Can I travel with a Finnish residence permit (Type B Student) to Germany before entering Finland for the first time? I am from Iran and I want to visit my uncle for 10 days.

  • This is not an answer, but you aren't really saving that much money by not going to Finland first, in which case there won't be any passport control to worry about.
    – Louis
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 10:36
  • 1
    Right now, i wouldn't risk it. For the last few months, the number of refugees arriving in the EU has increased dramatically, many of those refugees want to make their way to Germany, and Germany is trying hard to distribute them to other EU countries. EU laws say asylum is to be given by the first country the refugee enters, so if you come through Finland, then seek asylum here, they can send you back to Finland; if you arrive here first, they have to keep you. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 15:00
  • I'm not saying that any of this applies to you, especially if you have a student residence permit in Finland, but this might make it quite hard to explain the situation to the border guards, who aren't known for leniency anyways. Better go to Finland first, where you'll get a better reception, then use Schengen to get to Germany. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 15:02
  • 1
    @GuntramBlohm This isn't actually what the Dublin rules say. It's the country that played the most important role in their entry that has to review the application. For someone with a residence permit, the country that has to review any asylum application is clear. But the people in question typically don't have any visa or permit, a completely different situation. Incidentally, if the OP made it to the port of entry the “risk” for Germany is nil, he or she can lodge an application then and there.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:12
  • 1
    To add to my earlier comment, the rule regarding asylum applications from residence-permit holders is in fact spelled out literally in article 9(1) of the Dublin regulation: “Where the asylum seeker is in possession of a valid residence document, the Member State which issued the document shall be responsible for examining the application for asylum.” So a potential asylum application is a complete non-issue in this case.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


Legally you can, although you will have to convince the officer at the border control that you have clear intentions of leaving to Finland very soon and your visit to Germany is definitely temporary. Your residence permit in Finland allows staying in other Schengen countries up to 90 days of any 180-day period.

  • Is leaving within 90 days considered 'very soon'? Perhaps you should rephrase your answer. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 13:47
  • 1
    That's for the legal aspect of the question, the 'very soon' part is required to justify why you got a residence permit from Finland and not a visa from Germany.
    – downhand
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 14:15

In theory, a visa from any of the Schengen states allows you to enter at any border, and since a residence permit is "more" than a visa, this should be possible.

In practice

  • you're from a country that hasn't had the best of relations to the EU in the past, even if they're improving
  • you're dealing with border guards who haven't ever been known for lax interpretation of any rules
  • said border guards will probably have instructions to be even stricter right now, with so many refugees entering Germany illegally (see this press release that states more than 1000 illegal entries per day)
  • you will present these border guards a document they're not familiar with
  • that document is not issued by the german government
  • and it's written in a language which german border guards generally don't understand, with little chance of finding an interpreter quickly

I wouldn't expect immigration to be quick and painless under these circumstances, and going to Finland first, then fly to Germany from there will probably be much easier.

However, if going to Germany first will save you a lot of time, or money, i'd try contacting immigration two weeks in advance, explaining the situation to them, and asking them if there will be any trouble and if there is anything you can do to speed up the process. The German Bundespolizei has a web site that allows you to search for contact information; this leads you to the airport police of Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin. (Other cities will work as well, these are the most likely ones if you're coming from Iran). Any advice you can get from them should be much more useful than from random people on the Internet.

They will understand you if you email them in English, but writing them in German (maybe your Uncle can help you?) will probably speed up the process.

  • 2
    This seems to be uninformed guesswork. German border guards should be fully familiar with an EU format residence permit, German permits look exactly the same. Additionally, “residence permit” is written in French and English to ease understanding. And of course, the OP would not be entering illegally so the permit would definitely allow him to reach the port of entry, at which point the issues present themselves very differently (the whole asylum business becomes moot: Germany is already the point of entry and someone who makes it to Germany can lodge an application then and there).
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:14
  • 1
    Of course, that's not to say border guards can't refuse entry in some limited cases but the explanation provided here confused many different issues.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:19
  • 1
    Also note that the press release you mentioned discusses the German-Austrian border, which is not a coincidence. Simply “bumping” a potential asylum seeker with no title or visa is possible there because both Austria and Germany are Schengen/Dublin states. The OP presumably intends to fly into Germany, which means the immigration formalities would be treated as an “external border” check under Schengen regulations, a completely different situation.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:23
  • 3
    I agree with @Relaxed. Furthermore, a strict interpretation of the rules (regarding your second bullet point) would dictate that the German border guards grant entry to the holder of a Finnish resident permit unless there is specific evidence that the traveler is a threat. Not an overstay risk, mind you, but a threat to public safety and so on.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .