Residence Permit (non-EU-citizens)

( If you are citizen of EU / EEA country, read important info on next page. ) 

After you have been accepted to study in Finland, start the application process for the residence permit immediately. Read the MIGRI Bulletin

** Due to the COVID19, it is currently not possible to visit the Finnish Missions / Embassies in different countries for identification related to the residence permit process. It is however possible to submit the online application via the Finnish Immigration Service’s online service Enter Finland but the processing will only start after your identity has been verified. This may cause delays in arriving to Finland to start your studies in Kajaani. Read more about the effects of the coronavirus from MIGRI's website.  **

Applying for the Residence Permit

The application must be done abroad, before arriving to Finland. Start by  checking the requirements from MIGRI's website. After filling in the online application, apply for an appointment in a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) for identification and fingerprinting. The processing of the application will start after you've visited the Embassy/mission. 

A residence permit granted to a student is temporary by nature. If studies last for more than a year, the permit is usually granted for one year at a time. An extension of the permit requires that the student is still registered at the educational institution, is a full-time student and has completed the required courses in the institution's study programme. After completing the studies (full degree), the student may remain in Finland if he/she can be granted a new residence permit on other grounds. 

The permit can be granted for two years if you have sufficient funds for that. It is required that you have 560 euros/months at your disposal for the permit to be granted. 

Prepare for the application the following:

  • Acceptance letter from a Finnish university
  • Health insurance covering medical expenses up to at least 40 000 euros. After arriving to Finland, apply for a home municipality in Digital and Poluation Data Services Agency to be eligible for public health care.
  • Sufficient funds: 13 440 euros for two years as a bank deposit / scholarship / grant. For one year's residence permit, you'll need 6 720 euros. 
    • Proven by a bank statement with you as an account owner. It is recommended that you arrange for adequate funding for the entire period of studies before leaving your home country.
  • Documentation of the paid tuition fee
  • It is recommended to apply for the Finnish social security number already with the residence permit application (included in the application)

Start the application process immediately after the study place has been confirmed! Students must wait for the residence permit in their home country. Please note that it takes several weeks (2 - 3 months) to receive the permit and that it is not possible to hurry the process.  Please do not book your flight tickets before your residence permit is granted.


Citizens of countries other than the Nordic countries and EU member states may work within certain limits on a residence permit granted for study purposes if the work is practical training included in the degree or if the amount of part-time work does not exceed 25 hours a week. Full-time employment may be undertaken during holidays when the educational institution does not arrange teaching as such; in practice this is usually during summer and Christmas. 

Please note the you cannot count on financing the studies in Finland by working while studying! Finding a part-time job is unfortunately not easy especially if you don't have a sufficient knowledge of Finnish language.