Finland (Suomi, in Finnish) has a slightly smaller territory than Germany, but it is home to just over five million people, concentrated in the southern part of the country, around the capital. If you dream of moving to Finland, you should know that it is the country with the lowest population density in Europe (16 people / km² compared to 228 people / km² in Germany). The capital is Helsinki.
The country is part of the EU. The currency is the euro. There are two official languages: Finnish and Swedish (spoken by 5% of the population). The Finnish language belongs to the Finno-Ugric lineage (along with Hungarian) and is a very hard language to learn It is important to know that in Finland it is possible to attend free language courses at adult universities.
As in all Scandinavian countries, the weather is not the country’s strong point, but it is amply compensated for by the country’s standard of living, wealth, social protection, an education system that is among the best in the world, a culture of legality, and an excellent health care system. According to countless surveys, Finland is one of the countries with the best quality of life in the world.
Finland also has one of the lowest percentages of immigrants: about 150,000 (2.9% of the population). The immigrants are mainly of European origin (Russians, Estonians and Swedes).
Move to Finland, visas
Finland is part of the EU, so EU citizens, citizens of a Nordic country and citizens of visa free country can stay for 90 days. After 90 days, you must regularize your position by applying for the tax number and residence permit. This will be issued to you if:
- you have a job
- you are enrolled in a study program
- you have a family member in Finland
- you can prove that you have sufficient financial means to live in Finland
You can get all the information at the police office in your neighborhood, which will issue you a document that you must present to your municipality’s registry office in order to obtain the Finnish tax number. For information about the residence permit, refer to the Immigration Office website
If you need a visa to enter Finland as a tourist, to stay with relatives or friends, or to go on a business or conference trip, you must apply for a visa at the nearest Finnish diplomatic mission or consular post or at the visa centre recommended by the diplomatic mission or consular post.
A visa is a permit to enter the country for a short period of time (no longer than 90 days). If you intend to stay in Finland for more than 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit. You can apply for a residence permit electronically or on paper
The residence permit must be applied for before you leave your country and you must have found a job. Then you must make an appointment at the Finnish Embassy for your identification.
There are many different types of Finland visas, depending on your purpose of travel.
- Tourist visa, for people who want to visit Finland as a tourist. It is valid for 90 days
- Seasonal worker visa, for seasonal workers coming to Finland for a maximum of 90 days
Long term visa
- Family visa, for family members of Finnish citizens
- Student visa, for people who want to study in Finland for more than 90 days
- Work visa, for people who want to work or be an entrepreneur in Finland
Move to Finland, useful resources
- Welcome to Finland, useful guide, written by the Finnish government
- Info Finland, information about moving and living in Finland
- WELCOME TO FINLAND, another useful guide
- International House of Helsinki, working and settling in Helsinki
Moving to Finland, finding an flat
Here are some real estate websites:
- Oikotie, (Finnish only)
- Vuokraovi, (in Finnish and English)
- Sato, (in Finnish and English)
- Huoneistokeskus, (in Finnish and Swedish)
- Kiinteistomaailma, (Finnish only)
- iRommmates, (in English)
There are not many apartments in Finland, so it will not be easy to find accommodation. Do not forget to ask your employer for help. In Finland you can find furnished or empty apartments, and usually the rental cost includes all utilities except electricity.