The new legislation established on April 15 eases requirements for international students. This includes not having to reapply for a residence permit each academic year; instead, they’ll get a valid permit for the entire time they’re studying in Finland.
SIMPLIFYING THE PROCESS
The type of permit will change from temporary (B) to continuous (A). This makes it easier for students to get a permanent residence permit eventually. Moreover, the new law also shares that the student’s family members can receive a continuous permit.
Students are still required to prove they can fund their stay in Finland while studying. However, this only applies during the first year. Usually, the required amount is 560 euros per month or 6,720 euros per year.
“By doing away with the need to apply for a residence permit separately for each academic year, the new legislation makes international students’ lives easier. The amended rules also make sense from the perspective of public authorities, as residence permits can always be withdrawn if the relevant conditions are no longer met,” explains Elina Immonen, the Finnish Immigration Service Deputy Director-General.
A QUICKER WAY TO PERMANENT RESIDENCY
One of the conditions to get a permanent residence permit in Finland include having to reside in the country for four years while holding a type A or continuous residence permit. With the amended law, the time spent living in the country with a residence permit for studies will now be counted towards that four-year requirement. This makes things much more convenient for international students and gives them a quicker pathway toward permanent residency in Finland.
“The new law is warmly welcomed by the international student community in Finland. The permanent residency can be gained even quicker, and the study time is entirely included making Finland as one of the most desired destinations for international students,” explains Tuomas Kauppinen, President and Co-Founder of Edunation.
GREATER CHANCES OF EMPLOYMENT
Additionally, this new law gives students a two-year extension for the jobseeker’s permit. This allows them to look for work in Finland after graduating from their respective studies.
“With seamless permit practices, the Government wants to make it easier for international students and researchers to stay in Finland. The new law will enable those who have studied here to look for work and will make Finland a more attractive destination for international experts,” Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen said in a statement.
INCREASED WORK HOURS
And with the hopes of the law making it easier to apply for work after graduation, it also aims to increase employment opportunities for international students. Before this law, international students were allowed to work part-time for a maximum of 25 hours. Now, that number has increased to 30 hours a week.
And while these hours were limited due to term time, these hours would now be considered over the entire calendar year.
A SOLUTION TO LABOR SHORTAGE
Hopefully, this law can help solve Finland’s current labor shortage. With eased requirements, the country hopes to make things much easier for international students and employ more talents from all over the globe to join the local workforce.
“The new rules on residence permits for job searching send a clear signal to international students that we want them to stay and work in Finland… they are welcome to take part in the Finnish job market and to become members of Finnish society,” said Immonen.
You can find more details on the official Finnish Immigration Service website.