Tuesday October 26, 2021

3,870 students get Finnish residence permit in 8 months

Published : 17 Sep 2021, 22:05

Updated : 17 Sep 2021, 22:38

  DF Report

File Photo : Finnish National Agency for Education.

A total of 3,870 students got Finnish residence permits from January to August in 2021, said the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) in a press release on Friday.

A total of 4,233 applicants from countries outside the EU applied for a residence permit for studies and about 93 percent of them got positive decisions.

This year, the number of applications submitted by international students is significantly higher than last year when going abroad to study was difficult because of the coronavirus situation.

Last year, the corresponding number was only 1,756. Most students come to study in higher education institutions and apply for a residence permit during the summer months, after having received a study place.

Most foreign students applying to study in Finland come from Russia (899) and China (504). The top applicant countries have been the same for the past years.

Last year was exceptional, as the number of applicants was clearly lower than in previous years due to the coronavirus situation.

“All over the world, the coronavirus situation still affects the possibilities of our customers to travel or visit Finnish missions. As Finnish missions are reopening their operations, their queues are longer than normally”, said Head of Section of Migri Anu Tarén.

In addition to having a study place in Finland, being issued a residence permit for studies also requires that the student has sufficient funds for living in Finland and insurance that covers medical expenses in case the student becomes ill in Finland. Students from non-EU countries are not entitled to financial aid for studies and are charged tuition fees by Finnish higher education institutions.

“Most student applicants have received a positive decision. The reason for negative decisions is usually the student having difficulties related to financial resources”, said Tarén.

The Migri aims at streamlining the process of applying for a residence permit and at shortening the processing time of applications. The aim is that a residence permit for studies is issued within a month by 2023.

In January–August 2021, the median processing time for a first residence permit for studies was 12 days. This means that half of the applicants have received their decision in 12 days or less.

At the moment, a first residence permit for studies is issued for one or two years, after which the student applies for an extended permit. Students who have completed their studies can stay in Finland to work and apply for an extended permit on the basis of work, for example.

“If the student does not have a job, it is also possible to apply for an extended permit to look for work or to start a business. This makes it possible to look for a job after studies”, said Tarén.