Studying in Finland

If your studies in Finland take longer than 90 days, you need a residence permit for studies. 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.

The Finnish Immigration Service grants residence permits for studies leading 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 get a residence permit even if you already have completed a higher education degree in your home country.

You may also get a residence permit for studies not mentioned above if you have a well-founded reason for it, such as complementing your earlier studies, further training related to your occupation, or special training available in Finland (for example training on the monitoring of international agreements). Residence permits are not granted for studies at open universities.

If you only come to Finland for an internship, you must apply for a residence permit for internship. If you come to Finland for postgraduate studies and you will receive a salary or a grant, apply for a residence permit for scientific research.

If you are not sure whether you are a researcher or a student, please read the page Researcher or student? If you are not sure what application form you should use, use the Application Finder to find out.

You must take care of your own means of support

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. In other words, you must have EUR 6,720 to be able to study in Finland for a year. 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.

Tuition fees

Finnish institutions of higher education charge tuition fees from students who arrive from outside the EU and the EEA. In your application, you should 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, that is, during summer and Christmas holidays.

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 drug expenses. Read more about insurance.

Family members

If you have been granted a residence permit for studies, your family may usually apply for a residence permit on the basis of family ties.

After graduation

If you have completed a degree in Finland and you have a job, you may use a specific application form to apply for a residence permit for work. If you have already been working when you had a valid residence permit for studies, you are allowed to continue working or start working in a new job until we have made a decision on your new residence permit application.

If you have recently graduated and want to stay in Finland to look for work, you may apply for a residence permit for seeking work.

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:

General requirements for entry into Finland

Make sure you meet the general requirements for entry into Finland before you submit an application.

Application process when you are applying for your first residence permit on the basis of studies