If you are intending to stay in Finland for more than a year (regardless of your nationality), you are required to register at Maistraatti (the local register office in the municipality you live in), and register your personal information in the Population Information System. The information registered is used for such purposes as elections, taxation, municipal health care, judicial administration and collecting statistics.
At Maistraatti you can also apply for home municipality if you fulfill the necessary criteria (having a home municipality in a certain city/municipality means that you are considered to live there on a permanent basis). You may also get a personal ID-code if you have not received it before (when applying for a residence permit or when registering as EU-citizen in Finland). Personal id-code is needed e.g. for taxation and may be helpful in many other practical issues, such as opening a mobile phone connection or opening a bank account. Note that if you get any salary / scholarship from Finland, personal ID-code is required to enable payments.
Note that especially for master’s degree students it is necessary to register at Maistraatti in order to be able to purchase a personal travel card for public transportation. (Student discount on travel card is admitted only for those master's degree students who have registered at Maistraatti and been admitted home municipality in the capital area)
Exchange or free mover guest students or double degree students (staying in Finland less than 1 year) are not necessarily required to register at Maistraatti since they have not moved to Finland on permanent basis and thus they are not usually granted a permanent home municipality in Finland. Registration is not needed for this group of students for travel card (local transportation) purposes either. If there is a need for Finnish personal id-code (e.g. taxation) and code has not been issued before (with residence permit application / Eu-citizen's registration by MIGRI), it can be applied at the Maistraatti office.
Permanent home municipality (domicile) is granted for those students who fulfill the requirements set by law:
You can collect a document verifying the duration of the studies (Certificate of student status) from Learning Services of your school. You should take your passport / official ID-card with you to Maistraatti as well.
Those who obtain a permanent home municipality in Finland are entitled to use some municipal services, e.g. right to use the municipal health care services in the same way as Finnish citizens. However, some of the other social benefits may require a longer stay in Finland and e.g. a permanent or continuous residence permit.
The Finnish personal ID-code (i.e. social security number) is a means of identification that is more specific than a name. A foreign citizen is usually issued a personal ID-code if his/her residence in Finland is permanent by its nature or exceeds one year. Persons staying in Finland on a temporary basis can also be issued the code, e.g. for taxation. However, no permanent status is granted for them and therefore they do not have the same rights and benefits as persons who have a permanent home municipality registered for them. When registering at Maistraatti (or within couple of weeks of your registration) you will receive the personal id-code. Remember to inform also Learning Services of your school at Aalto so that your personal ID-code can be updated in the student register.
Note! Non EU-citizens:
Non EU-citizens, who have applied for the residence permit for Finland had a possibility to ask to be registered in the Finnish Population Information System already at the same time when applying for the residence permit. This way non EU-citizens may already have a Finnish ID-code when arriving in Finland. This helps with many practical things, such as opening a bank account. However, you are not automatically registered as a resident of a certain city when you receive a personal identity code, i.e. you are not automatically given a home municipality. You need a home municipality in order to use the services provided by the city or the municipality, such as healthcare services. To be registered with a home municipality you need to visit your local Maistraatti office in person. This concerns especially students who are staying in Finland for more than one year, it is important to remember you are required to visit at the Maistraatti office personally in order to get your Finnish address and your home municipality registered in the Population Information System.
EU-citizens may ask for the personal id-code when registering their right of residence at MIGRI after arrival in Finland. Remember to inform also Learning Services of your school at Aalto so that your personal ID-code can be updated in the student register.
Registration of foreign nationals moving to Finland is processed only in following Maistraatti offices: Helsinki, Porvoo and Tammisaari. Students living in capital area (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa) are advised to visit Helsinki Maistraatti. (Please note that Maistraatti in Espoo does not handle registrations anymore.)
Address: Albertinkatu 25, 00180 Helsinki (in Kamppi area, near Punavuori)
Tel. 0295539391 (switchboard)
Registration of foreigners, tel. 0295536320
Office hours: 9:00-16:15
Address: Itätuulentie 1, 02100 Espoo (in Tapiola area)
Tel. 0295539301 (switchboard)
Office hours: 9:00-16:15
You should make a notification of move (muuttoilmoitus) within one week of your arrival in Finland. This can be done by filling out a form available at the Maistraatti office or at Posti (post office). If you will register at Maistraatti, it is easiest to fill out the notification of move at the same time.
Exchange students who move to Finland only on temporary basis do not need to register at Maistraatti, but they must remember to make the notification of move e.g by filling out the form available at post offices. This is to inform Post about your address in Finland.
Remember to make a notification of move also when you leave Finland.
If you later on move inside Finland you should always make a new notification of move. In this case, it is possible to make the notification also by phone tel. +358 295535535 or online (www.posti.fi/changeaddress), but this requires online bank ID or an identity card with a chip. You can always use the forms available at post offices and Maistraatti as well.
Please remember to update any changes in your contact information also to the university’s database. You can do this online in the student register system WebOodi.