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Before arrival


 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 the info bulletin provided by Migri (linkki) 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.

  • 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 also be issued a 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 ask for the registration at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency after you have arrived in Finland (see section "after arrrival"). More information on the personal ID code in section "after arrival".

 Health insurance

University does not provide health insurance for foreign students. As FSHS (Finnish Student Health Services) only provides basic health care services (and does not perform medical operations or have emergency services) please make sure that you have a valid health insurance. The costs of treatment at a hospital may rise to several hundreds or even thousands of euros if you need hospital care or laboratory tests. The university is not responsible for any payments or arrangements.

Options for insurance coverage

You can search for options e.g. from MIGRI's website. If considering other options, remember to make sure that the insurance fulfills the necessary requirements.

Students from non- EU/EEA countries

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries are required to have valid health insurance already at the time when applying for the residence permit for Finland. This is a compulsory requirement for obtaining residence permit for studies lasting more than three months. The same requirement applies for both degree-seeking and exchange/free-mover students. Students from Quebec, Canada are exempted from the health insurance requirement.

Health insurance must fulfill certain requirements, depending on the length of your studies in Finland.

  • If your studies take at least two years (four semesters or more), your insurance must cover pharmaceutical expenses up to EUR 40 000.
  • If your studies take less than two years (less than four semesters), your insurance must cover medical expenses up to EUR 120 000.
  • You must have insurance for your entire stay in Finland. Your insurance must be valid at the time of your arrival in Finland. Take out a one-year insurance policy if you intend to study in Finland for one year or longer. Be sure to renew your insurance prior to expiry.

Students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland

Citizens of EU/EEA-countries are entitled to medical care while staying temporarily in another EU/EEA-country. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) serves as a proof of the entitlement. By presenting the card you can use the services of the municipal health care centres, and in case of emergency, you are entitled to the same benefits with the same costs as local residents. You should make sure you have the EHIC card with you when arriving in Finland.

It is strongly recommended to have also a private insurance as an additional security. Please note that the individual systems of the EU countries and practices surrounding the use of the EHIC card may vary.


 Documents

EU-citizens: European Health Insurance Card, letter of acceptance from Aalto, proof of financial means to support your studies (for example Certificate of your Erasmus grant), few passport-sized photographs, prescriptions if you are on medication and some euros (cash).

Non-EU Citizens: Proof of health insurance, letter of acceptance from Aalto, proof of financial means to support your studies, few passport-sized photographs, prescriptions if you are on medication and some euros (cash).

 Accommodation
  • Please ensure you have a place to stay before arriving to Finland, as the university does not have any emergency housing or guest rooms. Hotels are expensive and may be fully booked at the time, and finding a more permanent place to stay may take a while.
  • Find out how, where and when to get the keys to your accommodation and who to contact, as most housing offices close early (around 4.00pm on weekdays) and are unlikely to be open at weekends.
  • Please check the details of your housing carefully before arrival, as student housing may not have furniture, electricity, bedding or cutlery when you arrive, and it may take a while to get these things arranged (and this may also affect your budget).
 One-off expenses to consider
  • Travelling with a taxi from the airport may cost up to 60 euros (please check the exact fare from the driver before the trip).
  • Staying in a hotel even for a few days may cost you a month’s rent as the capital region is often very busy in the autumn and most places are fully booked.
  • Depending on your housing arrangements you may need to spend money on furniture, transport, bedding, cutlery and so on, so please ensure you check from your housing provider beforehand what is included and budget realistically for the missing things.
  • Please check the Financial Matters page for estimates of how to plan your budget.
 Who to contact and where to go when you arrive
  • The first priority upon arrival is to get the keys to your accommodation, so please ensure that you know how, when and where to get the keys from your housing provider (please note that the HOAS office, for example is in Helsinki, not on the Otaniemi campus).
  • Your school-specific orientation materials guide you when to arrive at the campus, where to go and what time.
  • If you arrive before or after orientation, you can start by visiting the Starting Point to find out where to go on the campus (please check the opening times before your visit).
  • Please note that the campus does not have any guest rooms or 24-hour reception, so if you arrive late in the evening or at night because of a delayed flight or some such, it is perfectly safe to stay in the airport for the night, although this is usually not very comfortable option (there is a selection of hotels around the airport, but they may be expensive).
  • Each school has its own student tutor or tutors, who help out the new students in practical matters related to arrival and student life. Tutors familiarize new students with studies and welcome them into the academic community at Aalto. Student associations and student guilds will be introduced also. More information about tutoring can be found at the Student Union website. 

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, 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, must apply for registration of EU citizen’s right of residence if their stay lasts for longer than three months. The application for the registration must be submitted within three months of the day of the arrival.

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 long and in September there may not be time slots available any more.

When your right of residence is registered, your personal information will be recorded in the Finnish Population Information System and you will receive a personal identity code.

 Registering residence, citizens of Nordic countries

Citizens of the Nordic countries do not need a residence permit but upon arrival in Finland, must make a notification of move and register in the Finnish Population Information system at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency of their place of residence. Please note that you must personally visit the agency office. In connection with the registration, you will receive a personal identity code

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 granted 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 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. The 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. If you get any salary or scholarship from Finland, personal ID-code is required to enable payments.

When you are granted a residence permit you should automatically get the personal ID-code. When you 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 the 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 with the residence permit or when registering as an EU citizen in Finland, you can apply for it 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 must remember to make the notification of move, for example 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.