Easy Step by Step Procedures to get Finland Student Visa
With a good number of ‘International Students friendly’ Universities and Colleges, Finland is a place to study in. But before applying and securing admission in a Finnish higher Institution, it is pertinent to have a complete understanding of the whole process.
One of these processes is procuring a Finland Student Visa and it is undertaken after securing admission into your Finland school of choice.
Types of Student Visa in Finland
A student who wants to stay and study in Finland, but is not a citizen of Finland, will require either a student visa or a student residence permit. These are the two types of Finland student Visa.
Finland student visa is a temporary, short-term permit that is issued to a foreign student who wants to stay and study in Finland for a maximum of 90 days (3 months). This is suitable for foreign students who plan to take a short-term language course in Finland or want to appear in an entrance examination
Finland student residence permit is issued to a foreign student to wants to stay and study in Finland for duration of more than 90 days (3 months). Normally, Finland residence permits for students are granted for one year at a time. This is suitable for those foreign students who have been accepted in full term degree courses in Finland.
However, citizens of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark) have the right to live and study in Finland without applying for a residence permit. Though they will still have to register with the local authorities, especially if their degree takes more than 90 days.
Usually, the student residence permit is valid for one year, so, if you intend to stay longer, you will have to apply for an extension at the local Police station.
Eligibility Criteria for Finland Student Visa or Residence Permit
You must fulfil the following conditions to qualify for Finland Student Visa or Residence Permit:
- Provide the official letter of acceptance issued by your Finnish higher institution of choice.
- A valid passport which must have a validity that exceeds the duration of the visa or residence permit you are applying for by at least 3 months. Also, this passport must have been issued within the previous 10 years.
- A copy of your completed and signed application form.
- Provide proof of your financial ability, enough to support you financially during your entire period of study in Finland and as well cater for your return transportation. Presently, a student’s cost of living in Finland stands at EUR 560 per month. This translates to a minimum of EUR 6720 per year.
- Provide a recent statement of your financial situation from your bank that shows you have at least EUR 6720 in your bank account. Students undertaking degree courses in Finland must have funds for one year at a time, while Exchange Students must have funds for the entire duration of their stay in Finland. If you do not have the above-mentioned amount in your account, you must provide a written evidence of having received a stipend or scholarship or have been selected for benefits to be provided by your educational institute.
- Provide proof of having obtained valid health and medical insurance that covers the entire duration of your stay in Finland.
- Be in good physical and mental health and free from any kind of contagious disease.
- Have no criminal record.
- Have not been previously refused entry into Finland.
- Intend to leave Finland at the end of your authorized stay
Note: Bank statements of applicant’s parents or a shared or joint account will not be accepted for Finland student visa or residence permit.
Steps by Step Procedure to Acquiring Finland Student Residence Permit
As a starting point, you can apply for a residence permit at the embassy or representative office in your country. You can also apply online, but you will still need to visit the local embassy to verify your identity and submit copies of other documents you might need during the application process.
If your home country doesn’t have a Finland embassy, you can always find the country’s representatives using the link: http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?nodeId=49572&contentlan=2&culture=en-US
You must apply for student residence permit before you arrive in Finland.n Here are the BAsic Finland Student Visa Requirements and Procedures
Step 1: Get the residence permit application form
Your first step is to obtain the residence permit application form here using the link: http://www.migri.fi/download/15087_OLE_OPI_En.pdf?3a3e7bda7bdbd188. It is downloadable.
Step 2: Fill up the residence permit application form
Fill out the details required in the residence permit application form carefully. After filling, you can submit it electronically, here: https://e-asiointi.migri.fi/eServices/FrontPage.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2feServices&lang=en or take a printed copy to the Finland Embassy or Consulate in your home country for submission.
Step 3: Gather the required documents for residence permit application
Make a checklist of the documents to be submitted along with your application form at the Finland Embassy or Consulate. Gather all the documents and keep them ready for submission.
Step 4: Provide photograph for your residence permit application
A recent colour photograph is required for the residence permit application. Make sure that your selected photograph matches or corresponds to all the specifications required for residence permit photographs.
Ensure that your photograph is not more than 6 months old. It is advisable to take a new photograph.
Step 5: Check the residence permit application fee
Confirm the fees required for processing your residence permit application and keep it ready along with your visa application form. The fee charged for electronic submission is less than that charged for direct submission at the Finland embassy or consulate.
Step 6: Submit your residence permit application form
Gather all the completed documents in the previous steps and submit at the Finland Embassy or Consulate nearest to you. Make sure to submit your application during office hours and in person.
NOTE: Even if you have submitted your application electronically, you will have to still visit the Finland Embassy or Consulate nearest to you to verify your identity and present the original copies of the documents needed for the application to be processed.
A Finland student residence permit application cannot be processed until the applicant visits the embassy, regardless of whether the application has been submitted electronically or at the embassy itself.
Step 7: Provide your biometric data
At the Finnish Embassy or Consulate, you will be requested to provide your biometric data. This are personal data. Your fingerprints will be taken by the Embassy officials.
Also, this step is applicable for all applicants, regardless of whether they have submitted their residence permit application electronically or in person at the embassy.
Step 8: Pay required residence permit application fee
Check with the Finland Embassy or Consulate regarding the current processing fee for the residence permit and the mode of payment accepted by them, then make your payment.
In the case of electronic application, the processing fee will be charged via the electronic service.
Step 9: Collect your residence permit card
After your residence permit is issued, you will be notified regarding the issuance. You can collect your residence permit card in person or have it sent to you.
Required Fees for Finland Residence Permit for Students
- Fees for Finland Residence Permit for Studies (for application on paper) – EUR 330
- Fees for Finland Residence Permit for Studies (for electronic application) – EUR 300
- Your application fee will not be refunded if your application for a residence permit is refused or rejected for any reason.
- The visa application fee is subject to change at any time.