Arrival and family support

To support you, we offer: 
•    Advice on arrival formalities in Finland for you and your family 
•    Training to help you settle in 
•    Advice and contacts for public services 
•    Guidance on finding housing 
•    Advice on daycare and school options 
•    Onboarding accommodation, if needed, at Unihome 

In addition, we are prepared to offer personalised support to our top talent. For example, we offer high-quality relocation services and mentoring for high-profile recruits.

We support our newly arrived international staff members by offering a selection of events and trainings for information and networking.

  • Unibuddy- sign in for the programme and find your UniBuddy who helps you to settle into Finland and the University of Helsinki.
  • This is Your University - induction for new staff -event will give you an overview of the University as an employer and as a community. In addition to the social side of the event, you’ll be able to ask questions from professionals topics such as basic employment issues and occupational healthcare, services, how to be active at the University community and relocation issues. The event is a part of the University of Helsinki orientation and it is provided twice per year.
  • Finnish Working Culture is recommended orientation training for new international staff. A one-day training course offering a general introduction to Finnish society and working culture, its features and curiosities. The training session is provided twice per year.
  • Experiencing Finland: A welcoming event held every semester for newly arrived international staff and their family members
  • Details: Further, up-to-date information of the events, trainings and activities for international staff can be found in our intranet Flamma, at Staff training. We also offer Finnish for foreigners courses for the international members of staff. Within certain restrictions, staff can register in the Language Centre’s courses for students of the different faculties. More information in Flamma, at Language training for University staff.

Family members with other than an EU/EEA nationality need to apply for residence permits before arriving in Finland. In order for family members to receive residence permits, the main applicant’s income must be guaranteed by means other than state support. In Finnish legislation the definition of a family member may be narrower than elsewhere.

EU/EEA nationals or nationals of Switzerland are required to register their stay at the Immigration Service after arrival. Family members also usually need to register their stay at the Local Register Office.

Uni Arrival Advisor

A simple electronic service to guide you through the necessary relocation registrations upon your arrival in Finland by the University of Helsinki.

Uni Arrival Advisor

Opening a bank account 

When opening a bank account, an employment or other type of a contract from UH and a passport or identity card is normally required, as well as the residence permit or EU registration document.


We advise also to apply for online banking codes, which enable e-Identification. That allows you to log in to all Finnish public administration e-services the use of which require strong identification. Another way for e-identification, which comes with other benefits and which we strongly recommend, is to order a finnish ID card from the police. To activate it for e-Identification use, you will first need a card reading device and software. More info can be found on

For more advice, please see:

Euraxess portal

Information and assistance for living and working in Finland

More information on matters related to arriving in Finland and settling in is also available from your recruiting unit and on-site HR-services.

This is Finland

Information on Finland for everyone interested in the country, culture and the society. The website is produced by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Arrival Guide for international staff

A compact set of information related to Arrival in Finland and starting at the University of Helsinki.

Grant researchers and Visiting researchers

The legal status of these researchers differs somewhat from that of an employee. A contract is often concluded with a grant-funded researcher or a visiting researcher staying at the University for a longer period. In the contract the terms of working within the University and the arrangement of the necessary working conditions are agreed upon. More information can be obtained from on-site HR-services and from Flamma.

Flamma: Difference between contractual employment and the status of a grant researcher/visiting researcher

It is important to make sure that family members are insured during their stay in Finland. Family members are not entitled to occupational health care services provided for the employees of the University of Helsinki. In Finland, the employer does not usually provide health care insurance to its employees or their families in Finland, as residents normally belong to the Finnish social security system, administered by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution, Kela

If the family resided in an EU country before moving in Finland, it is advisable to get a European Health Insurance Card (European Commission's website) for each family member. Medical records, prescriptions and immunisation records of children should be collected as well.

Family members taking up permanent residence in Finland are normally covered by the Finnish social security system. If a family member arriving in Finland to work is already included in the system, the family is usually also entitled to these benefits. The Finnish social security system covers public health care and social security benefits. An application must be submitted to Kela to receive benefits.

