Residence Permit (non-EU-citizens)

A visa is needed if the student has to participate in an entrance exam in Finland prior to being accepted to study (unless the student is a citizen of a country that has signed an agreement on abolition of visa with Finland). For information on visa applications, please see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A residence permit may be granted for study purposes. After you have been accepted to study in Finland, you should apply for a residence permit. You must apply for a residence permit if you plan to study in Finland for longer than 90 days.

Students must apply for a residence permit through a Finnish diplomatic mission in their home country before arriving in Finland. Please contact your nearest Finnish diplomatic mission to check about the required documents and procedures.

The Finnish Immigration Service decides whether the permit will be granted or not. The recommended way for students to apply for their residence permit is by using the e-service. By applying online, you can save time and money compared with applying on paper. You can even follow the processing of the application online.

You can request to be registered in the Finnish Population Information System when you apply for your first residence permit in Finland. After registration, you will receive a Finnish social security number (ID number). Having a personal identity code facilitates, for example, banking and access to health care.The ID number will be indicated on your residence permit card.

Please note that even if you apply for a residence permit electronically, you must visit a Finnish mission to prove your identity and to have your fingerprints taken.

Please note that it might take several weeks for the visa to be granted, so start the process as early as possible. In order to secure a smooth and fast processing of an application, it is important that the application is filled in with care and all the needed appendices are attached. Insufficient information will delay the processing and decision-making.

The residence permit is usually granted for one year at a time.

Proof of Sufficient Funds

The Finnish government does not usually fund the stay of foreign students in Finland. The applicant must show that his/her income is secured either with a scholarship, a grant or other funds with which the student can support him- or herself during the academic year.

Students must be able to prove that they have at their disposal at least 560 euros a month or 6720 euros for a year. Before a residence permit can be granted, you must make a bank deposit of 6,000 EUR in a Finnish bank in your own name and this must be renewed each year.

Student's Health Insurance (non-EU-citizens) 

Any student who submits a residence permit application on or after 1.9.2007 must attach details of their comprehensive health insurance cover to their application. Comprehensive insurance cover means insurance which includes the types of treatment and costs that are covered by municipal health care services and the health insurance system. As concerns municipal health care, this mainly refers to costs incurred by examination and treatment at the health care centre or hospital. As concerns the health insurance system, this refers to the costs covered through the health care benefits of health insurance.

Students coming to Finland for at least two years are required to have a private insurance primarily covering the costs of medicines. However, these insurances in practice also cover physicians’ fees and treatment and examination costs, which corresponds to Finnish health insurance practice. Private insurance should therefore in general cover health care costs up to 30,000 euros at minimum (year 2007 cost-level).

A student must have insurance cover when applying for a residence permit as without it a residence permit cannot be granted. The insurance policy taken out by a foreign student studying in Finland must be issued by a reliable and solvent company or institution.

The insurance is important because costs of medical care can be high in Finland. The insurance should cover not only emergency care but also treatment and examination costs. 


Registration (EU-citizens)

EU-citizens who reside in Finland for more than 3 months have to register their right of residence. The registration application can be done by using the e-service. The application should be submitted within three months of the date of entry into Finland.

Registration of the right of residence requires you to have sufficient income to support yourself. You are not required to have a specific amount of money. Your personal circumstances are taken into account when considering the income requirement.

The registration application is subject to a processing fee. After completing your application, book an appointment in the appointment system of the Finnish Immigration Service to prove your identity or to submit your application. Processing an online application will not start until you visit the service point to prove your identity and show your original documents.

Further information for EU-citizens: Finnish Immigration Service Migri