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Are you applying for a residence permit for studies or research? Applying will become easier on 15 April 2022

Publication date 14.4.2022 14.37

Amendments to legislation on students and researchers will take effect on Friday 15 April 2022. In future, students can directly be granted a residence permit that is valid for the entire duration of the studies. In addition, all researchers may use the same application form to apply for a residence permit. The amendments only apply to students and researcher from countries outside the EU.

The issue of residence permits under the new act will begin on 15 April. Even applications that are already being processed will be decided in accordance with the new act.

In future, all students may work 30 hours per week while studying.

This is how students’ residence permits will change

  • In future, you can directly get a residence permit for the entire duration of your studies. However, a residence permit can only be granted for the period that your passport is valid.
  • When applying for a residence permit for the entire duration of studies, you need to provide documentation of sufficient financial resources only for the first year of studies.
  • In future, you will be allowed to work 30 hours a week while studying. The number of weekly hours can vary as long as it remains below the limit of 30 hours at the end of the year.
  • If you are a degree students at a higher education institution, you will be granted a continuous residence permit (an A permit). Having a continuous residence permit will make it possible for you to receive a permanent residence permit, as you must have lived in Finland for an uninterrupted period of four years with a continuous residence permit in order to be granted a permanent residence permit. 
  • In future, a residence permit to look for work will be granted for a maximum of two years. You will need to apply for the permit within five years of graduation. You can apply for the permit even when you are outside Finland.

Read more about students’ residence permits.

This is how researchers’ residence permits will change

  • In future, all researchers can use the same application form to apply for a residence permit. 
    • If you hold a higher education degree (a second-cycle degree), you can be granted a residence permit under the Students and researchers Directive of the EU. 
      • The residence permit under the Directive allows you to conduct part of your research in a second EU Member State, if you have signed an agreement on research activity with a Finnish research organisation.
    • If you hold a bachelor’s degree (a first-cycle degree), you can be granted a national residence permit. 
      • The national residence permit does not allow you to conduct part of your research in a second EU Member State.
  • The application fee will be the same for all researchers. 
  • After graduation or completion of research, you may apply for a residence permit to look for work. The permit can be granted for two years at the most, and you should apply for the permit within five years of graduation. You can apply for the permit even when you are outside Finland.

Read more about researchers’ residence permits.

More information

Press release, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment: Amended law to ease entry and retention of international students in Finland.

Update on 21 April 2022: We have removed the incorrect claim that the amendment would not influence residence permits that have already been granted. The claim has been replaced with the information that in future, all students will have a similar right to work.