For nature enthusiasts, Residence in Finland is akin to a dream life. Finland is the most forested country in Europe, boasting over 186,000 lakes. It’s no wonder this country is often referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes.” Despite being relatively small in size compared to countries like Germany, covering only 338,462 square kilometers, Finland is home to just 5.5 million people. A significant portion of the country is comprised of lush forests, where various animal species reside, some of which are unique to these regions.
The official languages of Finland are Swedish and Finnish, but many people are also proficient in English. While Finnish might seem complex at first glance, it’s interesting to note that all words are pronounced as written. Additionally, a small portion of the Finnish population speaks German. Finns are generally calm and friendly, making life among them a pleasant experience.
Facts About Finland:
– Where is Finland located? Finland is located in Northern Europe. It shares borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east.
– How large is Finland? Finland covers an area of 338,462 square kilometers.
– How many people live in Finland? Approximately 5.5 million people reside in Finland.
– What is the capital of Finland? The capital of Finland is Helsinki.
– What languages are spoken in Finland? The official languages are Finnish and Swedish, but many people understand English and German as well.
Why Choose to Reside in Finland?
Finland offers a lot to travelers. For example, in Helsinki, you’ll find beautiful neoclassical buildings such as the Helsinki Cathedral, the Old Senate House, and the University. The city also offers a vibrant cultural and nightlife scene that will captivate you. The Suomenlinna Fortress was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Many Finns have separate holiday homes, often wooden structures equipped with traditional saunas. In Finnish forests, you can encounter animals like reindeer, elk, brown bears, wolves, and black grouse, and you’ll also find plenty of delicious mushrooms.
In the summer, temperatures average between 12 to 17 degrees Celsius, and for a week or two, it can reach above 25 degrees. However, this only occurs in the south because the north is much colder, and summer is significantly shorter. The Northern Lights in Finnish winters are highly famous, and they’re not easy to find elsewhere in the world.
Overall, aside from the natural landscapes, the standard of living in this country is excellent, and the income of the employed population is proportionate. These features make Finland an attractive option for residence and future planning.
Do You Need a Residence Permit for Long-Term Stay in Finland?
If you plan to stay in Finland for more than three months, you will need a residence permit. However, if you are a citizen of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit to stay in Finland. If you have a job, are studying, or have family members in Finland, you can apply for a residence permit.
To apply for a residence permit in Finland, follow these steps:
- Submit an electronic application on the Finnish Immigration Service website.
- Choose the correct application form based on your reason for coming to Finland (e.g., work, study, or family).
- Fill out the application form carefully and ensure the attachments are accurate.
- Book an appointment for identity verification.
- Visit the Finnish embassy or visa application center in your home country, identify yourself, and pay the residence permit fee. Note that the fee is non-refundable even if your application is denied.
- After completing these steps, your application will be processed by the Finnish Immigration Service.
- Be patient as the processing of an application may take some time.
- When the decision is made, you will be notified of the result.
If your application is approved, you will receive an identity card along with your residence permit. If your application is denied, it means you did not meet the necessary criteria to obtain a residence permit in Finland.
More information on applying for a residence permit in Finland can be found on the Finnish Immigration Service website.
Cost of Living in Finland
The cost of living in Finland is relatively high, especially when it comes to beverages and meat products. It may vary significantly compared to the country you are living in. For example, in Berlin, you would need 3,700 euros to maintain a similar standard of living, while in Helsinki, you would need 4,168.23 euros. This average suggests that the cost of living in Finland is slightly higher than in Germany.
Comparative prices between Finland and Germany:
– Rent in Helsinki is 11.14% higher than in Berlin.
– Restaurant prices in Helsinki are 41.79% higher than in Berlin.
– Grocery prices in Helsinki are 20.21% higher than in Berlin.
