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Before arrival

When you start planning moving to Finland you should pay attention to entry and residence regulations. When arriving in Finland, citizens of Nordic countries and European Union countries, as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein and San Marino need an official identity card or passport (passport recommended, it may be required e.g. if opening a bank account in Finland or when travelling outside Finland).

All other foreigners coming from outside EU/EEA countries (European Economic Area) need a valid passport.

All non-EU citizens should check at a local Finnish embassy or consulate whether also a visa or a residence permit for Finland is required. If the residence permit is required, an application for it must be submitted and processed before departure for Finland in the country of your permanent residence. It is your own responsibility to acquire all the necessary documents. You are advised to start the application process immediately after you have received the admission letter from Aalto University.

EU/EEA citizens

 Registration of residence

EU-citizens and citizens of Liechtenstein and Switzerland do not need a residence permit but upon arrival in Finland you must register your right to reside in Finland if your stay lasts for longer than three months. Note that uou do not have to register your residence if you are staying in Finland for an uninterrupted period of less than three months. The calculation of the three-month residence always restarts from the moment when you return to Finland after travelling outside its borders.

The registration of residence is done at the Finnish Immigration Service (MIGRI) service point in Helsinki. However, citizens of Nordic countries are registered at Maistraatti (local register office) if they stay in Finland longer than 6 months. See more information in the chapter After arrival, Registering the residence.

NON EU/EEA-citizens

 Visa
If the studies last for less than three months, only a visa is needed. The visa is granted for a maximum of three months and cannot be extended in Finland. The visa has to be applied for before departure to Finland in the country where you permanently reside. Finland has an agreement abolishing this requirement with about 80 countries. Please check at your local Finnish consulate/embassy whether your country is among them.
 Residence permit

Citizens coming from a country outside the EU/EEA and who intend to stay in Finland for longer than three months have to obtain a residence permit through the Finnish embassy or consulate in their home country BEFORE arrival in Finland. Finnish Immigration Service - MIGRI - will provide application forms and further information on application process. An application is done via e-service of MIGRI. E-service is called EnterFinland.fi.

You can also follow the process electronically. However, remember that a personal visit to the Finnish Embassy is also required for identification and fingerprinting. Your application will not be processed before you’ve visited a Finnish embassy.

All Finnish embassies and consulates are listed at www.formin.fi. If there is no Finnish embassy or consulate  in your country, contact a Finnish mission in another country to confirm your visit.

Detailed instructions for residence permit application are available at MIGRI and EnterFinland.fi websites However, some  main guidelines are presented below:

  1. Fixed-term permit

    Permit for studies is temporary by its nature. Residence permit is usually granted for one academic year (or one semester if exchange studies last only for one semester) at the time. If your studies last longer, a new residence permit is required for each year. Please see more information at the chapter: After arrival, Extension of the residence permit.

  2. Income requirement

    In order to get the residence permit for Finland you must have a secured livelihood. You are required to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover all your expenses and living costs in Finland. You will need to have at least € 560 euros a month / € 6,720 available for one year of residence to support yourself. You must have the necessary funds in your own bank account. If you have been awarded a scholarship (by a government, an association or an educational institution) for the purpose of your studies please attach a scholarship decision. Still, you are required to demonstrate that you have altogether 560 euros/month for your living costs. Note! Likewise, if you are liable to pay tuition fee you must be able to demostrate that you have sufficient funds to pay for a fee or the proof of the paid fee. For more information, read MIGRI's instructions on how to proof the means of support and funds for tuition fee / scholarship!

  3. Health Insurance

    In order to get the residence permit for Finland you must have a valid health insurance. Obtaining the health insurance is obligatory. Without the valid insurance residence permit cannot be granted. Your health insurance must fulfill certain requirements, depending on the length of your studies in Finland. Please read more in the chapter of Health Insurance

The university does not provide any health insurance for foreign students. You can find an insurance policy that fits Finland’s requirements by checking e.g. SIP Marsh (www.sipinsurance.eu).  

Note! MIGRI processes all residence permit applications based on studying as urgent. If your application is approved, you will get a biometric residence permit card. The card will be delivered to the Finnish embassy. It’s not possible to expedite the delivery of the card or collect the card from Finland. You must wait for the residence permit card before arrival in Finland.

Note! When applying for your first residence permit, you can also ask to be registered in the Finnish Population Information System. This way you can receive a Finnish personal ID-code at the same time as you are issued with the permit, id-code makes your life in Finland easier.

Note! If you stay in Finland on permanent basis (over 1 year) you need to ask for home municipality registered for you after arrival in Finland. This requires a personal visit at Maistraatti office. Please read more information from this chapter: After arrival: Maistraatti.

After arrival


 Continuing from the airport


Your studies will start with an orientation for new students. Information on orientation schedule will be sent to you with the admission letter. Please follow the instructions you will receive from your own school.


From the airport to the Helsinki city centre

Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is located in Vantaa. It is easy and safe to use trains, buses or taxi to arrive from the airport to Helsinki city centre.

