Extending Your Stay in Finland

Each year there are Fulbrighters who end up staying in Finland longer than they initially planned. If you are interested in extending your stay in Finland, please find below instructions on what to take into account and how to proceed.

What are the Fulbright Program rules on extensions?

The general rule is that the Fulbright Commission may award extension of a grant for a period not to exceed three months for a grantee to complete a project. This limit is based on the fact that our U.S. program partner, the U.S. Department of State, does not allow longer extensions. Your extension request is reviewed at the Fulbright Finland Foundation and Fulbright Finland will give the official approval for your Fulbright status extensions. Your extended stay in Finland can be one of the following:

  1. Unfunded Fulbright status extensions
    • This means that your official Fulbright term is prolonged, you receive extension document to your Fulbright Finland Grant Authorization and the time your ASPE benefit is valid is prolonged for the time of the extension. You will need to have a personal funding plan for the time of the extension.
  2. Funded Fulbright status extensions
    • Funded Fulbright status extensions are rare. Fulbright Finland currently has very limited funding for extensions. However, in some cases the host institution has been able to offer funding for the extension, or Fulbright Finland and the host university have jointly been able to fund the extension of a sponsored (hyphenated) grant.
  3. Extension without Fulbright status
    • This means that you would stay in Finland without Fulbright status. You would need to arrange insurance for the time of the extension and provide proof of funding particularly if you are required to extend your residence permit.

Do I need to apply for an extension for my residence permit?

You might have an opportunity to stay in Finland as a tourist after your residence permit expires up to 90 days. According to the Finnish Border Guard, this depends on how many days you have already spent in Finland or Schengen area as a tourist (without a residence permit) within the last 180 day period. U.S. citizens are allowed to stay in Finland/the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days as a tourist within a 180 day period. To count how many remaining days you have, please use the calculator of the European Commission.

If you wish to stay in Finland in another purpose than as a tourist, you need to make sure whether you need to apply for an extension for your residence permit or not. Fulbright Finland staff can be in contact with Migri to find this out for you.

Migri recommends that you apply for the extension early (well before the current permit expires), but not earlier than months before your current permit expires.

You can use the EnterFinland online service to apply for the extension (https://enterfinland.fi/eServices).

How to proceed?

If you are interested in extending your stay in Finland, please contact your Fulbright Finland program coordinator well in advance to allow time for the possible residence permit application process and Fulbright Finland decision. Please send to your program coordinator the following information:

  • A very brief and concise impact statement of your Fulbright term in Finland (please explain how successful your Fulbirght in Finland has been up to now and especially what kind of impact you can say that your Fulbright has had so far, why Fulbright is important to you personally, please write only few sentences)
  • Reasons and plans for extension (what would you concretely do during the extension)
  • Information on whether your host has agreed to extend your visit (and provide housing for you for the extended time in case you are a scholar grantee)
  • Requested time of extension (exact dates)
  • Plans for funding the extended period of time in Finland

After we have received this information from you, we will contact the Finnish Immigration Service to make sure whether you need to apply for an extension of the residence permit or not. We will also inform our U.S. program partner about the intended extension. Lastly, we will send your request for the approval of the Executive Committee of the Fulbright Finland Board of Directors.

 

Links

Residence permit extension

Staying as a tourist in Finland

Grants and Awards

Job seeking

Housing

 

NB: Please note that the Fulbright Finland Foundation has written this according to its best knowledge, but cannot take responsibility for the matters determined by the Finnish authorities.