Things you need to do when moving to Finland :)
I will be updating this article every now and then.
Updated 2011-02-24 – More info about Kela / how it turned out for me.
Updated 2011-04-03 – More info about jobs.
Updated 2013-12-15 – Minor updates.
I moved from Sweden so some things are probably a little different if you’re coming from another EU-country or they definately are if you’re from outside EU.
- Maistraati – the guys who give you a personal number – “personbeteckning” in Swedish
- If moving from a Nordic country – chose moving
- Before you go there, send in paper to your nordic equivalent of the Swedish “skatteverket” to inform them that you are moving
- If you come from a non-Nordic country you should also go to the police within three months.
- Kela – Social Security
- Send in a form saying that you are moving to finland and asking for social security. Or, if you already have a job by Finnish employer, bring contract and payslip. Payslip is not necessary from the beginning but they will ask for this later.
- Please note: unless your wife/family/sambo is in the Finnish system, you will not get into the system without having a job.
- There is an office right to the left of the normal Kela on Salomonkatu (near Kamppi) called “Into Finland”. They can help you out with a lot of things. Less queue as well, use them.
- Mol – Unemployment – Arbetskraftsbyrån
- Employment reference – why was last job terminated / what did you do, when did it start/end
- School diploma
- If you want money for being unemployed
- They will ask for a description of why but it’s written but it’s something you can prepare
- Again, you need to be in the Kela system to be able to get money.
- They will probably sign you up for an integration plan to learn Finnish etc.
- I never got into the integration plan because I was not “in the system”. So if you come and do not have a job and do need to get support, you need to push hard.
- Bank, bring passport, say that you need it for Kela / or a job or whatever you have. If for Kela/Unemployment then bring proof of that. Internet banking or bank-id takes maybe 6 months. They need to see money on the account often/regularly.
- When you get a job, wait until first payment has arrived, then bring id, contract and payslip and go to a bank and ask for netti-pankki. Unsure if they actually need the papers, they didn’t look at them for me, but might be good, to be on the safe side.
- You can at that time also get a card so you can take out money from an Otto(ATM).
- If you’re on the integration plan – go to another Arbetskraftsbyrå and ask if they can help you study Finnish
- Lots of queues here though so you’re probably better off trying to find something yourself, see more below
- For me they said I might get an paper about an exam in January, it is now almost March and I haven’t heard anything. Lots of queues there, might be worth a shot, but probably better/faster if you arrange something yourself.
- Go to Kela
- If you are unemployed: Send in unemployment papers, each day that you claim for. But make sure that you are in the system first, if not, it doesn’t matter if you send in, it will start from when you are in the system anyway.
- Ask for E301 from the country where you previously worked. You can get this before you move.
- The E301 is a social security form and it requires a P45/P60 (from tax department) in Ireland.
- I moved to Finland in December 2010 and I hadn’t gotten one from 2009 or 2010. For 2010 it came in February 2011.
- I called welfare guys, they dont need p60 in my case as apparently P45 is enough. E-mailed in and a couple of weeks later I got the papers.
- E-mailed my previous employer and then they sent it to me.
- Study Finnish
- The above course unemployment agency will probably give you your money back for.
- Openuniversity (not so high tempo as the one above)
- Borrow books from Library – maybe with a CD? =)
- Get a friend so you can practice the pronunciation. This is very important. Read a text, doesn’t matter if you understand it or not. Make sure the one you read it to are not afraid to correct you (common attribute of Fins?)
- Check out http://livemocha.com – link goes to my profile. Great place to practice Finnish.
- kotisuomessa – Not so much about interaction but there are videos and ways to learn.
- Finnish is hard!
Apply for jobs!
Besides those, there are quite a few other recruitment sites. These are IT specific though:
- finitec (more likely to hook you up with a project if you are self-employed)
- companies websites: nokia, hp, ibm, dell, google
But, I’m quite non-optimistic when it comes to looking for a job in Finland. Especially in IT. It feels like I got lucky. I was advised by the unemployement office to try to work in a Swedish-speaking “Eftis” – like a place for kids after school.