Living in Finland

Cities

Asukkaaksi rekisteröityminen

Registering as a resident

When you have moved to Finland, you must visit the Local Register Office (maistraatti) of your place of residence to register as a resident. Before visiting the Local Register Office, you can fill in the Registration Information of a Foreigner form on the maistraatti.fi website. You can also fill in the form at the Local Register Office.

The Local Register Office will enter your basic data into the Finnish Population Information System. Such information includes your name, date of birth, citizenship, sex and address.

If you move to live permanently in Finland for a year or more, you may have the right to a municipality of residence in Finland. You need a municipality of residence to use city or municipal services, such as health care and children’s day care. The Local Register Office decides whether a Finnish municipality of residence (kotikunta) can be entered for you.

When visiting the Local Register Office, please bring along at least the following documents:

If you are an EU or Nordic citizen:

  • a valid passport or other identity document indicating your citizenship
  • an employment contract, a certificate of studies or another proof of the need to register (if you are an EU citizen and have not yet registered your right of residence at the Immigration Service)
  • the original marriage certificate (if you are married)
  • the original birth certificates of your children (if you have children under 18 years old who are moving to Finland)
  • Please note that you need to legalise any documents provided by parties other than EU or Nordic authorities. For example, if your marriage certificate was issued in the Unites States.

If you are a citizen of another country:

  • a valid passport
  • a residence permit (if you need a residence permit for Finland)
  • if necessary, proof of work or studies in Finland (such as an employment contract or certificate of attendance from your educational institute) or another account of the reasons for registering
  • the original legalised marriage certificate (if you are married)
  • the original legalised birth certificates of your children (if you have children under 18 years of age who are moving to Finland)

Legalising a document

You need to provide the Local Registry Office with the original document or a copy that has been reliably certified as a true copy. A copy can be reliably certified as a true copy by the authority that issued the document or by a public notary of the same country.

The document must be legalised or the Local Registry Office cannot enter your information in the Population Information System. If your country has joined the Hague Convention, you need to get an Apostille certificate for your document.

You do not need an Apostille certificate if you have a public document issued by an authority of an EU country. However, you may need to fill in a standard form used for translation aid and submit it with the public document. For more details about such standard forms, contact the authorities of the country from which you apply for the certificate. Another option is to have the document translated by an authorised translator who has been approved by an EU country.

Please note that documents must be in Finnish, Swedish or English. If your document is in another language, you must have it translated into Finnish, Swedish or English. The document can be translated by an authorised translator. If the translation is done abroad, the translation must also be legalised.

For more information on how to legalise documents, please contact the Local Register Office or the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of your own country.

Finnish personal identity code

You will receive a personal identity code from the Immigration Service when you are granted a residence permit for Finland or when your EU citizen’s right of residence is registered.

You can also get a Finnish personal identity code at:

  • the Local Registry Office
  • the Tax Office if you need a personal identity code for tax purposes

A Finnish personal identity code (henkilötunnus) is a number sequence with 11 characters, formed on the basis of your date of birth and gender. You need a personal identity code for your employer or educational institution, for example. It will also make it easier for you to attend to issues involving the authorities.

If you received your personal identity code through an authority other than the Local Registry Office and you want a municipality of residence, you need to visit the Local Registry Office. Read more on the InfoFinland page Municipality of residence in Finland.

linkkiLocal register office:
Registering a foreign citizenFinnish | Swedish | English

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

Registering as a resident
  • Municipality of residence in Finland