Studying in Finland
If your studies in Finland take longer than 90 days
- you need a residence permit for studies. This residence permit is valid for two years, unless you apply for it for a shorter period. However, the residence permit is only valid for the duration of your studies, if your studies take less than two years. If you do not have a residence permit, you can study in Finland for a maximum of 90 days. Even if you stay in Finland for less than 90 days, you may still need a visa.
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 the Finnish act on residence permits for students (fin). If this is the case, you must submit a mobility notification to the Finnish Immigration Service.
If you come to Finland for postgraduate studies
- you need to apply for a residence permit for scientific research.
The Finnish Immigration Service will grant you a residence permit for studies, if you have been accepted to study at a higher education institution or some other educational institution in Finland and if your studies lead to a degree or a vocational qualification. Accepted educational institutions include institutions that provide education after basic education, for example universities, universities of applied sciences and vocational education institutions.
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.
You cannot be granted a residence permit for studies in the following situations:
- You are applying for asylum in Finland. You cannot get a residence permit for studies if you have a pending asylum application. If you wish to apply for a residence permit for studies, you need to cancel your application for international protection.
- You have been granted international protection in an EU Member State.
- You have received a deportation decision from Finland.
You must have sufficient financial resources
You must have sufficient means 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. For a two-year stay, you must have EUR 13,440 at your disposal. If your educational institution will support your living in Finland, you are required to have fewer funds of your own. Read more about students’ means of support.
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.
You are allowed work in Finland if the work is related to your studies
The residence permit for studies enables you to work without restrictions if your work is related to your degree. This means practical training and thesis work. You also have a right to have other jobs but the following restrictions apply:
- You may only work for an average of 25 hours per week during the academic terms.
- The number of working hours is not restricted on a weekly level. This means that you can adjust your weekly working hours during the academic term, as long as you work for 25 hours a week on average.
- You can work without restrictions at the times when your educational institution offers no instruction.
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.
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.
Customer bulletins for students
The Finnish Immigration Service has prepared customer bulletins in English for students who have received a study place in Finland. The educational institution can attach these bulletins to its letter of acceptance.
The customer bulletins can be found here:
Application process when you are applying for your first residence permit on the basis of studies
Residence permit for studies
The student may apply for a residence permit after receiving an admission letter from the educational institution.
The student must wait for the decision in the country where he or she submitted the application.
The applicant may appeal the decision to an Administrative Court.
A residence permit card will be issued to the student. After this, the student can travel to Finland.
A residence permit for studies can be granted for two years at a time.
Students who have completed their studies can be granted a residence permit for one year for job-seeking or for starting a business. Alternatively, students may apply for a residence permit for work or postgraduate studies, or on the basis of family ties.