The happiest country in the world in 2019 and 2020? Yes, Finland, a Nordic country with more than 40 institutions of higher education and 20.000 international students will be a good place to continue your studies. Being one of the most innovative and modern EU countries, the education system has gained a worldwide reputation. Social innovation, wise governance, and functional solutions in business sound like better employment opportunities after your course gets finished. If you have made up your mind to continue your education in Finland, you might need a Finland student visa.
In this blog, we will explain whether you need a student visa to Finland or not, requirements, application, validity, fees, FAQs, etc.
Finland Student Visa
With a Finland student visa, you can study in this country for up to 90 days. If you want to study in Finland, the first point to know is the difference between:
- Student visa
- Residence Permit
Finland student visa is a short-stay permit for foreigners who wish to study in Finland for up to 90 days. In case you want to take a short-term course in Finland, the student visa is for you.
International students who want to study in Finland for longer than 90 days, have to apply for a Finland student Residence Permit. If you got accepted to a full-time course in Finland, then a student Residence Permit is for you.
Who Needs and Does not Need a Finland Student Visa?
The answer depends on your nationality and the duration of your stay. It might seem a bit complicated. It becomes clear when we explain everything by your nationality.
Students of Nordic Countries
Students from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden can study and work in Finland without limitations. But they have to register with the local authorities.
Students from EU/EEA/Switzerland
The students from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland can apply for a residence permit to study and work when they arrive in Finland. They also have to register with the local authorities as well. The citizens of the mentioned countries don’t need a visa for short stays (up to 90 days) in Finland.
If your nationality needs a Finland short-stay visa, then you NEED a student visa. It is true even if your course takes less than 90 days. You must get a Student Residence Permit when your course takes longer than 90 days.
In case your nationality does not require a Finland short-stay visa, you won’t need a Finland student visa when your course takes less than 90 days. But if your course takes longer than 90 days, you have to apply for a Student Residence Permit.
The Requirements for Finland Student Visa
Once you know you need a Finland student visa, you should start collecting the requirements. It could take some of your time. So it’s wise to start it soon. The required documents for a Finland student visa is as follows:
The official acceptance letter
A Certificate from a Finnish university or institute. It must indicate your acceptance to the Finish university and the details of your course and stay.
A valid passport
It must be valid over the three months you will get back from Finland. It must also get issued in the past ten years. Having two blank pages is mandatory to stick the visa on it.
You can receive it from the Finish embassy, consulate, or visa center authorized to apply to.
Proof to have enough funds
You must have at least 560 EUR per month to study in Finland. You should provide a copy of your bank statements or bank records with enough funds for the duration of your stay. They must show you have enough funds available in your account. If you are an exchange student, you must have enough funds for the duration of your stay in your account.
If you have a tuition waiver or scholarship, you must provide the appropriate documents. Please note that the Finnish authorities won’t accept shared or joint accounts or bank statements from your parents.
Proof to have health insurance
The health insurance you purchase must cover all your medical expenses in Finland and all the other 26 Schengen states.
You should be in good mental and physical health conditions
The applicant couldn’t have any type of contagious disease.
A clean criminal record
You must prove that you will leave Finland when your studies get finished. If you have lived in a foreign country for longer than six months, you might have to provide a clean record from that country as well.
Provide university or education certificates.
You must not have been refused entry into Finland previously.
Details of paid tuition fees or any scholarships
If your documents are not in Finnish, Swedish, or English, you should have them translated by a certified translator.
Proof to have paid the processing fee:
- Paper application 330 EUR
- Electronic application 300 EUR
Cover letter. It is from you to the Finnish governments stating:
- The reason you want to study in Finland
- The number of institutions or universities you applied to
- The reason you have chosen a particular institute or university
Civil status proof
It can include the birth certificate of children, marriage certificate, etc.
