What type of visa do I need?

You will be applying for a Residence Permit (not a visa) for Finland.


How do I apply for the residence permit?

You can apply online for your residence permit through VFS Global Finland. After submitting your online application, you will be required to apply in-person at your local VFS visa processing center with your passport and additional required documents and get fingerprinted for a biometric residence permit card.

What documents will I need to collect in order to apply for the residence permit?

  • A listed of required documents will be sent to you by your Visa and Compliance Specialist.
    *You will also need to contact your consulate for a finalized list of requirements.

Requirements are subject to change, and additional documents may be required. Do not begin the residence permit process until you are notified to do so by AFS.

When do I apply for the residence permit?

You must apply in-person for your residence permit with your passport and required documents. Your Visa and Compliance Specialist will provide a timeline for when you should apply.

How much will the residence permit cost?

In the past, the Finnish government charged a processing fee of $275 USD for students under the age of 18 at the time of application and $375 USD for students over 18 at the time of application. Please be advised that these fees often fluctuate due to exchange rate changes and are subject to change.

Are there any other expected costs?

There are many additional costs involved in obtaining and notarizing the required documents. There are also additional costs associated with traveling to a visa application center for an in-person appointment.

Are any of these costs covered in my AFS program tuition?

No, your program fee does not cover any of the costs related to obtaining your passport or residence permit.

Can I travel before the start of my program?

AFS recommends that you not plan any travel outside of the United States during the three months before your program departs. Obtaining a residence permit takes time, and your passport is usually required for this. Should you choose to travel within the three months before the start of your program and not allow enough time to procure your residence permit, you will run the risk of jeopardizing your travel arrangements.