Road in the middle of forest

After Arrival

On this page we have listed the first things you should take care of after arriving in Finland. Please make sure you inform your host and the Fulbright Finland Foundation about your arrival.

Arrival Assistance

The host institution may arrange for lecturers and research scholars to be met upon arrival by a university or department representative. If arrival assistance is desired, please request help directly from your host institution and provide the appropriate arrival information (date, time, flight number, and airline) well in advance. You can also be met by your Fulbright Buddy or a possible university tutor at the airport.

What To Do Right After Arrival? 

Please follow the steps below upon arrival to Finland. The steps are described in more detailed manner below the list.

  • Visit the Digital and Population Data Services Agency DVV where you will be registered to the Finnish Population Register and where you can make the notification of move for mailing purposes (book an appointment already before arriving in Finland because the lines for DVV can be long)
  • Open a bank account
  • Set up a phone connection
  • Come say hi to us at the Fulbright Finland Foundation!

Visiting the Local Digital and Population Data Services Agency DVV

To register with the Digital and Population Data Service Agency/Finnish Digital Agency DVV (previously called "maistraatti"), you need to personally visit the Agency where your details will be entered into the Finnish Population Information System. Please see the registration of a foreigner section on DVV's website. Please note that the registering procedures may vary between local DVV offices. 

It is important to register with the Agency at the very beginning of your stay in Finland. 

Why Register with DVV?

From DVV, you will receive

  1. an extract from the Population Register System with your information and
  2. Finnish personal identity code/social security number (henkilötunnus). Some of the grantees may already have the Finnish ID number when arriving in Finland, if they applied for the Finnish residence permit through a Finnish Consulate in the U.S. (and not through the VFS Global Center). 

You will need the extract from the Population Register System, for example, when opening a bank account in Finland. The document also allows you to prove your residency in your host city at the local public transport organization (e.g. HSL in the capital city region) after which you can receive a considerable discount on a local bus pass. NB! If you are an exchange student at a Finnish university, a document from your host university on your study right is sufficient for getting the discount from HSL.

You need the Finnish identity code when using the services of the authorities and often also with private companies in Finland. Having the Finnish identity code can also allow you to have a lower price for a private school in Finland, for instance. In addition, the Fulbright Finland Foundation needs to inform your Finnish identity code for the local tax authorities if you are living in Finland for 6 months or more. Basically, you usually need the identity code to be able to live and operate in Finnish society

At DVV, you can also make the official notification of move (muuttoilmoitusto Finland to your new address. Thus, when visiting DVV, make sure that you tell at the Agency that you also want to make the notification of move (muuttoilmoitus). You might not be asked about it if you don't bring it forward yourself. This way you do not need to separately visit the Post office (which is an alternative place where to make the notification).

Do I Need an Appointment?

Usually, Fulbright grantees have visited the Agency without making an appointment as the appointment is not required by Agencies located in bigger cities where the grantees most often are staying in. However, now during the COVID pandemic, DVV has started to request clients to make an appointment. You can make the appointment online on DVV's website

The lines for DVV can often be very long. To facilitate a smoother and quicker process, we recommend you to make the appointment already before arriving in Finland as you can do this online.

What Do I Need to Take Along? 

At DVV, you will need to present the following documents:

  • A signed form called Registration information of a foreigner. You will find the form here:
    • Tip for filling in the form: If you are in Finland for at least a year, it is recommended that you select the option “At least one year, and I want a permanent address and a municipality of residence” in the form under the “Immigration” section. If you select the option (“I only want a temporary address, no municipality of residence”), it will prevent you from getting a Finnish ID card (henkilökortti).
  • Residence permit card
  • Passport
  • Fulbright documents and university invitation letter (scholars) or university letter of attendance (students)
  • If your spouse and children have moved with you to Finland, take also your marriage certificate and children's birth certificates to DVV. Please note that the marriage certificate and birth certificates need to be legalized.

What Happens After Registering?

When the registration has been completed, the Agency informs you about it either by mailing an extract from the Population Information System to your Finnish mailing address or emailing it to you. This extract includes your Finnish ID number. Sometimes it might be possible to receive the document already during your visit to the Agency.

What Is the Processing Time?

Please see the processing time for registration of a foreigner's personal data in the Population Information System on the DVV website (in the middle of the page). Usually, Fulbright grantees have been included in the "foreign worker" or "international student" categories.

What Is My Information Used For?

Among other things, the registered information is used in the organization of elections, taxation, health care, juridical administration, and statistical purposes. More information on the personal identity code, registration purposes, and privacy protection with the registration can be acquired directly from DVV.

Notification of Move

Making a notification of move (muuttoilmoitus) is required whenever you move to Finland and inside Finland. This way your mail will be delivered to you to the correct address. You can make the notification of move at DVV or at the Post office.

If your appointment for DVV is not far out, the easiest is to make the notification of move at DVV when you visit the Agency in order to be registered for the Population Register.

Please note that the Finnish personal identity code is not compulsory information when making notification of move though it is asked in the form. This means that you can submit the notification of move, before you receive the actual Finnish personal identity code. You can fill in the notification of move online, but then you would need to already have received your Finnish identity code.

Consult your host university

Many lecturers have their housing arranged for them by their host universities, who may take care of the change of address notification for you. Please consult your host to find out if this has already been done. If you are living in student housing, the university housing department will usually do the notification on your behalf, but it is important to double-check it.

Moving in Finland

If you change your address during your stay in Finland, submit your notification of move each time you move. After registering with the local Digital Agency and making notification of move, your new address will be automatically forwarded to several authorities, organizations, and companies.

When you leave Finland

Remember to complete a Change of Address Form at the end of your grant period. Based on the change of address, the Finnish Post will forward regular letters weighing up to 50 g to your new address abroad. Other items will be returned to the sender or processed as undeliverable items. If you order a paid Posti Relocate service, your letters weighing up to 250 g will be forwarded to your new address abroad. (Information as of January 23, 2020).

Open a Bank Account

Read more about opening a bank account and grant payments during your Fulbright term in Finland.

Set up Your Phone Connection

Read more about setting up a phone connection.

Host University Orientations and Registration for Students

Check out your host city-specific information centers for immigrants, such as International House Helsinki in the capital region. The centers may hold information sessions for newcomers in the city.