Legislation on visas and student residence permits for international students in Finland vary depending on the country of citizenship. Below you can find general guidelines only for non-EU/EEA citizens.

Please note that this information only covers the general rules – more detailed information is available from the Finnish embassies around the world and from the Finnish Immigration Service Migri.

  • Visa

    If you will be staying in Finland for less than 90 days, you will need a short-term visa, which can be obtained at the nearest Finnish embassy, or in some cases, at some other Schengen country’s embassy that officially represents Finland in short-term visa matters. More information on whether you need a visa to enter Finland or not, can be found on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website.

    You cannot reside in Finland for longer than 90 days if you do not have a residence permit.

  • Student residence permit

    If you have been admitted to Finland for an exchange or a full degree program exceeding three months (90 days), you need to apply for a Student Residence Permit that is usually granted for one year at a time, meaning that you will have to renew it at the end of each academic year.

    The following documents are mainly required for receiving a student residence permit:

    • Valid passport and a passport photo
      • The passport must be valid for at least one year after your arrival to Finland
    • Official admission letter from a Finnish university or UAS
      • If the letter of acceptance was sent to you via email, include the forwarding email from Studyinfo.fi service / the school in Finland
    • Proof of financial resources for the stay (means to support your living, including a clarification on tuition fee or scholarship, if applicable)
      • You must have 6,720 € for one year (=560 €/month) as a bank deposit (or scholarship or grant, if applicable)
      • A bank statement from your own bank account. Written sponsorships from private guarantors are not accepted
      • A certificate of a scholarship granted by an organization, government or an educational institution. The certificate must indicate the recipient, amount and duration of the scholarship. A bank statement is not necessary if the scholarship fully covers the requirement.
    • Valid health insurance
    • Tuition fee
      • If you pay your tuition fee before arriving in Finland, please attach documentation of the paid fee.
      • If you pay the tuition fee only after arriving in Finland, please attach documentation of necessary means for paying the tuition fee. You cannot use means reserved for your support to pay the tuition fee.
      • If you have been exempted from paying tuition fees or received a scholarship, you have to present a certificate from the educational institution of this.

    These documents must be in Finnish, Swedish, or English. Otherwise, you need to get them translated by an authorized translator. Take the original documents with you to the embassy.

  • Application instructions

    Submit an application for a residence permit online at Enter Finland Services.

    Apply for your residence permit abroad, not in Finland.

    • Visit a Finnish embassy/consulate in person for identification and fingerprinting. At the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland, you can find all Finnish embassies and consulatea.
      • remember to book an appointment!
    • If there is no Finnish diplomatic mission (such as an embassy or consulate) in your country, you need to visit a mission in another country
    • Your application will not be processed before you have visited a Finnish embassy

    If your application is accepted, a biometric residence permit card will be sent to the Finnish embassy. It is not possible to collect the card from Finland, and all students must have their residence permit cards before the arrival to Finland.

    Visit the website of Finnish Immigration Service Migri for more details on applying for a residence permit for studies.

    In addition to the student residence permit, if your stay in Finland lasts for more than a year, you are required to register in the Finnish population system at the Local Register Office.

  • Working in Finland

    During your studies

    With a student residence permit, you are allowed to work if the work is part of a traineeship required for a degree or is on a research paper required for the studies. Otherwise, you can work 25 hours a week on average during your studies. The number of working hours is not restricted on a weekly level, which means that you can work periodically during the academic term according to your situation, so that you work for 25 hours a week on average.

    During the times your higher education institution does not have lesson, for example during summer and Christmas holidays, you can work freely.


    After graduating

    When you have completed your studies, you can apply for a temporary residence permit for seeking work for a maximum period of one year. You can start working without delay and after employment, you can apply for a residence permit.

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