Moving to Finland
Finland is a peaceful country known by many as a state with the highest standards of living in Europe. This country is the second most socially secure state in the world after New Zealand and Norway. Moving to Finland is a dream for many individuals who are looking for a change of scene, a better life and work balance and to be surrounded by the happiest people on earth.
Before packing your bags you need to have a comprehensive understanding of how to move to Finland and what to expect once you have landed. Moving overseas is a unique experience that requires extensive research and Hercules Moving Company is here to assist.
Icebreaker: Happiest country on earth
Located in the northern part of Europe, Finland is a Scandinavian state that borders Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east and Norway to the north. Finland has a population of a little over 5.5 million people. The stunning nature of this country would leave even an experienced traveler on awe.
According to Vanguard Magazine, Finland is the happiest country in the world and in general, a comparison begs to be made. Finland is like a sanatorium: comfortable, beautiful, and quiet. If you like the hustle and bustle of megacities and the fast pace, this country is hardly for you.
How to Immigrate to Finland
The easiest path to move to Finland is by studying at a Finnish university. Citizens of countries that are part of the European Union can receive education for free while others might pay international students fees. If you are not fluent in Finnish, most universities have accessible language programs allowing foreigners to learn Finnish prior to entering courses.
When choosing your program, you should consider professions that are in demand in Finland: medicine, economics, IT technology and innovations. You can look for a job during your studies and internship and then use your job as a basis for obtaining a permanent residence permit in Finland when you finish your studies.
First Steps upon arrival in Finland
These steps may differ depending on your citizenship or residency. But for example, you are not a resident of the European Union and want to get a residence permit in Finland.
- Permanent Address of Residence.
The first thing to do is to register your place of residence at the Maistraatti. Maistraatti is a public institution in Finland that includes the services of a passport office and part of the civil registry office.
At the Local Register Office (maistraatti) you are responsible for maintaining the population register, including registration of residence. The address registered with the local register office receives correspondence from the authorities, various bills, etc.
- Personal Identification Number - Henkilötunnus
This is your own unique number in the population register. You can be uniquely identified by this number at all times and everywhere. So it's not so much a secret number, but it's better not to show it. A personal number can now be obtained at the same time as a residence permit.
- ID Card - Henkilökortti
A Finnish passport, Finnish ID card (henkilökortti) or Finnish driver's license can be accepted as a Finnish ID card if it was originally issued in Finland and has not been exchanged for a driver's license in another country. The easiest way to apply for an identity card is to use the police e-service. You can also apply at the police station on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Bank Account.
Finland is not the biggest country, and there are quite a few banks. At the moment you have a choice of about a dozen banks. The biggest three are probably Nordea, Osuuspankki and Danske Bank. But there are also S-Pankki, Aktia, Säästöpankki ("Savings Bank").
To open a bank account, you must visit a branch in person and present documents proving that you are legally in Finland. In this account, you will receive your salary and can use it to pay your rent and other bills. It will, of course, have a bank card attached to it.
- Tax Card.
You can request a personal tax code from the tax office. You may need it, for example, if you work in Finland. In order to obtain a personal identification code, you must visit the tax office in person. Find out at which office personal tax codes are provided.
Healthcare in Finland
All Finnish citizens and residents with work contracts of six months or more are automatically insured by the state social security system KELA. Basic medical care is provided in polyclinic departments at the place of residence.
According to the established rules, medical care must be provided within three working days after application. Most polyclinics accept patients from general practitioners, so-called 'family doctors'. However, in a number of polyclinics, it is also possible to consult specialists (including dentists).
Kela covers most of the cost of public health services. However, you still have to pay for a visit to a general practitioner at a public health center. Usually, it costs from 100 €, but the patient only has to pay 20-30 €, and the rest is covered by insurance. Patients do not have to pay at all for certain medicines that need to be taken every day (insulin, for example).
In the country, private medical care does not replace basic and specialized care but complements them. Private medical institutions include private clinics, dental and physiotherapy offices, and the offices of private practitioners.
The cost of private medical care in Finland is quite high, so it is only fully accessible to the well-off population. Most Finns only use private medical services when they are absolutely necessary. Their main advantage is a quick appointment with the right doctor.
Despite the fact that some of the costs of private health care services are reimbursed under the compulsory health insurance program KELA, private health care services are not available to the majority of Finland's population
Earning and Spending in Finland
There is no national minimum wage in Finland. The rates are fixed in collective agreements between employers and trade unions separately for each sector of the economy. According to Statistics Finland, the average wage in Finland in 2022 is 3,620 euros per month before taxes. After all compulsory deductions, the employee has about 2,600 euros at his or her disposal.
Renting vs. Housing in Finland
If you are looking for long-term rentals, check out Finnish websites like Vuokraovi, Etuovi, Op-koti, Oikotie, Ovvv, Asunnonvuokraus, Doska. Otherwise you can contact any of the local realtors and they will be able to assist you for some fee.
Finnish law allows citizens of any country to purchase housing. The duration of stay in the country owners of local real estate is not limited. Both residential real estate and commercial premises can be bought by both individuals and legal entities. Such conditions make the purchase of housing in Finland even more attractive.
When looking for housing non-residents often seek the help of local realtors. Yes, these experts are well versed in the Finnish real estate market, but for their services they charge 4-5% commission. For the registration of the act of sale and purchase, the notary will take at least 100 €.