Residence Permit Guidance for U.S. Students

All participants in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program must apply for and receive a residence permit before entering Finland. Dependents accompanying the grantee for more than 90 days must also have a valid residence permit.

If your Fulbright acceptance is conditional upon receiving a letter of admission from a Finnish university, the Finnish Immigration Service Migri advices not to submit the residence permit until you have received the university admission letter.

Make sure that you fill in the correct residence permit application. Please take a note of the regulations provided to us below by the Finnish Immigration Service Migri concerning residence permits for Fulbright U.S. Student grantees and apply for the correct permit that is applicable to your individual situation.
A) Fill in the application for residence permit for studies (OLE_OPI) if you come to Finland to complete a full Master's degree. Also, if you are registered as a Master's student in a U.S. university or elsewhere and you come to Finland to complete part of your Master's degree studies/research to Finland, you need to fill in the application for residence permit for studies. In addition, in cases where you are not enrolled as a Master's student in a U.S. university or elsewhere and you wish to conduct non-degree studies in Finland (i.e. take courses as a full time student), you should apply a residence permit for studies. In this case, you must indicate in your permit application why you are coming to Finland to conduct other than degree studies. Those reasons can be, for example, a wish to supplement one's degree or knowledge and professional skills in Finland or a grant term in Finland. Please see further instructions below.
B) Fill in the application for the residence permit for scientific research (OLE_TUT) if you come to Finland to complete a full Doctoral degree or you come to Finland to conduct research. Please see the instructions for filling in the permit application in the scholar section of this Guide.
Documents needed for the "permit for studies" application (case A):
1. Completed application form for a residence permit
form OLE_OPI

To fill out the online residence permit application, you will first need to create a user account at the EnterFinland website:

Please make sure you fill out all sections of the residence permit form. The application will not be processed with inadequate information.

Please take note of the following additional instructions for Fulbright grantees:

Population register and the personal identity code

If the system allows, please request that your personal information is recorded in the Finnish Population Information System by ticking a box that addresses this matter in the residence permit application. This way you will receive a Finnish personal identity code at the same time as you are issued with the residence permit and this will make many practicalities easier for you in Finland. If you are not able to receive the Finnish personal identity code in conjunction with the residence permit, you can apply for it in Finland at DVV.

Information on the studies

Please mark on the residence permit application that you are a Fulbright grantee.

Type and duration of residence permit

Unless you apply for the residence permit for a longer period, the consulate will usually use the grant dates in the “Grant Authorization” document as the dates of your residence permit.

Please remember, that you need to have a valid insurance policy for your entire stay in Finland. The ASPE benefit is sufficient in order to fulfill the requirements in the Finnish residence permit application process, however, it only covers the dates marked in your “Grant Authorization” document. If you are asked for details about ASPE when applying for the residence permit, please show your Fulbright Finland Foundation Grant Authorization and Terms and Conditions of Award document as well as the ASPE Guidebook (and especially the page 9). If Migri/VFS Global/Consulate doesn’t find these documents sufficient, please contact your program coordinator at the Foundation right away.

If you apply for the residence permit for a longer period than your Fulbright grant, you need to show you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay. Supporting documents may include evidence of personal savings etc. You should also indicate the reason why you wish to stay in Finland beyond the grant period. For instance, traveling and getting to know other parts of Finland should be a valid reason since one purpose of the Fulbright program is to increase your knowledge of Finland and its regions and culture.

Address in Finland

If you do not yet have an address, please include information on your housing plans (such as details on your application submitted to student housing). In such a case, you should also include the address of your host institution.

2. Two passport-sized photosThe photos must follow the passport photo guidelines issued by Migri. Incorrect pictures cannot be accepted.
3. Valid passportMake sure the U.S. passport is valid for the entire period you will stay in Finland. The Fulbright grant does not cover expenses related to passport fees.
4. Acceptance letter from your host universityPlease include the university acceptance letter from your host university.
5. Fulbright documents

This means all of the following:

  • Award letter sent by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) in Washington, D.C.
  • The Grant Authorization issued by the Fulbright Finland Foundation and signed by you,

Please note, the “Grant Authorization” also states your grant amount, so you do not need a separate statement regarding your income for your grant period. It also serves as written proof of your scholarship and ASPE coverage.

Additional proof of funds may be requested, for example, if you are extending your stay in Finland beyond the grant dates.

6. Written proof of your housing arrangements in FinlandPlease provide proof of your housing arrangements.
7. Proof of comprehensive health insurance coverage

Provide your Fulbright Grant Authorization and Terms and Conditions documents, which include information also on your ASPE benefit. If you are asked for further information on ASPE, please refer to the Fulbright Grant Authorization and Terms and Conditions documents as well as the ASPE booklet. If Migri/VFS Global/Consulate doesn’t find these documents sufficient, please contact your program coordinator at the Foundation right away.

Please also provide information on any additional insurance policy you may have.

8. Processing feeA processing fee is charged for the residence permit application. Pay the processing fee with a credit card or the online bank credentials of a Finnish bank. Personal checks are NOT accepted.
9. If your family is joining you in Finland, a separate form needs to be filled out for each dependent.

A spouse also needs to fill out form OLE_PH1 and the child a form OLE_PH4. Grantee and spouse need to create their own accounts on the EnterFinland residence permit application system and use their own separate email addresses for that. Normally, Migri processes children's and spouse's residence permit applications at the same time as the grantee's application.

Spouse: OLE_PH1

Also, the spouse must fill in the form PK1_plus.

The spouse's permit includes unrestricted right to work in Finland. 

Child: OLE_PH4

Please see further instructions at

For a spouse, in their OLE_PH1, please in section A, point 1.1, choose "married, cohabitation, or registered partnership between two people of the same gender”. The same information should be added at the OLE_PH4 for each child.

If your spouse is applying to join you in Finland, a legalized copy of your marriage certificate must be attached to the application. If your children are applying with you, please attach legalized copies of their birth certificates and legalized signatures by both custodians. The certificates are legalized by an authenticity stamp i.e. apostille. The apostille ensures that the certificates are recognized also in Finland.

If you already have a notarized certificate for the marriage/birth certificates, but it looks like that receiving the apostille takes several weeks, according to Migri, you can submit your residence permit application with the notarized certificate and amend it online later with apostille. Do indicate in the application that you will submit the apostille later. Please note that Migri will not make a decision on your application until they have received all the required documents.

You are usually asked to show the original versions of your marriage certificate and children's birth certificates at the residence permit Application Center. Please hold on to the original documents and take them with you when traveling to Finland. You will be asked to show the certificates as well as the apostilles at the local Digital and Population Data Services Agency DVV when in Finland.


10. Visit to the Application Center or Finnish Consulate   

You need to make an appointment to visit a Finnish Consulate or the an Application Center to verify your identity. You will also be fingerprinted for a biometric residence permit card at the Center.

Please see instructions on what to bring with you for the appointment at the VFS Global website. Make sure that your passport is valid for your entire stay in Finland or longer.

Please note, you may be requested additional documents, if needed.

If you are asked to write employer information in the residence permit application such as name of the employer and company number, please use the following Fulbright Finland Foundation information:

Fulbright Finland Foundation
Company number: 2771106-4
Address: Hakaniemenranta 6
Postal code: 00530
City: Helsinki

Migri's Guide for student residence permits

Migri's processing times

Typically Fulbright U.S. Students do not need to apply for a D Visa to Finland and the Foundation does not cover its costs. If you are considering applying for a D Visa in addition to a Residence Permit, contact the Foundation before submitting a D Visa application.