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Studying in Finland

If your studies in Finland take longer than 90 days

  • you need a residence permit for studies. A residence permit for studies is usually granted for the duration of the studies. However, a residence permit can only be granted for the period that your passport is valid. 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

If you come to Finland for postgraduate studies after completing a master’s degree

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 Agency. If you come to Finland to study for some other degree, you can be granted a temporary residence permit (a B permit). Read more: How can I change my B permit to an A permit?

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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). Residence permits are not granted for studies at open universities.

Check the processing queue for students’ residence permit applications.

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

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 must give evidence that you have the necessary funds to pay your tuition fees.

You are allowed work in Finland with certain restrictions

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. In addition, you may work in paid employment for a maximum 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.

Students can no longer work without restrictions during holidays or at the times when the educational institution offers no instruction. The right to work changed when the amendments to legislation on students and researchers entered into force on 15 April 2022.

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.

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.

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.

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

Residence permit for studies

1. First, the student must be admitted to an educational institution.

The student may apply for a residence permit after receiving an admission letter from the educational institution.

2. The student submits a residence permit application for studies in the e-service Enter Finland. Alternatively, the student may submit an application at a Finnish embassy or consulate abroad.

Enterfinland.fi »

3. The student visits a Finnish embassy or consulate to prove his or her identity.

The student must wait for the decision in the country where he or she submitted the application.

4. The Finnish Immigration Service processes the application and makes a decision.

5. If the application was submitted

in the Enter Finland e-service, the student gets an email or a text message when the decision is ready. If the student submitted a paper application, the decision will arrive by post.

6a. Negative decision:

The applicant may appeal the decision to an Administrative Court.

6b. Positive decision:

A residence permit card will be issued to the student. After this, the student can travel to Finland.

7. After graduating, the student may stay in Finland to look for work.

Students who have completed their studies can be granted a residence permit for two years 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.

Customer instructions for students

The Finnish Immigration Service has prepared customer instructions in English for students who have received a study place in Finland. The educational institution can attach these instructions to its letter of acceptance.

Customer instructions for students