Finland does have a relatively complex system. National taxes are progressive starting from 12.64% for the lowest income bracket and rising to 44% for the highest bracket which starts at €85,800. Municipal tax is levied at flat rates varying from 4.36% to 10.86% depending on the municipality.
Depending on the type of business you establish, you may also need to pay corporate tax. The general corporate tax rate is 20%.
Living in Finland as a Digital Nomad
Finland is not usually ranked among the top digital nomad destinations due to its relatively high cost of living and the fact that temperatures in the capital can drop below -7 degrees Celsius in the winter. But that means that Finland also has summers with endless days where the sun never sets and an extremely high standard of living.
Digital nomads will be interested to know that Finland was the first country in the world to declare a broadband connection a right rather than a privilege. You can get a decent internet connection even in remote areas of the country, where you will also find stunning forests, lakes and islands.
Attractions and Best Places to Visit
Finland is a long country that reaches from the Baltic Sea up into the Arctic where it shares borders with Sweden and Russia. There are plenty of amazing places to visit and things to see.
The largest concentration of people in Finland, around 700,000 citizens, live in Helsinki, so it is also where you will find most of the action and cultural sites. The great cathedral built for Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and Suomenlinna fortress are must visit spots, as is the National Museum of Finland.
Turku is the oldest city in Finland and also the former capital. The small city is full of historic buildings, and is surrounded by an archipelago of over 20,000 islands in the Baltic Sea ideal for outdoor activities.
Savonlinna is a city located in the Saimaa Lake region and is a fertile blue and green haven. The main attraction is St Olaf’s Castle, which was built on an island in the center of a lake in the 15th century. The region is also home to Kerimaki Church, the oldest wooden church in the world.
Porvoo is a medieval city of cobbled streets and wooden houses that will leave you feeling like you have traveled back in time. It is less than an hour from Helsinki by train.
Rovaniemi in Lapland is also known as Santa Claus Village, and visiting is kind of the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy for many. The village embraces its North Pole reputation with Christmas themes everywhere you look. It is also an excellent place to view the Northern Lights.
Digital Nomad Hotspots
Finland has a variety of livable cities that digital nomads would be pleased to call home for a few months.
As the capital, Helsinki attracts ambitious young workers and entrepreneurs. It is where you will find the best restaurants and cultural attractions, the best internet speeds, and the most digital nomads and expats. Helsinki is also a major transport hub, with the best links to the rest of the country and the outside world, making it the ideal base for exploring the region. Helsinki doesn’t get as dark as it does elsewhere in the country, but it also has a higher cost of living and it has a relatively small footprint, so affordable accommodation can be challenging.
Tampere is Finland’s second largest city and sits between Lake Nasijarvi and Lake Pyhajarvi. It is about 90 minutes north of Helsinki by train, so prepare for cold, dark winters. However, in the summer the beaches, lakes, and forests are favorite holiday destinations, and there are lots of bars and restaurants for entertainment. Nevertheless, Tampere is perfect if you really want to get away from it all.
Look for accommodations in the districts of Kaakinmaa, Pyynikinrinne, and Nalkala. For coworking check out MOW Supernova and Innovation Home Tampere.
The old Finnish capital is still a bustling city by Finnish standards but also oozes historic charm. It is a more affordable place to live than Helsinki and Tampere. The biggest university in Finland is also located in Turku, so there are plenty of services for bright young things and budding entrepreneurs.
Benefits of Living in Finland as a Digital Nomad
There are many excellent benefits for digital nomads who choose to call Finland home for a period of time.
Finland is one of the few “unspoiled” places left in the world. It is sparsely populated and 66% of the country is forested. It has long and dramatic coastlines, hundreds of thousands of small islands, and is one of the best places in the world to view the Northern Lights.
While Finnish winters are dark and cold, summers are something very special. The northerly longitude means that the sun rarely sets in the summer and you get long days of light. The local residents take advantage of this special time of year and it is a period of holidays and festivities. It is even warm enough for a swim if you dare.
While crime and corruption exists everywhere in the world, in Finland there is a culture of honesty and fair play. This is why its government is consistently rated among the most honest in the world. Wherever you go you will see equality, transparency, and responsibility valued.
Crime in Finland is extremely low and it is considered one of the safest countries in the world. Children play in the streets after dark and most people leave their doors unlocked. Interestingly, Finland is a country with a high gun ownership rate (ranked 8th in the world), but it has a gun murder rate 110 times lower than that of the United States.
Finland has fantastic connectivity, with internet providers obliged to provide coverage across the entire country as it is considered a “right”. Mobile coverage is strong throughout the country and unlimited data plans are the norm.
