Finland Witnesses a Spike in International Student Applications in 2021


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Sep 28, 2021 05:25 PM IST

As more and more students across the world opt for studying abroad, the lesser chosen countries like Finland are seeing a rise in applications. This year, Finland saw over 4,200 applications for a residence permit for studies by international students from across the globe.

Finland Witnesses a Spike in International Student Applications in 2021

Across the world, more and more students are choosing to study outside their countries, with students actually choosing countries that are not normally the first choice for many. One such country, Finland has seen a significant jump in the number of international student applications in 2021, when compared to 2020, the Finnish Immigration Service said in a statement.

The Immigration Service outlined that between January and August 2021, the country received 4,233 applications from countries outside the European Union for the residence permit for studies. In 2020, this number was a mere 1,756.

However, the statement also added that the low number of applications was a result of the pandemic and was an exception to the usual. Finland receives the highest number of applications from Russia and China, consistently for the past few years.

Anu Tarén, Head of Section for Finnish Immigration Service, stated that the current public health situation still affects the travel possibilities for many international travellers. However, Finnish Missions are re-opening their services and operations across the world and are witnessing longer queues than usual, Tarén added.

The statement from the Finnish Immigration Service highlighted that the 3,870 first residence permits had been issued between January and August this year. Among them, the majority (93%) received positive permit decisions, where the negative decisions were a result of the financial situation of the student, Tarén highlighted.

Currently, the Finnish Immigration Service is working on streamlining the application process for a Finland residence permit, i.e. cutting the application processing times. The service stated that they aim to issue a residence permit for studies within a month by 2023.

However, it was noted that between January and August 2021, the median processing time for a first residence permit for studies had been calculated to be around 12 days, where half of the applicants had received a response to their application within 12 days.

The Finnish Immigration Service further highlighted the workings of the post-study work rights in Finland. As per the official statement, a first residence permit for studies is usually granted for a period of one to two years, wherein, a student can apply for an extended permit. Additionally, students who have completed their studies in Finland are permitted to work and apply for an extended permit for the purpose of work.

Also Read: Indian Students Likely to Spend $75-85 Billion Annually on Education Abroad by 2024: Report

Tarén stated that if in case a student does not have a job, the student can apply for an extended permit to look for work opportunities or even start a business. Thus, allowing students to search for a job even after they complete their studies.

As per media reports, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in Finland has been working on a legislation project, allowing international students and researchers to stay back in the country more easily. Reports highlighted that they aim to offer students permits that allow them to remain in the country for longer periods, compared to the current immigration guidelines in Finland.

Also Read: University of Texas at Austin Admits Largest-Ever First-Year Class

Tarén concluded the statement by revealing that the ministry has been working with different educational institutions in a bid to streamlining the application processing times for the residence permits for studies.

Tarén highlighted that certain measures such as facilitative measures have been developed with higher education institutions, authorities and ministries, aimed at improving the entry conditions for international students.

Source: The PIE News

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