Suomeen muuttajan muistilista

Moving to Finland checklist

When you move to Finland, you have to take care of many practical matters. The moving to Finland checklist will help you with the most important matters connected to the move.

Before moving to Finland

Do you need a residence permit for Finland?

EU and Nordic citizens do not need a residence permit for Finland. If you are a citizen of some other country, you must apply for a residence permit before coming to Finland. Read more on the InfoFinland page EU citizens or Non-EU citizens.

Livelihood

You must have a sufficient livelihood to be allowed to move to Finland. When applying for a residence permit or registration of right of residence, you must be able to prove that your livelihood in Finland is ensured. If you come to Finland to work or to engage in entrepreneurship, you must prove that your work or business provides you with an adequate income. If you are moving to Finland to live with a family member, the person living in Finland is often also required to have sufficient resources to support him/herself and the family member moving to Finland.

Cost of living in Finland

The cost of living in Finland is high. For example, food and many services are more expensive than the European average. The cost of housing varies a lot. Housing in major cities is much more expensive than in small towns.

Read more about prices and other costs of living in Finland on the InfoFinland page Cost of living in Finland.

Removal goods from the EU area

If you move to Finland from another EU member state, you do not usually have to pay duties or value-added tax for your removal goods, i.e. the personal property you bring with you. Nor do you have to declare your removal goods to customs (tulli).

Please note that the exemption from duty and tax of removal goods does not concern alcohol or tobacco. Separate restrictions apply to the import of these.

For more information, contact the Customs Information Service at +358 (0)295 5201 or go to the Finnish Custom’s website. The Customs Information Service provides assistance in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Removal goods from outside the EU

If you move to Finland from outside the EU, you do not usually have to pay duties or value-added tax for your removal goods, i.e. the personal property you bring with you. However, you do have to declare your removal goods to the customs authorities in Finland.

For example, the following are regarded as removal goods:

  • furniture and other domestic goods
  • pets
  • bicycles and motorcycles
  • cars and trailers intended for private use

Please note that the exemption from duty and tax of removal goods doesn’t concern alcohol or tobacco. Separate restrictions apply to the import of these.

linkkiCustoms:
Bringing removal goods to FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian

Bringing a car to Finland as removal goods

When bringing a car to Finland as removal goods, you must declare it to customs. If you bring your car to Finland, you must register it and pay a car tax (autovero) before you can use it in traffic.

It is possible to use the car temporarily before car tax has been paid. This requires that a commissioning notification (auton käyttöönottoilmoitus) for the car is made to the Tax Administration. Your car must also have a motor insurance policy (liikennevakuutus) valid in Finland. If you bring a car from outside the EEA area, you will also need a transfer permit before you can use it. Transfer permits are granted by inspection stations and certain customs offices. You are not allowed to use your car in Finland until you have made a commissioning notification and acquired a transfer permit.

If you have questions regarding car tax and commissioning notification, you can call the Tax Administration telephone service:

  • +358 (0)29 497 150 (Finnish)
  • +358 (0)29 497 151 (Swedish)
  • +358 (0)29 497 152 (English)

linkkiCustoms:
Vehicles as removal goodsFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian

Importing pets

If you want to bring a pet with you to Finland, you should find out beforehand about the rules for importing animals Often, certain vaccinations, for example, are required for animals. The Finnish Food Safety Authority (Ruokavirasto) provides more information about the rules applicable in Finland.

linkkiFinnish Food Authority:
Bringing an animal from another EU countryFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Food Authority:
Bringing an animal from outside the EUFinnish | Swedish | English

Removal companies

Some companies offering removal services also tend to removals between countries. You can hire these companies to transport your goods from one country to another and even buy packing services and have them pack your goods. The cost of moving depends on where you are moving from and the volume of goods you are transferring. There can be significant differences in the services and prices of different removal companies and therefore it is a good idea to compare prices.

linkkiMuuttopalvelu Niemi:
Moving servicesFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiViktor Ek:
Moving servicesFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiAlfa Quality Moving:
Help with movingFinnish | Swedish | English | Norwegian | Danish

After moving to Finland

Registration of an EU citizen’s right of residence

If you are an EU citizen and intend to stay in Finland for over 90 days, you must register your right of residence. Read more on the InfoFinland page Registration of an EU citizen’s right of residence.

Housing and home insurance

Most immigrants living in Finland live initially in rented flats. It’s a good idea to allow yourself at least a month to find a flat to rent. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Housing.

Once you have a flat, it is worthwhile taking out a home insurance policy (kotivakuutus). Home insurance covers, for example, damage to your furniture and other articles. Home insurance policies are sold by insurance companies. You can find information on insurance on the InfoFinland page Everyday life in Finland.

Finnish personal identity code

If you are granted a residence permit for Finland, you will be automatically registered in the Finnish Population Information System. You will receive a Finnish personal identity code at the same time. You can also get a personal identity code in Finland at the nearest Digital and Population Data Services Agency (Digi- ja väestötietovirasto) or Tax Office of your place of residence in Finland. Read more on the InfoFinland page Registering as a resident.