Application Process for a Finland Student Visa
The application process for Finland student visa is as follows;
1. Acceptance letter
The first step to applying for a Finland student visa or residence permit is to get an official acceptance letter from a Finnish university or education center. Please note that if you have to get a Finland residence permit, you have to apply for it before you arrive in Finland.
2. Application form
Based on the country you live in, you can apply at:
- Finnish embassy or consulate
- A visa center authorized by the Finnish government.
- If the two options not available in your country, you can apply at a Finnish embassy, consulate, or visa center in a neighboring country.
You should download the Finland student visa application form from the Finnish embassy. Please note that the information you fill in must be the same as your documents. Concentrate on what you write. Then print, sign, and date it.
3. Gathering the requirements
As we explained above, there are required documents for a Finland residence permit or student visa. Collect everything, and don’t take anything easy. Please note that the Finnish authorities are strict with their immigration laws. Even one small fault could lead to a visa denial.
4. Visa appointment
You have to schedule an appointment with the Finnish embassy or consulate. When the time comes, you should attend it in person. It would be better to wear something a bit formal. Please don’t forget to bring the application and requirements. You should submit all of them to the Finnish authorities.
5. Pay fees
You should pay the fee for your application process. The fee for a Finland student visa is 300 EUR. But the fee is subject to change. You may have to pay less or more.
You should also provide your biometric data, fingerprints, and digital photo to the Finnish officials during the appointment.
In the end, you should go through an interview. The Finnish visa officer will ask you a few questions about your background, education, family, the purpose of your visit to Finland, etc. Please try to be honest, friendly, and strong. The future of your visa depends on this interview.
8. Wait for the processing
Now is the time for patience. You should wait until your application gets processed. The processing time for a Finland student visa is different and subject to different factors.
If your application gets approved, they will send you the visa to your address. If it gets denied, the officials will send you a letter explaining the reason.
Please note that in some cases, when you apply for a Finland residence permit, you might get it when you arrive in Finland.
How Long is the Finland Student visa Valid For?
The Finland residence permit or student visa validity depends on your study course. If you get a short-stay student visa, it is valid for 90 days. The Finland residence permit is often valid for one or two years. If the validity is one year and your course takes longer, you have to extend it.
Finland Student Visa Processing Time
The processing time for Finland student visa depends on:
- Your case.
- Political circumstances of your country or region.
- The Finnish embassy workload.
The processing time can take from 15 days to three months. So it’s wise to apply sooner. If your documents are complete and have done everything carefully, the required time shouldn’t get long.
Extending Finland Student visa
If you want to know if you can extend a Finland student visa or not, the answer is YES. If your study course takes longer, you can extend it to complete your education.
Please note that if you want to extend your visa, you should be in Finland. If you apply from abroad, your application will be considered the first, and the officials will charge you a fee.
When your study course gets finished, you can extend your residence permit for a year to look for a job. But remember to do it before your current Finland residence permit gets expired. When you get a job in Finland, you can apply for a new residence permit based on your new status.
Can You Bring Your Dependents With a Finland student visa?
YES, but your children or spouse has to apply for their visa. You can submit your application together to save time and get processed as a family. Please note that you have to prove to have enough funds to cover your family expenses in Finland.
Can You Work Under a Finland student visa?
When you enter the country with a Finland residence permit or student visa, you have the right to work for 25 hours per week. But your job mustn’t interfere with your studies. You have to make good progress in your studies to be able to stay in Finland. When your study course gets finished, you can apply for a one-year residence permit to look for a job or start a new business.
Do You Have to Buy Health Insurance for a Finland student visa?
YES. You have to buy health insurance valid in Finland and the whole Schengen state. It must cover your medical expenses for 30.000 EUR.
Let’s sum up …
In this blog, we explained all you need to know about a Finland student visa or Finland residence permit.
We covered if you need a student visa or not, requirements, application, fees, validity, costs, FAQs, etc.
You can check the Visa Library to find more information about other countries’ visas.
In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences as comments is a great help for applicants.