Finland is a member of the European Union (EU) and Schengen act.
For visa requirements in the Schengen area and travel documents accepted by Finland (by country), visit the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland website.
If you intend to work in Finland, you usually need a residence permit granted by the state of Finland. However, you do not need a residence permit if you are a film worker and your employer does not have an office in Finland, and the duration of the job is no longer than three months.
Citizens of the European Union and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can freely work in Finland for a maximum of three months, after which they must register their right to reside in Finland.
Filming permits are usually easy to obtain and are inexpensive. Small filming groups can work in public areas without specific permissions, so long as they do not disturb traffic or cause any other disturbance for people living or visiting the area.
In the wilderness areas, you can shoot without specific permissions but you might need one for motorized vehicles, other heavy equipment or when filming is planned to take place in a private area, such as someone’s backyard.
If you are planning to film in privately owned areas or with a large crew, we will investigate whether you need a permit.
The results of many years of lobbying are finally starting to pay off as the Finnish government has proposed to put a cash rebate incentive into action starting from next year. The cash rebate will be applicable for feature films, fiction series, documentary films, and animations. For the productions that meet the criteria, 25% of the expenses from money spent on local goods, services and salaries within the production work implemented in Finland will be accepted for the rebate.
The decision still awaits final approval from the Parliament. Tekes - The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation will be managing the instrument. More detailed instructions and criteria will be established after the final decisions are made.
International co-productions are eligible for production support from the Finnish Film Foundation when a Finnish co-producer is involved. The Foundation’s support can, in most cases, cover up to 50% of the production costs for the Finnish co-producing partner. The detailed support guidelines are available at: www.ses.fi/dokumentit/guidelines.pdf.