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Residence permit and personal identity code

Students coming from outside the European Union must be in possession of a Finnish residence permit when coming to Finland for a period longer then three months. Students residing within the European Union but who are not European Union citizens must also be in possession of a Finnish residence permit before entering Finland.

When you apply for the residence permit, please also ask to be registered in the Finnish population Information System. You will then receive a Finnish personal identity code. The code is needed, for example at banks and hospitals. The decision of the personal identity code should be sent to Åbo Akademi University, as all students’ Finnish personal identity codes are also registered in the university’s student register.

EU/EEA and Nordic citizens

EU citizens and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not need a residence permit before arriving, but they must register their right to reside in Finland if their stay lasts longer than three months. This registration of residence is done at the Local Register Office after arrival in Finland. More information on the Finnish immigration service’s webpages.

Non EU/EEA-citizens

A student from outside the EU/EEA, who intends to stay longer than 3 months in Finland, must be in possession of a residence permit already when entering the country. The application must be made in good time before departure, preferably immediately after receiving the admission letter to Åbo Akademi University.

  • The application for the residence permit can be completed online.
  • To verify your biometrical identity, and to present the original copies of any supplements needed for the application, you have to visit a Finnish embassy, before entering Finland.

For more information about how to apply for a residence permit for students, please visit the Finnish Immigration Service webpages.

Please note that in addition to providing your acceptance letter, you must, among other things, be able to demonstrate that you will have sufficient funds to cover expenses during the academic year (approximately 560 Euros/month or 6720 euros/year). More information about the income requirement can also be found at the Finnish Immigration Service webpages.

Note that it can take a long time to process the visa application and therefore you must pay particular attention to the visa application and reserve enough time in order to ensure that you are able to arrive and register by the registration deadline. Apply for the visa immediately after receiving the admission letter. Should you have problems with the application process, please keep the Education services at Åbo Akademi University informed of this.

Local registration

Åbo Akademi University invites the Local Register Office (Digital and Population Data Services Agency, DVV) to our office in Gripen at the beginning of every semester, in order for all new international students to be able to take care of the local registration. Should you not be present during this day, the local registration (including getting the personal identity code, municipality of residence and notification of move) can by done at their office – you should schedule an appointment in their booking system.

Finnish personal identity code

All new exchange students and degree students need a Finnish personal identity code, as all students’ identity codes are also registered in the university’s student register.

For students coming from outside the EU/EEA area should apply for the code along with the residence permit application. Students from the EU/EEA area apply for the identity code when you have arrived (either at the Local Register Office or at Åbo Akademi Unviersity during their visit).

The identity code makes life in Finland much easier and is needed, for example when opening a Finnish bank account or at hospitals.

More information about the personal identity code on the Local Register Offices webpages.

Municipality of Residence

A “Municipality of Residence” can be granted to students with at least two years rights to study in Finland. More information is available on the Local Register Offices webpages.

Notification of move

If you move permanently or to a new address for more than three months you are required to make a notification of move. If you have access to Finnish online banking services, it is possible to make the notification of move online. Otherwise the notification can be submitted by filling out the form that you can pick up from a post office or the Local Register Office. The notification of move has to be done at the latest one week after moving to a new address. More information on the Local Register Offices webpages.

Updated 26.4.2023