Finland has excellent quality healthcare for its citizens and residents, and as a visitor to the country you can expect to receive emergency healthcare free of charge. If you plan to stay longer, you will need health insurance to cover your costs, but this will grant you access to excellent facilities and short wait times.
Of course, there are also a few drawbacks that digital nomads should be aware of before traveling to Finland.
Winters are extremely cold and dark, with the sun barely rising. It is not uncommon for temperatures to drop below -7 degrees Celsius at night, even in the southern area around Helsinki. It can get much colder in the north. Winter also tends to last until April.
Finland has a high cost of living, though perhaps a little lower than the United States. While this is fine for locals who earn high salaries and benefit from excellent public services, the financial burden can be challenging for remote workers.
Finnish is a very challenging language with a complex grammatical structure that uses 15 distinctive cases. While English and Swedish are also widely spoken, not speaking the local language can make it challenging to form deeper connections.
Cost of Living
Finland, like the other Nordic countries, has a high cost of living. Housing is expensive, goods and services are expenses, and taxes are high. In Finland the net average tax rate for a single worker is 31.1%, higher than the average for the OECD as a whole, which is 24.6%. In return for this, Fins get excellent public services, but it can make day-to-day living for visitors hard.
It is estimated that a single person needs about $1,000 per month to live in Finland excluding rent. To rent a single bedroom home, a person can expect to pay an additional $700-$1,000 per month. Utilities are high, at around $125 per month, plus an additional $25 for a mobile plan and $25 for a broadband connection.
Groceries are relatively affordable, but eating out is expensive. You can expect to pay $15 for a basic lunchtime meal and $40 per person for an evening meal. A beer will set you back another $8.
You can see a summary of the overall cost of living in different areas of Finland in the table below.
|Location||Estimated monthly cost for single person (excluding rent)||Estimated monthly cost for 1 bedroom home||Estimated monthly cost for 3 bedroom home|
Digital Nomad Essentials
- Internet Speeds: av. 300 Mbps
- Time Zone: GMT+3
- Socket Type: Type F (Types C and E are also compatible)
- SIM Providers: DNA, Telia, Elisa, Airalo, or download an eSIM
Getting a local SIM card can be a major hassle, especially if you only intend to stay in a country for a limited period of time. There are often strict ID requirements and canceling the SIM when you are done can be challenging. A better option is to download an eSIM, which you can do before you travel and have data when you arrive.
You can find eSIMs from a huge range of regional and global providers that cover all countries, including Finland, in the Citizen Remote all-in-one app. Have reliable connectivity as soon as you land and don’t rely on sketchy public Wi-Fi!
Discover Finland as a Digital Nomad
Finland is a stunningly beautiful country in the far north of the world where you can enjoy days where the sun doesn’t set in the summer and the Northern Lights in the winter. The sparsely populated nation bursts with natural beauty.
While the cities are small – Helsinki has a population of less than 700,000 – they are well equipped with excellent connectivity, plentiful coworking spaces, interesting cultural venues, and unique places to eat and drink.
While there is no digital nomad visa for Finland, you can easily visit on a 90 day Schengen tourist visa and experience the best that the country has to offer.
FAQs About the Finland Digital Nomad Visa
Does Finland Have a Digital Nomad Visa?
Finland does not currently offer a visa specifically for digital nomads. The best way to visit Finland is to visit on a Schengen tourist visa that allows you to stay for up to 90 days in a period of 180 days. There is also a self-employed visa that may be suitable for some digital nomads that allows you to stay for up to six months.
What Is the Length of a Visa for Finland?
The standard tourist visa for Finland allows you to stay for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.
Is It Possible to Extend Your Finland Visa?
You cannot extend a tourist visa. You must wait until the end of the 180 day period before applying for another tourist visa.
Will You Get a Refund If Your Finland Visa Application Is Denied?
Visa application fees are designed to cover the cost of processing a visa application. This incurs a cost regardless of whether the visa is granted, therefore visa application fees are non-refundable.
How Much Money Do You Need per Month in Finland?
You probably need a minimum of $2,000 per month to live in Finland. It is estimated that you need around $1,000 per month for expenses excluding rent, plus $700-$1,000 per month for rent.
Is There a Digital Nomad Community in Finland?
Finland does not have a large digital nomad community, or even a large expat community. This is principally due to the high cost of living and the long, cold winters. There are only about 400,000 foreigners living in Finland, making up roughly 7% of the population.
Which of Finland’s Neighboring Countries Issue Visas for Digital Nomads?
Several European countries issue digital nomad visas, including in the Nordics. Iceland currently has a six month digital nomad visa, and nearby Estonia has a well-established digital nomad visa and e-residency program. Norway also has a digital nomad visa for those interested in living on the island of Svalbard.
I Want to Ask Another Question
Do you still have questions about the Finland digital nomad visa and how to apply? Get in touch!