Residence permit and registration of the right of residence for new international students
International students must register their right of residence in Finland but the way to do this depends on your nationality. Please note that the information on this page is for bachelor's and master's degree students (doctoral students have separate instructions).
Citizens of EU/EEA/EFTA countries (registration of the right of residence)
EU and EEA nationals and non-EU nationals with a comparable status (EFTA countries) do not need a residence permit before arrival. However, as you will be staying in Finland for over three months, you will have to register your right of residence once you arrive. The registration should be done within three months of your arrival with the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). Please observe that citizens of a Nordic country register their right of residence at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
For more information, please go to Migri's page on Registration of the right of residence of a citizen of the European Union.
Citizens of non-EU/EEA/EFTA countries (residence permit for studies)
Students arriving from all other countries usually need a residence permit for studies in order to stay in Finland for a longer period of time, that is, for 90 days or longer. A residence permit allows you to live, stay and travel in Finland and to leave and re-enter the country during the validity of the permit. You must hold a valid passport or other travel document in order to be issued a residence permit. As a general rule, it is a good idea to check that your passport is valid for as long as possible. The first residence permit should be applied for online. The application is followed by a visit in person to a Finnish mission (embassy, consulate) in your home country or country where you reside legally for submitting your biometric data and for an interview. Please note that an appointment is mandatory and in most cases you will have to travel outside of your home state / city for the appointment.
When applying for a residence permit, a financial statement is also required. You will be requested to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Finland. In addition, you must attach a copy of a comprehensive health insurance coverage to the application.
Following a change in Finnish legislation in April 2022, a residence permit for studies is usually granted for the normative duration of the student's degree studies. However, a residence permit can only be granted for the period that your passport is valid. If necessary, you must apply for an extented permit before your first permit expires.
Further information on residence permit for studies is available on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). It is a good idea to check also the website of the Finnish mission for any country-specific instructions. You will find the contact details of Finnish missions at Finland Abroad.
Note that you should apply for a residence permit and book your appointment with the mission immediately, within 7 days at the very latest, after receiving your Letter of Acceptance. Make sure your application is complete with all the required information and remember to pay the application processing fee promptly. Your application will be waiting to even enter the handling queue until you pay the processing fee. Remember to include your Studyinfo National learner ID/learner ID to your application as this will make the processing of your application smoother. You will find the number from the top of your acceptance letter.
Please note that it is a good idea to apply for a residence permit to start around the beginning of August; this will enable you to arrange your arrival in time for the welcome week. Timely arrival will be especially important if you have been awarded or are aiming to receive a scholarship; late arrival will make it extremely difficult to progress in your studies at the required pace.
Both missions and the Finnish Immigration Service are very busy during spring and summer, and it may take from one to five months to process your application. You can check the expected processing time for electronic applications from the Residence permit application for studies website.
InfoFinland - information about moving and living in Finland
For anyone moving to Finland, the multi-language website InfoFinland is a good starting point.