If you are not a Finnish citizen, you may be entitled to financial support provided by KELA (National Social Insurance Institution of Finland) if you are registered as a permanent resident of Finland in the population register system and the purpose of your residence in Finland is something other than education (for example, work, family ties or return migration).
If you are in Finland for the express purpose of attending a higher education institution, you are not eligible for financial support from KELA.
Permanent residence in Finland is determined by reference to the Municipality of Residence Act (kotikuntalaki/lagen om hemkommun, 201/1994). The purpose of residence in Finland is determined in different ways depending on your nationality.
You are eligible for financial aid if you have registered your residence in the manner agreed between the Nordic countries and you are in Finland for some other principal purpose than education.
If you are a family member of a citizen of another Nordic country and your residence in Finland has been registered or you have a residence card, you are eligible for financial aid.
If you were admitted to a Finnish education institution before registering in Finland and you have no other purpose for living in Finland, you are not eligible for financial aid.
You are eligible for financial aid if your right to residence in Finland has been registered and you are in Finland for some other principal purpose than education.
You can get financial aid if:
– the basis for the registration of your right of residence is employment or self-employment in Finland, and you can show proof of employment/self-employment (documentation from employer, a certificate of employment or a statement concerning self-employment)
– the basis for the registration of your right of residence is that you and your family have sufficient funds and, where necessary, can show proof of health insurance coverage (i.e., the purpose of residence in Finland is something other than employment or education), or
– you have a residence permit and you are in Finland for some other principal purpose than education
– you have a right to permanent residence in Finland as defined in Chapter 10 of the Aliens Act
You are eligible for financial aid if you are a family member of a citizen of another EU country or of Switzerland or Liechtenstein and your residence in Finland has been registered based on your status as a family member or you have a residence card.
If you have been granted a permanent or continuous residence permit or an EC residence permit issued to citizens of third countries having lived in Finland for a long time, you are eligible for financial aid.
Your residence permit must display one of the following three abbreviations: P (permanent residence permit), A (continuous residence permit) or P-EY (EC residence permit).
If you have a temporary residence permit (B), which is issued to students and some other groups, you are not eligible for financial aid.
If you fulfill the above mentioned conditions, you may apply for KELA financial support on their website (see below).
If you have problems or questions regarding financial support during your studies you can contact UEF Student & Learning Service’s Secretaries of Student Financial Aid or ISYY’s Specialist for Interest Advocacy or Specialist in Academic and Social Affairs.
Kela.fi: Financial aid for foreign students
Uef.fi: Contact details for UEF Student and Learning Services secretaries of student financial aid
Isyy.fi: Staff Contact Information