Moving to Finland and Järvenpää

Passport/EU identity card

When arriving in Finland, you must have a passport or an EU identity card. Entry from certain non-EU countries requires a visa. You can apply for a passport, ID card, driver's licence and other permits at the service bureau of the Central Uusimaa Police Department in Järvenpää by making an appointment in advance. Alien's passport and Refugee travel document are applied from the Finnish Immigration service by making an appointment in advance.

Residence permit/Right of residence

For stays of longer than 3 months, you must apply for a residence permit or register for the right of residence. You can apply for a residence permit in Finland online and by appointment or, if you are abroad, from a Finnish embassy. Check instructions from the Finnish Immigration Service.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland or a Finnish embassy accepts applications for a residence permit and grants visas abroad.

Residents of EU countries and countries with a similar status do not require a residence permit when they arrive in Finland. For stays of longer than 3 months, the right of residence must be registered at the closest service point by Finnish Immigration Service, which will issue you a certificate of registration of an EU national's right of residence. Nationals of Nordic countries do not require a residence permit, nor do they need to register their right of residence. Upon moving to Finland, however, nationals of Nordic countries must inform the Local Register Office (Maistraatti).

For stays of longer than 3 months, nationals of non-EU countries must apply for a residence permit. The permit is not required for shorter stays, but if the person comes from a country subject to a visa requirement, he/she will be required to show their visa.

Asylum seekers must seek protection from the Finnish Border Guard or the police.

Residence permit codes:

  • B= Temporary: fixed-term permit valid for max. one year (no intention to stay in Finland permanently)
  • A= Continuous: valid for max. four years (intention is to live permanently in Finland)
  • P= Permanent: valid indefinitely (intention is to live permanently in Finland. The permit is granted if you have been living in Finland for four years and have a continuous residence permit.)

Additional information about the residence permit is available on the websites of the Finnish Immigration Service and the Finnish Police.

Notice of change of address and personal identity code

Every person who moves to Finland as a permanent resident must submit an official notice of change of address to the Local Register Office (Maistraatti) within one week of moving to Finland. Once you have been granted a residence permit, you can apply for a personal identity code from your Local Register Office (Maistraatti) if you didn't receive it with your residence permit. You will be registered as a resident of Finland at your Local Register Office (in Hyvinkää, Vantaa or Porvoo). Be sure to bring your passport and residence permit with you. If you are married, you must provide a marriage certificate. If you have children, you must provide their birth certificates. After you have moved to Finland and you have been granted a residence permit for at least one year or have a certificate of registration, your municipality of residence will be registered in Finland.

Bank account

In Finland, wages, invoices and other payments are handled via the bank. Opening a bank account requires a passport or other proof of identification.

Social security card ('Kela' card)

The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) is the government agency that handles social security benefits. You must apply for the right to receive social security benefits from Kela. Following approval of your application, you will receive a social security card ("Kela" card). In order to receive a Kela card, you must live in Finland permanently. Kela's customers have the right to free interpretation services if matters cannot be handled at Kela in the customer's native language and a common language cannot be found between the customer and Kela's staff.