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Study place

You can get a residence permit if you have been accepted to study at an educational institution in Finland.

You can get a residence permit for higher education studies, if your studies lead to a degree and if you have paid the fees charged by the higher education institution. 'Higher education institution' refers to institutions that are recognised in the Finnish higher education system and that are authorised to offer education leading to a degree or other education in accordance with the Finnish legislation on higher education.

If you have been accepted to study at an educational institution that is not a higher education institution, your studies must lead to a vocational qualification or a degree.

You may also get a residence permit for studies not mentioned above if you have a well-founded reason for it. Acceptable reasons can be further studies to supplement vocational skills or degrees already acquired, further training relating to work done in the country of departure, or special training available in Finland (for example training provided within the framework of education export). Residence permits are not granted for studies at open universities or for basic education.

Exchange studies

You may obtain a residence permit based on your studies if you participate in an exchange programme between educational institutions or some other exchange programme. For further information about exchange programmes, please ask your own educational institution.

You can come to Finland to carry out part of your studies for a period up to 360 days, if you have been granted a residence permit for studies by some other EU Member State than Finland and if you are covered by a programme or an agreement specified in section 19 of the Finnish act on residence permits for students (719/2018). If this is the case, you do not have to apply for a residence permit. Instead, you must submit a mobility notification to the Finnish Immigration Service.

Language and training courses

You may obtain a residence permit to study Finnish before the start of your actual studies if you have been accepted as a student at a Finnish educational institution. You may not obtain a residence permit for language or training courses alone.

Apprenticeship training

A residence permit can also be granted for apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship training is education that mainly takes place at a workplace, in genuine work situations. The employer and the student sign a written apprenticeship agreement, which is a fixed-term employment contract.

If you intend to complete half or less than half of your studies in apprenticeship training, you can study with a residence permit for studies. If you intend to complete more of your studies in apprenticeship training, you will need a residence permit for an employed person (TTOL). For more information on apprenticeship training, see the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education (in Finnish). 

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