When you arrive in Inari
There are some obligatory steps and practical issues you need to take care of when moving to Finland from abroad. The steps you need to take and your entitlement to services may depend on whether you're an EU-citizen or non-EU citizen and if you intend to stay temporarily or permanently. The basics of the immigration process are described here, and you can always find more information about moving to Finland from other sources, such as InfoFinland webpage.
Right of residency
As an EU citizen, you do not need a work permit in Finland. You are allowed to start working as soon as you arrive in the country. If your stay in Finland lasts for more than three months, apply for a registration of an EU citizen’s right of residence through the online service of the Finnish Immigration Service and then visit the service point of Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) in Rovaniemi to identify yourself in person.
If you are not a citizen of an EU/EEA country you require a work, residence or seasonal permit from the Finnish Immigration Service. If you arrive from outside EU, you must apply for residence permit online prior arrival and visit the service point when you arrive to the country.
After filing your application for residence permit or EU-citizen's registration, you must visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service to prove your identity and show the originals of the documents that you have attached to your online application. The nearest service point is located in Rovaniemi and you can make the appointment to the service point online.
All people working in Finland need to have a tax card. Your employer needs it for salary payment and taxation. You can get your tax card from the local tax office. When you visit the local tax office in Ivalo, please make an appointment and remember to take your passport, work-contract and residence permit if you need one.
You can make the appointment to the tax office online trough MyTax service (you need Finnish online banking codes or a mobile certificate) or calling the Tax Administration's national phone service +358 29 512 000. Some employers make the appointment for their employees, so ask your employer about this. It is also possible to make a group appointment for several people.
National switchboard: +358 29 512 000
Finnish personal identity code
You will get Finnish Personal identity number automatically when you get your tax card or residence permit. You can also get it when registering municipality of residence in Finland (if you intend to stay in Finland permanently). To get Finnish personal identity number, you must always visit the customer service point in person.
Change of address
If you are moving within Finland, you can place a change of address notification online. To do so you need an online banking ID. You will be able to notify the Digital and Population Data Services Agency of your move at the same time. Your new address information will also be automatically sent to various other organizations.
If you do not have an online banking ID, you can submit your notification in writing. Please get the required form from the local post office, which is located at S-Market Ivalo (Petsamontie 2, 99800 Ivalo). This form cannot be printed from an online source, because each form has a unique machine-readable identification number.
Mobile phone calls and mobile data are relatively cheap in Finland. Therefore it is usually cheaper to purchase a Finnish sim-card, than to use a foreign subscription. There are 3 providers operating their own networks in Finland – DNA, Elisa and Telia. Depending on where you live, you may want to ask locals for the provider with the best coverage and fastest network in your area.
Unless you are moving to Finland permanently, you may prefer to purchase a prepaid sim card for your phone. They are an economical choice and you don’t accidentally exceed your budget. In Ivalo e.g. R-kioski sells DNA, Telia and Elisa prepaid sim-cards.
It is not essential to open a bank account in Finland, but payments to your bank account abroad will take time and may result in additional fees. To open a bank account you need your passport and a Finnish Personal Identification Code. There are two banks, OP Financial Grouo and Nordea Bank, that have branches in Inari municipality and also have English websites.
Municipality of residence
If you intend to stay permanently or will be staying for more than a year, you can register Inari as your municipality of residence (kotikunta). Having a municipality of residence is necessary in order to benefit from services which the municipality offers only to its own residents, like public health care and child day care. Sometimes a municipality of residence is also needed to use services provided by the state authorities or to receive financial benefits or subsidies. If you are residing in Finland temporarily, for example to work or study for no longer than one year, in most cases you are not entitled to register a municipality of residence in Finland.
If you want to reside in Finland permanently, you must have an acceptable reason to do so. Acceptable reasons may include:
- permanent employment
- family ties
- sufficient funds
The registration of municipality of residence is done in Digital and Population Data Services Agency (Digi- ja väestötietovirasto). In order to apply for a municipality of residence, you must visit the service point in person. If your entire family is registered, all family members must visit the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. The nearest service point is located in Rovaniemi and you can make the appointment online.
You may apply for your municipality of residence with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency before your right of residence is registered with the Finnish Immigration Service. It may be convenient to visit the Finnish Immigration service point and Digital and Population Data Services Agency's office in Rovaniemi the same day.
Entitlement to medical care
As an employee you are insured by your employer against occupational accidents. In cases of illness however, you are responsible to cover the costs of any doctor visits unless you have a municipality of residence in Finland or you are entitled to public healthcare services on the grounds of employment. If you have entitlement to medical care in Finland, you will be charged the same user fee as other local residents.
If you do not have a place of domicile in Finland, Kela (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland) can grant you a certificate that you can show to prove your right to medical care. The certificate is called Certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland. Family members who move to Finland have a similar right to medical treatment as the family member who works in Finland, but they also have to apply for entitlement to medical care separately from Kela.
In an emergency situation, you will be treated in public health care even if you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland or you are not entitled to medical care based on your work. The medical costs can quite high if you are not entitled to public healthcare in Finland.
Registering for school and daycare
All children who reside permanently in Finland must attend compulsory education. Compulsory education generally starts in the year in which children turn seven. 6-year-olds attend preschool. The municipality of Inari also provides early childhood education and care for children who are under school age. The right to early childhood education and care begins after the end of the parental allowance period and continues until the child enters basic education.
Submit your application to schooling and early childhood education (daycare) as soon as possible when you decide to move to Inari. Preschool education, comprehensive education and upper secondary school education are free of charge. The fees for early childhood education depend on the family’s income.
To register for school and daycare, you can contact municipal authorities in education department.