Renewing the Residence Permit

A student’s residence permit is usually valid for one year only. The permit must then be renewed. The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) will grant you an extended permit if the requirements for granting you your previous fixed-term residence permit still exist. For more information see the Migri website and the Migri pdf info sheet. Please note that these instructions deal with students’ residence permit only.

You need to apply for an extended permit

  • before your old permit expires. Migri recommends that you apply at the earliest three months before the expiry.
  • using EnterFinland e-services. Within three months of the online application, a visit in person is required. The processing of your application is started only after your visit. One of the Migri Service points is in Tampere (Itsenäisyydenkatu 11), please book an appointment; it is possible to visit also other locations than Tampere.
  • in Finland. It is not possible to renew the permit abroad. Embassies issue only first residence permits.

It may take quite a long while - several weeks - to get the residence permit renewed.

The following documents are needed when applying for an extended permit:

  • online application form (or OLE_OPI paper form)
    • Make sure to fill in your name as it is in your passport and your contact details as they are in the Finnish Population system.
  • official UTA certificate of attendance for the following academic year (from the Registrar's Office). Please note that UTA registration for the following academic year is possible from 2 May (old degree students) or from the beginning of August (new degree students).
    • If your study time has been extended, the certificate of attendance or other documentation must show the new study time.
  • official UTA study transcript (from the Registrar's Office) showing the ECTS credits you have taken
  • health insurance. Please renew your old policy, as this will speeden up the processing of the extension application. If you must find a new policy, check Finnish Immigration Service page on Insurance.
  • clarification of income i.e. a scholarship letter or a bank statement, showing the required sum (in 2018 about 6720 euros)
  • documentation of the UTA scholarship or paid tuition fee
    • If your UTA scholarship has been renewed or you have been granted a new UTA scholarship, you must submit a new scholarship letter from your programme. For old scholarship holders this should be available soon after the third teaching period if you have by then taken 45 credits, and after the fourth teaching period if you have by then taken 55 credits and filled the scholarship requirements. If you have been granted a new UTA scholarship, you must submit a scholarship letter.
    • If you are a fee-paying student, you need to pay the tuition fee for the autumn term before you may register at UTA for the autumn term. When submitting the extended permit application you must show a receipt of the paid tuition fee for the autumn term and a bank statement with enough money to pay the following spring’s tuition fee in addition to the required sum covering living expenses (in 2018 about 6720 euros). It is also possible to pay the tuition fee for the autumn term and the spring term at the same time.
  • your passport and color copies of the passport page containing personal data and all pages that contain notes
  • one passport photo complying with the passport photo guidelines issued by the police
  • your Kela card if you have the right of municipality in Finland.

Take the originals of these documents with you when visiting the Migri Service point.

Sufficient progress in studies

Please note that your studies must be proceeding well. As a proof of this, Migri requires that you take 45 ECTS credits per academic year. You should therefore submit your application only after you have enough credits in your official UTA transcript.

If you have not taken 45 ECTS credits during the previous academic year, see the instructions below and submit more required documentation to Migri when applying for the extended permit. This documentation is extremely important as otherwise your application could be rejected.

Have you been writing your Master’s thesis? If you have not taken enough credits during the previous academic year but you have been writing your Master’s thesis, you must ask your thesis supervisor for a statement on the progress of the thesis.

Have you been ill during studies? If you have been ill and therefore unable to get enough studies done, when applying for the extended permit you must submit to Migri

  • an explanation on your studies and about your future plans
  • documentation on the reason for not getting enough credits (e.g. doctor’s certificate). Please ensure that the certificate clearly indicates that your health issues have prevented studying.

Are you taking exchange studies or completing a work placement? If the credits you have taken during an exchange period or a work placement have not been transferred to UTA, you must submit to Migri your transcript from the host university or your training agreement signed by the university.

When the permit has been extended

The new permit card is delivered to your Finnish address as a registered letter. It is not possible to collect the card from the Finnish embassy or have it sent to an address abroad.

If you are travelling abroad for the summer you should submit the extension application well before you leave Finland. Make sure that your old residence permit is valid when you return, and remember to visit Migri while your old permit is still valid.

Renewing the permit if you have been an exchange student at UTA

Please note that exchange students currently studying at UTA who have newly been admitted as degree students should apply for an extension to the residence permit only after they have received the new, final letter of acceptance for taking degree studies.

If you have been accepted conditionally, you must first finish the Bachelor's degree and then send an officially attested copy and official translation of the Bachelor's degree diploma to UTA within the deadline provided after which the final letter of acceptance will be issued to you. It is only after this that Migri will process the application to extend the residence permit. If you are travelling during the summer, please make sure that your old residence permit is valid when you return to Finland.

If you receive a negative extended permit decision

If you have applied for a residence permit and received a negative decision on your application, you have to leave Finland. However, if you have appealed the decision, you are allowed to wait for the Administrative Court’s decision in Finland. See Migri page on this situation.

Make sure to contact your programme International Coordinator on the negative decision.