Skip to content

Moving to Finland from USA

Know as the “Happiest Country in the World”? If you are considering moving to Finland, this guide will answer all the questions related to Visa, health, and education that you might have in mind before relocating.

Many people see moving to Finland as an exciting opportunity due to its booming economy and breathtaking Nordic scenery. The process of moving internationally can be confusing and complicated for any individual, but by working with an experienced full-service relocation company you can maximize the success of your move.

Moving to Finland from USA

In order to simplify the process of moving household goods to Finland from the United States, proactive time management and organization are needed. In order to better understand everything Finland has to offer, let’s find out more about the history and geography of this nation.

In Finland, known as Suomi in Finnish, East and West meet. Despite being part of Western Europe, it is distinguished by its 1,313 km border with Russia and its Arctic climate. I think this would make a great place to move to.

Finland has long been a proving ground for Sweden and Russia to show off their strength. Finland became independent only in 1917, having been ruled by both neighbors for a considerable period. The territory was part of the Russian Empire for 108 years and of Sweden for 600 years before that. Finland has demonstrated to the world ever since its independence that northern Europe is more than just Scandinavia. Finland is a marvelous place to live if you are moving to the Nordics.

The city of Helsinki is very popular among expats. A large portion of Finland is a wild wonderland, with abundant green space, attractive career opportunities, and easy access to the wilderness. Besides getting to know about the best things to do you will learn everything there is to know about moving to Finland from the USA.

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland
Find out how much your move will cost.
Compare quotes from upto 5 moving companies and save upto 55% on your next move.

Visa Requirements

Types of Visa’s

There are many types of Visa Permits that are listed below:

  1. Permit For Work – A valid work contract is required to qualify for this type of permit. It is typically valid for a year, but in certain cases, it can be granted as long as your contract remains valid.
  2. Permit For Studies – If your studies are shorter than two years, your student residence permit is only valid for the duration of your program. As soon as you have a job and wish to stay in Finland, you can switch to a work permit or apply for a job-seeker visa.
  3. Permit On The Basis Of Family Ties – Individuals with family in Finland are given this permit. Families include spouses, registered partners, children, and legal guardians. There are several factors that determine the validity of this permit, though the usual validity period is one to four years.
  4. Permit On Other Grounds – Most permits are issued for employment, ties with family, and academic pursuits. You may apply for a permit on special grounds if none of these apply to you, including dating someone in Finland with the intent to marry them.
  5. Permit On The Basis Of Reimmigration – You may apply for this permit if you are a Finnish citizen who is returning to Finland after living abroad for a while. Additionally, if you are connected to Finland in some way or have Finnish roots, you are eligible for this permit.
  6. Permanent Residence – A continuous permit is issued to residents who have lived in Finland for a period of 5 years under existing conditions and have the pre-existing conditions on which their continuous permit was issued still in force.

Finland Visa Requirements for US Citizens

Citizens of the United States must meet the following requirements in order to travel to Finland:

  1. A valid passport is required.
  2. A travel document of equal recognition.
  3. A valid ETIAS waiver for Finland is required.

How can I get Finland visa? The following three steps are essential:

  • The visa application must be submitted to a Visa Application Centre with the appropriate supporting documentation.
  • Pay your fees. You can pay by credit card or debit card at Visa Application Centre.
  • Please submit your biometric information.

Do US citizens need a visa for Finland? Finland requires a visa for citizens of the United States. In addition to moving, US citizens are required to obtain a visa for Finland to travel and work.

How long can an American stay in Finland? It is possible to stay in the country without a visa for 90 days. The only time you have to apply in advance for a residence permit is if you are a member of a Finnish family or intend to travel and stay in Finland for three months.

How to Become a Finland Citizen

How to Immigrate to Finland

An important part of how to move to Finland from the USA is making sure you are eligible to legally immigrate. If you do not have a permit, you can only stay in Finland for 90 days. Staying longer than that period of time requires a residence permit. Immigrating to Finland is impossible without these permits, so it is essential to get them before moving.

Requirements & Policy

There are specific criteria to qualify for these permits if you are in Finland for work or study. In case you return to Finland or have a Finnish nuclear family, obtaining a residency permit is a much simpler process. The paperwork still needs to be completed, but if you fit in these categories, you are likely to obtain your permit faster. To complete this task both correctly and quickly, you should consult with an expert. You can begin living in Finland once you have your residence permit.

