Immigration to Finland | The comprehensive guide to living and working in Finland
If you are thinking of immigrating to Finland, there is undoubtedly a lot to look forward to. This beautiful country has something to offer to everyone who visits it, whether for tourism or for the purpose of settling there permanently. So what do you need to know before deciding to immigrate to Finland?
The answer In today’s article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to living and working in Finland.
The Finnish Republic (Suomi in Finnish) is located in Northern Europe, bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east, and finally Estonia to the south across the Gulf of Finland. The population of the Republic of Finland is 5 million. The official languages are Finnish and Swedish, in addition to the fact that English is widely spoken, especially among young people.
Fun facts about Finland
Each country has its own unique features and characteristics, and Finland is no different…Here are some fun and interesting facts about this far-flung European country:
1- Finns are the people who drink the most coffee
Some may think that the capital of coffee in Europe is France or Italy, but… It seems that this is not true, as the Finns seem to be the most consuming people of coffee, not only in Europe, but in the whole world!
The average Finnish person consumes about 12 kilograms of coffee per year. And drinking eight cups of coffee a day is not unusual in Finland!
2- There are 187,888 lakes in Finland
Finland is known as the country of a thousand lakes, but what many people don’t know is that it is oppressed by this title… because it includes a greater number of lakes… in fact 187 times!!
The number of lakes in Finland is about 187,888 lakes with an area of more than 500 square metres, of which 57,000 are lakes with an area of more than 10,000 square metres, in addition to many other small lakes.
3- Finns don’t get confused by moments of silence
Finnish citizens are very comfortable with silence. So when you come across a Finnish acquaintance on the street, you can simply say hello and continue on your way, without the need for small talk.
It is also noted that Finns prefer to keep their distance from others when in public.
4- The Finns love the sauna
It is estimated that there are about 2 million saunas in Finland. This is a decent number for a population of approximately 5 million.
You can find a sauna in various apartments and houses in cities, as well as in forests and even in large companies and government institutions!
5- Forests cover 74% of the country
Finland surpasses all European countries in the size and area of forests it has. The latter covers 74% of the country, an area that, if we calculate it, will be larger than Italy or the United Kingdom!
Along with Finland’s lakes, the forests give the country its charming appearance and picturesque nature. Pine, fir and birch trees are among the most common species in Finland’s forests.
The pros and cons of immigrating to Finland
There is no such thing as a dreamland or an ideal country on planet Earth. There is no place on earth without some inconveniences, and there is no bad country without positives.
The same is the case with Finland, as it is a country like any other, with its pros and cons, and you alone can decide if it is the right destination for you to immigrate.
Here are some of the pros and cons of immigrating to Finland!
Pros of living in Finland
1- High income level
Finland is one of the most prosperous countries in the world, and one of the reasons why it is described as the “happiest” country is its GDP. Its large industrial economy is based mainly on the manufacture of communications equipment, automobiles and forest products. Finland produces 10% of all paper and paperboard worldwide.
As a result of this prosperity, living in Finland and working there, will guarantee you a high income that will meet your expectations!
2- A generous and honest society
In Finland, a question like: “How are you?” Literally, “How are you?” So if you ask it to someone, be prepared to hear an honest answer, and the same goes for every other question you might ask a Finn.
The Finnish people are also known to be honest in everything they do, say and think, and are the ambassador of generosity in the world, so be prepared to live with a very honest and generous society.
3- Low levels of corruption
Finland is one of the least corrupt countries in the world. It has always been one of the cleanest countries in terms of corruption index. In 2020, its corruption index read 85 out of 100, making it the third cleanest country in the world, where the number 100 indicates the most transparent (and least corrupt) countries and the number zero represents the most corrupt countries.
4- An outstanding educational system
One of the best things about Finland is the great interest in the teaching profession, as the government personally makes sure that teachers get the highest salaries and the best training courses. In short, it is impossible to find a teacher in Finland complaining about his life or expressing dissatisfaction with it.
On the other hand, the education system in Finland is very suitable for students, and to this day, students have not fallen victim to a hectic study programme. They don’t have to do a lot of homework or spend a lot of time doing it at home. In fact, a Finnish student does not spend more than half an hour doing his homework at home!
5- High literacy rates
The strong and comfortable education system in Finland has reflected positively on the literacy rate. And he made Finns lovers of reading, as large, huge libraries are an important part of the daily life of the Finnish people.
It is not necessary to master the Finnish language to communicate in Finland, the vast majority speak English or Swedish, and they are open to many other countries and cultures nearby.
6- Decreased crime and violence rates
When you hear a mother saying that she does not mind her child playing outside, whether with his friends or with strangers, you will realize that you live in a safe country in every sense of the word.
Finland is a good place to raise your children. Even in crowded megacities like Helsinki or Tampere, crime rates are close to zero.
Disadvantages of living in Finland
1- cold cold winters
Expect the worst winters to be experienced in northern Finland, where temperatures can drop to minus 50 degrees Celsius. In fact, winters will be harsh and harsh across the country, with heavy snowfalls and occasional blizzards.
It is extremely rare to see a sunny day in Finland during winter.
2- The high cost of living
Finland is one of the most expensive countries in the world, and the cost of living is very high, especially in major cities such as Helsinki. On average, you will need 2,000 euros per month per person to live an average normal life in Finland, which is more expensive than more than 80% of the world’s countries.
