Effiko's Blog
Foreign Admissions


Finland is fast becoming the new black when it comes to foreign education, not just in Nigeria but even in other countries like the US. Rumours of the excellent standards of the country’s educational system are spreading like wildfire, and so many are jumping on the train, or more appropriately, hopping on the flight to Finland for some super, quality education. What’s even more amazing is that, once upon a time, you didn’t even need tuition to study there, but since you didn’t jump on the train on time, that offer is closed. With effect from the middle of this year, international students now pay a form of tuition of varying amounts depending on different attending issues as you will find out.

Now, truly, Finland is really lovely with a beautiful scenery, especially in cities like Helsinki, Jyvaskyla, Tampere, Turku, and Oulu, living over there isn’t exactly, you know, very affordable. The living standards and quality of life over there are quite high, and on the average, you’d need about €6,720 per year to cater to all your living costs. Good thing is that you’ll be allowed to work for about 25 hours per week while on your student permit.

Validity of Visa

Usually, you can be issued a Finnish visa allowing you to stay in the country as a student for up to 90 days. If, however, your programme will be extending beyond 90 days, then you must apply for a student residence permit. This permit is usually granted on one premise, as with many other countries, and that is that you return to your country immediately you’re done with your studies.

Visa application

Now, to begin your visa application, you must log on to the Finnish Immigration Service website. You should apply for your visa immediately you get your admission letter as the visa application remains valid three months after the date of your application. The processing fee for your visa application must be paid into the Embassy’s account, while all your supporting documents must get to the embassy, at least, two weeks before you schedule your compulsory appointment date.

Document Legalization

Now, documents that confirm your Nigerian origin such as your birth certificate, marriage certificate, school certificate, etc. will have to be legalized by the Nigeria Ministry of Foreign Affairs; but that’s not all, it will still be legalized again at the Embassy of Finland. Usually, Rayfield Consult, an independent document verification company will verify the documents’ origin, and then pass it back to the embassy, which, in turn, passes it back to you, the applicant. The cost of this service amounts to €40.50 for the embassy; and for Rayfield Consults, you’d be paying the sum of N120,000. If you still need more information on how the whole document legalization world, then click on this link.

As part of the application procedure, your application must be submitted to the Finland Embassy in Abuja, after which you will be interviewed. Biometric data like your fingerprints and other such data will also be collected afterwards.

As for the visa fee, you can easily pay that in cash at any Standard Chartered Bank in the country, or if you’re the internet junkie, then you can transfer via international money transfer into the Embassy’s account. After doing that, ensure that you scan the receipt of payment and attach to your mail when responding to the request for your preferred appointment date.

Now let’s talk about the supporting documents for a bit.

First off, they must be submitted as originals, and two clear photocopies, two weeks before your interview at the embassy.

  • You should register with the Finnish Immigration service portal, fill the form there properly, submit the form, and then print it.
  • Then, fill the visa application form. You can choose to do this online or on paper.
  • You’ll definitely need your international passport which must still be valid up to three months after the period of your intended stay in Finland. Also, your passport must have, at least, two blank pages. Plus, if you submit copies of your previous passports, complete with visas and stamps, you help your stance by a bit as your travel history will be pretty easy to access.
  • You’d also need a copy of the biodata page of your passport, where personal information about you are documented.
  • Don’t forget a recent colour passport photograph which must within the dimensions of 35 millimeters by 40 millimeters. It must be a full-face capture, and must not come with staple marks, else it will be rejected.
  • You must also present evidence showing that you’ve been accepted and offered provisional admission into an academic institution in Finland. This document must contain the following information:
    • The full name of the applicant.
    • The name of the school offering the admission
    • The course the applicant has been admitted to study.
    • The duration of the programme.
  • Also, you’ll present a document stating clearly, the tuition to be paid. You must also provide evidence that you’ll be able to finance the fees plus the extra costs of living in Finland.
  • Now, you must also get a travel medical insurance certificate. This insurance should cover all the days you intend to stay in the Schengen area and remain valid whichever Schengen country you might find yourself in. Normally, this insurance should cover all expenses that could be incurred when treating an illness or injuries from an accident, or repatriation for up to €30 000.
  • You must provide proof of financial sufficiency that is, that you can comfortably afford €6 720 or N2.4 million for the entire school year. This can be done by presenting your bank statement from your financial institution. Or if you’re going there on scholarship, presenting a certificate, stating that your education will be financed by XYZ state, or company or organisation. Please note that account statements or guarantee of sponsorship from individuals such as friends, employers, or even relatives won’t be accepted.
  • You’ll need to also present bio information about yourself like certificates of birth or marriage, if applicable.
  • You’ll need all your school certificates: WAEC, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s etc.
  • Finally, a copy of visa payment receipt properly scanned.

How much does the visa application cost?

Well, the standard fees for visa application for a Finnish student residence permit is €300 which is about N105,000. This amount can be paid into any Standard Chartered Bank or you could also wire it to them through international money transfer using your card (MasterCard or Visa), or money transfer into the Embassy bank account. If you’re going to the bank, ensure that you go along with a photocopy of the biodata page of your international passport.

Here are the account details where you can pay your visa application fees.

Embassy of Finland

Standard Chartered Bank

Plot 374, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent

Wuse 2

FCT, Abuja

Nigerian Naira account: 0001449729

Euro account: 0001449736

Now, down to the process itself

Submission of visa application and interview are both done at the Finland Embassy in Abuja. And you have from 9am to 2pm every day between Mondays and Thursdays to submit your application; except, of course, on public holidays in Nigeria and Finland.

After submitting your application and conducting your interview, you will have to wait for the Finnish Immigration Service to process and decide on your application. If positive, the Embassy will let you know by email that you can collect your residence permit. If not, you will also be informed. But, hopefully, that won’t happen.

Now, when your student residence permit is approved, you’ll probably be asked to register in the Finnish Population Information System so that you can get your Finnish personal identity code. This code is a unique set of 11 numbers generated based on your date of birth and gender. For public institutions such as banks, or employment institutions, you’d need to have your personal identity code to deal with them.

Visa Processing Time

It takes a minimum of two weeks to process a Finnish visa, but averagely, it actually takes about 30 days. Bear in mind that during the holidays, the time may increase as it depends on the number of applicants applying at the time. So, it’s best to book your appointment early enough since you know that your visa can be applied for as early as three months before you plan to travel.

Here is the address of the Embassy of Finland in Nigeria

Embassy of Finland

9, Iro Dan Musa Street

Asokoro

Abuja

Website: Click Here.

So just before you get your bags packed, get your stuff together and start applying! We’re pretty sure our article has given you a few pointers on how to go about your application; so get started, and we wish you all the best! Cheers! PS: Don’t forget to share with friends!