Student residence permits and health insurance
Residence permit for studies
Students arriving from non-EU, non-EEA countries generally need to apply for a residence permit for their studies in Finland.
EU/EEA citizens do not need to apply for a residence permit, but have to register with the authorities upon arrival. For more details, please see the page on registering with the authorities.
If you are a doctoral student, please check the instructions on residence permits for doctoral studies.
Non-EU/non-EEA citizens must have a valid passport and will need to check at the local Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) whether a visa or a residence permit for Finland is required. The residence permits in Finland are issued by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri).
You can apply for a study-based continuous residence permit (type A) for the entire duration of your studies.
The application process takes time, so please apply for the residence permit immediately, and start making the arrangements for the compulsory visit to the Finnish mission. You should reserve at least two months, preferably more, for the application process. You need to have a valid residence permit before arriving in Finland and starting your studies.
When applying for a residence permit for studies, you can also choose to apply for a D visa. The D visa allows you to travel to Finland immediately after you have received a positive decision on your residence permit application. Please note that you need to also have the D visa sticker on your passport. In this case, your residence permit card will be delivered to you in Finland. You can give Aalto University's address if you don't have an address in Finland yet, as the card will be delivered to the closest DB Schenker collection point. More information on D visas on Migri's pages.
Please see more details on the residence permit application process below.
The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a residence permit for studies.
The residence permit process starts with an online application, includes the personal visit to the Finnish mission to e.g. prove your identity and give your biometrics, and ends when you receive your residence permit card. Bear in mind that there might not be a Finnish mission in the country of your legal residence; thus you might have to visit another country. Please check the Finnish mission operating in your legal residence from Finland Abroad.
As some Finnish missions are very busy during the height of the application season, it is important that you book an appointment as early as possible and arrange a visa for the visit, if necessary (i.e. if your visit is to a mission in another country). The processing time of the permit application is counted from the visit to the Finnish mission and not from the date of your submission of the online application.
When you are granted a residence permit, your personal information will automatically be recorded in Finland's Population Information System, and you will be issued a Finnish personal identity code. However, due to the residence permit processes in the Finnish missions at some localities (concerning at least the citizens of India and Pakistan), your information might not be registered in the Population Information System, or you might not get your Finnish personal identity code when you are issued your residence permit. In such cases, you need to apply for the registration and the personal identity code at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency after you have arrived in Finland. For more information, please see the instructions on how to apply for a municipality of residence.
- Read carefully the customer instructions provided by Migri. In addition, visit the Migri website for students to familiarise yourself with the application process and the application requirements.
- Check out Migri's step-by-step guide on how to apply for a residence permit for studies.
- When visiting the Finnish mission, make sure that you have your customer number and diary number with you. You can get these from EnterFinland.
- A common reason for delays in the residence permit application process is insufficient health insurance coverage. Please carefully read the insurance instructions by Migri.
- Another common reason for rejecting a residence permit application is lack of funding. Please carefully read the instructions by Migri regarding proof of funds.
- You need to prove your funding for the first year of studies at the time of the application.
- You are also required to have sufficient funding for the whole duration of the residence permit you are applying for, even though this does not need to be proved at the time of the application.
- Migri can monitor throughout your studies that the funding requirements are met.
- Migri processes all student applications as urgent and the university cannot influence the application process.
- From the date of the decision, the delivery of the residence permit card takes approximately two weeks. You should wait for it in the same country in which you submitted your application.
- The only exception is if you have applied for a D visa; then you can travel to Finland immediately after a positive decision has been made. Please note that you need to have the D visa sticker on your passport before travelling.
- If you are granted a continuous residence permit (type A), you will also receive a municipality of residence. More information about municipality of residence is available on the pages of the Digital and Population Data Service.
University does not provide health insurance for international students. Please make sure you have valid health insurance during your studies, as FSHS (the Finnish Student Health Service) only provide basic health care services, and do not perform medical operations or have emergency services.
Without proper insurance, the costs of treatment at a hospital may rise to several hundreds or thousands of euros if you need hospital care or laboratory tests. The university is not responsible for any payments or payment arrangements.
Citizens of non-EU/non-EEA countries are required to have valid health insurance already when applying for their residence permit for Finland. This is a compulsory requirement for obtaining a residence permit for studies lasting more than three months. The same requirement applies to both degree-seeking and exchange/free-mover students.
You can search the requirements and possible options for private health insurance from Migri's website. If you consider other options, make sure that the insurance fulfills the necessary requirements.
Please note that students with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or a Finnish Kela card do not need a private insurance when applying for a residence permit.
Citizens of EU/EEA countries are entitled to medical care while staying temporarily in another EU/EEA-country. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) serves as a proof of the entitlement. By presenting the card you can use the services of the municipal health care centres, and in case of emergency, you are entitled to the same benefits with the same costs as local residents. You should make sure you have the EHIC card with you when arriving in Finland.
It is strongly recommended to also have private insurance as an additional security. Please note that the individual systems of the EU countries and practices surrounding the use of the EHIC card may vary.