Living in Finland

Cities

Tärkeitä viranomaisia

Important authorities

Police

Duties of the police in Finland

The duties of the police include ensuring order and safety in society as well as preventing and solving crimes.

linkkiPolice:
Brochure 'Information about the Finnish police'Finnish | Swedish | English

Crime investigation

In Finland, the police are responsible for investigating crimes and preparing cases for consideration of charges. An offence can be reported by telephone or fax or by visiting a police station in person. The police will initiate an investigation if there is reason to suspect an offence. More information on reporting a crime is available on the InfoFinland page Crimes.

linkkiPolice:
Information on offencesFinnish | Swedish | English

Passports

The police grant passports to Finnish citizens. Passports can be applied for at police stations. A passport application can be submitted at any of the police’s permit service locations.

linkkiPolice:
Applying for a Finnish passportFinnish | Swedish | English

Identity cards

Identity cards are granted by the police. The cards can be applied for at police stations. An identity card application can be submitted at any of the police’s permit service locations.

Identity card for foreign nationals

The police can grant an identity car to a foreign national who

  • resides permanently in Finland
  • has been entered into the population information system
  • can reliably prove his/her identity

The identity card of a foreign national can be used for identification in Finland, but cannot be used as a travel document when travelling abroad.

linkkiPolice:
Identity cardFinnish | Swedish | English

Appointment booking

When you have business with the permit services of the police, you can make an advance appointed through the police website. In this way, you do not need to wait in line. Please note that making an appointment is mandatory at some police stations.

linkkiPolice:
Appointments for the permit serviceFinnish | Swedish | English | Sami

Kela

The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, i.e. Kela, provides financial support in various situations in life. Normally, Kela benefits can be received when your income level is low.

Kela’s benefits include

  • Income support
  • national pension, guarantee pension and other benefits for pensioners
  • housing allowance
  • benefits related to illness
  • basic unemployment security
  • student benefits
  • benefits for families with children

The InfoFinland page Finnish social security provides information on who can receive Kela benefits.

linkkiKela:
Information on KelaFinnish | Swedish | English

Employment and Economic Development Office

The services provided by the offices include

  • employment exchange
  • labour market training
  • entrepreneur services
  • career guidance

Employment and Economic Development Offices also prepare integration plans for immigrants who are their customers. Through an Employment and Economic Development Office, it is possible to apply for a Finnish language course, for example. The offices provide information about available jobs. The customers of the offices can apply for unemployment benefit from Kela.

More information on the services is available on the InfoFinland page Services of the Employment and Economic Development Offices.

linkkiMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
Employment and Economic Development OfficesFinnish | Swedish

Social welfare office

Each municipality has a social welfare office (sosiaalipalvelutoimisto). The social welfare offices serve municipal residents in the following matters:

  • Services for the elderly
  • Services for the disabled
  • Child welfare
  • Informal care support
  • Addiction counselling
  • Debt counselling

The contact information of your nearest social welfare office is available on the website of your municipality.

The name of the social welfare office may vary between municipalities. In Finnish, it can be sosiaalipalvelutoimisto, sosiaalitoimisto or sosiaaliasema.

linkkiMinistry of Social Affairs and Health:
Information on social servicesFinnish | Swedish | English

Tax office

At the tax office (verotoimisto), you can handle tax-related matters. You can, for example, receive a tax card, change your tax rate or ask about matters pertaining to taxation.

You can use the MyTax service to handle various tax-related matters online. You can, for example, order a new tax card if you have online banking credentials or the Mobile Certificate. The website of the Tax Administration contains a wealth of information about taxation in Finland.

linkkiTax Administration:
Information on tax administrationFinnish | Swedish | English

Finnish Immigration Service

When you move to Finland, you must apply for a residence permit or register your right to reside at the Finnish Immigration Service. The need for a residence permit depends on your country of citizenship as well as your reasons for coming to Finland and the length of your stay. The Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto) also processes asylum applications and applications for citizenship.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Information on Finnish Immigration ServiceFinnish | Swedish | English

Local register office

Local register offices (maistraatti) are local state administrative authorities. Local register offices record the population information of their own area into the population register. The information of people who are living in Finland is entered into the population register. A notification must be made to a local register office when moving to Finland. The notification must also be submitted when moving to another location in Finland or away from Finland.

The local register offices also have many other duties. The local register offices

  • handle civil marriages and registrations of partnership,
  • provide personal identification numbers to people residing in Finland,
  • provide certificates of domicile that can be used to prove your place of residence.

linkkiLocal Register Office:
Information on Local Register OfficesFinnish | Swedish | English

Embassies and consulates

Embassies and consulates are diplomatic missions of a state in another country.

Finnish diplomatic missions abroad

Finnish diplomatic missions abroad

  • accept residence permit applications for Finland
  • grant visas to Finland
  • serve Finns residing abroad when they need to take care of matters with Finnish authorities; apply for a new passport, for example
  • assist Finnish citizens who have faced an emergency abroad

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has a list of Finnish diplomatic missions abroad.

Foreign diplomatic missions in Finland

Information about foreign diplomatic missions in Finland and their services is available on the InfoFinland page Embassies in Finland.

linkkiMinistry for Foreign Affairs:
Finnish Diplomatic Missions abroadFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMinistry for Foreign Affairs:
Entry permits for foreign nationalsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMinistry for Foreign Affairs:
Foreign diplomatic missions in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMinistry for Foreign Affairs:
Information on consulate servicesFinnish | Swedish | English

Non-Discrimination Ombudsman

The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman is an authority whose task is to advance equality in Finland and to prevent and tackle discrimination.

You can turn to the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman, for example, if you have experienced ethnic discrimination or have seen someone else being discriminated against. The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman can provide instructions, advice and recommendations, and find resolution in cases regarding discrimination.

You can contact the office of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman:

  • by telephone: 0295 666 817 Mon to Fri from 10 am to 12 noon. Service is provided in Finnish, Swedish or English.
  • by e-mail: yvv(at)oikeus.fi
  • by mail: Office of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman, P.O. Box 24, 00023 Government

Any appointments must be agreed in advance. The services provided by the office are free-of-charge. If you cannot speak Finnish, Swedish or English, you can send e-mail or a letter in any other language.

linkkiNon-Discrimination Ombudsman:
Help for victims of discriminationFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | French | Somali | Spanish | Turkish | Chinese | Persian | Arabic | Kurdish | Albanian | German | Thai | Vietnamese | Portuguese | Tagalog | Polish