How to register as a foreigner in the Finnish Population system
If you are planning to live permanently in Finland, you must be registered in the Finnish Population Information System (Digi- ja väestötietovirasto in Finnish).
However, if you move to Finland for a short period of time (less than one year), your information may be entered into the system in certain cases, if necessary. For example, if you have been granted a residence permit by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), if your EU right of residence has been registered or if you have another valid reason to stay in the country for more than three months, such as a work or study place.
You should notify the Digital and Population Data Services Agency of a temporary move to Finland if you intend to stay for more than three months.
For those who intend to live in Finland more than one year, the requirements may also vary depending on their country of origin:
- If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, you can be assigned a municipality of residence based on your intention to move to Finland for at least one year. You have to visit the Digital and Population Data Services Agency in person to notify the authorities of your migration no later than one week from your date of move.
- If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you have to first register your right of residence at the Finnish Immigration Service.
- If you are a citizen of a third country, you must first have a residence permit entitling you to live in the country at least one year.
Your key personal data is registered in the Population Information System so that it is available to the Finnish public authorities.
Such data includes your names, date of birth, sex, mother tongue, citizenship and address in Finland. In addition, information about your place of birth, children, parents, spouses and the custody of the children may be registered.
The information is used for purposes such as taxation, healthcare, organisation of elections, judicial administration and statistics.
Finnish personal identity code
If you register in the Population Information System, you will get a personal identity code, which the authorities can use to check your personal data in the Population Information System.
You need the personal identity code when you use the services of the authorities, such as the Social Security (Kela) and the Employment offices (TE Office), and sometimes also with private companies. In Finland, for example you can not open a bank account without a personal identity code.
You can request registration and a personal identity code from:
- The Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
- The local tax office, if you need the personal identity code for taxation purposes.
- A Finnish diplomatic mission abroad, if you submit an application for a residence permit there.
Bring the following documents with you:
- Your valid passport or EU citizen’s official identity card with a photograph.
- Your residence permit card or some other proof that you have entered Finland legally.
- Proof of work or studies performed in Finland (for example, an employment contract or a certificate of student status).
- If necessary, the legalized birth and marriage certificates and other official documents containing information that you would like the Digital and Population Data Services Agency to record in the Population Information System.
Municipality of residence
Once you are registered at the Population System, you can apply for a municipality of residence. That will entitle you to enjoy social services or benefits provided by your municipality.
A municipality of residence and a permanent address in Finland can be entered into the system for you on certain conditions.
If you would like your municipality of residence to be entered into the Population Information System, you always need to visit the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. If your whole family is registered, all members of your family must visit the Agency.
When you have a municipality of residence, you can use the services that municipalities provide only to their residents. Sometimes you also need a municipality of residence to be able to use the services provided by the state authorities or to be granted financial benefits or support.
Start the process
You can find the form for the registration as a foreigner HERE.
According to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, you have to request registration yourself and the registration requires that you visit the authority in person, in order to prove your identity.
You do not need to request registration if the Finnish Immigration Service grants you a residence permit or your right of residence is registered. The Finnish Immigration Service will register you and give you a personal identity code.
One last thing, this process is free of charge.