How to Apply

These are the 5 most important steps you must learn before you immigrate to Finland from the USA:-

  1. Make sure you meet the requirements of the residence permit you’re applying for.
  2. Gather all the supporting documents needed for your permit application.
  3. Complete the online application.
  4. Fees for applications must be paid.
  5. Please wait for a decision from the Finnish Immigration Service.

How do I become a citizen of Finland? There are 5 definite criteria to becoming a Finnish citizen:-

  1. The child of a Finnish parent born out of wedlock abroad.
  2. Adopted children between the ages of 12 and 17.
  3. Formerly a citizen of Finland.
  4. Scandinavian citizen.
  5. A young person between the ages of 18 and 22 years old who has lived in Finland long enough.

Is it difficult to immigrate to Finland? No, it can be referred to as difficult. Anyone who meets the requirements of the Finnish Immigration Office can immigrate to Finland. To find a job and obtain a work permit is the most difficult task. If you are a nurse or a doctor, you have a good chance of finding a job in Finland. As a salesman, your chances are slim.

Tax Rates

Tax System in Finland

Taxes are levied on residents’ worldwide incomes in Finland. Residents are taxed on their income at progressive tax rates if they pay national taxes, but at a flat rate on their municipal (and church, and social security) taxes.

Types of Taxes in Finland

There are basically 4 types of primary taxes. Corporate Tax, Personal Income Tax, Sales Tax, and Social Security Tax.

How much tax do you pay in Finland? In the table given below, all types of taxes in Finland and their rates are given:-

Finland TaxesLast recorded rate
Corporate Tax Rate20.00
Personal Income Tax Rate56.95
Sales Tax Rate24.00
Social Security Rate31.55
Social Security Rate For Companies20.66
Social Security Rate For Employees10.89

What is the rate of income tax in Finland? The Personal Income Tax Rate in Finland is a tax imposed on a variety of sources of income, such as labor, pensions, interest, and dividends. For individual taxpayers, this is the Top Marginal Tax Rate. Finland’s government earns most of its revenue from the Personal Income Tax Rate.

Finland Job Offers

Job Market Finland

Finland’s labor market is showing improvement compared to one year ago since the COVID-19 pandemic is finally coming to a close. There has been an improvement in the majority of aspects compared to a year ago, but they are still in poor shape compared to the period prior to COVID 2019. Based on Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey for April 2021, the number of unemployed persons stood at 244,000, which is 30,000 more than in April 2020. In April 2020, the unemployment rate was 9.0%, up 1.0% from April 2019. There were 2,475,000 employed persons, which is 29,000 more than a year ago.

Moving to Finland without a Job

It is possible for self-employed people to apply for a residence permit. The only exception is if you move to Finland for employment purposes. In that case, you must have a job before applying for a residence permit. For foreigners living abroad, a residence permit must be obtained through their respective Finnish embassies.

Most Demanding Jobs in Finland

In demand there are top 3 jobs in Finland:-

  1. Software Engineering
  2. Nursing
  3. Kindergarten Teaching

Jobs in Finland for Americans

The popular 5 job opportunities for Americans planning to move to Finland are:-

  1. Application Programming
  2. Audiology and Speech Therapy
  3. Early Childhood Educating
  4. Social Work and Counselling
  5. Nursing

Is it easy to get a job in Finland? Why not, with sheer hard work and job searching skills you can easily get a job in Finland.

Can a foreigner get a job in Finland? There are quite numerous lucrative opportunities for foreigners to get a job in Finland. Nursing, Kindergarten Teaching, Software Developing are a few of them.

Healthcare

Healthcare in Finland

The Finnish healthcare system consists of a centralized public-funded system with three levels of care and a much smaller private sector. Finns have access to universal healthcare. Throughout Finland’s history, health promotion and disease prevention have been the focus of healthcare policies.

Public vs Private

The table below represents the share and distribution of Healthcare facilities in Finland:-

SectorDepartments and ResponsibilitiesPercentage of Control
Public Sector1. Municipalities
2. Responsible for arranging
3. own health care units (primary and secondary)
4. Independent in decision making
5. Approximately 230 Primary health care centers
6. 21 Hospital districts
7. Serve citizens within the area
8. Can send patients to University Hospitals
85%
Private Sector1. Primary and specialized health care
2. Occupational health care
15%
Finance1. Municipal taxes 43%
2. Government subsidy 17%
3. Client fees 20%
4. Private financing
N/A

Health Insurance in Finland and its types

You must have definitely come across the question “does Finland have universal health care”. Taxes fund the free insurance system. Finland’s health insurance is excellent for all its citizens. Finland provides universal health care to all of its residents, no matter what their financial situation is.