Unfortunately, Finland is one of the countries with the largest proportion of citizens suffering from depression. The reason is mostly due to the cloudy weather most of the time, and people having to spend most of their days at home.
Outdoor activities are not an option that you can do every day, so if you are someone who likes to go out a lot, you may be at risk of depression when living in Finland.
4- Difficult and complex language
Although the Finnish language is one of the most logical languages in the world, it poses a huge challenge for some foreigners. Maybe it’s because it’s too logical and too structured. Many also have difficulty pronouncing Finnish.
5- Increase in the value of taxes
Living in Finland can be frustrating at times, especially when it comes to government taxes. Where the value of income taxes is about 31%, not to forget the social security contributions and the public broadcasting tax.
Individuals’ incomes from all sources are subject to national, municipal, and church taxes, which can be troublesome to some.
However, it is likely that these taxes are behind Finland’s high-quality comprehensive health care system.
Immigration to Finland: work and visas
Before you can get a residence permit to live in Finland, you first need to find a job, and once you do, you can apply for residence.
In order to work in Finland, you need an employee residence permit or any type of residence permit that allows you to work. The type of permit varies according to the nature of the job you are doing.
What types of work visas are available in Finland?
1- Business Visa
A business visa allows an individual to stay in Finland for 90 days. But it does not allow him to do any real jobs or work.
The business visa holder can attend conferences and seminars, which may be appropriate when going through employment procedures or when working for branches of Finnish companies abroad.
2- Residence Permit for Self-Employment
This permit may be appropriate for some individuals working in Finnish companies, including private entrepreneurs, and partners. In this case, the company must be registered in the Commercial Register with the National Board of Patents and Registration.
3- Residence permit for an employed person
It is the most popular and most common type of visa. There are three categories for this visa:
- Continuous Class A.
- Temporary Class B.
- Class P permanent (Permanent).
If you are seeking to immigrate to Finland, or work there for the first time, in this case you must apply for a temporary work visa.
Conditions for obtaining a work visa in Finland
In order to obtain a work visa in Finland, every employee needs the following:
- Employment contract.
- A valid passport and a passport size photo of yourself.
- Application for a work visa for an employee (after it is completely filled out).
- Medical certificates.
As for the procedures for obtaining a work permit in Finland, they are as follows:
- It all starts when you get a job offer from a company in Finland. You need a work contract to be able to live and work legally in the country.
- You must apply for a work permit before traveling to Finland, which you can do through the Enter Finland online service.
- After 3 months of submitting the application, you must visit the Finnish embassy in your country to submit the original copies of the application attachments, which in addition to the documents mentioned above, include your fingerprints.
- In the event that you are not able to apply online, you can print the application, and go directly to the Embassy of Finland in your country. Also, be sure to take the accompanying documents in this case.
- Your application will be considered by the Finnish Employment and Economic Development Office, and the final decision will be made by the Finnish Immigration Service Migri after ensuring that you fulfill all the requirements for a residence permit. You will be notified of the decision by mail.
- Once your application is accepted, you will receive a residence permit from the Finnish embassy, which has a duration of one year and is renewable, which you can renew at any local police station in Finland.
Permanent residence in Finland
You can obtain a P-type permanent residence permit in Finland, if you meet the following conditions:
- You have been in the country for at least 4 years and hold a category A continuous residence permit.
- You have not lived outside Finland during this period (the four years) for more than two years.
- That your previous residence permit is still valid.
Your application for a permanent residence permit may be rejected in the following cases:
- Committing a crime or misdemeanor punishable by law with imprisonment.
- On suspicion of committing a crime or misdemeanor punishable by law with imprisonment.
- Commit two or more offences.
- You are suspected of having committed two or more crimes.
The permanent residence permit remains valid until further notice, and can be revoked if you permanently moved from Finland, or lived abroad for more than two years, or if false and false information was given during the application for residence.
There are several ways to obtain Finnish citizenship, but here we will talk about how to obtain it by applying for it.
Finnish citizenship is granted to a foreigner residing in Finland if:
- He had reached the age of eighteen, and his permanent residence permit was valid for five consecutive years without interruption (ie without leaving Finland).
- His permanent residence permit was valid for seven consecutive years after reaching fifteen, and his residence during the last two years was without any interruption.
- If the applicant demonstrates satisfactory skills in Finnish or Swedish, in some cases he can obtain citizenship after only four years of residence in Finland.
In addition to the foregoing, there is another condition, which is that the person has not committed any punishable act and has not materially failed to provide alimony or fulfill his financial obligations under common law.
Furthermore, the applicant must be able to provide a reliable report on their livelihood, and demonstrate that they have satisfactory oral and written skills in Finnish or Swedish or similar skills in Finnish or Finnish-Swedish sign language.
Documents required to obtain Finnish citizenship
- A valid passport.
- Certificate of competency to prove language skills.
- A statement of the value of the current income.
For more details and information about applying for citizenship and all other required documents, you can visit the special application page on the official website of the Finnish Immigration Service .
You now have a general idea of the details of immigration and travel to Finland to work and live there. Did you find the right destination for you? And where do you start a new journey to achieve your dreams?
Share the answer with us through the comments, and feel free to review other immigration destinations and their full details available on Taaloum.
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