You must apply for a residence permit if you are not a citizen of EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and you plan to study in Finland for longer than 90 days. Below you can find the instructions by the Finnish Immigration Service (MIGRI). If you need more information, please contact MIGRI.
Residence permit for exchange students
Are you a citizen of EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland?
- If your answer is ‘NO’ and you plan to study in Finland for more than 90 days, you will need a residence permit. If you plan to study in Finland for 90 days or less, you may need a visa. Information on visas is available on the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.
- If your answer is ‘YES’ you do not need a residence permit or a visa. Information on EU citizens’ registrations is available at MIGRI.
- Note that from the start of 2017, the Finnish Immigration Service will be in charge of the handling of all permits for foreign nationals.
Submit an application for a residence permit online at MIGRI's Online Service.
- Apply for your residence permit abroad, not in Finland.
- Please note that you must apply for a residence permit fo study! (pdf)
- Visit a Finnish embassy/consulate in person for identification and fingerprinting.
- Contact the embassy or consulate in advance to arrange a visit. All Finnish embassies and consulates are listed on the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.
- If there is no Finnish diplomatic mission in your country, contact a Finnish mission in another country to confirm your visit.
- Your application will not be processed before you’ve visited a Finnish embassy.
Start preparing your application immediately after receiving your acceptance letter. The entire process may take several weeks. The application process is longer if you submit an incomplete application, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Check out more information at MIGRI's Studying in Finland.
Migri processes all residence permit applications based on studying as urgent. To follow the progress of your application, log on to your electronic account. You can also find updates on application queues at MIGRI. Remember that telephone or e-mail inquiries will not make the process faster.
If your application is approved, you will get a biometric residence permit card. The card is manufactured in Finland and delivered to the Finnish embassy. It’s not possible to expedite the delivery of the card or collect the card from Finland. All students must wait for the residence permit card before coming to Finland.
Airline tickets should not be acquired in advance since the decision might not be ready before your flight to Finland.
Open an electronic account at MIGRI's Online Service. Log on to your account and carefully fill in the application form for studies. Be sure to fill in your name as it is in your passport, your contact details, the date you plan to arrive in Finland and the duration of your stay. Next, collect following compulsory appendices.
If your documents are not in Finnish, Swedish or English, have them translated into one of these languages by an authorized translator. Take the originals of your documents
with you to the embassy.
Acceptance letter from the University of Helsinki
- If your acceptance letter was sent to you by e-mail, include the forwarding e-mail from the university.
- Your insurance must cover both accident and illness related medical expenses both up to at least 100,000 EUROS.
- Make sure your insurance is valid on the date you plan to arrive in Finland and covers the entire time you plan to spend in Finland. The insurance must also be valid if you want to travel in Finland or the Schengen area after your studies.
- The insurance must have no restrictions to the number of days within the validity period. Travel insurances are often valid for 90 days per trip -> not acceptable.
Acquire an insurance document which indicates the following information
- Who is insured.
- What the insurance covers and what are the amounts of benefit.
- For how long and where the insurance is valid.
- Make sure the deductible is no more than 300 EUR.
- Don’t terminate your insurance at any point! Otherwise you will be responsible for the costs.
- You must have 560 EUR per month as a bank deposit or as a scholarship/grant.
- Bank statement from your own bank account. Make sure the statement indicates you as the account owner. A shared account or a written guarantee of sponsorship from a private person is not accepted.
- Certificate of a scholarship granted by an organization, government or an educational institution. The certificate must indicate the recipient, amount and duration of the scholarship. A bank statement is not necessary if the scholarship fully covers the requirement.
A passport and a passport photo
- Make sure your passport is valid for the entire duration of your stay in Finland.
If you are under 18 years of age
- Attach a written consent for moving to Finland from both your guardians to your application.
If you need more information, please contact MIGRI.
When applying for your first residence permit, please ask to be registered in the Finnish Population Information System. This way you can receive a Finnish personal identity code at the same time as you are issued with the permit. The personal identity code is compulsory to have in case your stay lasts at least three months (obliged by the University of Helsinki). The code is issued only to those who receive a positive decision on their application.
If you cannot be registered in the Population Information System when you are issued with your residence permit, you need to ask for the registration at your Local Register Office after you have arrived in Finland.