Despite the fact that Europe decided to terminate grant agreements with the Russian Federation, students still have the opportunity to study in European educational institutions. Thus, since April 15, Russian students have received new and more comfortable conditions for their stay in Finland. Now, as part of educational tourism, they can apply for a residence permit immediately for the entire period of study, and not apply every academic year, as was the case before. This information came from a decree of the Finnish government, quoted by the Finnish media.
According to the Finnish Immigration Service, about 5,800 students from third countries moved to Finland last year to pursue their academic careers. Among them were a large number of Russians.
The new legislation also includes a two-year extension for students and researchers to seek employment in the country after graduation. “By eliminating the need to apply for a residence permit separately for each academic year, the new legislation makes life easier for international students.
The changed rules also make sense from the point of view of government authorities, since a residence permit can always be revoked, if the relevant conditions are no longer met,” said Elina Immonen, Deputy Director General of the Finnish Immigration Service, adding that applications for residence permits will begin to arrive in June and July.
Now Russian students can obtain a residence permit for the entire duration of their studies, which before this legislation was set for a maximum of two years, on one condition: they must prove that they can finance their stay in the country. Under the new rules, students must provide evidence that they can cover the first year of study, which is around €560 per month (49,000 rubles) or €6,720 per year (587,000 rubles).
There was another relief. Russian students are allowed to work 30 hours a week, five hours more than earlier rules. Hours worked, previously limited to a period, are now taken into account for the entire calendar year. The change aims to make it easier for both students and employers to track hours worked.
On the other hand, those who have completed their studies in the Baltic country will be able to look for work after graduation, as new legislation allows them to apply for a two-year residence permit after graduation. Applications for a permit can be submitted up to five years after graduation, including from outside Finland.
Previously, permits to search for work before the law was passed were limited to one year, and applications had to be submitted in person at Finland while the residence permit of the student or researcher was still valid. In addition, the new legislation establishes that students pursuing higher education at Finnish universities and colleges can obtain a permanent residence permit and immediately obtain a residence permit from the municipality. This works in favor of students, as having a permanent residence permit makes it easier for them to subsequently obtain a permanent residence permit. Previously, students could only be granted residence permits.
“This is another signal for foreign students, namely that they can take part in the Finnish labor market and become members of Finnish society,” Immonen explained.
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