Moving to Finland in 2024: pros and cons of living, cost of living and useful information for expats



Moving to Finland in 2024: pros and cons of living, cost of living and useful information for expats

Finland attracts tourists from all over the world with its high standard of living. Find out more about whether Finland will accept expats in 2024, how to move to Finland as an EU citizen, the most popular cities, and more about the pros and cons of living in Finland

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Finland is a Northern European country that has been leading the rankings of the happiest countries in the world for many years. That is why this Scandinavian pearl is an attractive place for many expats who want to build a new life in a unique corner of Europe. The number of foreign residents in Finland is growing every year.

Is moving to Finland in 2024 a good idea? What are the pros and cons of living in Finland? Let's talk further.

Is Finland accepting expats in 2024?

Finland happily welcomes foreigners and offers various ways to obtain a permanent residence permit and even Finnish citizenship.

As a member of the EU and the Schengen Area, Finland provides a simple process for EU citizens and also has programs for non-EU individuals such as the Employment Visa, Finnish Start-up Permit, etc.

How can an EU citizen move to Finland?

If you are a citizen of the EU/EEA and Switzerland, you can move to Finland without a visa, however, if you want to live here for more than three months, you need to apply for registration. After registration, the expat receives a personal identification code that will confirm the legality of residence in Finland.

Rules for moving to Finland from outside the EU

A foreigner who is not a citizen of one of the EU countries, in order to stay in Finland for longer than 3 months (90 days), must apply for a long-term visa to the Finnish Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin before moving.

Finland offers different types of long-term visas that you can apply for depending on the purpose of your trip to the country: work, study, family reunification, etc.

Also, after arriving in Finland, you need to get a residence permit.

Does Finland allow dual citizenship?

Finland accepts dual citizenship, which means that you can be a citizen of Finland and have the citizenship of another country.

The most popular cities in Finland for expats

Most expats in Finland live in one of these cities:

- Helsinki is the capital of Finland known for its innovative art, culture and architecture. Helsinki is one of the most livable cities in Finland. The city is an attractive destination for expats moving to the country for employment. However, living in Helsinki can be expensive. For one person, the estimated monthly cost of living can be about 900 euros (not including the cost of renting a house).

- Rovaniemi is a city in the northern part of Finland with the lowest crime rate in the country. Although the city is small in size, it has some great areas for expats. Also, the cost of living here is lower than in Helsinki.

- Oulu is a city that perfectly combines northern nature, culture and modern technologies. The inhabitants of Oulu are known as well-educated, friendly and calm people. Oulu also has an excellent health care and school education system, ranking high in many areas.

- Espoo is a city not far from Helsinki. In fact, it is similar to the capital, but more accessible. It is a popular place for families moving to Finland.

Cost of living in Finland

Expected living expenses in Finland will include:

- Housing rent - a one-room apartment in the city center can cost about 800-1200 euros per month. Prices are slightly lower outside the center.

- Buying property – the real estate market in Finland offers a stable investment, although prices can be high, especially in Helsinki. Additional costs include transfer tax and possible estate agent fees.

- Food and drink – food prices are higher compared to some EU countries, but the quality is excellent. A meal for two in a mid-range restaurant usually costs around 60-80 euros ($65-85).

- Transport – public transport in the country is well organized, monthly fares cost around 50-70 Euros (55-75 USD) depending on the city. Car owners have to consider the need to pay taxes, insurance and relatively high fuel costs.

- Utilities - Monthly utility costs for a standard apartment are approximately €100-150 ($110-160), including electricity, heating, water and waste disposal services.

Labor market and working conditions in Finland

The Finnish job market is known for its focus on technology, education, healthcare and engineering. Remote work has also been gaining popularity in the country in recent years.

The Finnish work culture values punctuality, work-life balance and offers a flexible working environment.

Health care system in Finland

Finland boasts a world-class public health care system. Residents of the country have access to medical services if they have state health insurance. Expats can access medical services by registering with a local medical center.

Education in Finland

Finland has a strong education system, which is represented by public institutions as well as private and international schools. In terms of higher education, Finland is home to several prestigious universities, and while many programs are taught in Finnish, there is usually a wide selection of English-language programs as well.

Is it safe in Finland?

Finland is known for its low crime rate and safe environment. However, it is important to be careful in cities late at night and be prepared for extreme weather conditions, especially in winter.

Can I move to Finland with pets?

According to Finnish law, all pets brought into Finland must be microchipped and vaccinated before entering the country:

- Be identifiable by means of a microchip in accordance with ISO 11784 or Annex A of ISO 11785.

- Have an original rabies certificate signed by a veterinarian.

- Take a rabies antibody test (titer test).

- Get a health certificate.

Advantages of living in Finland

1. Universal health care system.

2. Excellent quality of the state education system.

3. An accessible public transport system throughout the country.

4. High level of security.

5. High level of purchasing power.

6. There is no strict hierarchy among employees.

7. Culture of saunas.

8. The opportunity to observe the northern lights.

Cons of living in Finland

1. Language barrier - Finnish is quite difficult to learn.

2. Long queues for renting municipal housing.

3. High taxes.

4. At first glance, local residents may seem unfriendly.

5. Finding a job can be difficult given the high competition.

Due to its relatively low prices and high quality of life, Finland is a popular choice for expats. In order to apply for one of the Finnish visas and find a job, you need to carefully plan everything and prepare the necessary package of documents. However, moving to Finland will be a good experience for a foreigner.

The editors of Visit World recommend using the Work Guide for Finland for a comfortable and safe trip.

The guide is a detailed written document that contains basic advice on obtaining a visa, crossing the border, getting a job, citizenship, and much more. More details at the link.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Finland;

Legal advice on business, tourism, immigration and education in Finland;

Travel insurance for foreigners in Finland;

Medical insurance all over the world;

Insurance for international students in Finland.

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