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Navigating the Residence Permit Process for Studying in Finland

Books and a globe (world map) inviting you to study in Finland.

Dreaming of studying in Finland and ready to step on that airplane? While that’s great news, individuals who are coming from outside of the EU and plan on residing in Finland for more than 90 days need a residence permit to legally reside in Finland. The journey to your Finnish academic adventure involves some essential administrative tasks, one of the most important ones being – obtaining a residence permit. But fear not because we're here to guide you through the process step by step.

Preparing for the Application & Eligibility


First things first, is to get your documents in order. To qualify, you must ensure you have all the necessary documents ready before starting the application process.


Create a document checklist: Start by gathering essential documents such as your acceptance letter from the Finnish educational institution, proof of funds, health insurance, passport, recent passport photo, educational certificates, and proof of paid tuition fees or scholarships. Remember, document requirements can change and vary between different types of applications, so always double-check on for the latest information.


Proof of funds: Demonstrating financial stability is crucial during the residence permit process. At the time of publishing this blog, you will need to show you have at least 560€ per month to cover living expenses. If your permit is for a year, this translates to having at least 6720€ in your bank account.


Health insurance: It's mandatory for international students to have health insurance. Research different options to find one that suits your needs – such as different coverage options for medical visits, prescriptions, and more. Swisscare is a popular choice among students for its comprehensive coverage and was also what I had opted for during my time as a student.


Applying for a Residence Permit


Once your documents are in order, it's time to initiate the application process.


Enter Finland account: Head to the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) website and create an Enter Finland account. Carefully fill out the application form, upload all of your necessary documents, and don’t forget to pay the application fee.


Prove your identity: Schedule an appointment at a Finnish embassy, consulate, or VFS Global service point in your home or neighbouring country. During this appointment, your original documents are verified, so remember to bring all original documents that you’ve submitted in the online portal and during your appointment they will process your biometric data, that is your fingerprints.


Waiting Period and Follow-up


After submitting your application, the waiting game begins. The hard part is over, and during this time you must:


Keep an eye on application status: Keep track of your application status through the Enter Finland portal. You'll receive a notification once a decision has been made for your application.


Collecting your permit: If your application is approved, your residence permit card will be available for collection at the embassy, consulate, or service point you visited. Don't forget to bring your passport at the time of collecting your residence permit.




Obtaining your residence permit is a significant milestone in your journey to Finland. After all, your residence permit card allows you to legally reside in Finland and enter the country on arrival here, so keep the card safely with you during your travels. We hope this guide has shed some light on the application process and please share it with others embarking on their Finnish academic journey.


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