Registering with the authorities and opening a bank account
Register your right of residence
Upon your arrival in Finland, you need let the authorities know of your stay and register your right of residence. Please check the correct process depending on your home country.
Your personal information is usually automatically recorded in the Finnish Population Information System when you are granted the residence permit, and you will also be issued a Finnish personal identity code. Please see more information on residence permit applications here.
However, due to some local residence permit processes (concerning at least the citizens of India and Pakistan), your information might not be registered in the Population Information System, or you might not get the Finnish personal identity code when you are issued your residence permit. In this case, you need to apply for the registration and the Finnish personal identity code at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency after you have arrived in Finland, see apply for a municipality of residence at DVV below.
Upon arrival in Finland, you must apply for registration of EU citizen’s right of residence if your stay lasts longer than three months. The application for the registration must be submitted within three months from the day of your arrival.
Application can be submitted online, but the registration process requires a personal visit to the Finnish Immigration Service’s (Migri) service point. It is advisable to book an appointment for registration beforehand (already during summer), as waiting times can be long and in September there may not be time slots available anymore.
When your right of residence is registered, your personal information will be recorded in the Finnish Population Information System and you will receive a Finnish personal identity code.
You also have to register your address at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency after you have arrived in Finland, see apply for a municipality of residence at DVV below.
Upon your arrival in Finland, you must register your personal data in the Finnish Population Information system at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. In connection with the registration, you will receive a Finnish personal identity code. More detailed information about the registration process on Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s (DVV) pages.
Please note that you must personally visit DVV for the registration. You can book an appointment beforehand (already during summer), as waiting times can be long in autumn.
Apply for a municipality of residence at DVV
You are required to apply for a municipality of residence if you are staying in Finland for more than a year. This applies to all nationalities.
If you are staying in Finland for more than a year (regardless of your nationality), you are required to register your place of residence and your permanent municipality of residence in Finland at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV). For the DVV registration you will need a permanent address in Finland.
It is important to apply for the municipality. The registration enables you, for example, to receive the full student discount in public transportation (HSL) and to use the municipal health care services.
Once you have your address in Finland, fill in the application form and book an appointment (choose international registrations as a service) to visit the DVV office of your municipality, e.g. Espoo, Helsinki or Mikkeli. Instructions and the application form are available on DVV's website.
If you have not received your Finnish personal identity code with your residence permit or when registering as EU citizen in Finland, you will be registered in the Finnish Population Information System and get the personal identity code at the same time when you are granted the municipality of residence.
Exchange or international joint master's students (staying in Finland for less than 1 year) are not necessarily required to register the municipality of residence since they have not moved to Finland on permanent basis and thus are not usually granted a permanent home municipality in Finland.
If there is a need for a Finnish personal identity code (e.g. for taxation) and the code has not been issued before (with residence permit or EU citizen's registration by Migri), it can be applied for at DVV.
Finnish personal identity code
The Finnish personal identity code (i.e. social security number, ‘henkilötunnus’ in Finnish) is a means of identification in Finland. The personal identity code consists of 11 characters, including your birthdate (DDMMYY) and five additional digits. The code is always unique. You can check your personal identity code from e.g. your residence permit or the notification of registration that you receive from DVV.
Note that the identity code is sensitive personal information, so please do not share it in social media or other open channels.
It is strongly recommended that you get the personal identity code, as it will make your life in Finland easier.
It is needed for accessing important services, such as the FSHS (healthcare services) and the HSL transportation seasonal tickets. In addition, it is also needed when opening a bank account or a mobile phone plan. The personal identity code is also required for taxation and municipal services, and if you get any salary or scholarship from Finland, it is required to enable payments.
- Non-EU/EEA citizens: when you are granted the student residence permit OR upon arrival by registering at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency
- EU/EEA citizens: when your right of residence is registered at Migri OR upon arrival by registering at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency
- Nordic citizens: when you register at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency
Update your information in the student register
After you have received your Finnish personal identity code and registered your Finnish address, remember to update them also in the student register.
To update the personal identity code, visit the student services or send them an encrypted message from your Aalto email to [email protected]. If you visit the student services in person, remember to take your identity card and the Finnish identity code with you.
You can update your Finnish address in Sisu yourself. Instructions for updating your personal details can be found in Sisu Help.
Opening a bank account
There are multiple banks in Finland, such as Osuuspankki, Nordea, Danske Bank and Aktia. Osuuspankki and Nordea are the biggest and most popular banks among international students.
Please note that practices vary between different banks. You should always make an appointment at the bank where you want to open an account in advance, also to confirm the necessary documentation and to ensure you get everything done in one go.
When opening a bank account, you will need a Finnish personal identity code. If you have not received a personal identity code when applying for a residence permit or when registering as a EU citizen in Finland, you can apply for it at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
The required documents usually include:
- Admission letter / Certificate of student status
- Scholarship document (if applicable)
- Proof of address in Finland (i.e. DVV registration done)
- Passport or other ID approved by the bank
- Visa/residence permit (if applicable)
- Non-EU citizens might need extra documentation:
- Letter of reference from home bank
- Bank account statements from 3 months
Please note that opening a bank account might take some time, or you might be able to open a bank account smoothly but not get the full online banking credentials right away, as the requirements are stricter. This is why it’s important to contact the bank to learn about their processes and what is required of you.
To get the full online banking credentials that allow you to verify your identity online, you need a Finnish personal identity code, regular address within the European Economic Area (EEA) and a passport or official personal ID card. Once you have these, contact your bank in Finland to verify if you need anything else as specific requirements may vary, and make an appointment to get the full online banking details. Please remember to check with your bank if they charge you for the service, and how much, to avoid any unexpected costs.
The full banking credentials are very useful in Finland as they give access to many different types of online services, including the student discount for HSL transportation.