Finland – Volunteer

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to be a volunteer in Finland? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

You can apply to be a volunteer in Finland if you take part in:

  • the European Voluntary Service (EVS) or the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) or
  • an international volunteer programme or international work camp activities through an organisation that runs volunteer programmes.

If you fulfil the conditions, you will be issued a residence permit.

Where and how to apply

  • Submit your application in the e-service Enter Finland. After you have submitted your application, you have to visit the Finnish diplomatic mission or consulate in your country of origin/residence to prove your identity and have your fingerprints taken. A paper application is submitted to the Finnish diplomatic mission or consulate in your country of origin/residence.
  • You have to submit your application yourself. Your host entity cannot do it for you.
  • Processing fee (EUR): online application: 350, paper application: 550
  • Expected processing time is 2 months.
  • You will be informed of the decision online or through the Finnish diplomatic mission or consulate. You will receive your residence card through the Finnish diplomatic mission or consulate.

Documents required:

General attachments

  • A valid passport (you must present it when you submit the residence permit application);
  • a passport photo complying with the photo guidelines issued by the police or a photograph retrieval code you received from a photo shop;
  • color copies of the passport page containing personal data and of all passport pages that contain notes;
  • a document showing that you are legally staying in the country where you submit the application;
  • form MP_1 (if you already are in Finland and apply for your first residence permit).

Application-specific attachments

  • An agreement signed by you and the organisation responsible for the voluntary work, containing information about the following:
  • a description of the voluntary service scheme, including its content;
  • the duration, location and supervision conditions of your voluntary work and the volunteering hours (the start and end date, the location where you will be working and a mention of who will make sure that the voluntary work is done in appropriate conditions);
  • documentation of funds that cover your subsistence and accommodation costs during your entire stay;
  • documentation of a minimum sum of money paid to you as pocket money during your entire stay;
  • if applicable, the training you will receive during your volunteering period.

Duration of validity of permits/visas

The maximum duration of the volunteer permit is one year.

Conditions for renewal

No renewal after maximum period of one year.


It is possible to appeal the decisions made by the Finnish Immigration Service before an Administrative CourtSearch for available translations of the preceding link within the 30 days following the notification. The appeal procedures are indicated in the decision.

A rejection from the Administrative Court can be appealed as a last resort to the Supreme Administrative Court. You will need to apply for leave to appeal.

Change of status

If the grounds for your residence change and you meet the necessary conditions, you should apply for a new residence permit (for example employment or family ties).

Family members

It is not possible to be accompanied by a family member.

Long-term residence

The stay as a volunteer is temporary and it is not counted in the period of residence to be eligible for long-term/permanent residence in Finland.

No information available at the moment.