Checklist for Incoming Internationals

This is a check list for new staff members, doctoral candidates or visiting researchers coming from abroad for taking the necessary steps when preparing to move to Finland and get started.

Before coming to Turku

Residence permit

Apply for visa or residence permit if you need one. Please notice that accompanying family members should apply at the same time, even if they arrive in Finland later.

If you come to Finland from outside the EU and you intend to stay for more than 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit.
The EU residence permit granted by a Schengen State will allow you to reside in another Schengen State for up to 90 days. To stay longer you must apply for a national residence permit from the other Member State. The EU residence permit will allow you to work only in the Member State that granted the EU residence permit.

A residence permit and visa must be obtained prior to arrival in Finland.

> E- service: EnterFinland
> Finnish Immigration Services
> Visa for Finland
Citizens of EU and Nordic countries as well as citizens of Liechtenstein and Switzerland do not need a residence permit for Finland.


Start looking for housing well in advance. Housing situation in Turku is quite good, and the standard of housing is high.

However, the cost of living in Finland is relatively high. Rent varies depending on the location, size and type of the flat. The rent of a studio or two-room apartment start from 450 € /month, and is often around 600-750 € / month near the campus area. For a furnished flat the rent is higher. Normally, rent includes heating but not electricity and water.

> More information on housing options in Turku


As a student, employed person, visitor, or a grant holder, your insurance cover is based on your status in Finland. In all these situations the insurance cover differs from one to another.

Medical Insurance

If you move to Finland temporarily from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland, you will have access to necessary medical care by presenting your European Health Insurance Card. EU/EEA citizens who have a European Health Insurance Card are entitled to municipal health care are the same prices as Finnish citizens. For those arriving from other countries, medical insurance is strongly recommended, although it is not required for obtaining a residence permit or visa.

The Student Insurance Program, SIP, is a special insurance package covering people residing abroad on temporary basis. SIP has been specially designed for students, scientist, members of educational staff and accompanying family members (husband, wife, or children over 5 years). For more information on this insurance, see SIP's special insurance package covering people residing abroad on a temporary basis. The SIP policy is valid worldwide.

> More information

Occupational Health Care

The occupational health care provider for University staff members is Mehiläinen Oy. Please note that researchers awarded a grant or scholarship are not entitled to occupational health care provided by the University. Even in the case of employees, the occupational health service is not fully comprehensive; leisure time accidents and emergencies, extensive laboratory tests or other extensive physical examinations or treatment are not included. Occupational health care is provided for the University staff members, but accompanying family is not included in this insurance.

All employees of the University, regardless of the nature and duration of the employment relationship, have insurance coverage in case of a work-related injury or illness.

Social Security Insurance - Kela

The objective of Finnish social security is to guarantee adequate basic security in all life situations. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland is called Kela. Everybody living in Finland permanently is entitled to social benefits and services, including those who are not employed. As an employee, or scholarship holder, your right to Finnish social security is generally determined on the basis of how long you intend to stay in Finland.
Kela determines whether your move to Finland can be considered permanent. The overall situation is taken into account in the consideration, which is affected by factors such as return migration to Finland, employment contract for work in Finland as well as marriage or other close family relationship to a person who is a permanent resident in Finland. If you have already stayed in Finland for one year, this can be taken into account later when considering whether the stay in Finland is permanent.
If you move to Finland on a temporary basis, you will normally not be entitled to social security benefits from Kela. For example, students moving to Finland for the sole purpose of studying are considered to be staying in Finland temporarily.
If you are covered by the Finnish social security, any accompanying family members are usually also covered. However, if an employee or student moves to Finland on temporary basis and is not covered by Finnish social security, their family members are not covered either.

> Kela webpages

Kela Card

Applications for coverage under the social security system administered by Kela can be filed on form Y 77e.
All who are covered under the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme of Finland are issued a personal health insurance card, the Kela card. By presenting your card at the pharmacy or at many private medical clinics, you can get a direct, on-the-spot reimbursement for your costs.
If you leave Finland permanently, you must return your Kela card to Kela. If you take up permanent residence in Finland, you should apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system, after which you will get your personal Kela card. Processing times are about 3-4 months.  

> Kela card

MELA insurance

For those receiving a grant or scholarship awarded in Finland, the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution Mela handles statutory pension and occupational accident insurance. This insurance is for those covered by Finnish Social Security (Kela).
An insurance application must be made within three months of starting work. Mela also provides group life insurance, and short-term sickness security, and clarifies unemployment benefits. In addition, occupational accident insurance can be complemented with accident insurance for leisure time.
Compensation practices related to Mela’s insurance abides by Finnish legislation and insurance terms and conditions.

> Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution Mela

Pension Insurance, statutory social insurance Mela

As a general rule, work performed in Finland is insured in Finland irrespective of the employer’s or employee’s citizenship. A central form of insurance-based social security in Finland is the earnings-related pension. Other types of compulsory statutory insurances include occupational accident insurance, motor liability insurance, patient insurance and environmental damage insurance.  Earnings-related pension insurance is taken out by the employer, and the premium is deducted from the employee’s monthly salary. The premium is 4.7 %, and 6.0 % for persons aged above 53 years.
For those receiving a grant or scholarship awarded in Finland, the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution Mela handles statutory pension and occupational accident insurance.  


Family members

Plan on family matters such as school and day care well in advance.

> More information on the For families page

Civil registrations in Finland

There are two registrations to be considered. EU nationals (only) need to complete EU registration in the Finnish Migration Service. This needs to be done prior to civil registration in Maistraatti (Local Register Office).

Please make the necessary time reservations already before coming to Finland:
> For EU registration: EnterFinland eService
> For civil registration: Maistraatti (Local Register Office)

After arriving in Turku

Visit your host department

Meet your contact persons at the department.

UTU user account and library card

Get your UTU user account at the nearest IT Help Desk: Educarium, Turku School of Economics, Medisiina or Natura. There are also IT Helpdesks at the Pori and Rauma campuses.

> More information on the user account as well as wireless networks, devices and services are available in the University's intranet
You can get a library card free of charge from any of the libraries by providing your ID and address in Finland. The library card is personal. The card holder is responsible for all the material borrowed with the card and agrees to follow the rules and regulations of the Library.

Registering you stay in Finland

EU citizens

You need to register your stay in Finland if you are a citizen of the EU and your stay in Finland exceeds three months.

> Online service: EnterFinland
> Time reservation for Finnish Migration Service

Nordic citizens

Citizens of the Nordic countries need neither a visa nor a residence permit to reside or work in Finland. Citizens of the Nordic countries are also not required to have a passport or any other identity document. However, they must be able to prove their identity and verify that they are a Nordic citizen if necessary. A driving licence is not acceptable proof of identity, nor does it indicate the nationality of the holder. Nordic citizens are registered by the local register offices, Maistraatti. Nordic citizens are required to register if they reside in Finland for more than six months.

Other nationalities

You do not need to visit the Migri Service Point in Raisio if you arrive outside EU/ETA, and you have a valid residence permit to Finland.

Local register office Maistraatti

Foreign citizens, whose residence in Finland is permanent or exceeds one year need to register their stay with the Local Register Office, Maistraatti. If the stay is at least two years, this registration will give a municipality of residence that entitles to use municipal services, most importantly health care services.

> Maistraatti
> Basic information
> Personal Identity Code and home municipality

Apply for Finnish social insurance at Kela

You should apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system by filing in the form Y 77e at Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Your right to social security benefits in Finland is based to the length of your residence in Finland. In most cases you are covered by the Finnish social security system on the basis of your employment.

> Kela: How to apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system

Tax office

If you are employed, do visit the tax office in order to get a tax card. The Turku tax office is located in DataCity, street address Lemminkäisenkatu 14 - 18. For the tax card, you need to present your official ID, your employment contract, and a clarification of your monthly income. The tax office will mail your tax card directly to your employer, to the University of Turku Payroll Office.

You can also apply for a Finnish ID at the tax office. Please fill in form 6150e, but do not sign the form - this form is signed at the tax office after the verification of your identity.

> More tax information for internationals arriving in Finland


Bank account

You need to open a bank account in Finland in case you do not hold a bank account in the SEPA area. To open a bank account, you need to present your official ID, your Finnish ID, residence permit card or EU registration to Finland, address in Finland, employment contract or grant letter.

Please notice also that banks have a statutory obligation to identify and know their customers. In addition to the personal details, the bank must have sufficient information on the customer's business, financial position and origin of funds.


Ask about a data package with internet connections for your mobile phone by visiting operator shops.

Notification of move

ccording to Finnish legislation, you must always submit a notification of move if you move permanently into a new home or if your temporary stay at another address is longer than three months. The notification must be submitted at the latest within a week of your move.

The easiest way to submit a notification of move is to use Posti's online service. You can make an online notification using Internet Bank access codes, an ID card or Posti username. You can also submit your notification of move by filling in the form that you can pick up at the local post office or the local register office.

Orientation to work

Orientation is welcoming the new employee to the University community, telling about the values, practices and procedures of the University of Turku and the specific unit.

> More information in the University's intranet