Some social benefits and services are dependent on the person’s municipality of residence. In order to have a municipality of residence in Finland, you usually must move to Finland permanently. For a non-EU-citizen living in Finland for the first time, this usually means proof of residency for 2 or more years, such as an employment contract. Please check from the website below, if your situation allows you to obtain a municipality of residence.

infoFinland: Municipality of Residence in Finland

Health care without municipality of residence – employed in Finland

Ýou are entitled to public health care services for the time that you are insured for earnings-related pension benefits, against employment accidents and unemployment in Finland. All UH employees are insured as listed above. Persons from outside EU or EEA and Switzerland also need to have a residence permit or a visa, that gives the right to work in Finland. Persons with a researcher’s residence permit can obtain the services also without employment, e.g. with a research grant. Family members who move to Finland have a similar right to medical treatment as the family member who works in Finland, given that they have a residence permit. This is however always decided case-by-case, when the arriving person applies to KELA. More information can be found here:

KELA: Medical care in Finland

Daycare is available in Finland for small children in daycare centres and family daycare. Children aged six can attend preschool teaching, which is arranged in daycare centres and comprehensive schools. Comprehensive school usually starts in the year children turn seven. After comprehensive school, pupils go to upper secondary school. From there they can continue to vocational or high schools.

Daycare centres and schools include both public and private providers. Public daycare providers generally have lower costs, while fees for private providers are higher. Applying for a place for the child well in advance is recommended. One can get a private daycare allowance from Kela when living in Finland permanently. The public sector cannot provide daycare in certain languages, but there are several private providers that do.

Language-oriented daycare centres

Private schools

There are several private international schools in the capital area. All the English schools have entrance examinations to make sure children can follow the teaching. The International School of Helsinki is a private school and the costs are approximately 20,000 euros per student per year. The school follows the IB standard and educational plan. It is located in Ruoholahti.

The European School in Helsinki’s city centre is available for English speakers. However, each student must learn French from the third grade onwards. The school follows the Finnish curriculum and Finnish studies are obligatory.

Information on daycare and schools: 

•        Early childhood education in Finland (

•        Education in Helsinki (

•        Daycare in Helsinki (City of Helsinki,

•        Childcare and education in Espoo (City of Espoo,

Tertiary education is provided by vocational institutes, universities and universities of applied sciences. Admission is based on an application procedure.

Many options for non-degree studies are available. Providers of these studies include open universities or open universities of applied sciences, summer universities, and adult education centres. Studies are usually subject to a fee. Finnish language courses are offered by a range of providers.

Open University

Family leave

Finland offers free prenatal care for families and nearly a year of paid family leave when the child is born. Affordable childcare makes it easier for parents to combine work and family life. In Finland, equality between parents is valued. 80% of fathers take paternity leave. Paid family leave is guaranteed by law – and encouraged. A parent can have parental leave or work part-time until the child is three years old. A parent is also entitled to take a temporary paid leave of absence to care for a child under 10 years of age in case of the child’s sudden illness. 

Family life in Helsinki (

We find it important that the family members of our employees thrive in Helsinki. We offer the following to the spouses of our employees free of charge:

  • Relocation support
  • Information on the job market in Finland
  • The Unibuddy programme 
  • Trainings and events to welcome you into our community

Ex­amples of train­ing and events for spouses

We welcome the spouses of our newly arrived staff members to participate in selected staff training. Training on orientation matters and, Finnish working culture as well as the Experiencing Finland event are offered to spouses free of charge. Finnish language courses may also be available depending on the unit.

Em­ploy­ment of spouses

Finding employment in Finland requires an active approach from the spouse. A range of public services is available to support job searching.

Employment services (City of Helsinki)

EU/EEA nationals have the right to work in Finland. For citizens of other countries, the right to work depends on the type of residence permit. Generally, a residence permit on the basis of family ties gives an unlimited right to work in Finland. A residence permit granted on another basis may not include an unlimited right to work.

This Jobs in Finland website supports finnish employers in gaining international visibility for positions with a shortage of applicants in Finland.