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Instructions for degree students without tuition fees

Congratulations on your study place in Finland! 

Start preparing your application immediately after receiving your acceptance letter. The entire process may take several months.

How do I know if I need a residence permit in Finland? 

You will need a residence permit in all other cases, except: 

  • If you are a citizen of an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. However, you may need to apply for EU-registration. For more information, please see our website
  • If you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of studies by some other EU Member State than Finland and if you are covered by a programme or an agreement specified in the Finnish act on residence permits for students. You can carry out part of your studies in Finland for a period up to 360 days. You must submit a mobility notification to the Finnish Immigration Service. For instructions, please see
  • If you plan to study in Finland for 90 days or less. However, you may need a visa. For information on visas, please see the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

The mandatory appendices 

If your documents are not in Finnish, Swedish or English, have them translated into one of these languages by an authorized translator. Take the originals of your documents with you to the embassy. For more information about the appendices, please see

This is what you should do to apply for a residence permit


Apply for your residence permit abroad, not in Finland 


Create an account in the online service Fill in the application form for studies. Fill in your name as it is in your passport, your contact details and the date you plan to arrive in Finland. Next, collect the mandatory appendices.


Submit your online application. 


Visit a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) in person for identification and fingerprinting. Contact the embassy or consulate in advance to book an appointment. All Finnish embassies and consulates are listed at If there is no Finnish diplomatic mission in your country, check on the -website which embassy or consulate you need to contact. Please note that the Finnish Immigration Service cannot influence at which Finnish embassy or consulate you should handle your matter. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs makes this decision. 


Your application will be processed only after you have visited a Finnish embassy. Also, the estimated processing time of your application starts from the day you visit the embassy. 

Important to remember: 

The application process is longer if you submit an incomplete application. We process all residence permit applications for studies as urgent. 

If your application is approved, you will get a biometric residence permit card. The card is manufactured in Finland and delivered to the Finnish embassy. It is not possible to speed up the delivery of the card or to collect the card from Finland. You cannot come to Finland without the residence permit card. 

We recommend that you do not acquire airline tickets in advance in case you do not receive a decision before your flight to Finland. 

How to follow the progress of your application: 

  • Check the processing queue of students’ residence permit applications
  • Use the Kamu chatbot on to check how your application is proceeding. Kamu will check the progress of your application among other submitted applications with the same case type and processing basis.
  • Log in to your Enter Finland account. 
  • Please note that telephone or email inquiries will not speed up the process.

The D visa allows you to travel to Finland immediately after being issued with a residence permit

You can apply for a D visa at the same time as you apply for a residence permit. The D visa allows you to travel to Finland immediately after you have been issued with a residence permit and a D visa sticker has been attached to your passport. The D visa is valid for 100 days, starting from the date of issue. Since the validity period of your D visa needs to overlap, at least partly, with the validity period of your residence permit, you will not benefit from applying for the D visa if your residence permit does not enter into force within that time. Read more about the D visa.