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finland student visa and dependent visa requirements

finland student visa and dependent visa requirements

Finland Student Visa: A Comprehensive Guide for International Students

Finland is renowned for having one of the best education systems in the world, with nearly half of its population holding a higher degree.”It comes as no surprise that Finland provides an extensive array of study programs, and it offers free tuition fees to its residents and students hailing from the EU.” Even for international students, the tuition fee is very affordable, and thanks to Finland’s equal opportunities policy, third-country nationals can enjoy the same rights as any student.
Nevertheless, if you are a third-country national, it is highly probable that you will require a student visa for Finland to pursue your studies in the country.

“Is a Visa Required for Studying in Finland?”

Third-country nationals, meaning individuals who are not from the Schengen Area, the EEA/EU, the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, or any other country with a visa agreement with Finland, require a visa to study in Finland. Students who can study in Finland without a visa can do so for a maximum of 90 days. If their study program lasts longer, they must register as temporary residents in Finland until they complete their studies.

Finland Student Visa Requirements

To apply for a Finland student visa, you need to submit the following documents:

  1. Valid Passport: Your passport should have been issued within the last 10 years and be valid for at least three months after your intended departure from Finland.
  2. Identity Picture: A recent identity picture adhering to the Schengen visa photo rules.
  3. Copy of Passport’s Bio Page: Finland now requires applicants to attach a copy of their passport’s bio page.
  4. “Documenting Your Enrollment: You are required to furnish proof of your acceptance into a study program at a university in Finland.”
  5. Health Insurance: International student health insurance covering all medical emergencies and valid during your stay in Finland.
  6. Sufficient Financial Means: You must have at least €560 in your personal bank account per month to cover your expenses during your studies.
  7. Proof of Paid Tuition Fee: Include a certificate proving that you have paid your tuition fee, or provide evidence of sufficient financial means to cover the fee.
  8. Evidence of Scholarship: If you have a scholarship covering your tuition fee, provide a certificate as proof of financial support.
  9. Civil Status Documents: Relevant documents such as birth certificate, marriage license, divorce license, adoption paper, etc.
  10. Previous certificate “Not Mandatory for Degree and Exchange Students: Previous certificate degrees are not obligatory for students pursuing a degree or participating in an exchange program.”

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a student visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Enrollment at a University in Finland: Apply for your study program before applying for the visa.
  2. No Travel Bans for the Schengen Area: Ensure you have no travel bans that could hinder your visa application.
  3. No Criminal Charges: Applicants with criminal charges may face visa application rejection.
  4. No Danger to Finland and Its Interests: Demonstrating your intentions to abide by the country’s laws and regulations is essential.

Please note that the Finnish authorities may request additional documents if needed.

How to Apply for a Finland Student Visa?

The application process for a Finland student visa involves the following steps:

  1. Apply for University: Research and apply to a university in Finland that offers your desired study program.
  2. Apply for a Student Visa: Upon receiving your acceptance letter, apply for a student visa. You need a residence permit on the basis of studying. You can do this by creating a user account on the Finnish Immigration Office’s website and filling out the appropriate application form.
  3. Go to a Local Finnish Mission: After submitting your online application, visit the nearest Finnish embassy or consulate to prove your identity and submit your fingerprints. Pay the application fee during this visit.
  4. Wait for an Answer: The Finnish Immigration Office prioritizes student applications, and the processing time is generally between 1 to 3 months.
  5. Go to Finland: If your application is approved, you will receive your residence card at the embassy. You can then travel to Finland and register with the local Immigration Office.

How Much Does a Finland Student Visa Cost?

The cost of a Finland student visa depends on the application method:

  • The fee for the online application: €350
  • The fee for the paper application: €450

How Long Is a Finland Student Visa Valid?

A Finland student visa is typically valid for two years. However, if your study program lasts less than two years, the visa will be valid only for the duration of your studies.

Extending the Finland Student Visa

If your study program takes longer than anticipated, you can extend your student permit until you finish your studies.

Can I Bring My Family Members With Me?

“Certainly, you have the option to bring along your family members.” Your family can apply for a residence permit based on family ties. If they are employed, they can switch to a resident permit based on work.

Can I Work With a Finland Student Visa?

Students with a Finland student visa can work if their job is related to their degree. However, for other jobs, they are allowed to work only 25 hours per week during the semester.

Can I Stay After I Graduate?

Yes, international students can stay in Finland after completing their study program through various options:

  • Work Visa: If you find a job after graduation, you can apply for a work visa based on employment.
  • Job-Seekers Visa: If you wish to stay and work in Finland without a job offer, you can apply for a job-seekers visa that allows you to stay for one year while searching for employment. Once you find a job, you must apply for a regular work permit.
  • Researcher Visa: If you intend to work within a research project or at a research center, you can apply for a researcher visa.


“Transitioning from a Student Visa to a Work Visa”

If you secure a job in Finland after graduation, you can switch your student visa to a work visa or a researcher visa, depending on your field of interest. The work visa is typically valid for a year but can be extended with a valid job.

Can I Get Permanent Residency via a Student Visa?

The student visa is not valid for permanent residency. To obtain permanent residency, you must have lived as a regular resident in Finland for approximately five years. To transition from a student visa to a work visa, you should have a job, internship, research project, or other opportunities lined up after graduation.


FAQ

1. Do I need a visa to study in Finland?

Yes, third-country nationals require a visa to study in Finland unless they are from the Schengen Area, the EEA/EU, the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, or any country with a visa agreement with Finland.

2. How long is a Finland student visa valid?

A Finland student visa is valid for two years. If your study program lasts less than two years, the visa will be valid for the duration of your studies.

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