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titleApply for Visa or Residence Permit

Citizens of EU, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and San Marino need an official identity card or passport (passport strongly recommended) to enter Finland.

Non-EU/EEA citizens must have a valid passport and will need to check at a local Finnish embassy or consulate whether a visa or a residence permit for Finland is required.

The residence permits in Finland are issued by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). We recommend you to start the application process as soon as possible. You should reserve at least two months, preferably more for the application process. Note, that you cannot arrive in Finland without the residence permit card in hand.

  • Read carefully an info bulletin provided by Migri and visit the Migri website for students to familiarize yourself with the application process and the application requirements.

  • Note that the application process requires a visit to a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) either in the country of your legal residence or if not applicable, in another country to prove your identity and give fingerprints. As some Finnish missions are very busy during the high season of applications, it is important that you book an appointment to a Finnish mission as early as possible. The processing time of the permit application is counted from the visit to a Finnish mission and not from the date of submission of the application. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Finland suspends the reception and processing of residence permit applications in the missions as of 19 March until further notice. For more More information on the effect of the coronavirus on the customers of Migri is available here.

  • A common reason for delays in the residence permit application process is insufficient health insurance cover (more information below). Please read carefully the insurance instructions by Migri.

  • A common reason for rejecting a residence permit application is the lack of funding. Please read carefully the instructions by Migri regarding the proof of funds.

  • Migri processes all student applications as urgent and the university cannot influence on the application process.

  • Also note that from the date of award, the delivery of the residence permit card takes approximately two weeks.

When you are granted a residence permit, your personal information will automatically be recorded in the Finnish Population Information System. You will be issued a Finnish personal identity code. If you cannot be registered in the Population Information System when you are issued with your residence permit (due to some local residence permit process, this is the case at least for citizens of India and Pakistan) you need to apply for the registration at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency after you have arrived in Finland (see "apply for a municiplaity of residence below")