On arrival in Finland

When you arrive in Finland, make sure that you have taken care of all the necessary registration and permit matters. Find out about employment matters and enter into an employment contract. Focus on organising all the practical matters and take your time in getting to know your new environment. Start studying Finnish or Swedish.

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Take care of any necessary registrations

Nordic (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Icelandic) citizens should register their residence at a Local Register Office.

If you are a citizen of the EU, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you must register your residence at the Finnish Immigration Service if you are to stay in Finland for longer than 3 months. 

If you are a citizen of a country other than the EU countries, Liechtenstein, Switzerland or the Nordic countries, you should have applied for a residence permit for an employed person in advance while still in your country of origin. If you did not do this, apply for a residence permit now at the Finnish Immigration Service. Register your residence and submit a notification of move at the local register office if you are to stay in Finland for at least a year. 

Enter into an employment contract

Enter into an employment contract with your employer. An employment contract can be valid indefinitely or it can be made for a specific, fixed term. Always demand a written employment contract in order to prevent grey economy activities. You can find a sample contract on the website of the occupational safety and health authorities.

The terms and conditions of employment are determined in the collective agreement. These terms and conditions determine the minimum level your employer must comply with. The wages in the collective agreement, for instance, are minimum wages and your employer may not go below these wages.

An employment contract should contain 

  • the duration of the contract
  • the duties
  • pay 
  • working hours of the employee
  • the applicable collective agreement
  • the manner of determining annual holiday
  • the trial period (if applicable)
  • the period of notice and the grounds for determining it

Open a bank account

Open a bank account as you will need one for receiving your pay. When you go to a bank to open an account, take your passport or other official identity card with you. A Finnish personal identity code will facilitate the process.

Several banks operate in Finland and you can freely choose the one that is most suitable for your needs.

Find out about tax matters

Your taxation in Finland will be determined based on the duration of your stay in Finland. 

  • If you come to Finland to work for less than six months, your tax at source will be 35%. 
  • If you stay in Finland for longer than six months, you will pay normal tax on your wages in Finland.

Apply for a tax card at the local tax office. You will need a Finnish personal identity code to obtain a tax card. If you come to Finland for a temporary period, you may obtain it at the local tax office when you apply for a tax card. If you are going to work in Finland for over a year, you must visit the local register office to obtain your personal identity code.

Give the tax card to your employer. Your employer will use the rate printed on the tax card for withholding the tax on your pay. In order to prevent grey economy activities and unreported employment, make sure that all your work is registered on your tax card and always demand a payslip for your work.

If you come to Finland to work as a leased employee, see the separate instructions on the website of the Finnish Tax Administration.

Remember occupational safety

Your employer is responsible for the safety of your workplace and work environment. Providing employees with orientation to the correct working methods and safety orders is your employer's duty. Your employer is also required to organise occupational health care for employees and insure them in case of occupational accidents.

Although the employer is primarily responsible for occupational safety and health, employees also have obligations. Occupational safety is cooperation and applies to everyone working at the workplace. 

Everyone is required to follow the safety instructions prepared at the workplace, take risk factors into account and inform their superior or the occupational safety and health representative of any faults and defects discovered in the work environment.

In occupational safety and health matters, you can contact the occupational safety and health representative of your workplace, who represents the employees, or the occupational safety officer, who represents the employer.

Improve your language skills

Learning Finnish or Swedish is the key to integration. Improve your language skills and use the language in everyday situations, such as when you go to a shop or speak with your colleague. The sooner you begin speaking Finnish or Swedish and the braver you are in using it, the easier it will be to learn the language.

There are several ways of learning Finnish or Swedish. Find out which way suits you the best, where you can attend suitable courses and whether your employer will support your studies. 

Courses are organised by various institutions and adult education centres. You can also make use of independent study opportunities provided on the internet.

In matters related to authorities, you may request interpretation services if the issue is related to a decision by an authority regarding you or the issue is initiated by an authority.

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