Under the Nordic agreement on population registration, all persons living in the Nordic countries must be registered in a population register in one place only in the Nordic countries. On the other hand, the agreement ensures that persons who move do not drop out of the population register entirely. In Finland the Local Register Offices are the authority responsible for population registration. In the Åland Islands registration is carried out by the State Department of Åland.
Citizens of the Nordic countries do not need any other permits, such as a residence or working permit, to reside in Finland.
Notification of move
Persons who move to Finland permanently from another Nordic country must visit the Local Register Office in person to notify their move no later than one week from the date of moving. If your stay in Finland is due to last more than three months but less than 12 months, you must make a notification of a temporary move. See below for more detailed instructions.
Foreigners do not need to notify a stay of less than three months in Finland.
If your stay in Finland is due to last more than three months but less than 12 months, you must make a notification of a temporary move. Nordic citizens can register for temporary residence at the Local Register Office in the area where they are living temporarily, or at the tax office. You need to take your identity card with you. You can also make a notification of a temporary move by filling in a form available at post offices and Local Register Offices, or online using Finnish online banking codes or a Post Office user ID.
For stays of more than three months, citizens of non-Nordic EU and EEA countries must register their right of residence with the Finnish Immigration Service. You need to take your identity card with you. Citizens of non-EU and EEA countries need a visa or residence permit.
Persons residing in Finland temporarily do not have a registered municipality of residence in Finland and thus they do not necessarily have the same rights as persons who live in Finland permanently. However, in certain cases they can get a personal identity code (a so-called temporary personal identity code), if they need one for example for work.
If your stay in Finland is intended to be permanent or if it is due to last or has lasted more than 12 months, you must make a nofication of a permanent move. You make the notification of move in person at your Local Register Office. For Nordic citizens, proof of identity is provided by a passport, an official identity card with photo ID indicating citizenship or an equivalent document.
Citizens of non-Nordic EU and EEA countries must also take along their certificate of registration of right of residence, which you get from the Finnish Immigration Service. Citizens of non-EU and EEA countries must produce a valid residence permit. Family members can apply for registration on the basis of family ties.
When details of the person moving are registered at the Local Register Office, they are assigned a personal identity code and municipality of residence.
Remember that simply registering with the Local Register Office does not automatically mean that you are covered by Finnish residence-based social security. A separate application to be covered by residence-based social security must be made to the Social Insurance Institution of Finland - Kela.
Municipality of residence
Everybody who is registered permanently in the population register in Finland has a Finnish municipality of residence. A person’s municipality of residence affects things like their taxation and health care. Once a person has got their municipality of residence in Finland, they can apply for an income tax card instead of a witholding tax card and use municipal health care services in their municipality of residence.
Information on Åland regional citizenship and exemption from military service for persons moving permanently to the Åland Islands is given in the article Population registration in the Åland Islands.
Living in more than one country at the same time
If someone moves and they have homes in two different Nordic countries, the registration authority in the host state (in Finland the Local Register Office) decides separately whether the person moving is registered as living in the host state or not.
As a general rule, the state of residence is often taken to be the country where the person has substantial connections (family, home ownership, employment etc.). The registration authority of the host state makes its decision after the person has visited the registration authority in their new country of residence to register their stay.
Remember that you need to apply separately to Kela to be covered by residence-based social security.
If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.