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Student: this is what you should do to apply for a residence permit this year

6.5.2021 10.30

Most students apply for a residence permit between May and September.

When you apply for your first residence permit

  • When a Finnish higher education institution offers you a study place, accept your place following the institution's instructions.
  • Fill in and pay the fee for a student’s resident permit application on the Finnish Immigration Service's Enter Finland online service. Remember to add all the required attachments to your application following instructions.
  • Submit your application on Enter Finland. Make an appointment with a Finnish mission as soon as possible after you have been notified of your study place.
  • You must be identified at a Finnish mission abroad before we can process your application. When you visit the mission, you will prove your identity, your fingerprints will be taken, and you will present the original documents attached to your application. 
    • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Finnish missions abroad can only see a limited number of residence permit customers. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for the operation of the missions. According to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, restrictions put in place by different countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic affect the closure of missions and VFS Global centres. Read more about the customer service situation in Finnish missions on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
    • The Finnish Immigration service cannot influence the operation of the foreign missions and VFS Global centres. If you cannot make an appointment with the mission, contact your Finnish mission or the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. You can find the contact details of the missions on a website maintained by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at   
  • We will start processing your application once you have visited the mission to prove your identity. You will not need to inform the Finnish Immigration Service about your visit, as we will receive this information directly from the mission. The processing of your application will take one to three months after you have visited the mission and proven your identity.
  • If you are granted a residence permit, a residence permit card will be issued to you. The card will be sent to the mission which you visited to prove your identity. Wait for the decision before you travel to Finland. You will not be allowed to enter Finland before your application has been processed and you have a residence permit card. 
  • Entry to Finland has been restricted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read up-to-date information about entry restrictions on the website of the Finnish Border Guard.

When you apply for an extended permit

  • First finish your studies for this spring. When we process your application for an extended permit, we will check that you have progressed in your studies. Those studying for a Bachelor's degree at a university, higher education institution or university of applied sciences must complete around 45 credits in an academic year.
  • When you have completed your studies for this spring semester, fill in an application for an extended permit on the Enter Finland online service. You must submit the application before your previous residence permit expires.
  • You may not have to visit a service point if you apply for the extended permit on the Enter Finland online service. Using your Finnish online banking credentials is one way of identifying yourself on Enter Finland. You can then fill in an application for an extended permit. When you submit your application, Enter Finland will let you know if you have to go and prove your identity at a service point or not. Read the instructions on the page carefully.  
  • If an extended residence permit is granted to you, the residence permit card will be sent to you by post. If you are not in Finland, you can authorise someone else to collect the card for you. We do not send residence permit cards to foreign addresses.

This is how you track the processing of your application online

  • If you have applied for your permit online, you can track the processing of your application on Enter Finland.
  • You can ask about the situation of your application by talking to our chatbot, Kamu, on our website at Kamu will check how the processing of your application is progressing among other applications. To read more, go to
  • We issue a weekly customer bulletin describing the latest queue situation in the processing of students’ residence permit applications. The bulletin is published on our website at