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Study in Finland: Student Visas & Permits

May 23, 2017
Birds-eye view of Helsinki

Depending on where you are from, you may or may not have to get a student visa (student residence permit) to be able to study in Finland. It’s also important to note that Finnish student residence permits are typically granted for the entire duration of your studies.

Nordic students

Students hailing from Sweden, Norway, Iceland or Denmark can reside, study and work in Finland without limitations, though it will still be necessary to register with local authorities.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

Citizens of EU/EEA countries don’t need to apply for a visa or residence permit before arriving in the country and can register for the right of residence once in the country.

Non-EU/EEA students

Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries may have to apply for both a travel visa and a student residence permit at their nearest Finnish embassy or consulate or online before arriving in Finland. If you’re not sure if you need a visa to enter Finland, contact the Finnish embassy nearest to you.

To apply for a permit, you must have been admitted into a higher education institute beforehand. Also you will need to fulfil other student residence permit requirements, for example insurance and means of support. This residence permit allows you to work up to 30 hours a week during the school year. If your work is a part your degree (for example, practical training or thesis work) then there is no hourly restriction.

If you'd like to come to Finland conduct research, and/or prepare a Doctoral dissertation, you should apply for the residence permit for scientific research.

Learn more about student permits at and Study in Finland.

Find a program

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Working during your studies in Finland

Student jobs are a valuable part and experience of a student's life before entering the labor market. Similarly most universities allow students to work part time either in the evenings or during weekends. Moreover, most students try to find work during the summer, from June to late August.

Students who are citizens of Nordic or EEA countries need no special permits for working in Finland. Other international students can work within certain limits on a residence permit granted for studying if the work is practical training included in the degree or if the amount of part-time work does not exceed 30 hours a week.

In order to find the best jobs in the city you will live in, the best advice is to show initiative and network. Moreover, Finland may have different customs to finding a job and it is best advised to get acquainted to it in order to have a better chance to securing a job.

Career services at Finnish universities should be your first point of contact in order to find potential employers. Universities have links with the corporate world and they can provide the best introduction for international students.

After your studies

After you've graduated, you can apply for a two-year residence permit for job-seeking or for starting a business. These are available to you for five years after graduation.

You can also apply for a permanent residence permit, if:

  • you have lived in Finland for four years on a continuous valid visa;
  • you have found employment after your graduation. 


Finland is known as one of Europe’s most modern, most innovative countries, and its educational system is world-renowned!

Education System

Want to learn about how higher education works in Finland? A popular destination for international students given its high-quality public and private education and fascinating Nordic culture, take a minute to dive into Finland’s higher education system!

Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Finland.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Finland may vary. While European students can study for free, international students are expected to pay tuition fees in Finland. But there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available to help fund your study abroad journey. Read more here!

Language & Culture

One of the Nordic countries, Finland’s culture is rooted in it’s stark and beautiful natural environment. Find out more about what it means to live in Finland as an international student!

Application Process

All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a higher education institution. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in Finland and what you need to apply to the institution of your choice.


Ready to look for study programs in Finland? Use our search engine to find and compare programs from top universities in Finland today!

The content of this country guide has been developed in partnership with Study in Finland.

About Study in Finland

Study in Finland logo

Study in Finland is the official starter's guide for international students interested in the opportunities Finland offers in higher education. Study in Finland is operated by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

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The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.