According to the PERCCOM Program scheme, the student will spend the Spring semester at Lappeenranta University starting at January 3, 2014. Therefore if you are a non-European citizen, you need to get your student residence permit to stay in Finland at least two months before your departure. You could submit an online residence permit application at Finnish Immigration Service website (https://e-asiointi.migri.fi/eServices/FrontPage.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2feServices&lang=en). The online application required you to upload some documents such as: Copy of Passport, Certificate of acceptance at Finnish Educational Institution, Clarification of income or a scholarship letter, Health insurance, Previous degree qualification, and Employment certificate (if any). After completing all required information and uploading all the documents, you can submit your application. After clicking the submit button, there will be an option whether to pay fee of 300 euros with credit card right now or to pay later when you visit the Embassy. And then there is also an option to choose a Service Point that located nearest to your location, for example if you live in Nancy then you should choose the Finnish Embassy at Paris which located at 2 Rue Fabert, 75007 Paris.
After online application is completed, the next step is to make an appointment to visit the Embassy. You can write an email to Konsulaatti.PAR@formin.fi to schedule your visit. The working hours for Finnish Embassy in Paris are from Monday to Friday between 14.00 – 17.00 and they allow you to book for a group. For example, if you go in a group of 5 people you can book the same schedule for all of your friends, thus you can go together and take turn for the interview. If you go in a group, they will ask you to come earlier because they only have one person to serve and they are afraid the interview will not finish on time. If it is possible, send an email one day before your appointment day to re-confirm upon your availability and notice them regarding the appointment you have made. Last time, we booked for 5 people but they missed 1 people and only note for 4 people, then we show them the email that we sent earlier and fortunately they let us to have interview for 5 people.
There are two important things to be prepared for the appointment: (1) bring all of your original documents that you have uploaded in the online application, (2) if you have not paid the fee before, bring cash money of 300 euros. Regarding the second point, it is important to bring cash money because they did not accept card payment. Last time, one of my friend forgot to bring cash money and he have to find an ATM machine to withdraw some money. During the interview, they will verify your address and original documents, record your finger prints, and ask you to sign some papers about statement of your residence permit application. After that, they will ask you if you want them to send the residence permit to your postal address with a fee of 3 euros or if you will take them yourself at the Embassy. Last but not least, you can monitor the progress of your residence permit application through the Finnish Immigration Service website (https://e-asiointi.migri.fi/eServices/FrontPage.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2feServices&lang=en).
Written by Alifia Fithritama, PERCCOM student.