Arriving in Finland as a foreign degree student

If you are coming from outside the EU you must apply for a residence permit. EU-citizens must register their residency by 3 months of arrival. All international students must also register their personal information at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency after arriving in Finland.

Non-EU or non-EEA nationals

Residence permit

You must apply for a residence permit. Residence permits are issued by the Finnish Immigration Service MIGRI. The application process takes time, so please apply for the residence permit as soon as you have received a confirmation of your study place. You will have to visit a Finnish embassy (or consulate) in the country of your legal residence in person to give your fingerprints and prove your identity.

You should reserve at least two months, preferably more, for the application process. Please note that you must have a valid residence permit before arriving in Finland and starting your studies. You can apply for a study-based continuous residence permit (type A) for the entire duration of your studies. However, the residence permit can be granted only for the time during which your passport is valid.

A common reason for delays in the residence permit application process is insufficient health insurance cover or lack of funding. You must have an insurance and sufficient financial resources in order to get a residence permit. You also need to give evidence that that you have paid your tuition fee or that you have the necessary funds to pay the tuition fee. Please read carefully the instructions provided by MIGRI.

Municipality of residence

Once you have been granted a residence permit, you should register with a municipality of residence (domicile) at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. Acquiring a permanent address and place of domicile entitles you to enjoy municipal benefits, including, for instance, a student discount with HSL (public transport).

EU or EEA nationals

Citizens of EU, Liechtenstein or Switzerland

You not need a residence permit or a visa. However, you must apply for EU registration if you plan to stay in Finland for a longer period than three months without interruption. Information on EU citizens’ registrations is available at Finnish Immigration Services. The application for the registration must be submitted within three months of the day of your arrival.

After the EU registration, you also have to register your address at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Nordic citizens (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Icelandic)

You don’t need a residence permit, but upon arrival in Finland, you must register your personal data in the Finnish Population Information system at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Study in Finland (information about Finland as a study destination)
Finnish Immigration Service MIGRI: Studying in Finland
#myhelsinki – Your local guide to Helsinki – All you need to know about everyday life in Finland
VisitFinland – The official travel guide of Finland
HSL – Public Transport in Helsinki