Studying without a residence permit
You can study in Finland for under 90 days without a residence permit. However, you may need a visa. You can find more information about a visa on the InfoFinland page A short stay in Finland.
Before you can apply for a residence permit, you need to get a study place in Finland. Approved educational institutes include those that come after comprehensive school, such as universities, universities of applied sciences and vocational colleges.
The study place must meet one of the following conditions:
- Your studies will lead to a vocation or degree.
- You will participate in an exchange programme with an educational institute or another type of exchange programme.
- You will complete supplementary training or specialising training connected to your degree.
You can apply for a study place in the spring or autumn through the general joint application process of educational institutes. For certain studies, the joint application process (yhteishaku) takes place in January. Find out about the application period in good time.
You can find more information about how to apply for a study place in Finland on the InfoFinland page Applying for education and training.
In order to get a residence permit, you need to have private insurance that covers your medical and medicine costs. You can take out an insurance policy from an insurance company in your home country or ask international insurance companies about a suitable insurance policy.
All insurance policies must meet the following terms:
- The deductible must not exceed €300.
- The policy must be valid throughout your time in Finland.
- The policy must be valid when you arrive in Finland.
- The policy cannot be ordinary travel insurance.
The amount of medical costs the insurance must cover depends on the duration of your studies. For example, if your studies in Finland last for less than two years, the insurance policy must, at a minimum, cover medical costs up to €120,000.
If you have a European Health Insurance Card, EHIC, or a UK Global Health Insurance Card you do not need separate insurance. The European Health Insurance Card must be valid throughout your time in Finland.
The InfoFinland page Health services in Finland contains information on health care in Finland.
Finnish Immigration ServiceStudent’s insuranceLink redirects to another website
Euroopean CommissionEuropean Health Insurance CardLink redirects to another website
You must have enough money to live in Finland. You will need to have at least €560 per month to be able to cover your housing, food and other expenses. This means that, for a year’s stay, you will need to have €6,720.
There may be exceptions to the income requirement. For example, if your educational institute organises free housing and free meals for you, less money will be required.
If your studies are subject to a charge, you also need to ensure that you have enough money to live on after paying the tuition fees.
You need to have the required sum in your bank account or a certificate of a grant from an official source. Such grants can be scholarships from the state, educational institutes or organisations, for example. Promises of sponsorship or account statements from private persons, such as relatives, acquaintances or employers are not admissible.
Read more about prices and other costs of living in Finland on the InfoFinland page Cost of living in Finland.
Student’s residence permit
You must apply for the first residence permit before you come to Finland.
A student’s residence permit is usually granted for the duration of studies. If you come to Finland to complete a higher education degree, you will be granted an A permit, i.e. a continuous residence permit. Otherwise, you will be granted a B permit, i.e. a temporary residence permit.
You can apply for a permit online through the Enter Finland service. After applying, you must visit the closest Finnish diplomatic mission to prove your identity, and present original copies of the application appendices. You must visit a Finnish diplomatic mission within three months of submitting the application online. The application cannot be processed until you have visited the Finnish diplomatic mission. You usually need to make an appointment in advance to visit a Finnish diplomatic mission.
Remember to check your Enter Finland account regularly. If further clarifications are needed for your application, you will be informed through your account.
If you are unable to apply online, you can bring a paper form and its appendices to the closest Finnish diplomatic mission. You can print out the application form from the Finnish Immigration Service website.
The processing of the permit application is subject to a charge. You must pay the fee when you submit your permit application.
You need to submit the following documents with your student residence permit application:
- valid passport
- passport photo (you can find the requirements for the photo on the Finnish Immigration Service website)
- certificate of attendance (proof that you are a student at an approved educational institution in Finland)
- an accounting that you have enough funds to live on
- an insurance certificate or a copy of your European Health Insurance Card
- an accounting of paid tuition fees or scholarship
- previous degree certificates (if you are not a degree programme student or exchange student)
- any certificates of employment (if you are not a degree programme student or exchange student)
Finnish Immigration ServiceInformation about a student's residence permitLink redirects to another website
Enterfinland.fiElectronic applicationLink redirects to another website
Ministry for Foreign AffairsFinnish Diplomatic Missions abroadLink redirects to another website
Student’s residence permit from another EU country
You do not need a residence permit for Finland if you have a residence permit granted in another EU country and are studying in an institute of higher learning. In addition, your studies must:
- include international mobility in an EU programme or multiform programme; or
- be included in an agreement between two or more institutes of higher learning.
In such cases, you must submit a mobility notification to the Finnish Immigration Service. When you submit a mobility notification, you can study in Finland for up to 360 days.
Finnish personal identity code
If you are granted a residence permit for Finland, you will be automatically registered in the Finnish Population Information System. You will receive a Finnish personal identity code at the same time.
When you have moved to Finland, you must visit the nearest service location of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency to register as a resident. Read more on the InfoFinland page Registering as a resident.
Student residence permit extension
If your studies continue but your residence permit is about to expire, apply for an extension. Remember to apply for a student residence permit extension in good time before the first permit expires.
When you apply for a permit extension, the Finnish Immigration Service will check whether you have accumulated enough credits to be eligible for the extension. For this purpose, you must attach your transcript of study records to the permit extension application.
Read more about applying for a residence permit extension on the InfoFinland page Residence permit extension.
Residence permit for job search
If you do not have a job upon graduation, you can apply for a residence permit to look for a job or start a business. In this case, you can receive a residence permit for a maximum of two years.
Apply for the permit no later than five years after the expiration of the student residence permit.
If you find a job in Finland, you can apply for a residence permit intended for those who have completed a degree in Finland.
Read more on residence permits for graduates on the InfoFinland page Work in Finland.
Practical training in Finland
If you are studying abroad and would like to come to Finland for practical training, you need to apply for a residence permit for training. More information is available on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service.
Important information on living as a student in Finland is available on the InfoFinland page Foreign students in Finland.