Studying in Finland
If your studies in Finland take longer than 90 days you need a residence permit for studies. The permit is granted for the entire duration of your studies.
You can study in Finland for a maximum of 90 days, if you do not have a residence permit. Even if you stay in Finland for less than 90 days, you may still need a visa.
- 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 the Finnish act on residence permits for students (fin), you can come to Finland to carry out part of your studies for a period up to 360 days. If this is the case, you must submit a mobility notification to the Finnish Immigration Service.
- come to Finland for postgraduate studies after completing a master’s degree you need to apply for a residence permit for scientific research.
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When can I be granted a residence permit for studies?
You may apply for a residence permit for studies, if
- you have been accepted as a student at a higher education institution or other educational institution in Finland, and your studies will lead to a degree or a vocational qualification.
- 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.
Applicable educational institutions are, for example, universities, universities of applied sciences and vocational education institutions. You cannot be granted a residence permit for studies if your studies mainly consist of distance learning online and do not require you to stay in Finland. If you wish to visit Finland for a shorter period of time, find out whether you can be granted a visa. Read more about the requirements for a residence permit for studies.
If your studies do not lead to a degree or a vocational qualification, you can be granted a residence permit for studies only if there are reasonable grounds for doing so. 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).
If you come to Finland to complete a higher education degree, you can be granted a continuous residence permit (an A permit) and you will get a municipality of residence. For more information about the municipality of residence, see the website of the Digital and Population Data Services AgencyLink to an external website, Opens in a new tab. If you come to Finland to study for some other degree, you can be granted a temporary residence permit (a B permit).
You must have sufficient financial resources
You must have sufficient funds for living in Finland during the entire period of validity of your residence permit. You must have at least EUR 560 at your disposal every month to be able to pay for your accommodation, food and other needs. Read more about students' income requirement.
Finnish institutions of higher education charge tuition fees from students who arrive from outside the EU and the EEA. In your application, you must give evidence that you have the necessary funds to pay your tuition fees.
Students must have insurance
As a student, you must personally cover the costs if you become ill in Finland. In order to get a residence permit, you must take out private insurance that will cover your medical and pharmaceutical expenses. Read more about insurance.
You may work in paid employment for a maximum of 30 hours per week on average
If you have been granted a residence permit for studies, you are allowed to work in paid employment in any field for an average of 30 hours per week. The number of working hours can be exceeded some weeks, as long as the average working hours are no more than 30 hours per week at the end of the year.
- During holidays, for example, you may work full-time in any field, provided that your average working hours are no more than 30 hours per week at the end of the year.
In other words, you may work for an average of 120 hours per month or a total of 1,560 hours per year.
If your degree requires completing internships or a diploma work, the working time restrictions do not apply to them. In other words, the weekly 30-hour limit is not applied to them if it has been agreed already while making the agreement that you will earn credits from them. If the work is registered afterwards as an internship included in your studies, the 30-hour limit will apply.
Your employer checks how many hours your residence permit allows you to work. Both you and your employer are responsible for ensuring that the maximum number of hours is not exceeded. The authority responsible for overseeing working times is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (tyosuojelu.fi).
If your residence permit was granted before the legislative amendments that entered into force on 15 April 2022, you have the same right to work as those who have a new residence permit. In other words, you may work for 30 hours per week on average.
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.
If you study for a degree at a higher education institution, even your family members can get a continuous residence permit.
May I carry out part of my studies in a second EU Member State?
A residence permit for studies can be granted as a national permit or as a permit under the Students and researchers Directive (EU) 2016/801.
A residence permit under the Directive allows you to complete part of your studies in a second EU Member State. You can be granted a residence permit under the Directive if you meet the requirements for the permit and are coming to Finland to complete a higher education degree.
If you intend to complete part of your studies in a second EU Member State, you need to ask the competent authorities of the second Member State if you need to submit a mobility notification.
A national residence permit does not allow you to study in a second EU Member State. You can be granted a national residence permit if you meet the requirements for the permit and you
- are coming to Finland to carry out studies other than those leading to a higher education degree, or
- have come to Finland as an asylum seeker (read more about work and study activities for asylum seekers), or
- have been granted international protection in an EU Member State, or
- have received a decision on deportation from Finland.
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. You should apply for a D visa only if you can travel to Finland within two weeks of being granted a residence permit, because you need to be able to collect your residence permit card from a collection point in Finland.
With a D visa, you can arrive in Finland during a time period of 100 days before the residence permit becomes valid. The validity period of your D visa needs to overlap with the validity period of your residence permit for at least one day. Please note that if you apply for a residence permit long before your studies begin, it may not necessarily be possible to grant you a D visa together with the residence permit. In such cases, it is possible that your card is delivered to Finland but you are not necessarily able to collect it from the collection point in Finland. If this happens, someone else can pick up the card for you. Read more about the D visa.