Visa and Residence permit
Finland has quite strict rules concerning immigration. Rules and regulations may differ depending on if you are a non-EU citizen, European Union citizen or citizen of the Nordic countries. It is very important that you familiarize yourself with all necessary information beforehand and apply necessary permits on time!
For more detailed and updated information, please check the links for Finnish Immigration Service’s web page and also the Finnish Immigration Service Notice to Exchange Students. Visas and residence permits are handled by Immigration Service and national embassies. We always recommend reading the latest instructions and guidelines from their web pages.
Citizen of the nordic countries
As a citizen of one of the Nordic countries you do not need a visa or a residence permit to study in Finland. If you stay in Finland for longer than six (6) months, you are required to register personally at the local Register Office (maistraatti).
As a citizen of one of the EU/EEA countries you do not need a visa entering Finland. You are allowed to study at Finnish educational institutions for three (3) months without visa or residence permit. If your studies/ practical training last longer than three (3) months you must register your right to reside in Finland. The registration takes place at the nearest Finnish Immigration Service's point (in Rovaniemi or Oulu) and it costs about 54 €. To do the registration you need to have with you:
• Application form (submit online)
• Passport (recommended) or internationally recognized official identity card
• European Health Insurance card
• Letter of Acceptance or study certificate from Lapland UAS
• You must be able to show that your upkeep is secured during your stay in Finland. (e.g bank statement, grant certificate)
You are allowed to study at Finnish educational institutions for three (3) months without applying for a residence permit. You can then complete your studies within the period of validity of your visa or while an agreement on the abolition of the visa is in force. If your studies last longer than three (3) months, you need to apply for a residence permit from the Finnish embassy or mission that represents Finland in your home country before your departure. For further information visit the website of the Ministry for foreign Affairs in Finland formin.finland.fi (> Entering Finland and travelling abroad > Entering Finland > Guidance for foreign citizens planning to travel to Finland).
You have to prove that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses in Finland, that is, a minimum of 560 €/ month. After the first year you must apply for the continuation of your residence permit for each academic year at the nearest immigration service point (in Rovaniemi or Oulu). When applying for a residence permit you must attach to your application details of your comprehensive health insurance cover with a reliable company or institution and when extending your residence permit, also certifications of your success in studies. For further information visit the website of the Finnish Immigration Service: www. migri.fi (> in English > EnterFinland > Extended and permanent residence permits).
A person who wishes to come to Finland and live in the same household with a family member residing here must have a residence permit. The permit can be granted on the basis of family ties. If you want your family members to move to Finland to live with you they will need their own residence permit. The demands for the residence permit will be the same as any other applicant. For example the applicant needs to prove that he/ she has the needed financial support to live in Finland. The family member who already is in Finland is so called sponsor. Who are considered as family members is quite narrow compared to other countries. By the Finnish law the family members are:
•Guardian of a child under 18 years of age
International exchange students and trainees are insured during their studies and practical training but the
insurance does not cover free time. So therefore the incoming students must remember to take care of other
Students that are coming to practical training in the field of nursing and health care are also required to take care of the adequate vaccinations before coming to practical training.
When applying for a residence permit the student must have insurance cover as without it a residence permit cannot be granted. For more detailed and updated information, please check the link for Finnish Immigration Service’s web page.
•For non-EU citizens it is compulsory to have an insurance to acquire a residence permit.
•For EU citizens it is important to acquire at least European Health Insurance Card to get necessary medical treatment in Finland.
NB: Please notice that Finnish higher education institutions have negotiated insurance packages for international students with MARSH/SIP, which is one alternative to acquire a health insurance. MARSH/SIP insurance packages are primarily available for non-EU/EEA students but they may also be purchased by EU students, if they wish to obtain private health insurance that covers their stay in Finland, which is highly recommendable. For more information on MARSH/SIP insurance, please check the link to their web page on the right side.