Before coming to Finland there are certain preparations the student should undertake before leaving the home country. The student should contact the closest Finnish Embassy or Consulate to find out which kind of entry permits might be needed in order to travel and study in Finland. All foreigners except citizens of the Nordic countries and the citizens of the Schengen agreement countries need a valid passport. Depending on your nationality and the length of your stay in Finland, you may need a visa or a residence permit.
Citizens of EU/EEA countries
Citizens the EU and European Economic Area countries, that is the member countries of the European Union and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, do not need to apply for a visa or a residence permit before arriving in Finland. For EU citizens, if their stay is longer than three months, they must register their right to reside in Finland at the police station. The cost for the registration is 47 euros in 2012.
Citizens of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Iceland) may arrive, reside, study and work in Finland without limitations; no permits are needed. Only an official identity card is needed to prove their identity. Citizens of a Nordic Country are registered at the Registers Office if their stay is longer than six months.
Health insurance: Citizens of the EU and EEA countries are covered by the Finnish National Health Insurance plan administered by KELA (the Social Insurance Institution). When arriving to Finland, student must have the European Health Card with him/her. The card must be obtained from the local social security office before arriving to Finland.
Citizens of non EU/EEA countries
Citizens coming from countries outside of EU/EEA need a visa (stay less than 3 months) or a residence permit (stay longer than 3 months). For the residence permit you need:
- a valid passport
- passport sized photos
- the acceptance letter from Vaasa University of Applied Sciences
- health insurance policy
- evidence of sufficient funds to cover your expenses
Health insurance policy is a requirement for obtaining a residence permit for studies in Finland. All students from non EU/EEA countries have to have a health insurance policy that covers the costs of medical care. The health insurance must be in force upon entry into Finland.
Deposit of 6 720 €: Please note that international students coming from outside of Europe, must have 6720 € or 560 €/month with you when arriving to Finland. (This is the amount required during the academic year 2013/2014; may be a subject to change). When applying for a student visa, you need to show this amount on your bank account. The 6 720 € is for 12 months, (12 x 560 €) so you will have to have the same amount for each year of studies. Please check the valid amount of funds you will need to have from Finnish Immigration Service.
All foreign students who intend to stay for at least one year in the country must report to the local population register office after arriving in Finland in order to be registered to the population information system.