Residence permit

If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, EU member state, EEA member state or Switzerland and you come to Finland to study, you must register your right of residence. Read more on the InfoFinland page EU citizens or Nordic citizens.

If you are a citizen of another country, you will need a residence permit for studies. If your studies in Finland continue for less than three months, you do not need a residence permit. However, you may require a visa.

Read more on the InfoFinland page Study in Finland.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Welcome GuideEnglish

linkkiStudy in Finland:
Information for foreign studentsEnglish

Studying in Finland

In Finland, you can study as an exchange student or complete an entire degree.

If you would like to study as an exchange student in Finland, contact the student office or the international affairs department of your school.

You can find more information on how to apply as a degree student for a Finnish upper secondary school, vocational school or a higher education institution on the InfoFinland page Applying for education and training.

In Finland, you can study in Finnish, Swedish and, occasionally, English. Institutes of higher education include courses in English in some of their study programmes.

Read more on the InfoFinland page Foreign students in Finland.


If you are a student, you can apply for rental housing that is particularly intended for students. The rent of student housing is usually cheaper than other rental housing. Student housing are leased by student housing foundations, student unions, student associations and some other foundations. Some institutes also have their own student halls. Ask from your own institute where you can apply for student housing.

You can apply for student housing as soon as you have received a study place. In the larger cities it may take several weeks or months before you receive student housing.

You can find more information on applying for housing and other housing-related issues in the InfoFinland section Housing.

linkkiSuomen opiskelija-asunnot:
Student housingFinnish | English


If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or Nordic country, you have the right to work without limitations during your studentship without needing a permit. Working may give you the right to Finnish social security.

If you are a citizen of another country, your residence permit for studies provides you with the right to work with certain limitations, if the work:

  • consists of practical training included in the studies, or a final project
  • is part-time work, no more than an average of 25 hours per week during the term
  • is full-time work during the time when there is no teaching at your educational establishment, usually during summer and Christmas holidays.

You can find information on finding a job in Finland on the InfoFinland page Where to find work?

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Student's right to workFinnish | Swedish | English


If you come from another Nordic country to study in Finland, you are entitled to health care here. You will receive care under the same terms and pay the same amount for the services as Finns do. Bring along an official identity card when using health services.

If you come to study in Finland from an EU member state, EEA member state or Switzerland, you are entitled to essential health care, for which you need a European Health Insurance Card. You must obtain a European Health Insurance Card from your country of residence before coming to Finland.

If you come to study in Finland from some other country, you will usually need a comprehensive health insurance policy before you can get a residence permit for Finland.

The InfoFinland page Study in Finland or the website of the Finnish Immigration Service provides additional information about residence permits for studies and health insurance, which you will need for the permit.

In Finland, students in higher education are covered by the student health care system. Ask for more information at your educational establishment. To find out more about student health care, go to the websites of FSHS (YTHS) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (Sosiaali- ja terveysministeriö).

You can find information on health services available in Finland in the InfoFinland section Health.

Finnish Student Health ServiceFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMinistry of Social Affairs and Health:
Student health careFinnish | Swedish

Social security

The majority of Kela benefits require you to move to Finland permanently to be entitled to them. A student from outside the EU and EEA area may have a right to some Kela benefits, such as health insurance benefits. Read more on the InfoFinland page Finnish social security.

Social security of a person moving to FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

Foreign degrees in Finland

If you have completed a foreign degree, you might benefit from having the degree compared to a Finnish degree, having your professional qualification recognised, acquiring a right to practice your profession or completing a competence-based qualification.

The InfoFinland page Foreign degrees in Finland contains information on how you can get your degree or studies recognised in Finland.

linkkiFinnish National Agency for Education:
Recognition of a degreeFinnish | Swedish | English