Tampere University Student's Handbook
Residence permit and the registration of the right of residence for doctoral students
International doctoral students must register their right of residence in Finland but the way to do this depends on your nationality.
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 must be done within three months of your arrival with the Finnish Immigration Service.
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)
Doctoral students arriving from all other countries for their doctoral studies usually need a residence permit 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. The first residence permit should be applied online and followed by a visit in person to a Finnish mission (embassy, consulate) in your home country or country where you reside legally. Please note that an appointment is mandatory and in most cases you will have to travel outside of your home state / city for submitting your biometric data / fingerprints and for interviewing at the mission.
Based on the doctoral student's existing degree level there are three different options for applying for the residence permit. Further information on the options is available in the info letter of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), see below.
If the doctoral student is coming to Finland in order to conduct scientific research or study for a Licentiate’s degree or a Doctoral degree, then the residence permit for scientific research should be applied for. For the application process it is necessary to attach a hosting agreement. Please contact your supervisor to request for the hosting agreement. Your supervisor together with the International HR Services of Tampere University will provide you the hosting agreement.
When applying for the residence permit, it is a good idea to check also the website of the local Finnish mission for any country-specific instructions.
Finnish personal identity code
All doctoral students will need a Finnish personal identity code. Students coming from outside the EU/EEA/EFTA area who are granted the residence permit in Finland will usually automatically be registered in the Finnish Population Information System. At that point, they will also receive a Finnish personal identity code. This requires that they fulfil the preconditions for registration. One of the preconditions is that a Finnish authority has verified their identity.
EU and EEA nationals and non-EU/EEA nationals with a comparable status (EFTA countries) or students who have not received the Finnish personal identity code with the residence permit, will have to apply for the identity code after arrival in Finland.
More information about the Finnish personal identity code can be found on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
InfoFinland - information about moving and living in Finland
For anyone moving to Finland, the multi-language website InfoFinland is a good starting point.