Scheduled to come into force on May 15, 2018, the new regulations will see current permits extended from one year to two years, and up to a maximum of four.
It will allow students not only to seek employment or start a business but also to complete on-the-job training and also do volunteering “within the scope of the EU’s voluntary programs”.
“If a third-country national has studied in Finland, we hope that he/she could find work in order to stay in the country”
“All students would continue to be granted a temporary residence permit, but as a rule, it would be granted for two years instead of one year if the conditions (including sufficient financial resources) are met throughout the stay,” a statement read.
This new legislation will also have provisions for intra-EU mobility, meaning that students will be permitted to study or engage in research in Finland if another EU member state has granted them a residence permit.
“If a third-country national has studied in Finland, we hope that he/she could find work in order to stay in the country,” Jarmo Tiukkanen, the chief senior specialist from the Finnish Migration Department told The PIE News.
Tiukkanen added that this move was “only one and quite a minor part of” of Finland’s international student recruitment targets.
A project, launched in 2017, set an ambitious target of attracting 100,000 international students to study at Finnish universities in an attempt to boost the country’s international profile.
In 2016, the European Commission announced new visa rules that would make it easier for non-EU students and researchers to work during their studies and to stay on after graduation, applying for residence permits for job-seeking or to start a business.
A recent statement by the European Students’ Union highlighted the need for improved intra-EU mobility rights for third-country nationals studying in the EU.