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Instructions for scientific researchers

Congratulations on your postgraduate status in Finland!

This page is for you who need a residence permit 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. Read more on the page I am an EU citizen.
  • 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. Read more on the page Mobility notification to Finland.
  • 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 (

What type of residence permit do I need? 

Apply for a residence permit for a researcher.

You can be granted either a residence permit for research under the Directive or a national residence permit for research. When applying, you do not need to know which of the residence permits you are applying for. The Finnish Immigration Service will investigate which permit you can be issued with.

A first residence permit for research can be granted for a maximum of two years.

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. Read more on the page D visa

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 correct application form. 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 listed on the website


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 Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland makes this decision.


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