Living in Finland

Getting to know a new country, culture and new people requires curiosity and courage. Find out what Finland has to offer you. Information about settling in Finland is available from various sources, such as your municipality of residence. Be active and search for information about opportunities that will help you and your family enjoy your new environment.

Page contents

Family and housing
Your language skills
Social security
Studying, practical training and voluntary work in Finland

Family and housing

It will be easier for your family members to move to Finland if you have performed some research on matters such as their study and work opportunities in advance. 

If your spouse does not have a job, he/she should register as an unemployed job seeker at the local Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office). The TE Office will provide help in job seeking and offer language and vocational education.

All children permanently residing in Finland have the right and obligation to attend compulsory schooling. The parents of a pupil in compulsory education are responsible for ensuring that the basic education is completed. 

Basic education is free of charge and the state and local authorities are responsible for organising it.

You can search for homes to let on the private market or through accommodation agencies. 

As a rule, rented homes are not furnished, but they do normally include a toilet, shower, refrigerator, cooker and an oven. Tenants can acquire a washing machine and a dishwasher if they wish to.

Your language skills

Language skills will help you settle in Finland and support your integration. Find out about the language courses available in your area and enrol. Finns will appreciate your effort to learn Finnish and gladly speak to you in Finnish.

Social security

The Finnish government uses tax revenues to provide various services for people living in Finland. Basic security is provided by Kela. Local authorities are responsible for health care and social services.

Social security includes benefits such as 

  • the national pension
  • basic security for the unemployed
  • child benefit
  • housing allowance

In general, applicants who have permanently moved to Finland are entitled to social security. 

The following situations are, for instance, regarded as indications of a permanent move to Finland: employment in Finland lasting at least 2 years, return migration to Finland and moving to Finland to be with a family member permanently residing in Finland. In general, an employment relationship lasting for less than four months does not entitle you to Finnish social security.

Contact Kela to find out whether you are entitled to Finnish social security.

Studying, practical training and voluntary work in Finland

You can obtain information on the Finnish education system, higher education institutions and vocational education and training on the internet or at TE Offices. It is possible to get student financial aid from the government.

Practical training and voluntary work may open doors into working life. The Finnish National Agency for Education coordinates various training programmes in Finland with the aim of supporting students in their studies.

Voluntary work is available through several organisations, such as Service Civil International and its Finnish branch KVT Finland and Internationalisation services of the Finnish National Agency for Education.