Settling and integration into the community
This section brings together the key issues related to establishment in the new home country. The material is adapted from the guide to international recruitment produced by the Course towards Finland project coordinated by the ELY Centre Southwest Finland.
The settlement process
The settlement phase begins even before arriving in Finland. Moving to Finland requires both practical preparations and official entry processes. The venture consists of phases that start before the move, and continue with arriving in, residing in, and integrating into Finland.
A successful process is more likely to lead to a more permanent establishment of a better motivated and more committed employee. This in turn will generate tax revenues for the municipality, reduce in the longer term the costs of employee turnover in the company and, on a larger scale, increase the region’s vitality.
Do not forget these when moving to and settling in to Finland!
Moving, settling, finding employment, and living in Finland require various preparatory measures. The actions to be taken depend on a variety of issues, such as the country of origin, the individual situation, and the location of the destination. It is difficult to make a complete list of things to do, but you must consider at least the following.
In the country of origin:
- What kinds of official notifications you need to make before leaving your home country
- Do you need translated (and legalised) documents?
- Also note the validity of official documents and, for example, renew your passport before leaving
- Find out about Finland and your new place of residence
- Apply for the residence permit
- Travel arrangements
- Initial housing arrangements (rent deposit, who will sign the lease, how long is the lease)
- If your spouse and/or children move with you, you should also check the options for their early childhood education, school and/or employment options.
Upon arrival in Finland
- Reception in Finland and arriving in your new home
- Orientation in housing
When settling in Finland
- Registrations (Digital and Population Data Services Agency, social security)
- Opening a bank account
- Tax card
- Housing contracts (water, electricity, insurance)
- Communication (internet, telephone connection)
- Mobility (driving licence, travel card, routes)
- Municipal services (early childhood education, schools, etc.)
- Notifications related to family members
Promotion of integration
- Guidance and advisory services
- Integration into the community
- Family support
Responsibility for providing services for settling in is one of the challenges of international recruitment. The employing company may not have the knowledge of matters or an understanding of the importance of establishment services. Similarly, the personnel service company importing an employee often has no knowledge of immigration processes or is not able to market them to employing companies, and the price of recruiting an employee is kept reasonable and justified from the point of view of the employing company. The receiving community, on the other hand, is not sufficiently well informed about the newcomer in time to organise at least some parts of the settling process.
Several companies focused on establishment services have recently been set up in Finland to cater for these needs. They provide services related to residence permits, support in dealings with public authorities, finding housing and other settlement solutions.
In some cases, public support is also available for establishment in Finland. Read more.
Guidance and counselling services for migrants to support everyday life
Information, guidance, and counselling services for immigrants are free services provided by municipalities to immigrants. It is possible to get guidance and advice on e.g.
- the Finnish society
- services provided by public authorities (police, Digital and Population Data Services Agency, Kela, tax office, TE Office)
- social and health care
- language courses and training opportunities
- rules on employment and labour-related migration
- the new home municipality and the opportunities it offers.
The newcomers can ask the guidance and counselling services for advice on almost any everyday situation. The task of the guidance and counselling services is to find a solution to the situation or advise the mover to help them find the right service.