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Moving to Finland as a researcher

You will need a residence permit for a researcher if you are coming to Finland in order to conduct research, study for a licentiate degree or prepare a doctoral dissertation.

If you are a citizen of an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit for Finland. You must nonetheless register your right of residence.

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When can you get a residence permit for a researcher? 

You may get a residence permit for a researcher, if you 

  • hold a master’s degree (second-cycle degree) or a bachelor’s degree (first cycle degree) and 
  • you have signed an agreement on research activity (a hosting agreement) with a research organisation.

You can be granted either a residence permit for research under the Directive or a national residence permit for research.

In order to be granted the permit, you need to have sufficient funds for living in Finland

  • If you are in an employment relationship with the research organisation, you must be able to earn your living in Finland through gainful employment throughout the time you stay in Finland. 
    • Your salary must at least correspond to the salary specified in the collective agreement that applies to your employment relationship. If there is no general collective agreement in your sector, your gross salary must be at least EUR 1,283 per month in 2022. Read more on the page Income requirement.
  • If you are not in an employment relationship, you must have at least EUR 1,000 per month at your disposal for your living costs in Finland. You can secure your income with funds, earnings from work or even other types of income, such as a research scholarship. Before you arrive in Finland, make sure that you have enough funds for the entire time you are carrying out your research:

    • If you are coming to Finland to do research for less than a year, you must have sufficient financial resources for the entire time you spend here doing research.
    • If you are coming to Finland to do research for at least one year, you must have sufficient financial resources for at least one year, that is 12,000 euros.
    • You will be granted a residence permit for two years if you are going to do research for at least two years and have EUR 24,000 at your disposal. If you only want the residence permit for one year at a time, you must have EUR 12,000 at your disposal in your own bank account. We will assess your financial resources every time you submit an application to us. If necessary, we will ask you to submit additional documentation of the source of your assets.

Right to work

  • If you are in Finland when you are applying for a residence permit, you have the right to work as a researcher already before you get a residence permit. In this case, you must reside in Finland legally (you have a valid visa or you are allowed to stay in Finland without a visa). However, your right to work will end after three months at the latest, or even earlier if your visa expires.
  • Once you are granted a residence permit, you can also do other types of work while working as a researcher. You must, however, work full-time as a researcher and make progress in your research work. When you apply for an extended permit, the Finnish Immigration Service will check that you are making progress with your research work and that scientific research is still the main purpose of your stay in Finland.
  • If you apply for an extended permit, check if you have the right to work while your application is being processed.

Family members

If you are granted a residence permit for studies, your spouse and children can be granted a residence permit on the basis of family ties