Municipality of residence in Finland

If you move permanently to Finland, your municipality of residence (kotikunta) will be registered as being in Finland. Your municipality of residence is the municipality in which you live. When you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you have the right to use the services provided by the municipality, such as public health services. You can find out at the nearest service location of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency whether a municipality of residence in Finland can be registered for you. Read more on the InfoFinland page Municipality of residence in Finland.

linkkiDigital and Population Data Services Agency:
Registering a foreign citizenFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiTax Administration:
Registering a foreign citizen in a tax officeFinnish | Swedish | English

Social security

When you move to Finland, you should apply to Kela for a Kela card. You may have a right to social benefits if you live permanently in Finland and meet the other criteria for being granted the benefits. Your right to social benefits is assessed if you apply for them. If you work in Finland but do not live permanently in Finland, you may have a right to some social benefits. More information on social security in Finland is available on the InfoFinland web page Finnish social security.

linkkiKela:
Social security of a person moving to FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

Bank account

You will need a bank account in order to handle your day-to-day finances. When opening a bank account, you need a passport or some other official identity card. It’s a good idea to compare the services and prices of different banks so that you will find the most advantageous option for you.

Read more on opening a bank account on the InfoFinland page Everyday life in Finland.

linkkiFederation of Finnish Financial Services:
Bank services for foreignersFinnish | English

Tax card

If you are employed or an entrepreneur, you need a Finnish tax card. If you have just moved to Finland, you can get a tax card from a tax office (verotoimisto). When you live permanently in Finland, the Tax Administration will send you a new tax card each year in January. Read more on the InfoFinland page Tax card.

Public transport

If you live in a town or city in Finland, it is not necessary to own a car. Public transportation in Finland works well. You can travel almost everywhere in Finland by bus or by train. You can also fly to many cities. In larger cities and areas surrounding them, local public transport is also very efficient. Local public transport is usually organised by buses. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Traffic in Finland.

Driving licence

If you have a driving licence issued in a Nordic country, an EU member state or an EEA country, it is also valid in Finland. You can exchange it for a Finnish driving licence if you are residing in Finland permanently.

If you have a driving licence issued in a country that is party to the Geneva or Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic, the licence is valid in Finland for two years. Once you have been registered in Finland’s Population Information System, you have two years to exchange your foreign driving licence. If you do not exchange your licence in time, you need to complete a driving test (theoretical and practical tests) in Finland.

If you have a driving licence issued in a country not party to the Geneva or Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic, the licence is valid in Finland for one year after you are entered into the Finnish Population Information System. If you do not exchange your licence, you must also complete a driving test in Finland.

You can exchange your driving licence for a Finnish driving licence at an Ajovarma service point.

linkkiThe Finnish Transport and Communications Agency :
Foreign driving licences in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

Internet

In Finland many matters can be dealt with over the internet. It is worthwhile getting an internet connection as soon as possible after moving to Finland.

More information on acquiring an internet connection is available on the InfoFinland page Everyday life in Finland.

linkkiFinnish Communications Regulatory Authority:
Internet and telephone subscriptionsFinnish | Swedish | English

Telephone

When you buy a telephone subscription in Finland, you get a Finnish phone number. Many companies sell telephone subscriptions.

You can also buy a Pre-paid subscription. A Pre-paid card has a certain sum charged into it beforehand which you use to make phone calls. Pre-paid subscriptions are sold, for example, at R-kiosks, some supermarkets or over the internet.

linkkiSkype:
Affordable international phone callsFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | French | Spanish | Turkish | Chinese | German | Portuguese | Polish | Norwegian | Dutch | Romanian | Hungarian | Japanese | Italian | Hindi | Danish | Bulgarian | Greek | Czech

Health

Finland provides both public and private health services. You can use public health services if you have a municipality of residence in Finland. Public health services include, for example, health centres. Public services are much less expensive than private ones.

If you want to book an appointment with a doctor, contact a health centre. If you are not entitled to use public health services, you can visit a private medical clinic.

Further information on Finnish health care is available on the InfoFinland page Health.

Language studies

Finnish and Swedish are Finland’s official languages. Language proficiency will help you to understand the new society and make it easier for you to handle your affairs. Whether you should study Finnish or Swedish depends on which language is spoken in your place of residence. More information is available on the InfoFinland web page Finnish and Swedish language.

Job hunting

The Employment and Economic Development Office provides help with your job hunting. You can look for jobs online and in newspapers. You can also find a job if you personally contact employers that interest you. Read more about how to look for work in Finland on the InfoFinland web page Find a job in Finland

Leisure and hobbies

You will find information about possible hobbies on the InfoFinland web page Leisure.

linkkiExpat Finland:
Information about Finland for foreignersEnglish