This article provides detailed information on how to obtain a Finnish Student Visa. The Finnish higher education system is highly esteemed globally. Schooling in universities or polytechnics (Universities of Applied Sciences – UAS) is free of charge for EU/EEA candidates, and it also offers a pulsating student life.
A lot of foreign students enrol in degree programs in Finland every year and enjoy the balanced schedule and interactive programs, but there are some things you must know about the Finnish Student Visa and all the administrative endeavours you will have to resolve.
Before applying for a Finnish student visa
You cannot make an application for a visa/residence permit without being admitted at a university, so it should go without saying that you will first need to apply, get accepted, and enrol at a university.
Some of the best schools in Finland are:
- University of Jyväskylä
- University of Eastern Finland
- Lappeenranta University of Technology
- Samara National Research University
If these don’t interest you, you can always try and look for a university based on the discipline you’re interested in. Some of the most famous study options in Finland are:
- Education in Finland
- IT in Finland
- Physics in Finland
Who needs a Finnish student visa and types of student visas
In this write-up, we make use of the terms “student visa” and “residence permit” interchangeably. Nonetheless, there are notable differences between the two documents:
- the visa might be required if you intend to remain or study in Finland for 90 days or less
- the residence permit is required if you intend to remain or study in Finland for more than 90 days
- only non-EU/EEA candidates are required to apply for a visa or a residence permit
Foreign students who don’t have to apply for a visa/residence permit still are required to register with the local authorities, particularly if their degree lasts more than 90 days to finish.
Tips on applying for the Finnish residence permit
To start, you can make an application for a residence permit at the embassy or representative office in your nation. You can also submit an application online, using the official Finnish Immigration Service.
But you will still be required to go to the local embassy to confirm your identity and submit copies of other credentials you might require during the application process.
Submitting an online application for the Finnish residence permit comes with its advantages:
- the processing for the electronic application is within 2-3 months, while the processing for the paper application takes up to 3 months
- the application fee for online application is 350 EUR, while the cost of the paper application fee is 450 EUR
The documents needed for the Finnish Student Visa application
These are some of the usual documents that are needed by all non-EU/EEA nationals:
- Completed application form
- Letter of admission from a Finnish higher education institution
- Evidence that you can finance yourself during your program. The least amount you are expected to have at your disposal is 560 EUR/month (6,720 EUR/year).
- A valid passport and a passport photo
- If the uploaded documents are not in English, Swedish, or Finnish, you will also require official translations
- Evidence that you made payment for the processing fee of 450 EUR (paper application)/350 EUR (online application)
- International student health insurance
After applying for the Finnish student visa
After applying online, you have to visit the local embassy or consulate, to submit originals and copies of the requested credentials and to verify your identity.
You will have your fingerprints captured. This is also a part of the registration procedure that will take place after you arrive in Finland, irrespective of your nation of origin.
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