Residence Permits and Work Permits
Any foreigner (Nordic country citizens excepted) who wishes to stay in Finland for more than 3 months is required to have a residence permit or to register their residence.
EU and EEA Citizens
The Member States of the European Union (EU), apart from Finland, are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
The free mobility provisions enjoyed by citizens of EU Member States are also applied to the citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The citizens of those comparable countries are thus equated with EU citizens.
EU citizens may stay in Finland for a maximum of three months without registering their right of residence if they have a valid identity card or passport. EU citizens who reside in Finland for more than three months must register their stay with the local police department of their place of residence within three months of entering the country.
To register a right of residence, you will need the following:
• an EU registration form but you can also register online
• your national proof of identity or passport;
• if you are a student, a report confirming that you are registered with a Finnish educational institution and have adequate health insurance cover (European Health Insurance Card).
Registration of the right of residence requires you to have sufficient income to support yourself. There are no fixed sums defined for satisfying this requirement; the circumstances of each applicant will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Further information: http://poliisi.fi/licences_and_permits_for_foreigners/eu_the_european_union
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. The first residence permit in Finland must be applied for abroad before arriving in Finland. The application can be only submitted at a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate).
The Finnish Immigration Service (www.migri.fi) 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.
Please note! 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.
The following requirements must be fulfilled for the permit to be issued:
- Students must provide a certificate proving that they have been accepted to study in a Finnish university (Notice of Admission)
- Students must ensure they have enough money to live during their residence period. Students must prove that they have 6720 euros per year (560 euros per month) at their immediate disposal. It is recommended that you arrange for adequate funding for the entire period of studies before leaving your home country.
- Students must have an all-inclusive insurance to cover possible ill health. An all-inclusive insurance must cover the same type of care provided by municipal healthcare and the costs remunerated by the sickness insurance system in Finland.
It is recommended to apply for the finnish social security number already with the residence permit application (included in the application).
In every case, students must visit the Embassy personally to have their finger prints taken. Students must wait for the residence permit in their home country. Please note that it takes several weeks to receive the permit and that it is not possible to hurry the process.
Start the application process immediately after the study place has been confirmed! Please do not book your flight tickets before your residence permit is granted.
Citizens of Nordic Countries
Citizens of the Nordic countries need neither a visa nor a residence permit to reside or work in Finland. Citizens of the Nordic countries are also not required to have a passport or any other identity document. However, they must be able to prove their identity and verify that they are a Nordic citizen if necessary. A driving licence is not acceptable proof of identity, nor does it indicate the nationality of the holder. Nordic citizens are registered by the local register offices. Nordic citizens are required to register if they reside in Finland for more than six months.
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.
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. The application for an extension of the residence permit is submitted to the local police, which also issue the decision on the permit application.
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.
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.