Finland ready to process Britons residence applications
23 Jan 2019, 23:49 ( 26 days ago)
The Finnish Immigration Service, Migri, said on Wednesday it is prepared to start processing British citizen's residence permit applications once the UK makes its final decision on the terms of leaving the European Union (EU).
"We want to ensure that we have the information about all the British people in Finland, so that we can plan follow-up measures as carefully as possible," Raimo Pyysalo, Migri deputy director general, said to the national broadcaster, Yle.
According to Migri's estimates, there are about 5,000 British citizens who would need to apply for residence permits in Finland when the UK is due to exit the EU at the end of March.
Pyysalo indicated that the authority is ready to start processing residence permit applications for Brits in advance, as long as the British government makes a final decision on Brexit.
The agency noted that it will not begin granting the residence permits before Brexit is ensured.
Pyysalo reminded that British citizens who would like to relocate to Finland will have to apply for residence permits once Brexit goes into effect.
Officials have speculated that the UK's final decision on Brexit would force citizens living in Finland to seek Finnish citizenship, according to Yle.
Pyysalo told Yle that the UK's referendum in 2016 that decided to withdraw from the EU resulted in an additional 153 applications for Finnish citizenship by Brits in 2017.
After British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal was rejected last week, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä called on British citizens living in Finland to register with the Finnish immigration authority before Brexit to ease the application process.