If you plan to study in Finland for more than 3 months and you are not a citizen of EU/EEA or equivalent countries, you will need a residence permit. You must apply for a residence permit in your home country, and you must wait for the decision to your application before arrival to Finland. Applying residence permit electronically is the fastest way to get the decision to your application.
Note that if you have already residence permit for studies in another EU country, you must submit only a mobility notification to Finland.
More information about the e-service is available on Finnish Immigration Service web pages.
If you plan to study in Finland under 3 months (90 days) and you are not citizen of the EU/EEA or equivalent countries, you will need to obtain a visa. You can apply for a visa in the Finnish Embassy or Consulate in your home country. If you are a citizen of a visa-free country, you can study for three months without a visa or residence permit.
More information on how to obtain a visa is available on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland web pages.
Registering a Right of Residence
If you come from EU country, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you will need to register a right of residence at the local service point of the Finnish Immigration Service if your stay in Finland is longer than 3 months. The registration is done after your arrival to Finland. However, we strongly recommend students to visit some other country before their 3 months are full - this way they you will get a new 3 months and you can avoid registering yourself (saves money too).
If you come from the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland), you will need to register a right of residence at the local service point of the Finnish Immigration Service if your stay in Finland longer than 6 months.
More information on registering a right of residence is available on Finnish Immigration Service web pages.