A student who wants to stay and study in Finland, but is not a citizen of Finland, will require either a student visa or a student residence permit to fulfil this objective. However, the Finland student visa and the residence permit do not refer to the same document.
Finland student visa is a temporary short term permit that is issued to a foreign student who wants to stay and study in Finland for a maximum of 90 days (3 months).
Finland student residence permit is issued to a foreign student to wants to stay and study in Finland for duration of more than 90 days (3 months). Normally, Finland residence permits for students are granted for one year at a time.
A student visa is suitable for those foreign students who plan to take a short term language course in Finland or want to appear in an entrance examination. A student residence permit is suitable for those foreign students who have been accepted in full term degree courses in Finland.
The student residence permit is also suitable for any foreign student whose exchange study period in Finland is scheduled to last for a period of more than 3 months.
Eligibility Criteria for Finland Student Visa or Residence Permit
To be eligible for Finland Student Visa or Residence Permit you must fulfil the following conditions:
- You must provide the official letter of acceptance issued by your hosting Finnish university or educational institute or polytechnic
- You must have a valid passport
- Your passport must have a validity that exceeds the duration of the visa or residence permit you are applying for by at least 3 months
- Your passport must have been issued within the previous 10 years
- You must have a copy of your completed and signed application form
- You must provide proof of your financial ability so as to support yourself financially during your entire period of study in Finland and for your return transportation. At present, a student must have a minimum of EUR 560 (INR 43,316.17) per month for staying in Finland. This means the student must have minimum EUR 6720 (INR 519,794.02) per year for his or her expenses in Finland.
- You must provide a recent statement of your financial situation from your bank that shows you have at least EUR 6720 in your bank account. Note that students undertaking degree courses in Finland must have funds for one year at a time. Exchange students must have funds for the entire duration of their stay in Finland. In case you do not have the above mentioned amount in your account, you must provide written evidence of having received a stipend or scholarship or have been selected for benefits to be provided by your educational institute.
- You must provide proof of having obtained valid health and medical insurance that covers the entire duration of your stay in Finland. Refer to health insurance for detailed information.
- You must be in good physical and mental health and free from any kind of contagious diseases
- You must not have a criminal record
- You must not have been refused entry into Finland previously
- You intend to leave Finland at the end of your authorized stay
Note that the bank statements of an applicant’s parents or a shared or joint account will not be accepted for Finland student visa or residence permit.
Steps to follow to apply for Finland Student Residence Permit
You have to apply at the Finland Embassy or Consulate for Finland student visa or residence permit. Once you have received the official letter of acceptance for your intended course of study, you can check your eligibility for obtaining a Finnish student visa or residence permit and then go ahead with the below mentioned procedure.
Remember that you will have to apply for student residence permit before you arrive in Finland.
Step 1: Get the residence permit application form
Your first step is to obtain the residence permit application form. You can access the form through the internet and download it.
Step 2: Fill up the residence permit application form
Fill out the details required in the residence permit application form carefully. You can either fill it up for submitting it electronically or take a print out after filling it up to submit it at the Finland Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
Step 3: Gather the required documents for residence permit application
For submission of residence permit application at a Finland Embassy or Consulate you must make a check list of the documents that you need to submit along with your application form. Gather all the documents and keep them ready for submission.
Step 4: Provide photograph for your residence permit application
Provide your recent colour photograph for the residence permit application. Make sure that your photograph matches or corresponds to all the specifications required for residence permit photographs. In any case, your photograph must not be more than 6 months old.
Step 5: Check the residence permit application fee
Check the fees required for processing your residence permit application. Keep the fee ready for submission along with your visa application form. Be aware of the fact that the fee for electronic submission is less than the fee required for direct submission at the Finland embassy or consulate.
Step 6: Submit your residence permit application form
Submit your completed residence permit application form and all the required documentation, including the required photographs, at the Finland Embassy or Consulate nearest to you. You have to submit the application during the office hours. You will have to submit the application in person.
Please note that even if you have submitted your application electronically, you will have to visit the Finland Embassy or Consulate nearest to you in order to verify your identity and to present the original copies of the documents needed for the application to be processed.
A Finnish student residence permit application cannot be processed until the applicant visits the embassy, regardless of whether the application has been submitted electronically or at the embassy itself.
Step 7: Provide your biometric data
At the Finnish Embassy or Consulate you will have to provide biometric data about yourself. The officials at the embassy will take your fingerprints.
This step is applicable for all applicants, regardless of whether they have submitted their residence permit application electronically or in person at the embassy.
Step 8: Pay required residence permit application fee
Pay the processing fee for your residence permit at the time of submitting your application form. Check with the Finland Embassy or Consulate regarding the current processing fee for the residence permit and the mode of payment accepted by them.
Note that in case of submission of an electronic application, the processing fee will be charged via the electronic service.
Step 9: Collect your residence permit card
After your residence permit is issued, you will be notified regarding the issuance. You can collect your residence permit card in person or have it sent to you.
Required Fees for Finland Residence Permit for Students
Fees for Finland Residence Permit for Studies (for application on paper) – EUR 330 (INR 25,525.60)
Fees for Finland Residence Permit for Studies (for electronic application) – EUR 300 (INR 23,205.09)
- Your application fee will not be refunded if your application for a residence permit is refused or rejected for any reason.
- The conversion into Indian currency is based on current conversion rates, which may change.
- The visa application fee is subject to change at any time.
Finland Residence Permit Waiver
Citizens from a Nordic country (Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Iceland) or European Union (EU) Member State do not require a residence permit or visa to enter Finland and stay there for a period of up to 90 days.
Similarly, any citizen from any of the visa-free country does not require a residence permit or visa to enter Finland if he or she has a valid passport or comparable travel document.
However, such people will be required to register their residences in Finland at a police station if their stay exceeds three months duration. For citizens of Nordic countries such registration is required if their citizens stay in Finland for a period of more than six months.
The passport holders of the following countries do not require a residence permit or visa for staying in Finland for a period of up to 90 days:
Dos and Don’ts for Finland Residence Permit
You must remember the following dos and don’ts while applying for Finland Residence Permit for Students.
- Apply for a residence permit soon after you receive the official letter of acceptance from your hosting Finnish university or polytechnic
- Fill up your application form carefully with all accurate details
- Bring original copies and photocopies of all supporting documents when you come to submit your residence permit application form at the Finnish Embassy or Consulate
- Do not present false documents for your student residence permit
- Do not hide or misrepresent facts in your application