Finland is known for its happy people, natural sceneries, and top-notch health system. For decades, this country has had a high set of living standards, making it an excellent option for studies. Finland offers quality education to everyone, opening a lot of learning opportunities for them.
If you want to study in Finland, you’ll be needing a student visa to stay for more than 90 days in the country. This document has a long processing time, so you need to plan to maximize your time applying for a Finland student visa. Of course, we want to enter Finland before starting our classes to make room for adjustments in our new country.
In this article, we will discuss what you should know about getting a student visa in Finland, including the costs, steps, and documents needed. We’ll discuss them one by one as you prepare for your studies in Finland.
What documents do you need to apply for a student visa in Finland?
Before discussing the requirements, let’s clarify the terms that we will be using. First, a visa is a travel document permitting you to enter this country for 90 days or less in Finland. So, regardless of your travel purpose, you need to get a visa to enter Finland.
On the other hand, a residence permit will allow you to stay in Finland for two years, and it has a specific type, which is the student residence permit. Now, to sum up, if you’re only taking short courses (lesser than 90 days), you only need a visa, but if you’re taking up bachelor’s or graduate programs, you’ll need a residence permit.
In this article, we will be discussing the residence permit. Here are the documents that you should prepare before you apply for a residence permit:
- A valid passport with copies of passport pages that have notes inside.
- Passport sized pictures
- Completed application form (online or printable)
- A letter of acceptance from a Finish Educational institution
- Proof of paid tuition fee or scholarship
- Health insurance
- Proof of financial support (You must have at least EUR 560 monthly as a deposit, and if you’re going to stay for two years, you need to show an amount of EUR 13,440)
- Certificates from previous work and school
Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students
How much money do you need for Finland’s Student Visa?
The student residence permit can be applied and processed electronically or by paper. The electronic application fee is EUR 350, while the paper application fee is EUR 450.
Steps on Applying for a Student Visa in Finland
If you’re from the EEA/EU area and countries with an agreement with Finland, you don’t need to apply for a residence permit. For specific details for these citizens, you may check the official website of the Finnish Immigration Services.
If your country is not on the list, you need to apply for a Finland student visa as well as a residence permit.
1. Be admitted to a Finnish educational institution
Since one of the requirements needed is a certificate of admission in a Finnish institution, you need to be accepted into your chosen program and school. If you’re already accepted, kindly secure your tuition fee payments, certificate of admission, and other related documents.
If you haven’t chosen your Finnish school yet, 35 universities and colleges are open. For example, the University of Helsinki is the largest educational institution in the country, and it is located in the capital of Finland. Other universities, such as Aalto University, the University of Turku, and the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences have an excellent academic reputation in the country and globally.
2. Complete the application forms with the documents needed
You need to fill the application form digitally or by paper for your student visa in Finland. If you chose digitally, you could start your application on their website. On the other hand, if you answer the form by paper, you’ll submit your application with the attached documents and submit them to the Finnish embassy near you.
The application form has six parts (SECTION A to F). Kindly complete all the information and documents needed by the Finnish Immigration Services.
3. Book an appointment.
You need to book an appointment regardless of whether you apply online or by paper. The goal of your visit there is to prove your identity. You can look, contact and book an appointment in your respective Finnish embassies here.
4. Pay the application fee
After submitting the application forms and booking an appointment, you can now pay the Finland student visa application fee. The amount is mentioned earlier, and you can pay via online banking or in cash if you apply by paper.
5. Attend your appointment
During your appointment, make sure to attend your interview on time to avoid delays. They will double-check the information you presented and check the original documents. Also, biometrics will be done.
6. Wait for a decision
The normal processing time for an online residence permit application is one to three months, while for the paper application, it may be slower, which is two to three months.
Additionally, it is not advisable to go to Finland while waiting for the results. If that happens, you need to apply again in Finland, give new documents, and settle new payments.
7. Get the results
After months of waiting, you can now get the results of your application. The Finnish embassy will deliver a call, text, or email stating the decision. If your application is granted, you’ll be able to fly to Finland with a resident permit.
If the student residence permit application is denied, you can still appeal for a new decision. Please be informed that instructions are stated on how to appeal when your application is denied. Usually, residence permits are denied because of the
8. Fly to Finland
After all the student residence permit applications, you’ll be able to book a flight and fly to Finland. Upon entering the country, kindly present the necessary documents such as your passport and residence permit.
After completing your studies, here’s the good news: the government of Finland gives a one year extension to your residence permit for job-seeking.
I hope that this article on applying for a student visa in Finland was helpful. If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.