Is healthcare free in Finland? The cost of public health care in Finland is very reasonable, but it is not free.

How are the healthcare costs covered in Finland? Local governments are responsible for public healthcare, which is primarily funded by taxes. Additionally, it is funded by patient fees.

Not sure which mover to pick?
Compare quotes from upto 5 moving companies and save upto 55% on your next move.

Education System

Education System in Finland

Finland’s is known to have one of the best education systems that consist of:

  • Child care and early childhood education
  • Preschool education
  • The basics of education
  • Upper secondary education in general
  • Vocational training 
  • higher education
  • Education for adults

For children aged 7-16, compulsory education consists of one year of pre-primary education and nine years of basic education.

Three years of upper secondary schooling are required for post-compulsory education.  Upper secondary schools lead to matriculation examinations and vocational schools to vocational qualifications. 

Education System in Finland vs US

In the United States, students spend about 1,100 hours in school – 11% of their free time. Finland shows that more school hours are not necessarily helpful when it comes to productivity. During the 8,760 hours in a year, Finnish students only spend 570 hours in school or 6% of their time. Due to their effectiveness, their schooling system allows this.

Is Finland the Best Education System? With a total score of 1.631K, Finland ranks third in the Education Ranking by Countries in 2021. Finland has the highest high school completion rate in the world. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, Finland is ranked as having the best-developed educational system in the world.

Is Education Free for Foreigners in Finland? The cost of studying in Finland is completely free! You read that right: Finnish students are completely free! Finland, unlike many other countries, has managed to keep its university education completely free – even for overseas students.

Housing and Property

Housing in Finland

It is a safe country to live in Finland, and all residential districts are safe. Even in cities, nature is readily available and people have good access to well-equipped and warm homes. Getting around in cities is easy with public transportation. Compared to most other countries, Finland has a lower income gap. In addition, residential areas differ less in income than those in countries with high-income differences.

How to buy a house in Finland? In Finland, about one-quarter of the population lives in rental homes. The majority of rental homes are apartments in blocks of flats, but also detached homes and units in terraced homes can be rented. Different districts have different rents. In large cities, the city center is usually the most expensive part. Renting out a home can be done by companies, individuals, cities, foundations, parishes, organizations, insurance companies, and banks. Employers sometimes offer to house their employees.

How much does a house cost in Finland? The average rent in Finland is approximately EUR 15 per square meter. Tenancy agreements must be signed for new tenants. Prices of rental homes, however, vary between EUR 10 and EUR 30 per square meter. Finland’s housing prices vary widely. The price of a home is determined by its location and its age. Finland’s large cities have higher housing costs than other parts of the country. Home prices in large cities are generally safe investments; the cost of homeownership will likely not decrease. Homes in rural areas and small towns are cheaper, but if you want to sell them, it may be more difficult.

Can foreigners buy property in Finland? The Finnish Ministry of Defence will require permission for foreigners to purchase real estate in Finland from the beginning of 2020. When purchasing shares in a housing company, as is the case with most apartments in Finland, a permit is not required.

Living

Life in Finland

Finland is the most forested country in Europe, and a high performer in the areas of technology, sustainable development, good governance, gender equality, and many others. There are forests and trees covering nearly a third of the country, allowing residents to enjoy nature to the fullest. Let’s see how much does it cost to live in Finland.

Cost of Living in Finland vs US

The cost of living in Finland as an American, Helsinki, ranges between 980 and 1,580 EUR/month, which is $1200 to $1900 per month; in the United States, it ranges between $1000 and $1500 per month.

Facts about Living

Here are the 8 interesting facts about living in Finland:-

  • World’s happiest country.
  • Wage minimums and average salaries.
  • There are Sami (Lapp) people.
  • Sauna: “Pharmacy of the poor”
  • There is no charge for education.
  • First European country to grant women the right to vote.
  • It is prohibited to consume alcohol.
  • Finnish is a unique language.

Is it expensive to live in Finland? Depending on where you live in Finland, you will need between 700 – 900 EUR/month. Among the most affordable student cities are Laaperanta, Pori, and Tampere, while Helsinki is widely known as the most expensive.

Most Finns speak English. Approximately 70% of Finnish people are proficient in English according to 2012 official statistics.

Best Place to Live in Finland

Helsinki

The sea-facing landscape, diverse architecture, world-renowned design, and Nordic cuisine of Helsinki delight travelers. The capital of Finland is compact enough to explore on foot, and many hotels are located in the center of the action.

