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Basic information

Place of domicile in cases of immigration and emigration

The municipality of residence of someone moving to Finland is determined on the same basis as for anyone else, if he or she resides in Finland and intends to remain in Finland permanently and if he or she has a residence permit - if one is required.

An individual who has moved abroad for a period exceeding one year does not have a municipality of residence in Finland. His or her municipality of residence can, however, be in Finland if he or she has a stronger connection to Finland than to his or her other country of residence based on his or her living conditions.

When a person moves to or from another Nordic country (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), person must notify local register authorities about the moving.

Person must also make a notify (a change of address notification must be made within seven days from the date on which you move) of moving to local register office.

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Change of address notices

Legally speaking, a change of address notification must be made one month before the actual date of moving or within seven days from the date on which you move. Once you make the change of address notification, your new information will be updated to the population information system and the Post Office's information systems.

You can make a change of address notification either by calling the national change of address notification line at 0295 535 535 (Finnish language service number) or 0295 535 536 (Swedish language service number). The language change of address notification line is open on weekdays from 08.00 - 16.00.

You can also make a change of address notification by filling out a Change of Address Form, which are available at local register offices, post offices, tax offices, the Social Insurance Institution offices (KELA) and joint service centres.

You can also order a form from your local register office.

Electronic change of address

Electronic change of address notifications can be made by visiting the Population Register Centre's Internet site at: http://www.posti.fi/changeaddress/

In order to make an electronic change of address notification you will need an electronic ID card, a card reader as well as the system package required in order to use the electronic card. The service is available every day. Electronic ID cards are available from the local police authorities.

You can also use Finland Post netposti-service (requires registration) to make a Electronic change of address.

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Registration of foreigners

The basic data on foreigners residing in Finland are entered in the Population Information System. Registered information includes name, date of birth, nationality, familial relationships and address. A Finnish municipality of residence is registered for a foreigner who has moved to Finland if he or she plans on staying here permanently and if he or she has a residence permit for at least one year. Citizens of Nordic countries do not need residence permits.

Under the law, a foreigner is required to register the same information as Finnish citizens if he or she resides in Finland for at least one year. The registration takes place at the local register office. The registered information is used, amongst other things, in the organisation of elections, and for taxation, health care, juridical administration and statistical purposes.

Temporarily residing foreigner

A foreigner residing temporarily in Finland can also receive an identification number if he or she needs one, for example in order to work. The one requirement is that the person has to have a residence permit at least for the period of one year. However, a municipality of residence will not be registered for him or her, nor will he or she necessarily enjoy the same rights as a person residing in Finland permanently. Citizens of Nordic countries are not required to report to the local register office, unless they plan on residing in Finland for a period exceeding one year. In this case, the person moving is required register as a foreigner in addition to making a change of address notification, unless he or she has already been assigned a personal identity number in Finland.

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How does the registration happen?

  1. Inform the local register office of your place of residence.
  2. Bring your passport and valid residence permit with you.
  3. Other official documents you will need when registering are a marriage certificate if you are married and the birth certificates of any children you might have.
  4. Fill out and sign the Registration of Foreigners - registration form at the registry.
  5. Also remember to make an official change of address notification whenever you move. It is a requirement for registration.

We require that all official documents are notarised originals or translations by authorised translators.

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Legalisation of documents

In order for a document issued abroad (excluding the Nordic countries) and by a foreign authority to have the intended legal effect in Finland, it must be legalised. The legalisation of a document is a measure relating to the customer’s legal protection, ensuring that the party issuing the certificate is entitled to do so under the laws of the issuing country and that the document contains the appropriate information and is valid in the country where it has been issued. For example with regard to marriage certificates, it is important that the officiating party is entitled to marry couples under the legislation of the country where the marriage has taken place.

Legalisation takes place by two different means depending on whether the relevant country is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 1961. Documents supplied by countries that have ratified the Hague Convention are legalised by the issuance of a so-called Apostille Certificate (stamp or paper certificate). Documents issued by other countries are legalised through the so-called Grand Legalisation procedure.

Apostille

The Apostille Certificate (stamp or paper certificate) is used to legalise a document if the relevant country has ratified the Hague Convention of 1961. For a list of signatories to the Hague Convention, visit www.hcch.net, (Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents). This website also provides information on the authorities issuing these certificates in various countries that are parties to the Convention.

Grand Legalization

If the country issuing a document is not a signatory to the Hague Convention, a document is legalised by the foreign ministry of the issuing country certifying that is has been issued by the proper authority, after which a competent Finnish mission in that country legalises the document by attaching a certificate of the competence of that foreign ministry official to issue such certificates. If there is no Finnish mission in the country, a local mission of another Nordic country can legalise a document that has been legalised by the foreign ministry of the relevant country. This practice is based on a mutual agreement between the Nordic countries.

Authorised translations

Documents drawn up in Finnish, Swedish or English are accepted.
Documents drawn up in other languages must be translated by an authorised translator. For more information on authorised translators see National Board of Education, Register of Authorised Translators http://db3.oph.fi/kaantajat/

If the document is translated abroad, the translation must also be separately legalised.

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Registration of a child's name

The parents or guardians of a child must register the child's full name and native language in the Population Information System within two months of the child's birth. The parents mark the information in a pre-filled form, which is then returned to the local register office that has jurisdiction over the mother's municipality of residence or population bookkeeping municipality.

If the child is to become a member of the congregation of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church or the Orthodox Church, the form should be returned to the priest who will perform the christening, who will then forward it to the appropriate church.

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