THE BRITISH EMBASSY IN HELSINKI has provided the Helsinki Times with a reminder for UK nationals in Finland ahead of the UK's departure from the European Union on Friday. The Embassy has stressed that most things "will not change" for UK nationals this year, and reminds anyone who has not registered their right of residence in Finland to do so immediately. 

When asked by Helsinki Times if the UK Embassy would like to provide a message or information to the more than 5000 British citizens currently residing in Finland, this is how they responded: 

"The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union on 31st January. During the 2020 Transition Period, it will negotiate a new EU partnership. The UK Government is committed to working closely with Finland and other European partners into the future. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the existing rights in Finland of UK nationals living and officially registered there prior to 31st December 2020 are protected. If you have not yet registered your right of residence in Finland, please do so as soon as possible. The rules on travel, study, and work for Finns in the UK will not change this year, with longer-term arrangements announced in due course. The British Embassy will continue its series of outreach and town hall events around Finland, as well as Facebook Q&A sessions. For up-to-date information on your rights in Finland, please follow the Living in Finland guide."


While the UK formally departs the EU on Friday, the country will still be a part of the European Economic Area until at least December 2020. This means that little will change for British people resident in the EU during this time, as UK nationals will still enjoy Freedom of Movement rights. British citizens must, however, register their right of residence in Finland before the end of 2020 in order to continue enjoying the right to work, study, and collect benefits after 2020.

The Interior Ministry has said that British people who have registered their right to live in Finland before the end of 2020 will have the right to live, work, and collect benefits in Finland "for life", as long as they choose to continue residing in Finland. UK citizens who have been resident in Finland for five continuous years will be able to swap their EU registration for permanent residency status in Finland free of charge. Those who have lived in Finland for less than five years by 2021 will be able to continue living in Finland until they have accumulated the necessary time to qualify for permanent residency status. 


Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva