How to move to Finland 1

How to move to Finland: Living in Finland

Today, we’re going to cover the basics of how to move to Finland, from getting the right visa, to preparing yourself for a successful future. If you’re considering moving to Finland, you’ve come to the right place…

So, you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of living in Finland, and you’ve decided this is the Scandinavian dream home for you.

After all, while Finland can be a little cold at times, and may require you to learn a new language, it’s also one of the most beautiful and happy places on earth.

Finland is a stunning natural paradise, brimming with opportunities for any individual or family. Whether you’re planning on moving to pursue a new career, or you just want a great place to raise your children from, Finland is an amazing choice.

If you want to move to Finland, this guide should have everything you need.

Moving to Finland

The basics

Moving to Finland means applying for a residence permit most of the time. The Finnish law dictates who should be allowed to move to Finland easily, and who might need to work a little harder to get the home of their dreams.

If you happen to be a citizen of the Nordic countries already, you’re in luck. People living in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland can simply move to Sweden whenever they like. You’ll be free to live and work, without any restrictions.

Nordic residents just have to file an “announcement” about their moving plans and register with their local registry office to say they’re going to be living in Finland.

So, what if you’re immigrating to Finland from elsewhere in the world?

Choosing to immigrate to Finland from the EU or the European Economic Area, means you don’t need a residence permit either.

Whether you’re moving to Finland without a job or pursuing a new career, you can simply head into Finland for about 3 months before you have to do something. After this, you’ll be required to register something called “Right of Residence” with the Finnish Immigration service after moving.

The biggest challenge is going to be moving to Finland from the US, and other third countries we haven’t mentioned so far. Immigrating to Finland from US states requires you to file for a residence permit if you plan on staying for longer than 3 months.

Apply for residence at a Finnish diplomatic mission space before you leave your country if possible.

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Options for moving to Finland from USA

Living in Finland as an American can be a little trickier than moving to the EU from a Nordic country or the EU. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The easiest way to move to Finland as an American is to start off with a student permit.

Obviously, to study in Finland, you will need to successfully get into a Finnish school and pay the required fees for tuition. You’ll also need to prove you’re financially stable enough to handle the cost of living when you’re learning.

You will be allowed to work part-time when you’re studying in Finland, but you still need to show you’re economically viable.

After graduation, if you’re offered a job in Finland, you can apply for a working visa. It’s also possible to look for a job outside of Finland and apply as an immigrant for the position. However, it’s fair to say you might have a harder time getting hired this way.

If you’ve already completed a degree in Finland, you can receive a temporary permit of residence for your job application, which means finding a job is a lot simpler. Plus, you can start working as soon as you find an opportunity.

If you’re applying for a job from outside of Finland, you’re going to be competing with a lot of highly educated Finnish professionals for the same role. Crucially, people from all over the Nordic region have the right to come and work in Finland with no restrictions.

This gives Finnish employers access to a lot of potential staff.

To hire you as an immigrant, your employer would have to apply to get a special permit themselves, which is an exhausting process.

If you can’t find a job in Finland, there is the option to move to the country with an “Entrepreneur” permit instead. This is a permit which allows you to bring a business idea to Finland and set up your new company within the area.

Getting a start-up permit requires you to get an eligibility statement from the Finland Business Bureau.

There are restrictions to the kind of business you’ll be able to build, and you’ll need to be able to prove your company is going to be financially viable.

Emigrating to Finland with Finnish family

Unfortunately, moving to Finland can still be tricky, even if you have family in the country. If you want to move in with a loved one and you’re a citizen of a country which isn’t in the EU, or identified as one of the Nordic countries, you will need to apply for a residence permit.

You can get a residence permit somewhat easily as the husband or wife of a Finnish local, provided they can prove they can financially support you in Finland. If a family member lives in Finland, you’ll need a permit based on “family ties”.

This requires your family member and you to show you have significant funds to support yourself living in Finland.

It’s less likely for Finnish residence permits to be issued to family members which aren’t the husband or wife of a Finnish resident. Permits are also available for children of Finnish nationals, and parents of Finnish children.

The only way you’ll be eligible for a permit if you’re planning on living with your Finnish sister, for instance, is if you’re on a “international protection” visa.

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How do I move to Finland?

Checklist of essentials

If, despite a few challenges, you’ve decided “I want to move to Finland”, then there are a few things you’re going to need. This list includes your residence permit. For the time being, however, let’s assume you’ve found a way to access this permit.

Other things you’ll need include:

A house

The first thing you’re going to need is a home, or somewhere to live in Finland. Keep in mind homes in the capital city (Helsinki) are likely to be more expensive than homes in other regions.

However, the capital may also be the place where you find more English-speaking residents and ex-pats like yourself.

House prices are rising in Finland right now, and you may find it’s a little too expensive to jump in with a purchase straight away. A better option might be to find rented or owner-occupied flats. These are often listed on the web in a range of forums.

You can rent flats from individuals, companies, and municipalities in Finland.

A basic grasp of the language

You won’t necessarily need to speak Finnish all the time in Finland, as many of the locals also speak English. In fact, Finns’ English skills are the fifth best in the world. Of course, you might find it difficult to get a job if you can’t speak the local language.

It’s also difficult to really immerse yourself into the culture without a basic grasp of the Finnish tongue.

Finnish is an interesting, and somewhat complex language, with no connection to Germanic or Latin language groups. There are tons of different grammatical cases to get your head around, and Finns have a habit of creating a lot of complex words too.

For instance, the longest Finnish word is epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydelläänsäkäänköhän. It’s probably best to start learning early.