Offices of main student housing providers:

  • HOAS’ main office is located in the centre of Helsinki (street address Pohjoinen Rautatienkatu 29), a walking distance from the central railway station and Kamppi metro station and main bus terminal
  • AYY main office (including housing office) is located at the campus in Otaniemi, Espoo (street address Otakaari 11)

From Helsinki city centre to Aalto University

The campus is located in Otaniemi, Espoo. You can take the metro from the central railway station or from Kamppi metro station to the campus. You can board a metro towards Tapiola or Matinkylä, they both stop at Aalto University. Get off at the Aalto University station. Please use Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) journey planner to check the connections, timetables and tickets.

Tickets can be purchased from ticket vending machines at the central railway station and Kamppi metro station. Mobile tickets are also available.

Note! When traveling on the metro, you must have the ticket before you enter the metro platform area after having passed the Travel Card readers. For example, if you use a mobile ticket, make sure you have received the ticket before entering the platform area.


How to travel in the Helsinki region

The public transportation system in the Helsinki region is reliable and efficient. For almost any part of the region there is a public transport connection either by bus, the local train, tram or metro or by a combination of these.

In order to find the correct route in Helsinki region, please use Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) journey planner. Please type your from and to addresses as well as the time of departure or arrival into the journey planner and the service will search the best connections for your journey.

For more information on how to use public transport, please see HSL’s website.

Once you have enrolled at the university and settled in, you can apply for a personal travel card, which makes moving around much easier.

 Registration of right of residence, EU/EEA-citizens

EU-citizens and citizens of Liechtenstein and Switzerland do not need a residence permit but upon arrival in Finland, you must apply for registration of EU citizen’s right of residence if your stay lasts for longer than three months. The application for the registration must be submitted within three months of the day of the arrival at the latest.

Please note that at the same time, you can apply for the Finnish personal ID-code.

It is strongly recommended to submit the application electronically via EnterFinland service. However, a personal visit at the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) service point with original documents is still required. If for some reason you cannot use EnterFinland-service, you can fill in the printable application form and return it with all required enclosures directly to Migri.

It is advisable to book an appointment for registration in good time beforehand, already in the summer, as waiting times can be very long and upon students arrival in September there may not be time slots available any more.

 Registering residence, citizens of Nordic countries

Citizens of the Nordic countries do not need a residence permit but upon arrival in Finland, you must make a notification of move and register at the Local Register Office (Maistraatti) of your place of residence. Please note that you must personally visit the Local Register Office.

Make the notification of move one week after your move at the latest. When you register at the Local Register Office, you can obtain a Finnish personal ID-code at the same time.

 Registering as resident, all nationalities

If you are intending to stay in Finland for more than a year (regardless of your nationality), you are required to register at the Local Register Office (Maistraatti) in the municipality you live in and register your personal information in the Population Information System. The information registered is used for such purposes as elections, taxation, municipal health care, judicial administration and collecting statistics.

If you have not received a personal ID-code before (when applying for a residence permit, or when registering your right of residence as an EU-citizen), you can apply for that in Maistraatti too.

At Maistraatti you can also apply for home municipality if you fulfill the necessary criteria. Having a home municipality in a certain city/municipality means that you are considered to live there on a permanent basis.

Those who obtain a permanent home municipality in Finland are entitled to use some municipal services, e.g. right to use the municipal health care services in the same way as Finnish citizens. However, some of the other social benefits may require a longer stay in Finland and e.g. a permanent or continuous residence permit.

Note! Exchange or free mover guest students or double degree students (staying in Finland less than 1 year) are not necessarily required to register at Maistraatti since they have not moved to Finland on permanent basis and thus they are not usually granted a permanent home municipality in Finland. If there is a need for a Finnish personal ID-code (e.g. taxation) and code has not been issued before (with residence permit application or EU-citizen's registration by Migri), it can be applied at Maistraatti.

 Personal ID-code

The Finnish personal ID-code (i.e. social security number) is a means of identification that is more specific than a name. An ID-code will make your life in Finland easier, as it is needed for instance when opening a bank account or a mobile phone connection, as well as for digital student card and student discount in public transport. If you get any salary or scholarship from Finland, personal ID-code is required to enable payments.

When you apply for a residence permit or register your right of residence as an EU-citizen, please ask to be registered in the Finnish Population Information System. This way you can receive a Finnish personal ID-code at the same time as the permit is issued or the right of residence is registered.

If you have not received personal ID-code when applying for a residence permit or when registering as an EU-citizen in Finland, you can apply for that when you register your residence at the Local Register Office.

Remember to inform also Learning Services of your school at Aalto so that your personal ID-code can be updated in the student register.

 Notification of move

You should make a notification of move (muuttoilmoitus) within one week of your arrival in Finland. This can be done by filling out a form available at the Local Register Office (Maistraatti) or at post office (Posti). If you register your residence at Maistraatti, it is easiest to fill out the notification of move at the same time.

Exchange students who move to Finland only on temporary basis do not need to register at Maistraatti, but they must remember to make the notification of move e.g by filling out the form available at post offices. This is to inform Posti about your address in Finland.

Remember to make a notification of move if you later on move inside Finland and also when you leave Finland.

Please remember to update any changes in your contact information also to the university’s database. You can do this online in the student register system WebOodi.