Official Matters

Invitation letter from the University

To acquire a visa and/or residence permit, you will have to present some form of proof of your employment at the Aalto University. Your host will send you an official invitation letter (if you do not have a signed employment contract already). For further information please contact your host.

Immigration Formalities

This section provides information on necessary practices that should be noticed and taken care of regarding immigration to Finland. Please note that some immigration processes must be started well (even up to six months!) before entering Finland. The processes vary depending on the country of your origin.

Nordic Citizens

Nordic citizens (i.e. citizens of Finland, Sweden, norway, Denmark and Iceland) do not need a visa or residence permit for residing or working in Finland.

Nordic citizens must register at the Local Register Office (maistraatti) in Helsinki if they stay in Finland longer than 6 months. You will need to present a proof of your identity and citizenship (e.g. passport). In addition, you will need to give your place of domicile, address and identity number in the country of departure.

Nordic citizens must apply for a Finnish identity code (sosiaaliturvatunnus/henkilönumero) from International House Helsinki or Local Register Office in Helsinki (see Personal Identity Number below). An original employment contract must be presented when applying.

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European Union/European Economic Area/Switzerland Citizens

European Union/European Economic Area citizens (see the list of the EU countries here and EEA countries here) and citizens of Switzerland do not need a visa or a residence permit to Finland. However, they must register their right to reside in Finland in person at Finnish Immigration Service if they intend to live and work in Finland for longer than three months. Please make sure you have all the necessary documents (see Useful links below) with you when registering.

EU/EEA citizens and citizens of Switzerland must apply for a Finnish personal identity number on the grounds of work (see Personal Identity Number below). A Finnish municipality of residence (ie place of domicile) is registered at the Local Register office (maistraatti) in Helsinki service point for a foreigner who has moved to Finland and intends to stay here permanently (over 1 year).

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Non-EU/EEA/Switzerland Citizens

If you are not a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you usually need a visa (viisumi) before entering Finland. A visa is an entry permit for a short, temporary stay of less than three months. More about visas can be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ulkoasiainministeriö) website.

There are certain cases where Non-EU/EEA citizens may undertake paid employment in Finland without a residence permit. Interpreters, teachers and experts who, upon invitation or under a contract, work in Finland for no longer than three months, do not need a residence permit. They must, however, have a valid visa if they come from a country whose nationals are not visa exempt under an agreement with Finland. More information on Finnish Immigration Service, see link below.

If you intend to work or stay for longer period than three months in Finland, you will need to obtain a residence permit (oleskelulupa) before arrival at a Finnish mission of your country of origin. The first residence permit is always a fixed-term permit. You must have a valid passport and a formal invitation from your host at the University or an original employment contract when applying for a visa or a residence permit. In most cases those coming to work at the Aalto University must fill in residence permit form (OLE_TUT.pdf /

We recommend you to start the visa and residence permit application processes at least 3-4 months prior to your planned arrival in Finland. The processing times for applications vary. You should be aware that the process cannot be started until all required paperwork is received at the Embassy or Consulate. The permits are usually subject to a fee.

NOTE! It is now possible to start the application process for the Finnish identity number with the application for the first residence permit. More information from the Finnish Immigration Service. More information on the Finnish identity number, please see next section.

After arrival, Non-EU/EEA/ Switzerland citizens must apply for a Finnish personal identity number on the grounds of work and they have not applied it with the first residence permit. A Finnish municipality of residence is registered at the Local Register office (maistraatti) in Helsinki service point for a foreigner who has moved to Finland and intends to stay here permanently (at least two years) and has a residence permit for at least one year. A residence permit, passport/official ID and an original employment contract must be presented when registering.


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Family members and Apostille

In order for family members to receive residence permits, the main applicant’s income must be guaranteed by other means than state support (see the income requirements in the useful links below). In Finnish legislation the definition of a family member may be narrower than elsewhere.

When registering family members with Finnish authorities one should always have Apostille legalized documents available. At least marriage certificate and birth certificates for children are required before the registration process moves on.

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Personal Identity Number

The personal identity number (henkilötunnus/ sosiaaliturvatunnus/henkilönumero) is used for identification purposes, for example in banks, hospitals and the registers of different authorities.

On the basis of registration, a foreigner is given the same kind of personal identity number as a Finnish citizen has. After you have applied the personal identity number, you will get it from the International House Helsinki or from Local Register office (Helsinki service point only), or, if you have applied it with the first residence permit, you will have it in the residence permit card. Remember to take with you your passport and the original employment contract.

A foreigner residing in Finland for less than a year may also obtain a personal identity number if he needs it, for example, for his work. However, no municipality of residence is registered for him in Finland and therefore he does not necessarily have the same rights as persons who reside in Finland permanently.

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Contact Details to Finnish Authorities

Print version 

Local Register Office

Helsinki (All foreigner registrations from June 1, 2016)
Address (map): Albertinkatu 25, PO Box 309, 00181 Helsinki
Tel: +358 29 553 6300
Open: Monday-Friday 9 am -4.15 pm. 


Finnish Immigration Service (All immigration permits as of January 1, 2017)

Customer service
Address: Käenkuja 3aA, 00550 Helsinki
Appointment booking and residence/working permit application:
Tel: +358 0295 419 600 (no appointment booking)
Email: migri(a)

International House Helsinki

Address: Albertinkatu 25,
00180 Helsinki
Open: Monday-Friday 9am - 4 pm (partly closed 12-1 pm)


Page content by: | Last updated: 14.12.2017.