Finns are generally relaxed about dress and manners — but they do not appreciate unpunctuality. If you are running late, let your host or business associates know — but try to be prompt. Finns also have little time for “small talk” and, in fact the language has no word for “please”. And you need not worry about the occasional silences, those are one of several finnish trademarks that make social life in Finland both peculiar and original. Many Finns are highly competitive and excel at sports. With so much water, water sports have to be popular, and many Finns own their own boats. The sauna is part of most homes, social and relaxing, but usually not with mixed sexes, unless close friends or family. And yes, the habit of leaping into ice-cold water or rolling around in the snow is certainly a part of the experience. Winter is a time to enjoy. With triple glazing and central heating you should not get cold, but be aware of the possibility of frost bite if you go out in winter without proper clothing.
To access medical care in Finland you need a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You have to pay the same patient contributions as a permanent resident of Finland. Note that workers and civil servants moving to Finland from UK are still covered by the UK national insurance system. Your employer needs to ask HMRC for forms E101 and E106, which prove that tax and NI contributions are paid in the UK.
The European Free Movement of Workers agreement makes finding job in Finland as a foreigner that much easier. It means that you can live and work in Finland without a visa or work permit. You do, however, need a residency permit. When you register residency, you will be asked why you want to live in Finland, and your permit may be based upon your work prospects. It may be a permit based on employment or a permit based on self-employment.
Want to learn about Finnish Language and Culture? You must read this article first.
Finland might be known for its free schools and the quality of education, but did you know that Finland was also the first country to grant every person the right to have one-megabit broadband connection? It’s no surprise that it has even been called the Silicon Valley of Europe and is the proud home of Angry Birds and Nokia! Though there’s a real possibility you didn’t even know these things came from Finland, as Finns have a tendency to downplay their achievements in the fear of seeming arrogant. Just like the ads on TV said, Finland is a country where you keep living your normal life after winning the lottery because you feel ashamed for being rich.
Finland often seems to be the promised land of introverts as Finns have a tendency to be very silent. Common expectation is that everything you say should serve a purpose of some sort. When you say something, you mean it. For example if you promise to “grab a cup of coffee” with a Finn (“grab a cup of coffee” meaning to spend time together”) they’re really expecting you to hold up to that promise. There’s also a saying that you only need to tell your spouse you love them once. That means that you will keep loving them till you tell them otherwise. This sums up the Finnish mentality very well.
The oldest Chewing Gum in the world has been found — it’s 5 000 years old! That finding is especially moving to Finland nationals, as this astounding record now belongs to Suomi. A piece of chewing gum, with tooth marks from the Stone Age chewer belonged to somone who used to live on the area of modern day Finland. Made from birch bark, it contains phenol, an antiseptic useful to treat infections — so maybe that person 5 000 year ago had tooth-ache and a gum infection. Apparently, chewing sugar-free gum after meals stimulates the production of saliva which does offer some protection against tooth decay.
Finland joined the EU in 1995 and is a member of the Schengen area. The capital city is Helsinki and the currency is the euro. Helsinki itself is a modern, small city, with a unique character — partly from the attractive architecture and partly as a mix of East and West.
Finland is a country of forests and lakes. In the far north, the White Nights when the sun never sets lasts up to 10 weeks in summer, and winter has the same amount of time when the sun never rises above the horizon. Finland has a modern, competitive economy and is a world leader in telecommunication equipment.
There are several sites where you can get information about expat clubs, news and communities. These three sites will give you a taste of what is available.
When relocating to Finland from UK, you will need to take care of several formalities, most prominent of those are passing the customs and registering your stay.
Although Britain is not a member of the Schengen area, and therefore customs formalities apply, because we are members of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton relocating to Finland.
Currency — there are no restrictions. Free import of goods bought from the EU with no restrictions on the amount of tobacco. Some limits to the amount of alcohol you can bring in. Medicines for personal use only, and narcotics only with special permission from the Finnish authorities. There is also no limit on the following food items, provided they are brought in for the traveller’s own consumption: meat, meat-products, fish, fish-products, milk, milk-products and egg-products from an EU Member State. You need a permit for firearms from the police in the UK.
To register your right of residence, you will need:
Buying a home may be a crucial matter when you’re relocating to Finland. Happily it’s safe and non-problematic. The provisions of the legislation are clear and understandable. Note that to buy in the Aland Islands it is necessary to purchase a special permit from the Finnish government.
If you buy an apartment, you are probably buying shares in a housing company. Check what the costs cover. You will have to pay transfer tax, which is a tax imposed on transfer of property (currently 4% of the purchase price or 2% for apartments). It is also possible to buy a part share.
Moving to Finland with pets is possible, but there are requirements you need to be aware of well before of the moving day.
If you’re moving to Finland you’re probably already aware of the fact that a lot of requirements, laws and regulations in place are coming from the EU. This sometimes makes it hard to make any sense of the system. One of the most important things to understand is that the requirements are different depending on where you are moving from. This also goes for pets: requirements are different for pets coming from EU and EEA countries and for pets coming from outside of EU.
The rules we’re about to go through apply for pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) from outside of the EU. The process of moving to Finland with pets is a bit easier when you’re travelling from one EU country to another.
Moving to Finland with Pets in 4 simple steps:
There are no stray dogs in Finland. Your pet needs to have a microchip in place and the microchip should work with certain readers: make sure the microchip is ISO 11784/11785 compliant. If your pet has a different microchip you need to bring your own scanner and attach it to the crate the pet is travelling in. All microchips are checked and no other forms of identification are accepted.
Prepare for your travel with 11 Tips for move to Finland
Finland – the country where you can roam the wilderness, ski in an unspoilt land and enjoy water sports on one of it 180,000 lakes. Although Finland is the fifth largest country in Europe, it is also the least populated, with around 5.4 million people.While the winters are long and dark, this is the land of the midnight sun. You can get free digital maps from The National Land Survey of Finland, and road maps from the Finnish Transport Agency. While Finnish is the national language, Swedish is also widely spoken. If you intend to move to Finland, you will have some essential preparation – and these 11 Tips for move to Finland are designed to help you.