After Arrival - Staff

How long are you staying?

More than three months

EU Citizen

An EU citizen does not require a residence permit. You need to have a valid identity card or passport.

If you intend to stay for more than three months, you do need to register at the Finnish Immigration Service. For registration you will need an identity card or passport and proof of your employment, for example the contract of employment. You can do the registration electronically. When you have submitted your registration, you will receive a personal identity code and your stay in Finland will be legal.

Non-EU Citizen

If you’re coming outside of the EU (or are not a citizen of a Nordic country, Liechtenstein or Switzerland), you will need a residence permit, which you need to apply for personally. Meaning you can’t apply for example on behalf of your spouse. For the application you will need a signed contract of employment or a binding offer. You should do the application online before you leave your home country but you must visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service to prove your identity.

The processing times for both first and extended permits of residency are currently approximatelly one month. More information on the Finnish Immigration Service site.

Local Registration

After arriving to Finland you need to submit a Notification of move to a local post office or  local register office (maistraatti). If you are a non-EU citizen you will need your passport and residence permit as well as marriage and birth certificates, if you family is moving with you.

Foreign citizens from all countries who intend to stay or work in Finland for at least one year or longer must register at the local register office (maistraatti).

The registration must be done within one week of your move.


Opening a bank account as soon as you can is essential not only to receive your salary but it is also a very handy tool for different online indentification purposes. Take with you as many official indentification as you can.

The following documents are usually needed:

  • Passport or other official ID with a photo
  • Residence permit from non-EU citizens
  • Work contract (recommended)
  • Finnish personal ID code (required in most banks)

In most banks, it is necessary to make a personal appointment in advance to open a bank account and to get service in English. Banks are usually open during business hours only.

List of the banks operating in Seinäjoki:


As a rule, all employees in Finland must pay income tax. Therefore, you must obtain a tax card (verokortti) from the Tax Office (verotoimisto) for tax withholding. If you work without a tax card, you will be taxed 60% of your salary. The most important factor affecting your taxation is the duration of your stay in Finland, namely whether will you stay here for longer than six months. If you are uncertain whether you will exceed the six-month limit, you will be taxed at source during the first months. A tax card will be issued when it has been confirmed that the six month limit will be exceeded. See also taxation in Finland.

Social Security

Social security is adminstered by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (KELA). Kela manages social security services and benefits, such as the national pension, child benefit, basic unemployment security, sickness and parenthood allowance, income support and rehabilitation. Kela also provides health care benefits paid for private health care.

Kela does not offer health care services as such. Health care services are the responsibility of municipalities and are generally provided through local health centres and hospitals.

Entitlement to Finnish Social Security Coverage


Coverage by the Finnish social security system requires that you are either moving permanently to Finland or working in Finland for at least four month. The scope of social security coverage of employees is also determined by the citizenship of the employees and the intended length of their employment.

For more detailed information, please see Kela’s website.

Family members

If you move to Finland with your family member, your family members eligbility to Finnish social security is usually assessed on the basis of whether the family member who comes to work in Finland.  For more information, please see Kela’s website.

If you work in Finland but your family does not move to Finland with you, you may be entitled to family benefits from Finland for your children if they live in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland. For further information, please see Kela’s website.

Local Kela office is currently located at SeAMK Campus, Kampusranta 9 A, 2. floor, 60320 Seinäjoki.



Most homes in cities and towns have district heating systems (kaukolämpö). In this case, heating is included in the rent. However, if you live in an detached house or outside the city, you might have electric or oil heating and you should be prepared to pay for them. Electricity is quite expensive in Finland.


Electricity is not usually included in the rent and you need to make an electricity contract (sähkösopimus) as soon as possible. You can choose the providing company. If you move, remember to terminate or update you contract.


Water is often included in the rent. In some case, however, you need to pay an additional monthly water fee either on the basis of comsumption or a fixed sum.


Some recently built apartments offer internet access. However, it is very likely that you do need to make your own agreement with one of the internet service providers for example Elisa, DNA and Telia.

Mobile phones

Telephone booths and land lines are almost nonexistent in Finland. You will get a work mobile phone with a plan but if you would like your own as well or one for a family member, a pre-paid phone card could be an option for you to start. You can buy these at the operator shops (Sonera, Elisa, Saunalahti, DNA) or in a R-kioski, which is a type of small convenience store and can be found in many places around town for example the Railway Station.