An immigrant’s check-list
If you are coming to Finland as an immigrant, you must find out many things in advance. For example, you must find out whether you need a residence permit and if you need to declare the items you bring to Finland during your removal. Once you have arrived in Finland, it is a good idea to purchase an internet subscription and home insurance policy and open a bank account.
Find out if you need a residence permit. The need for a residence permit depends on your nationality, the reason for which you are coming to Finland for, and how long are you going to stay in Finland. Citizens of EU Member States, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland do no need a residence permit, but they must register their residence in Finland if they intend to stay for longer than three months,
The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for residence permits and matters related to the right of residence.
At the same time as you apply for a residence permit or register your right of residence, it is wise to apply for a Finnish personal identify code. This way you will be registered in Finland’s Population Information System.
Find out whether you need to declare the belongings you are bringing to Finland with customs. A person moving to Finland can usually bring their personal belongings to Finland without paying duties or taxes. However, for example, alcohol and tobacco products must be declared and a tax must be paid on these. If you bring a vehicle with you check if you need to declare it and pay a tax for it.
Remember to also find out whether there are any import restrictions on the personal belongings you are bringing to Finland. The import of some items to Finland, such as pets, plants, fire arms, may be subject to restrictions or a licence.
Start looking for housing well in advance. Finding a suitable apartment to rent may take quite some time.
Please pay special attention to at least the following points:
- Opening a Finnish bank account will make it easier for you to see to your daily management of your personal finances.
- It is wise to purchase a home insurance policy for your residence.
- It is a good idea to purchase Finnish internet and telephone subscriptions. Many things in Finland can be handled quickly and efficiently online.
- When moving to Finland permanently, you will be assigned a municipality of residence. Your municipality of residence will provide services for you such as health services.
- If you are employed in Finland or are an entrepreneur, you must in most cases get a Finnish tax card from the Tax Office.
- Kela is responsible for the social security of all people living permanently in Finland.
- You can search for job vacancies on the public employment and business services i.e. TE Services website. If you need help searching for a job, please contact your closest TE Office.
- Integration services are available for immigrants. These include, for example, Finnish and Swedish language studies. Ask about integration services at your local TE Office or from your municipality of residence.
The InfoFinland website provides practical advice on moving to Finland and living in Finland. The website contains information on Finland in 12 different languages.
The Finnish Immigration Service can help you in matters related to your residence permit. You can ask Finnish Customs about whether you need to declare the items you are bringing to Finland. Your local Tax Office can help you with matters related to taxes.
Ask your municipality of residence about services for immigrants and other residents of the municipality. You can get health services from the health centre in your municipality of residence. You can get information on integration services from the TE Office. Kela is responsible for matters related to social security.