A personal identity code

When you’ve moved to Finland, it’s time to go for a chat with your local register office. They should be able to give you a personal identity code. You can also apply for this code when you’re applying for your residence permit.

The office will also establish whether you should be able to register a “place of domicile”.

You’ll need your personal identity code for a range of things in Finland, including finding and maintaining a job. If you have a place of domicile too, then you might be eligible to use the services provided by the municipality of residence, such as healthcare services.

A source of employment

We mentioned this above, but it’s generally much easier to move to Finland if you already have a job lined up. If you’re the spouse of a Finnish resident, you may be able to Emigrate to Finland without getting a job.

Otherwise, as an American moving to Finland, a career will be necessary. Getting your education in the country is usually your best.

If you’re an American living in Finland on a student visa for a short time, you’ll be able to network and find job opportunities before you make the transition to move to the country full-time. Being a student will also give you an option to rub shoulders with employers in an apprenticeship setting.

If you don’t start off as a student, you’ll need to seek jobs actively, and focus on showcasing skills in high demand. You could also look into getting your existing employer to send you to Finland.

A bank account

You’re going to need a bank account wherever you choose to live in the world. Opening a bank account in Finland should be relatively easy if you’ve already got your certificate of residence and your personal identification number.

In Finland, your allowances, wages, and other cash will automatically be paid into your bank account.

When opening your new account, you will be required to take your identity card issued by the Finnish government, and your passport. You should also obtain a tax card from the tax office, so you’re able to start paying Finnish taxes as quickly as possible.

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How to live in Finland

Getting healthcare

Any major move to a new country requires careful consideration.

The question “Is it expensive to live in Finland?” can end up having a different answer if you’re worried about paying for healthcare on top of everything else.

You can generally use some aspects of the public healthcare system in Finland if you have a specific “place of domicile” in the country. Many workplaces also come with occupational healthcare for employees too.

If you’re not equipped with your own “Place of domicile”, you might need to look into your eligibility for public healthcare services.

Check as early as you can when you’re moving to Finland, whether you’re entitled to things like Finnish social security. If you’re living in Finland on a permanent basis, you will usually be able to access this.

However, you will usually need to have worked in Finland for at least 4 months before the application.

On the plus side, public healthcare in Finland is excellent. Unlike other regions around the world, it’s possible to access public healthcare in Finland without any specific financial requirements.

You can access everything from consultations with a doctor, to vaccinations and screenings, dental health, and mental health services too.

How do I move to Finland?


One important thing you will need to deal with if you’re planning on living in Finland, is registration. Everyone has their own personal identification code in Finland. In order to get this code, you need to register at a local office.

Usually, you will be able to apply for both your permit to live in Finland, and your personal identification code at the same time. If you’re only living in Finland temporarily, but you’re also working in the country, you still need to get a personal identification code.

Registering as a resident of Finland isn’t too complicated, but it can take some time. You’ll also need to ensure you have all the correct documentation. For instance, if you’re moving to Finland with children, you will need their birth certificates.

If you’re married, you’ll need to bring the marriage certificate to the office too.

Remember, keeping Finnish authorities updated is important too. If you move to a new home or city, you will need to inform the registry office. You’ll also need to ensure you have a tax card from the local tax office so you can live in Finland legally.

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So, can I immigrate to Finland?

Still have questions about moving to Finland?

Here are some quick insights to help you.

Q: Why move to Finland?

This can be a difficult question to answer. The reasons to move to Finland differ depending on what you consider to be important. For example, if you’re planning on raising a family in Finland, it’s nice to know there’s an excellent education system, and great public healthcare

Finland also happens to be one of the happiest countries in the world, not least because of the country’s commitment to offering excellent work/life balance to employees and investing in long-term development and growth.

Q: Is it easy to live in Finland?

Again, this depends on you. Finland is quite different to other regions around the world for a lot of reasons. Although this doesn’t mean it’s a difficult place to start a life. Finland is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with access to tons of stunning scenery and wonderful opportunities.

If you’re willing to pay your taxes, follow the rules of the region, and make sure you try in society, then you’ll do well in Finland.

Q: Is it hard to immigrate to Finland?

This depends on where you’re moving from. If you’re coming into Finland from another Nordic country, like Sweden, then it’s extremely easy to make the transition. You shouldn’t have too much hassle moving to Finland if you come from an EU country too.

This is because there are plenty of guidelines in place to allow for easy movement between locations.

If you’re moving to Finland from America, then you’re best off starting with a student visa in the country, and gradually upgrading once you find a source of employment.

Q: How much money do you need to move to Finland?

Finnish authorities will often check to see if you can afford to reasonably live in Finland when you get there. The cost of moving to and living in Finland will include any legal fees required for setting your life up in a new country.

You’ll also need to show you’re earning at least 700-800 euros per month, and you have 2,000 euros in a bank account.

The amount of cash you’ll need to live in Finland will differ a little depending on where you choose to move. Helsinki, for example, is the most expensive city, while Tampere and Pori are better for cash-strapped beginners and students.

Q: Is Finland good for raising children?

Finland is a wonderful place to raise children. Everyone has access to the same public education system here, and mothers and fathers also benefit from lots of support. New mothers can get a baby box container with all the essentials necessary for caring for a baby.

You can also ask for grants from the government to help you pay for your new child, and there’s paid maternity leave for up to 4 months for mothers, even if you’re self-employed. Fathers are also encouraged to take paternity leave for as long as 54 days.

If you’re still planning a move to Finland, we hope it goes well!

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