Moving to Finland and to Saarijärvi
Citizen of an EU country, Liechtenstein or Switzerland doesn’t need a residence permit or a visa for Finland. You can arrive in Finland if you have a valid ID card or passport. You have the right to work, operate as an entrepreneur and study in Finland equally with the Finnish citizens. You must provide for yourself in Finland.
As an EU citizen you can stay in Finland for a maximum period of three months without registering your right of residence. If you want to stay in Finland and register as a resident, you must have a job or a functioning enterprise, study place or a long-term family bond or sufficient funds.
If you are going to live in Finland for over three months, you need to apply for registration of your EU citizen’s right of residence at the Finnish Immigration Service. The application must be submitted within three months of the day you arrived in the country.
Common visa requirements apply to the citizens of the Schengen Area. Foreigners who want to travel to Finland for a short period of time, for instance for a vacation, a business trip or to visit relatives, need a visa if they aren’t citizens of a visa-free country. A visa is a permit to enter the country for a short-term and temporary period lasting no more than three months. You can check on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland or at the Finnish embassy closest to you if you need a visa for the Schengen Area. More specific information can be found at https://um.fi/entering-finland.
If you are not an EU citizen, the best information about moving to Finland can be found on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland at https://www.infopankki.fi/en/moving-to-finland/non-eu-citizens
Registering as a resident
Once you have moved to Finland, you must visit your home town’s Local Register Office. in Saarijärvi, the Local Register Office’s service point is at the town hall, adr. Sivulantie 11. Some of the Local Register Office’s services require you to visit the Local Register Office’s service office in Jyväskylä, adr. Yliopistonkatu 28. If you want to visit the office in Jyväskylä, you must book an appointment in advance.
Before you come to the Local Register Office, you can fill in the registration information form of a foreigner, which can be found at https://maistraatti.fi/. You can also do that at the Local Register Office. You can also get a Finnish personal identity code at the Local Register Office if you meet the requirements and didn’t get it already when you were granted a residence permit or when your EU citizen’s right of residence was registered at the Finnish Immigration Service.
When you go to the Local Register Office, bring with you at least the following documents:
- passport or other identification that shows your citizenship (if you are a citizen of an EU country or a Nordic country)
- legalized marriage certificate (if you’re married)
- legalized children’s birth certificates (if you have children under 18 years old)
- residence permit (if you need a residence permit for Finland)
- EU citizen’s right of residence registration certificate (if you are an EU citizen and need registration)
- contract of employment or student certificate (if you don’t have registration of an EU citizen’s right of residence)
Foreign documents must be legalized before they can be used to submit personal details into the population information system. The documents must also be translated to Finnish, Swedish or English if they are in some other language.
Working in Finland
As an EU citizen you don’t need a work permit for Finland. You can start working as soon as you arrive in the country.
Get a tax card from the tax office closest to you and bring it to your employer.
If your work in Finland lasts longer than three months, apply for the registration of EU citizen’s right of residence at the Enter Finland –service or at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.
If you move to Finland for a continuous stay of at least a year, go to register as a resident at the Local Register Office as well.
If you are a citizen of an EU country, you can also come to Finland for a reasonable length of time to search for work.
If you are a citizen of some other country than an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein and you come to Finland to work, you need a residence permit. Before you can get it, you must get a job in Finland. Once you have found a job, you can apply for a residence permit. You must apply for it before you come to Finland.
In order to work you usually need either a worker’s residence permit or some other residence permit for gainful employment. The type of permit you need depends on what kind of work you’re going to do.
Being a refugee, seeking asylum and a municipal place
You can seek asylum in Finland if you have just reason to fear being persecuted in your home country. You can only seek asylum for yourself. You can’t seek it for instance based on your family member’s situation.
Within EU countries (and Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) you must seek asylum in the country that you first arrived in. If you have sought asylum or stayed in some other EU country (or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein) before you arrived in Finland, your application won’t be processed in Finland. In this case you will be turned back to the country where you were before arriving in Finland.
Processing the asylum application will take several months. Once you have sought asylum you have the right to stay in Finland as long as processing your application takes. Asylum seekers usually live in reception centers. Asylum seekers can also live somewhere other than in a reception center, but then they must pay the living expenses by themselves.
Saarijärvi doesn’t have a reception center. The town of Saarijärvi has, however, committed itself to annually receiving and taking care of the social integration of 25 foreigners in need of international protection who already have a residence permit.