Residence Permit and Visa

Some international students coming to the University of Lapland may need to acquire a residence permit to pursue studies that last over a period of 3 months or a visa if your studies will take less than three months (for example in order to participate in an entrance examination). You can study for three months without a visa or residence permit if you are a citizen of a visa-free country. More information can be found on Finnish Immigration Service's website (link on the right side bar).

Depending on your nationality, a residence permit may also be needed for short stays of less than three months if the purpose of the stay is to work in Finland . There are some exceptions to the general rule for residence permits that concern citizens of the Nordic countries and EU/EEA countries. People holding residence permits may reside and travel in Finland while the permit is valid. They may also change their place of residence, or leave the country and enter it again.

Do I need to obtain a residence permit?
Residence permit and income
Extending the Residence permit (for current degree students)
EU/EEA citizens registering their right to reside in Finland
Mandatory Insurance
Finnish Personal Identity Code

To determine if you are required to obtain a residence permit / visa for your studies, please consult the categories listed below:

1. If you are a citizen of the Nordic countries, you need not apply for a residence permit but must complete a notice of removal (muuttoilmoitus) if your stay in Finland lasts more than three months. Please see also HalloNorden! information pages and for more details.

2. If you are a citizen of another EU/EEA country, you do not need a residence permit, but you do need to register your right to reside in Finland if you plan to stay in Finland for more than three months non stop. You can do the registration at the local police station in Rovaniemi within 90 days of your arrival to Finland. See Finnish Police’s information on permits and licences for foreigners.

3. If you are a citizen from outside the Nordic and the EEA countries and intend to stay in Finland for more than three months (90 days), you need a residence permit. It should be acquired before your arrival in Finland at the nearest Finnish embassy or consulate. Please have a look at the Finnish Immigration Service's (Migri) website for more details, and also see the contact information of Finnish missions abroad on the right side of this page. Migri also has a good checklist for student residence permit applicants, so we recommend that you take a look at that as well.

Residence permit for Doctoral students 

If you are coming to Finland for postgraduate studies (licentiate/doctor’s degree) AND
you receive financial compensation such as salary, a grant or a scholarship from an
official institution in Finland or abroad:
you need a residence permit based on SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
- For more useful information go to:

If you are coming to Finland for postgraduate studies (licentiate/doctor’s degree) AND
you are funding your stay with your own funds:
- you need a residence permit based on STUDYING
- For more useful information go to:

E-Service for foreigners' permits
A student granted a place of study in a Finnish educational institute may now submit an application for a residence permit electronically online. See detailed information by clicking the picture on the right side bar.

Residence permit and income

In order to receive a residence permit, you must have sufficient funds to support living in Finland. The amount of funds required from students is based on the cost of living in Finland.

A student must have access to:

• 6,720 euros per year, or
• 560 euros per each month you'll be staying in Finland.

You can prove your incomes by providing an account statement showing sufficient funds, or a stipend decision from an official source, such as the government or an educational institution. A sponsorship agreement provided by a private individual is not sufficient.

For more detailed information about the income requirements, please see the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) website.

Residence permit extension

Usually the first Residence permit is issued for one year. After one year of studies, the student must apply for a residence permit extension. Information on the progress of the studies must be included in the application.

Applications for extensions to residence permits are submitted to the police in the municipality of residence in Finland prior to the expiry of the existing residence permit. Contact your local police department to find out which service point in the area provides licence services.

As a rule, the police will decide upon the granting of extensions to permits, irrespective of where the application was submitted. The police issue a new fixed-term residence permit if the criteria on which the previous fixed-term residence permit was issued to a foreign citizen are still valid.

To apply for a new fixed-term residence permit, you will need:

* the appropriate form (OLE_OPI)
* a passport
* information on the student's means of support
* information on health insurance
* a certificate of attendance from a Finnish educational institution
* information on the progress of studies (study attainments)
* 2 photographs

Always check the latest information and required documents on extension on the Police's Internet Service.

EU/EEA citizens registering their right to reside in Finland

The following documents are required for the registration of EEA member countries’ citizens at Rovaniemi police station:

* valid passport
* two photographs
* study certificate from the University of Lapland
* proof of funds or scholarship to cover expenses in Finland (i.e. EUR 560 / month)
* certificate detailing social security in the student’s home country. For citizens of the EU, the European Health Insurance Card is recommended.

Always check the latest information and required documents on the Police's Internet Service.

Contact information for Rovaniemi police station
Hallituskatu 1-3
FI-96100 Rovaniemi
Tel. + 358 (0)71 876 6227
Fax. + 358 (0)71 876 6300

Mandatory Insurance

The University of Lapland’s policy on student insurance requires that all international students obtain their own insurance, and that the coverage be valid for the entire duration of the student’s stay at the university.

This means that a student must have an insurance policy or equivalent documentation which states his/her personal information and the period of validity of the insurance (i.e. equivalent documentation means the social security arrangements agreed upon between the EU/EEA countries). The insurance must cover medical care and personal injury, and should also contain liability coverage for loss or damage.

Please see more information on the requirements and options for your insurance on the Mandatory Insurance -pages

Finnish Personal Identity Code

From 01.12.2014 all international students who study at a Finnish higher education institute for longer than 3 moths are, by law, required to have a Finnish personal identity code: In accordance with the law (484/2013), student data contained in the student registers of institutions of higher education is to be stored in the national data warehouse for higher education (higher education achievement register VIRTA).

- Non-EU/EEA member state citizens: When you apply for a residence permit, please ask to be registered in the Finnish Population Information System. By doing so, you will receive a Finnish personal identity code already before arrival. For more information see the Finnish Immigration Service webpage.

- EU/EEA, Lichtenstein and Switzerland citizens: When you register your right to reside in Finland at the local police station, please ask to be registered in the Finnish Population Information System.

When you have received your Finnish Personal Identity Code, please remember to inform it to the Student Services!


The University of Lapland only provides the above information as general guidance regarding residence permits and visa issues and is in no way responsible for official rules and regulations regarding their distribution. As immigration policy is subject to change, all international applicants should consult the  Finnish Immigration Service for up-to-date information regarding residence permits and the rules and regulations concerning them.