Permits and registration

Students need to obtain a residence permit or register their stay before entering Finland. Upon arrival, you also need to register your information to the Finnish Population Information System and obtain a Finnish ID number. Please find more information on this page.
Students writing a group work

Residence permits

Residence permit

Every foreign person staying in Finland for more than three months needs to have either a residence permit or register their stay at the Finnish Immigration Services. Please note that without a valid registration / residence permit, the person won’t be allowed to enter Finland again if they have left the country and they might have problems with authorities also in Finland. For up-to-date information on residence permits, please visit the Finnish Immigration Services' website.

Citizens of the Nordic countries
only need to register their residence in Finland at the Digital and population data services agency.

EU/ European Economic Area (EEA) citizens
only need to register their right to reside in Finland at the Finnish Immigration Services if their continuous stay in Finland exceeds 90 days. 

Citizens of all other countries
must obtain a residence permit from the Finnish Embassy or Consulate in their home country before arrival in Finland. We strongly advise you to apply for the residence permit as soon as possible after being accepted to the University of Vaasa, preferably within one week of receiving the acceptance letter. It might take about 1–3 months to get the residence permit. 

You are asked to attach documentation of the paid tuition fee to your residence permit application, or if you have not yet paid the fee, you have to attach proof of having the funds for your tuition fee on your bank account. In addition, you need to have funds to cover your living costs on your bank account, when applying for a residence permit.

More information is available on the Finnish Immigration Services' website.

Extension of the residence permit

A residence permit for studies can be granted for one year or for the duration of your studies. If your studies continue and your residence permit is about to expire, you will need to apply for an extension to your residence permit before it expires. In order to have your residence permit extended for studies, you must still be enrolled in the same educational institute and present a proof of having studied full-time and having completed the courses required by the educational institute concerned. The extension of residence permit is granted by the Finnish Immigration Services.


Usually students coming to the University of Vaasa do not need a visa. 

Visa is needed only for a shorter visit (maximum three months), for example if a student coming from a non-EU country had to participate in an entrance exam in Finland prior to being accepted at the educational institution. The University of Vaasa does not arrange entrance examinations for the international Master’s degree programmes or doctoral studies, thus the students do not need to apply for a visa. Exchange students do not need a visa either, but non-EU nationals need a residence permit.

For up-to-date information on visa matters, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland’s website or Finnish Immigration Services' website.

Registration of a foreigner to the Population Information System

Foreigners are required to register themselves to the Finnish Population Information System. The registration is done at the local office of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. 

Finnish Identity Number

A personal identity code is used to identify persons in Finland. Everyone who is registered in the Population Information System receives a personal identity code. The code is used for example in the information systems of the authorities and it is needed to be able to operate in the Finnish society. Finnish identity number can be granted to non-EU/EEA citizens together with the residence permit, if they apply for the identity number on the residence permit application form. If you have not applied for the identity number on your residence permit application form or if you are not required to apply for a residence permit (for example if you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country), you can apply for the ID number in Finland.

Home Municipality

A Finnish municipality of residence is registered for a foreigner who has moved to Finland for longer than a year. Your municipality of residence and your address in Finland will also be registered in the Population Information System. If you are in Finland for a shorter period, for example for an exchange semester, you will not get a municipality of residence, but your address will be entered in the Population Information System as temporary.

Students on campus

How does the registration happen?

Registration requires a visit at the local Digital and population data services agency (DVV). University of Vaasa will send you information about obtaining the Finnish identity number in the beginning of your studies.

For more information about registration, home municipality and Finnish ID number, please visit Digital and population data services agency website.

Working besides studies

A student who has been issued with a residence permit for studies may engage in gainful employment without restrictions if the employment consists of practical training or diploma work as part of a degree.

In addition, you may work in paid employment for a maximum of 30 hours per week. The number of working hours can be exceeded some weeks, as long as the average working hours are no more than 30 hours per week at the end of the year.

Group work between four students