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 advices not to submit the residence permit until you have received the university admission letter.

IMPORTANT!

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 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 your Doctoral research for one year. Please see the instructions for filling in permit application on the scholar section of this Guide.

C) Those grantees that have completed a Bachelor's degree and whose main focus in Finland is to conduct research and possibly to take few courses and who are not registered in a university in the U.S. or elsewhere while in Finland, need to apply for the residence permit for other grounds (OLE_MUU) according to the instructions given to Fulbright Finland Foundation by the Finnish Immigration Service Migri. Please see the application instructions here.

Documents needed for the "permit for studies" and "permit for employment of another kind" application (case A and C):

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:
https://enterfinland.fi/eServices/info/studypermit

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 permit and this will make many practicalities easier for you in Finland. Please note that this may only be possible if you visit the Finnish Consulate which is an option only for OLE_MUU applicants.

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 only covers the dates marked in your “Grant Authorization” document and it is only valid in Fulbright-related travel during your grant period.

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 photos The photos must follow the passport photo guidelines issued by Migri. Incorrect pictures cannot be accepted.
3. Valid passport Make 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 University

Please include the university acceptance letter from your host university.

5. FULBRIGHT Documents

This means all of the following:

  • Awards letter sent by the J. William 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 or your study program in Finland includes tuition costs, and thus your Fulbright award may not be sufficient.

6. Written proof of your housing arrangements in Finland

Please provide proof of your housing arrangements.

7. Proof of comprehensive health insurance coverage

Provide the Application Center/Consulate your Fulbright Grant Authorization and Terms and Conditions documents, which include information also on your ASPE benefit. If the Application Center/Consulate asks further information on ASPE, please refer to the Fulbright Grant Authorization and Terms and Conditions documents. Please also provide information of any additional insurance policy you may have.

8. Processing fee

A 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.

Your Fulbright grant does not provide for expenses related to the residence permit fees.

9. If your family is joining you to Finland, a separate form needs to be filled out for each dependent.

A spouse also needs to fill out form OLE_PH1 and child a form OLE_PH4. Grantee and spouse need to create their own accounts on the Enter 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 the form PK1_plus.

Child: OLE_PH4

Please see further instructions at https://enterfinland.fi/eServices/info/foreignresidentspouse

For a spouse, in his/her OLE_PH1, please in section A, point 1.1, choose “marriage, co-habitation or registered relationship 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 the 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 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 Visa 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 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