University of Oulu, 2019

Planning your stay

Moving to a new city, let alone country, is always a big change.  This checklist is your quick reference guide to practicalities that need to be taken care of before and after arrival. Please check the links that are provided here for more detailed information.


Citizens of non-EU countries will need a residence permit for working in Finland for over 90 days. For shorter stays you might need a visa. Please find more information on the web pages of the Finnish Immigration Service.

Residence permit is applied through the online application system

You can apply for a Finnish personal ID number in connection with your residence permit in the system. To do that, choose your information to be recorded in the population registration system. You will need a Finnish personal ID code for salary payment, opening a bank account and getting included in the social security system. Having it already upon arrival will make the important practicalities smoother.

You must register your stay in Finland if you are a citizen of the European Union and your stay in Finland exceeds three months. Registration is applied through the online application system

If you are a citizen of Denmark, Iceland, Norway or Sweden, you don't need to register. Instead please visit the Local Register Office after arrival.

To complete your registration, you must visit the Finnish Immigration Service after arriving to Finland to verify your identity. In order to get the appointment soon after arrival (deadline within 3 months), we recommend booking it already before your arrival using Migri’s appointment system.  

At the appointment you will need your passport, contract of employment and rental agreement. You will receive a registration document that you need to bring to the Local Register Office.

The Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland (PSOAS) organizes accommodation for students and employees of the University of Oulu. Some houses and apartments have income limits, but there are bigger apartments without these limits, too. PSOAS has apartments available all over Oulu, but the nearest locations to the Linnanmaa campus are Linnanmaa, Syynimaa, Kaijonharju and Alppila. Near the Kontinkangas campus (Faculty of Medicine) are Peltola, Keskusta and Höyhtyä. Please, find out more on PSOAS website.  

PSOAS Office visiting address: Mannenkatu 6 A

To ensure that PSOAS can offer you an apartment upon arrival, we advise that you to get in touch with them and apply in advance, preferably a couple of months before you move. When collecting the keys for your PSOAS apartment you will need to provide documentation confirming your employment with the University (contract of employment or hosting agreement).

There are also many other options for housing in the private market.  

More on housing options

Apostille Certificates

If you come with your family and your spouse is not working for the University you should check in advance the documents required by the Register Office in Oulu (Maistraatti) to confirm your relationship. Usually a marriage certificate and births certificates of children need to be confirmed with an Apostille Certificate from your own country before it is accepted.

The Apostille Certificate is necessary if the document is to be presented to the authority of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention (Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961). More information on the Hague Convention and member states.

Oulu International School (OIS)

Oulu International School supports the educational need of the international and internationally minded community in and around Oulu. The school provides education in English from grades 1 to 9 (age 7 to 16), and functions under the City of Oulu. The curriculum is based on the Finnish basic education curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Organization Programme. You are welcome to contact the Oulu International School for further information.


Both public and private daycare is available for children under school age, either at a family daycare or at a daycare centre. Children normally enter preschool education at the age of six. Pre-school is organized by the municipality. All residents of Oulu can apply for public daycare for their child.

More information on the daycare system.



After arrival you will need to take care of several official matters. You will need your employment contract and passport (and residence permit for non EU citizens) when visiting the following authorities:

  • Migri (Finnish Immigration Services)
  • Local Register Office (Maistraatti)
  • Tax office (Verotoimisto)
  • Bank
  • Kela (Social Insurance Institution of Finland)

After receiving your bank account details and a tax card, please take them to your faculty’s HR assistant in order to organize your salary payments.

NOTE: The employer is obliged to ensure the validity of the residence permit when paying salaries to non-Finnish staff members. Please bring your passport and residence permit card to your faculty´s HR assistant. You should also notify HR after each time your permit is extended.


You must register your stay in Finland if you are a citizen of the European Union and your stay in Finland exceeds three months. Fill in and pay for your application through Enter Finland and visit the Finnish Immigration Service to verify your identity within three months of entering into Finland.

If you are a citizen of Denmark, Iceland, Norway or Sweden, you don't need to register. Instead please visit your Local Register Office.

Migri office address: Mäkelininkatu 33

If you do not yet have a Finnish ID code, you need to visit the Local Register Office to apply for it. Non-Nordic EU citizens will need to have registered their residency with Migri before visiting the Register Office.

If you have a Finnish personal ID code already, you still need to visit the Register Office to add your domicile information and personal data in the national Population Information System.

The personal ID code is needed for the payment of wages, salaries and fees. You also need it to apply for pensions and other benefits. The code is essential in bank transactions, and your bank will require it when you are opening an account. As soon as your application has been handled, you will get your personal ID code by post into your home address. It is also possible to arrange to come back on a specific day and collect your number rather than wait for it to arrive in the post.

More on registration

Maistraatti office address: Isokatu 4

In Finland, almost all financial transactions are managed through a bank. Therefore, you must open a bank account. When you open a bank account, you will get a bank card, which will enable you to draw cash from cash machines (pankkiautomaatti) and to make payments for purchases. You are free to choose your bank.

You need to have your Finnish personal identity code prior to opening a bank account. When you first visit the bank, you need to have your personal identification documents (passport) and a copy of your contract of employment and preferably your rental agreement with you.

At least the following banks operate in Oulu: Aktia Bank, Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, Osuuspankki, POP-pankki and S-pankki.

In order to pay taxes in Finland you will need a tax card. The tax percentage is determined according to your income and it is marked on your tax card. Hand in your tax card to your faculty's HR secretary without delay. They will need it two weeks in advance of your next payday. The employer will apply the percentage rate printed on the tax card to withhold an amount from your wages. Please note that if you fail to deliver a tax card to the employer, the employer's payroll office will be under the legal obligation to withhold 60 % from your pay.

At the tax office you need to have your personal identification documents (passport and the Finnish Personal ID number, if available) and a copy of your contract of employment with you.

More on taxation in Finland

More on tax card

Tax office address: Torikatu 34B

Kela looks after the basic social security and health for all residents in Finland. As soon as your personal ID code (social security number) has been issued by the Local Register Office, you have to visit Kela to find out whether you are eligible to be included in the Finnish social security system.

More on social security in Finland

Kela office address: Sepänkatu 18


Last updated: 4.6.2020