Relocating to Finland

Check out the Uni Arrival Advisor! The Advisor is an electronic service that will guide you through the steps you need to take on your path to the University of Helsinki. Through the service you will get a checklist that guides you through the process of arriving in Finland and settling in.

Citizens of EU, Liechtenstein and Switzerland intending to reside and work in Finland for longer than three months must register their right to reside in Finland at the Finnish Immigration Service MIGRI.

Nordic citizens must register at the Local Register Office within one week from arrival in Finland in case their stay exceeds 6 months.

Citizens of other countries must apply for a residence permit if the intended to stay in Finland is longer than three months. Employees of the University of Helsinki and grant researchers are required to apply for a researcher’s residence permit. Those funding the research with their own funds need to apply for a student’s residence permit. The residence permit needs to be applied for before arrival in Finland.

Requesting a Finnish Identity Code in the immigration process is recommended for all doctoral students.

Applying for The Finnish social security system (KELA) is recommended to all new doctoral students. The KELA system can be accessed on the basis of work or permanent residency.

Recipients of a grant or scholarship must take out an insurance from MELA if their grant has been awarded from Finland for scientific work that lasts for more than four months and they fulfill the other insurance requirements.

Occupational health care services are offered to employees of the University of Helsinki.

EU citizens and those eligible are recommended to obtain a European Health Insurance Card from their country of residence. Taking out a private health insurance is necessary in some situations. The University of Helsinki recommends the Student Insurance Package (SIP).

Registration at the Local Register Offices is required for everyone residing in Finland for more than one year.

Taxation of doctoral students varies according to how long they will be staying in the country. The obligation to pay taxes also depends on the source of funding of the research.

For more information, see Finnish Tax Administration VERO.

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area travel card makes it easy to travel around in the Metropolitan Area. The remotely readable and reloadable Travel Card can be used on all forms of public transportation in the Metropolitan Area - on buses, trams, local trains, metro (in Helsinki), as well as on the Suomenlinna ferry.

No matter which mode of public transport you choose, the same ticketing and fare collection system is in use on all transport modes. Fare pricing is based on zones which are determined by municipal boundaries. Information about tickets and fares, timetables and routes and a journey planner can be found at HSL website.

Unicafe operates in several locations across the University Campuses. Please refer to Unicafe Restaurants site for information about the cafeterias, services hours and prices.

University of Helsinki International Staff Services provides counselling for international staff members and their host departments on relocation issues.


Virka-info is a public information service for Helsinki residents. The service offers general information and advice on living and working in the Helsinki area as well as special advice and guidance on immigration issues.

Infopankki (Info Bank) contains basic information about Finnish society and culture, permits needed by those settling in Finland, housing, studying Finnish, health care and social, cultural and leisure services as well as links to websites where you will find additional information.

In To

In To is the service point of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and Finnish Tax Administration for employees moving to and from Finland. In To also helps self-employed persons, students and companies hiring and recruiting foreign labour. The In To multi-lingual officials give you service on social security and on taxation matters in Finland and direct you to the authorities who are connected to the immigration.


KELA, the Finnish Social Security Institution looks after basic security for all persons resident in Finland. The terms and conditions of the benefits provided by Kela are defined in legislation. Kela is also responsible for providing public information about its benefits and services, for undertaking research to develop social security further, and for compiling statistics, estimates and projections required for the planning and monitoring of benefit programmes and other operations.

Employment and Economic Development Offices

Employment and Economic Development Offices offer services to the unemployed, those who are currently working or entering the working life as well as to employers. The Employment and Economic Development Offices have 200 outlets all over Finland. The Employment and Economic Development Offices offer individual customer service and Internet services that jobseekers can use on their own.