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 process that applies to you depending on your home country.
Your personal information is usually automatically recorded in Finland's 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 residence permit processes in certain Finnish missions (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 personal identity code when you are issued your residence permit. In that case, you need to apply for the registration and the personal identity code at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV) after you have arrived in Finland; see Apply for a municipality of residence at DVV below.
Upon arrival in Finland, you must apply to register your EU citizen 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.
The 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 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 (DVV) after your arrival 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 Population Information System. This can be done by filling in the registration form on Digital and Population Data Services Agency's (DVV) website. In connection with the registration, you will receive a Finnish personal identity code.
Please note that you must also visit the DVV in person after you have filled in the registration form. You will be sent detailed instructions for this after submitting the form. It is recommended that you take care of this as soon as possible (already during summer), as DVV's 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.
The registration is done at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV). Please see more information below and on DVV's information letter for foreign students.
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 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, apply for a municipality of residence by filling in the application form on DVV's website. Please note that you must also visit the DVV in person after you have filled in the registration form. You will be sent detailed instructions for this after submitting the form.
If you have not received a Finnish personal identity code with your residence permit or when registering as a 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 students or international joint master's students (staying in Finland for less than one year) are not necessarily required to register their municipality of residence since they have not moved to Finland on a 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 (e.g. through obtaining a 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 (‘henkilötunnus’ in Finnish) is a means of identification in Finland, like a social security number in some countries. The code consists of 11 characters – your birthdate (DDMMYY) and five additional digits. The code is always unique. You can check your personal identity code on 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's season 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/non-EEA citizens: when you are granted a student residence permit OR upon your arrival in Finland by registering at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency
- EU/EEA citizens: when your right of residence is registered at Migri OR upon your arrival in Finland by registering at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency
- Nordic citizens: when you register at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency upon your arrival in Finland
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 Aalto student register.
To update your personal identity code, visit the student services or send an encrypted message from your Aalto email to [email protected] (.s for encryption). If you visit the student services in person, remember to bring your identity card and the Finnish identity code with you.
You can update your Finnish address in Sisu yourself. Instructions for this can be found in Sisu Help.
Opening a bank account
There are a number of banks in Finland, such as OP (Osuuspankki), Nordea, Danske Bank and Aktia. OP 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 in advance at the bank where you want to open an account. It is also good to confirm that you have the necessary documentation with you to ensure you can get everything done in one go.
When opening a bank account, you will need a Finnish personal identity code. If you have not received the identity code when applying for a residence permit or when registering as an EU citizen in Finland, you can apply for it at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV).
The required documents usually include:
- Letter of Admission or Certificate of student status
- Scholarship document (if applicable)
- Proof of address in Finland (e.g. residence certificate from DVV)
- Passport or other ID approved by the bank
- Travel visa or residence permit (if applicable)
- Non-EU citizens might need extra documentation:
- A letter of reference from your home bank
- Bank account statements from the last 3 months
Please note that opening a bank account might take some time. Even if you are able to open an account smoothly, you may not get the full online banking credentials right away, as the requirements for these are stricter. This is why it’s important to contact the bank in advance 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, a 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 the specific requirements may vary, and make an appointment to get the full online banking details. Please remember to check with your bank to see whether they charge you for the strong authentication service, and how much, to avoid any unexpected costs.
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.