Directly for the entire duration of studies
If you come from outside the EU/EEA area, you usually need a student residence permit in order to come and carry out degree studies in Finland.
Your first student residence permit for bachelor's or master's studies in Finland can be granted to you for the entire duration of your studies, provided your passport is valid through the whole of that period.
The permit allows you to work for a maximum of 30 hours per week. If your work is related to your degree (for example, practical training or thesis work) then this 30-hour restriction does not apply.
Note that if you are coming to Finland to conduct Doctoral studies or research, you should apply for a residence permit for scientific research instead. A first residence permit for research can be granted for a maximum of two years.
How to apply for the student residence permit
You can begin your residence permit application process after being officially admitted to a Finnish university, so once you've accepted your study place, start your residence permit process without delay!
Check the detailed student residence permit requirements and procedures on the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) website. You can use the Migri guide for students to assist you on how to apply your first permit via the Enter Finland online service!
Carefully follow the immigration authorities' instructions and regulations so as to ensure you receive your permit in good time before your studies begin.
Remember that you must personally visit a Finnish embassy or consulate as part of this process.
When travelling to Finland, make sure you have all the required documentation with you. Check the latest guidelines regarding the necessary entry documents on the Finnish Border Guard website.
Student's family members
If you are a student’s family member, you can apply for a residence permit for Finland based on family ties. More information and advice on this you'll find on the Migri.fi website.
After your arrival in Finland
Registration in the population information system
Once you've started your studies in Finland, remember to register with the DVV (Digital and Population Data Services Agency). This free of charge registration is beneficial for you - you'll be given a Finnish personal identity code, and also you'll be registered an address in Finland. You can find more info and advice about the DVV registration on the Digital and Population Data Services Agency website.
Two-year post-study residence permit
After your graduation, you may apply for a residence permit to look for work or start a business.
You'll have the option for this two-year post-study permit for five years after graduation, and you can also take the permit in parts if you like.
Similar two-year permit options are also open for you, if you have conducted research or have completed your doctoral degree in Finland.
Check the "Residence permit to look for work or to start a business" advice on the Migri website for detailed information on these post-study or post-research permits.
Permanent residence in Finland
Permanent residence is also possible, after you have lived in Finland on a continuous residence permit for four years and have for example found employment after your graduation. The period of your studies in Finland is naturally counted towards this time, too.
You'll find more information on permanent residence requirements on the "Permanent residence permit" section of the Migri website.