Cost of Living in Helsinki
Restaurant Average Price in Euros Price Range in Euros
Food and Restaurants 13.00 10.00 – 20.00
Cappuccino 3.98 3.00 – 5.00
Coca-Cola/Pepsi 2.61 2.00 – 4.00
Water 1.82 1.00 – 3.00
Groceries Average Price in Euros Price Range in Euros
Milk (1 liter) 0.98 0.79 – 1.50
White Bread (500g) 2.12 1.00 – 3.99
Rice (white) 2.21 1.00 – 3.25
Eggs (12) 2.36 1.44 – 3.60
Cheese (1 kilogram) 7.13 5.00 – 17.00
Chicken Breast Fillet (1 kilogram) 11.08 6.00 – 13.00
Beef (1 kilogram) 14.71 8.00 – 20.00
Apples (1 kilogram) 2.37 1.30 – 3.00
Bananas (1 kilogram) 1.61 1.20 – 2.00
Oranges (1 kilogram) 2.21 1.00 – 4.00
Tomatoes (1 kilogram) 2.99 1.79 – 5.00
Potatoes (1 kilogram) 1.03 0.70 – 2.00
Onions (1 kilogram) 1.35 0.80 – 2.00
Lettuce (1 head) 1.66 1.00 – 2.50
Water (1.5 liters) 1.52 0.80 – 3.00
Average Cost of Local Transportation, Utilities, Clothing, Leisure, Education in Helsinki
Transportation Average Price in Euros Price Range in Euros
One-way Ticket 2.80 2.80 – 3.20
Monthly Pass 59.70 55.00 – 69.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 5.90 3.90 – 9.00
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1.00 0.99 – 2.00
Housing-related Expenses Average Price in Euros Price Range in Euros
Basic Utilities for an 85m2 Apartment (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) 87.39 50.00 – 170.00
1 minute of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.07 0.06 – 0.08
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 22.66 15.00 – 33.00
Clothing and Shoes Average Price in Euros Price Range in Euros
Jeans (Levis 501 or Similar) 85.54 50.00 – 110.00
Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) 37.20 20.00 – 50.00
Sneakers (Nike, Adidas, or Equivalent Brands) 83.54 50.00 – 120.00
Leather Business Shoes 121.84 80.00 – 170.00
Leisure Average Price in Euros Price Range in Euros
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 41.23 25.00 – 60.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 26.72 20.00 – 35.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 15.00 12.00 – 18.00
Education Average Price in Euros Price Range in Euros
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 325.05 220.00 – 600.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 5,200.00 1,400.00 – 14,000.00
Residence in Finland : Cost of Living in Finland
Average Rent/Buy and Salaries in Helsinki
Monthly Rent Prices Average Price in Euros Price Range in Euros
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,007.57 800.00 – 1,400.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 795.33 650.00 – 1,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 1,984.62 1,500.00 – 2,800.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,380.00 1,100.00 – 1,700.00
Buy Prices per Square Meter (Square Feet) in City Centre 8,192.38 7,000.00 – 10,000.00
Buy Prices per Square Meter (Square Feet) Outside of Centre 4,756.67 3,500.00 – 7,416.00
Salary Average Price in Euros Price Range in Euros
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 2,557.61 –
If you’re not looking for a luxury apartment in Helsinki, you can live more affordably compared to expensive cities in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland in Finland. Heating costs are typically included in rent. Water and electricity are significantly cheaper. Other aspects of life in Finland are more expensive, so a direct comparison isn’t feasible.
How Are Taxes in Finland?
Anyone residing and working in Finland is required to have a Finnish tax card, regardless of whether you are employed or self-employed. You must pay a portion of your income as taxes each month. You can obtain a tax card from the local tax office in the city you reside in. Generally, anyone living and working in Finland for more than six months is subject to taxes. The following taxes are automatically deducted from your income:
- Income Tax
- Pension and Unemployment Insurance Premium
- Health Insurance Contribution
- Possibly Church Tax
Finnish income tax is progressive, meaning you pay more as your income increases. In Finland, every employed person must file a tax return, but the tax authorities make it easy for you. They send you a pre-filled tax return form with estimated amounts once a year to your registered address. If you agree with it, you don’t need to do anything else. If you want to make changes and file your tax return, you must do it yourself.
Immigration, Life, and Residency in Finland – Final Thoughts
If you love moderate weather, forests, and nature, you can feel comfortable in this country. However, for some people, long winter nights can lead to depression. Finland offers many job opportunities, and finding employment can enable you to live well in this country. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Finnish language before immigration to make life easier. Some of the benefits of living in Finland include a happy life, complete safety from natural disasters, numerous forests, a high quality of life, and a low population density.