Finland to grant international students residence and work permits

A country like Finland is crowned the happiest country for the fifth consecutive year in the World’s happiness Report 2022. Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin had proposed that President Sauli Niinistö waved green light to the legislation on March 13, 2022, with the law going into effect which came into force, for the international students to enjoy the happiness on April 15, 2022 , Finland extends a continual extended residence permit during their course of study and a two year permit to look out for work after their graduation.

Previous to this , students had the difficult task to apply for an extended permit every year even if their studies went on uninterrupted. The condition for receiving a residence permit, students should prove the sufficient financial resources to cover their studies which is 560 Euros per month or 6720 Euros per year. Students are also allowed to work an average of 30 hours per week, up from 25 hours under the earlier rules. Previously limited to term time, the hours worked are now considered over the entire calendar year. The change aims to make it easier to track time worked for both students and employers.

While  International students are not entitled to the financial aid provided by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela). Kela is a Finnish government agency in charge of settling benefits under national social security programs. Previously there were aids by for the international students by Kela if their stay was notified to them and particularly if the student was in research field which is organised by a state accredited educational institution.

In a press release, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland clarified that students and their family members are entitled to a residence permit corresponding to their years of study. The work hours for non-EU students will increase from an average of 25hours to 30 hours weekly. Graduates may apply for the work permit within a five-year period after graduation, and may even do so from abroad. 

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