Living in Finland

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Study in Finland

This page is meant for you if you are a citizen of a country that is not an EU member state, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

If you come to Finland to study for over 90 days, you need a residence permit for your studies. You can study in Finland for under 90 days without a residence permit.

If you are moving to Finland to study, you need to complete the following steps:

Apply for a study place

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. Fill in an application form via the Studyinfo.fi service.

You can find more information about how to apply for a study place in Finland on the Infopankki page Applying for education and training.

Take out a comprehensive health insurance policy in your home country

As a student, you will need to pay for your own medical costs yourself if you fall ill in Finland. 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.
  • Do not terminate your insurance policy. You will have to pay the doctor and hospital yourself if you fall ill.

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 €100,000.

If you have a European Health Insurance Card, EHIC, you do not need separate insurance. The European Health Insurance Card must be valid throughout your time in Finland.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Student’s insuranceFinnish | Swedish | English

Reserve sufficient funds for living expenses

You will also be responsible for your living expenses 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.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
The income requirement of a studentFinnish | Swedish | English

Apply for a student residence permit

You must apply for the first residence permit before you come to Finland.

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)

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Information about a student's residence permitFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiEnterfinland.fi:
Electronic applicationFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMinistry for Foreign Affairs:
Finnish Diplomatic Missions abroadFinnish | Swedish | English

You need to have a Finnish personal identity code

When you apply for a residence permit in Finland for the first time, you can use the same form to submit a request for a Finnish personal identity code. Your personal data, address, native language and profession will be saved in the Finnish Population Information System. You need a personal identity code when dealing with the authorities. You can also apply for a personal identity code at the Local Register Office (maistraatti).

Read more on the Infopankki page Registering as a resident.

Student residence permit extension

A student residence permit is granted for a maximum of two years at a time. 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.

Note that the Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto) will check whether your residence in Finland has actually been based on studies. For example, if you are studying towards a basic degree at a university or university of applied sciences, you should complete 45 credits per school year in order to meet the requirements for receiving a residence permit extension. You must submit a transcript of your academic records with the residence permit extension application.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Student’s residence permit extensionFinnish | Swedish | English

At the end of the studies

If you have completed your degree in Finland, you can receive a temporary residence permit for job application. This permit can only be granted as a permit extension to a student residence permit. You must apply for the permit before your student’s residence permit expires. You can receive a residence permit for seeking a job for up to a year.

If you find a job, you can begin working right away. However, you must apply for a new residence permit on the grounds of employment before the expiry of the residence permit you were granted for job- seeking.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Residence permit for job applicationFinnish | Swedish | English

Coming to Finland for practical training

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.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Traineeship in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

Studying in Finland

Important information on living as a student in Finland is available on the Infopankki page Student.

linkkiStudy in Finland:
Information for foreign studentsEnglish

The Finnish Immigration Service: Presentation of the Enter Finland e-service