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Residence permits

Student residence permit (= student visa)

In order to apply for a student residence permit, you must first successfully apply for admission to studies - please see section "How to apply" for info on degree student admissions.

If you come to Finland to study for a complete degree, or if you take part in an exchange programme where your stay in Finland exceeds three months, you may need a student residence permit (a long term "student visa").

EU/EEA and Nordic citizens

EU/EEA citizens, as well as citizens of the Nordic countries, do not usually need a residence permit – they should, however, register their residence in Finland at a police station if their stay in Finland exceeds three months (for Nordic citizens, six months).

Non-EU/EEA citizens

If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you need to apply for a student residence permit before coming to Finland. You can find detailed information on the residence permit application process and related fees on the Finnish Immigration Service Migri website. The Finnish embassies can also advise you in student residence permit issues.

  • Once you have received your official letter of acceptance from your hosting Finnish university or UAS, please start the application procedure for your student residence permit as soon as possible.
  • You can submit your student residence permit application to the Finnish embassy in the country of your legal residence.
  • Alternatively, you may also submit your residence permit application online via the Enter Finland e-service at www.enterfinland.fi - for student residence permits please go to section First residence permit > Studies
  • In the process of applying for a student residence permit, and even if you use the Enter Finland e-service, you need to visit the local Finnish embassy in person in order to verify your identity and to present the original copies of any supplements needed for the application. Your application cannot be processed until you have visited the embassy!
  • If your home country does not have a Finnish embassy, you usually need to travel to a Finnish embassy in some neighbouring country.
  • We recommend that you check all the visa/student residence permit application procedures well in advance, also taking into account possible travel expenses due to residence permit application procedures.

Means of support (financing) and insurance

Important: when applying for your student residence permit, you will need to demonstrate that you

Please check the detailed requirements relating to these directly with the immigration authorities (Finnish embassies and Migri)

As of 1 December 2014, it is possible to apply for a Finnish personal identity code and get registered in the Finnish Population system at the same time as you apply for a residence permit. More details on this on the Migri website! Note that you can also deal with the registration later on, after you have arrived in Finland (see section 'Registration')

After your first year - extending your student residence permit

A student residence permit is a permit for temporary residence in Finland, and it is usually granted for one year at a time. So, after your first year in Finland (in good time before your previous permit expires) you should apply for an extension of your student residence permit at the local Police station in Finland. Note that you can use the Enter Finland e-service also for this purpose!

Information on the progress of your studies must be included in the application. In order to be granted an extension of your student residence permit, you should be able to show reasonable advancement in your studies. Also, you need to show that you have a valid insurance and proof of means of support, just like with your initial student residence permit application. Please check the detailed requirements with the local Police station in Finland.

NB: from 1st January 2017 onwards, these extension permits will be handled by the Finnish Immifration Service Migri instead of the Police. Please see the news on the Migri website for further information!

I have a question regarding my student residence permit. Where can I turn to for advice?

If the information above or our permit-related FAQ page does not answer your question, you must contact the immigration authorities.

Detailed information on visa and residence permit requirements is available from the Finnish Immigration Service, or from the nearest Finnish embassy.

  • Finnish embassies: www.formin.fi (In English > Diplomatic missions > Finnish missions abroad by country)
  • Finnish Immigration Service Migri: www.migri.fi

See also: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland > Residence Permits

If you are already in Finland and your question concerns extension (continuation) of your student residence permit, then please contact the local Police station.

Can I get permanent residence (PR) in Finland after my studies? How about employment?

Please refer to the website of the Finnish Police for info on permanent residence requirements. Also have a look at the section 'working after studies' on this site.

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