Residence Permits and Visas
Finnish higher education institutions are not involved in the residence permit or immigration processes in any way. This is the sole responsibility of the Finnish Immigration Services. Therefore please direct any questions regarding residence permits, visas and immigration to the Finnish Immigration Services. Arcada has listed the following information for your convenience but is not responsible for any changes that might occur, as we encourage you to explore the Finnish Immigration Service's own website.
For updates on COVID-19 and immigration matters, please visit the Finnish Immigration Services website.
Do I need a residence permit or a visa?
- If you are a non-EU citizen you will need a residence permit for studying in Finland for more than 90 days.
- If you are a non-EU citizen you will most likely need a visa for studying in Finland for less than 90 days.
- If you are a citizen of an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit for Finland. If you stay for longer than three months, you need to register your right of residence.
- If you are a family member of an EU citizen or of a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you need to apply for a residence card.
- If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, register your right of residence at a Local Register Office.
If you are granted a residence permit for studies, your spouse and children can be granted a residence permit on the basis of family ties.
Please also view the step-by-step guide that takes you through the immigration process!
Residence permit for studying in Finland for more than 90 days
1. Begin your residence permit application as soon as you are offered a study place!
During the spring and summer the Finnish Immigration Services are typically very busy and there may be delays in processing applications for residence permits for studying, so please begin your application process as soon as you are offered a study place!
The fee for an electronic residence permit for studies application is 350€ and the estimated processing time is 1-3 months. The fee for a paper application is 400€ and the estimated processing time is 4-5 months.
2. Have the required attachments ready
For your residence permit application, you will need to have translated and legalised attachments, so make sure you have them ready.
3. You need to have specified insurance
As an international student, you must personally cover the costs if you become ill in Finland. In order to get a residence permit, you must take out private insurance that will cover your medical and drug expenses. The insurance you need depends on the duration of your studies in Finland.
4. No student residence permit without sufficient funds beyond the minimum requirement
International applicants who need a student residence permit to enter Finland should please note that you need sufficient funds not only to enter the country, but to support yourself while living here (Income requirements). The Finnish Immigration Services require a minimum sum for entering the country to support yourself the first year, and will not grant a student residence permit unless you can prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your period of study.
Before you arrive in Finland, make sure that you have enough funds for the entire time your studies will take. A residence permit for studies can be granted for two years, if you can prove that you have sufficient financial resources for your entire stay in Finland. You must have at least EUR 560 at your disposal every month to be able to pay for your accommodation, food and other needs. For a two-year stay, you must have EUR 13,440 at your disposal. If you only want the residence permit for one year at a time, you must have EUR 6,720 at your disposal in your own bank account. We will assess your means of income every time you submit an application to us. If necessary, we will ask you to submit additional documentation of the source of the assets.
5. Proof of payed tuition fee or funds to pay them
Finnish institutions of higher education charge tuition fees from students who arrive from outside the EU and the EEA. You must attach to your application evidence that the fees charged by the higher education institution have been paid.
If you have already paid the tuition fee, you should attach documents to your residence permit application proving that the fee has been paid. If you have not yet paid the tuition fee, you should attach documents to your residence permit application proving that you have the necessary funds to pay your tuition fee and to support yourself in Finland. You cannot pay the tuition fee using the funds reserved for your day-to-day living. If you have been awarded a grant to cover the tuition fee, attach a certificate of the scholarship from your educational institution to your application. Even if you receive a scholarship, you must still have sufficient financial means to live in Finland.