Information guide to apply for a Finnish residence permit

If you have made it through admissions process, and you got the chance to study at the University of Oulu and in Finland, you might be looking for the information needed to get the Finnish residence permit. In this post, you can find the essentials for your RP application.
A street in Oulu

How to apply for a residence permit

Hi there! Many heartfelt congratulations!

I know you have made it through the admissions process, and you got the chance to study at the University of Oulu and in Finland. Now, you are looking for the information needed to get the Finnish residence permit or visa.

My advice in this situation is to start the application procedure as soon as possible – right when you get the confirmation of admission, with or without scholarship, as well as you have decided to come to Finland.

Why am I saying to hurry? Obviously, there are some reasons: there might be some delays sometimes due to Covid-19 or any emergency situations, and some countries do not have Finnish embassies. So, for the countries without embassies, the students need to apply to a specific neighboring country’s Finnish embassy. Subsequently, these procedures may take much time. Below, I am going to give you an overview of the process and tips for a successful application.

Important websites

Now, as you have come to know about the application websites and the fellow students in other social media, try to have contact with them, it will help you through the process - thank me later about that! Now, let’s move on to the next step.

This step is very critical in this RP application process. You may do a paper based or an electronic application, but most of the students do electronic applications, as it is a bit cost effective (I will talk about pricing in later steps). Before submitting an application to EnterFinland, you should make sure that you have the following documents ready with you:

  1. Admission letter;
  2. Scholarship letter (if you have one);
  3. Sponsor/financial papers;
  4. Valid passport;

  5. Educational certificates and transcripts (in my case, these documents needed to be attested by both the Education ministry and Foreign-affairs ministry);

  6. Marriage certificate and other family relationship documents (if you are applying with spouse and children).

After you successfully submit the application to EnterFinland, it is time to wait for their email for the interview time confirmation. They will suggest a date, but if you are not available at that time, you can reply with a valid reason (for example, you have not got the visa to the neighbouring country where you will be going to visit the embassy) to postpone the date.

Next, when the applicant student gets the email for interview or appointment date to visit the embassy, or any embassy appointed institute such as VFS global (sample email shown in the image), they need to gather the following documents:

  1. All the papers that have been submitted at the time of application submission;

  2. Finnish sized recent photographs;

  3. A copy of the email of appointment confirmation;

  4. Additional forms for spouse and children;

  5. Most importantly, you need to apply as soon as possible to get the visa to visit the Finnish embassy if it is in another country.


At the interview, the officer might ask questions about university admission, programme, why you are interested in studying in Finland, and so on. You can pay at the time of application submission in EnterFinland by card services or you can choose to pay at the interview time in the embassy by cash or cards, as you wish. For the first residence permit for studies, the paper based application is currently 450 euros, and electronic application is 350 euros. You can find more information about the fees here. And to check the possible time to get your residence permit, you can use Migri to calculate your possible time to process (shown in image).

Migri website

I hope that you got a worthy overview of the application process and I wish all the very best to all of you. :)

About the author

Fahmida Sarker from Bangladesh is pursuing her Master's degree in Epidemiology and Biomedical Data Science at the University of Oulu. She is a public and mental health enthusiast. On top of everything, she loves travelling and has already covered 21 countries.