This article provides detailed information on how to obtain a Finnish Student Visa. The Finnish higher education system is very much respected all over the world. 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 the whole administrative procedures you will have to go through.
Before applying for a Finnish student visa
You cannot put together an application for a visa/residence permit without being granted admission at a university, so it goes without saying that you will have to apply, get admitted, 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 you have no interest in these, you can always make an attempt to look for a university based on the field 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 post, we utilize the terms “student visa” and “residence permit” interchangeably. However, there are noteworthy 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 mandatory if you have the intention to remain or study in Finland for beyond 90 days
- only non-EU/EEA students are mandated to apply for a visa or a residence permit
International/Overseas students who are not required to apply for a visa/residence permit still are required to enrol with the local authorities, particularly if their degree takes beyond 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 put together an application online, with the use of 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.
Using an online application for the Finnish residence permit has its benefits:
- 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 credentials necessary for the Finnish Student Visa application
Here are some of the usual credentials that are required 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 presented credentials are not in English, Swedish, or Finnish, you will also have to present 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 putting together an application online, you have to go to the local embassy or consulate, to hand in originals and copies of the needed credentials and to authenticate 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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