Tampere

There is a wide variety of festivals and concert venues in Tampere, and the city is known as the “theatre capital” of Finland. The quirky museums of Tampere are among the world’s best

Oulu

Oulu, once known for wood tar and salmon, has developed into a major high-tech city, particularly in the IT and health care sectors.

Turku

The oldest city in Finland and formerly the country’s capital, Turku once held a special place in the hearts of many Finns (and many of them still do). As a seafaring town, it is well-known for its vibrant harbor, magnificent Gothic cathedral, medieval castle, and large student population.

Savonlinna

The historic St. Olaf’s Castle and the yearly Savonlinna Opera Festival are both well-known in Savonlinna. The enclaved municipality of Enonkoski is surrounded by a metropolis.

Naantali

Naantali is the jewel of the Finnish archipelago. It is a unique combination of culture, beautiful architecture, fascinating sights and homes, delicious foodies’ spots, and exciting events. Additionally, Naantali is the official home of Moominworld.

Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi is also considered the official home of Santa Claus by Finns. The Santa Claus Village is located at the Arctic Circle, while SantaPark Arctic World is located eight kilometers (5 miles) north of the central area. Ounasvaara ski resort lies on the other side of the river.

Espoo

With its detached housing and suburban neighborhood, Espoo offers a wide range of natural features, including its 58-kilometer long shoreline and archipelago, forests, and lakes.

Jyväskylä

According to its nickname, Jyväskylä is an educational center second only to Helsinki. Aalto’s works can be seen throughout the city, as he is Finland’s most famous architect. Neste Oil Rally Finland, part of the World Rally Championship, takes place in the city.

Vantaa

Vantaa is noted for the Vantaanjoki River (Vantaanjoki), which runs through the city and empties into the Gulf of Finland. Vantaa is home to Finland’s largest airport, as well as the principal airport and airline hub for Greater Helsinki.

Besides this, the country offers various other places that you can visit during your stay!

Culture & Climate

Culture

Finns are known for their reticence, thoughtfulness, and unemotional behavior. No matter whether at home, work, or the sauna, Finnish society is relatively relaxed. As part of this highly egalitarian society, both men and women play nearly equal roles in society.

Climate

The climate in Finland is predominantly subarctic. Most of the country has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc), with cool summers. The southern coast has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), with mild summers. In Northern Europe, Finland belongs to the Nordic region.

What traditions are celebrated in Finland? Families gather around bonfires, visit the sauna, eat sausages (nakki), potatoes, and bread, and spend time together. Finnish people celebrate yuletide or Christmas (Joulu) by lighting candles, decorating trees, and using advent calendars.

Does Finland have 4 seasons? Yes, there are 4 seasons in Finland. Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

What is the average temperature in Finland? Temperatures are relatively high in the southwestern part of the country (41.0 to 45.5 °F), as well as mild winters and warm summers, and quite low in Lapland (Finland) (0 to −4 °C or 32 to 25 °F).

What is best time to see northern lights in Finland? The best time to see the northern lights in Finland is considered from December to March.

Aurora connecting with water, Nykarleby, Finland

Ranking in the World

Finland’s ranking in the world

Finland ranks first in the world in the following categories: stability, freedom, safety, governance, prosperity, and judiciary. Among other important criteria, Finland has always been ranked among the top five.

Ready to start planning your move?
Compare quotes from upto 5 moving companies and save upto 55% on your next move.

Moving to Finaland – FAQ’s

How much money do you need to move to Finland?

If you plan to move to Finland, then you will need 700 – 900 euros per month, depending on the region. Helsinki is the most expensive city, while Laaperanta, Pori, and Tampere are the most affordable for students.

Can I move to Finland without a job?

It’s advisable you move to Finland with a job. But don’t worry, in the jobs section above we have described in detail the many employment opportunities you can find after you move to Finland.

Is Finland a good place for Americans to live?

Considering the ample job opportunities and the rank of Finland in the Happiness index, it’s a great place for Americans to consider settling themselves in Finland.

Can an American retire to Finland?

An American can surely retire to Finland and there are absolutely no issues about that.

Conclusion

Conclusion

We have detailly discussed how to move to Finland from America. Finland is a wonderful option if you’re thinking of moving there from the US. You would be able to make an informed decision based on the information in this article. Hopefully, you have gone through this article in detail. Come and settle in Finland if you agree.

Know the 5 Best Movers Nearest You
Get FREE Quotes