Residence Permits
and Registrations

After you receive your acceptance letter from Metropolia you should check the immigration formalities. Leave enough time to complete all the necessary steps, such as obtaining a passport and arranging insurance and the permits, before leaving your home country.

Note that all the information on these pages is subject to change. The latest information about the arrival procedures is available on the websites of the Finnish officials:

The instructions are different for those students who apply to study a full degree and those who come to Metropolia only for a student exchange programme - make sure to check the correct section!

Permits for Degree Students

Are you a citizen of EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland?

If you are not a citizen of an EU/EEA member state you must apply for a residence permit if you are planning to study in Finland for longer than three months. Apply for a visa if your studies will take less than three months. You can study for three months without a visa or residence permit if you are a citizen of a visa-free country. (Source: Finnish Immigration Service)

Citizens of the EU/EEA member states do not require a residence permit. However please refer to the Finnish Immigration Service for more country specific information on what you should do upon your arrival to Finland. Please follow the guidelines on how to apply for a residence permit/visa on the pages of Finnish Immigration Service. If you encounter problems during the application process please contact the authorities mentioned on the Finnish Immigration Service website.

It is essential that you start the application process soon after receiving the acceptance letter. It might take several weeks to process the application.

Bear in mind that you must also have an insurance cover when applying for a residence permit as without it, a residence permit cannot be granted.

Note: Information here might be subject to changes. The latest information about the immigration procedures is always available from the officials.

Permits for Exchange Students

Note that this information is subject to change. Check the updated information on the immigration requirements well in advance on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service.

Citizens of EU member states, Nordic countries, Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Travel Documents

Exchange students who are citizens of the Nordic countries do not need a passport to enter Finland. However, they have to have an official proof of identity with them.

EU nationals and citizens of Liechtenstein and the Schengen member states can enter Finland with a valid passport or a valid identity card.

However, note that during your study period in Finland there will be opportunities to travel to Finland’s neighbouring countries. For travel outside Finland a passport is often required.

EU Registration and Personal Identity Code

EU citizens and citizens of Liechtenstein and Switzerland do not need a residence permit before coming to Finland. However, you must register your right of residence if your stay lasts for longer than three months.

The registration costs approximately 50 euros and is done either online at EnterFinland.fi or at the Helsinki Immigration Service. If you register online, please make sure to tick the box where you request a Personal Identity Code.

Citizens of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) have to register at a Local Register Office if their stay in Finland longer than six months.

For up-to-date instructions, see the Immigration Service website.

Work Permit

EU citizens and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can freely work in Finland if the work lasts less than three months. After that you must register your right of residence at the Helsinki Immigration Service. See more information on the website of Employment and Economic Development Offices. Note, however, that your primary focus during your exchange in Finland should be studying.

Non-EU Citizens

You will need to apply for the necessary permits before coming to Finland, so reserve enough time - several weeks - for the process!

Travel Documents

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has a list of countries showing what travel documents are required and what agreement each country has with the Schengen member states. Check what is required for your country, but usually a valid passport is required.

Visas - for stays less than 90 days

If your stay in Finland lasts for less than three months and you are not a citizen of EU/EEA or Switzerland or of a country with which Finland has an agreement for visa waiver, you need to obtain a visa from a Finnish embassy or mission before entering Finland. It may be difficult in some cases, because individual embassies and diplomatic missions have the right to reject a visa application for various reasons.

See more on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Residence Permit and Personal Identity Code - for stays longer than 90 days

Exchange students, who are non-EU citizens or of a comparable status, must acquire a residence permit before entering Finland, if their studies in Finland last for longer than three months. The processing fee is approximately 300 euros.

Check the up-to-date application guidelines on the Finnish Immigration Service website and begin the application process as early as possible. It will take 6-8 weeks to process your residence permit. Note that the residence permit process requires you to have e.g. an extensive insurance coverage, so you should start collecting the required documents well in advance.

When completing the residence permit application, make sure to apply also for the Personal Identity Code, as you will need to get it in any case at latest when you are in Finland.

The student residence permit is always temporary. It is usually granted for a year at a time at most, and expires as soon as the studies end. Students with residence permits can reside and travel in Finland for as long as the permit is valid.

Work Permit

To be able to work in Finland, non-EU citizens must apply for a residence permit already before coming to Finland. Note, however, that your primary focus during your exchange in Finland should be studying. With a residence permit granted on the basis of studying you may work without restrictions when the work consists of practical training or diploma work as part of a degree.

During study semesters when actual instruction is given, you are allowed to work maximum of 25 hours of part-time work weekly. During holidays, i.e. during summer and Christmas holidays, you can work fulltime without hourly restrictions.

To be able to work more than 25 hours per week, you must apply for a work permit. See more on the work permit on the website of Employment and Economic Development Offices.

Notification of Move

To help the Post office deliver your mail, we recommend you to fill in a notification of move form at the local Post Office, in Finnish Posti.