It’s not too early to start your student residence permit application process

It’s not too early to start your student residence permit application process! Degree students coming to study in Finland need a student residence permit. Prepare for your studies in Finland by making the perfect student residence permit application and by making early preparations – yes, you can start before you get your acceptance letter to have all your documents ready for your application right when you need them! When the time comes for you to book your Embassy-appointment and to submit your application you don’t want to be spending unnecessary time on getting the documents and statements you just want to get the process going. 

Applying for a residence permit can be intimidating, but if you start early, do your research and prepare well you will save yourself from time consuming surprises. You can start officially applying for the residence permit once you get your acceptance letter from your destination university by making an online application on the website Enterfinland.fi and booking your appointment in a VFS Global or your nearest Embassy of Finland, but it’s never a bad idea to already start gathering the documents you need while you wait for it! Not all of the documents can be obtained in advance, but we highly recommend you do your research well in advance and know where and how you are going to get the documents you need and when, make appointments in advance if you need to and are clear on the timeline of the application process.

This post is a collection of resources for students applying for a student residence permit rather than a detailed guide on the exact documents you will need. There is a list of links at the end of the post where you can find the instructions for each document!

Get a clear understanding of the documents you will need

You can apply for a student residence permit either for one year or for two years. Renewal of the residence permit takes place in Finland.

The list of documents you need for the application: 

  • A valid passport (valid for 1+ year)
  • Notification of the student selection result (acceptance letter) 
  • Tuition Fee payment receipt
  • 2 passport photos, size 36 x 47 mm 
  • 350 EUR for the processing fee 
  • A certificate of health insurance (valid for 1+ year, Travel insurance is not enough)
  • Clarification of income

Clarification of income

For your student residence permit application you will need a Proof of funds to demonstrate that you have the required funds to cover living expenses in Finland, bank statements and other supporting documents that explain the source of the funds. If you apply for 1-year residence permit, you need to have a minimum of 6 720 EUR in your bank account (registered under your name). If you apply for 2-year residence permit, you must have 13 440 EUR in your bank account and other supporting documents that explain the source of funds, for instance employment contracts, payslips, bank account statements, sponsor letters, etc. If you have taken a study loan, attach a letter from the bank stating the amount and conditions of the loan. If you have received a scholarship, you must show a certificate of a scholarship granted by an organization, government or an educational institution.

A List of resources for more detailed information about student residence permits

Enterfinland.fi: This is where you go to submit your residence permit application. Select your service point, submit your application and attach all the required documents to the application.

How to make a Perfect Student Residence Permit Application: A detailed, step by step guide of all the documents you need and what they entail for the residence permit application and the steps you need to take and when in the process you need to take them.

General information about the student residence permit: more about the criteria and information about work permits and permits for family and spouses regarding the student residence permit.

The official website of the Finnish Immigration Service: The most detailed and up-to-date information about visas and residence permits can be found from the website of the Finnish Immigration Service Migri as well as from the Finnish embassies around the world. 

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