Registration of a foreigner in the Population Information System

A foreign citizen living in Finland receives a personal identity code when he or she is registered in the Population Information System.

Personal identity code

In Finland, a personal identity code is used to identify persons. You will receive a personal identity code if you are registered in the Population Information System. The personal identity code is used especially in the activities and information systems of the authorities, but also in the private sector. You usually need a personal identity code to be able to live and operate in Finnish society. Even if you do not live in Finland, you may need a personal identity code to be able to take care of some matters.

Registration of personal data

Your personal data must be recorded in the Finnish Population Information System before a personal identification code can be given to you. The information in the Population Information System is available to the authorities. Some information is also disclosed to private parties. If you are registered in the Population Information System, the following information is always registered:

  • names, date of birth and gender
  • citizenship and mother tongue
  • address in Finland

In addition, information such as the following may be registered:

  • place of birth
  • children
  • parents
  • spouse

Municipality of residence

If you live in Finland, you can be assigned a municipality of residence in Finland on certain conditions. Your municipality of residence and the associated permanent address will also be recorded in the Population Information System. If you do not get a municipality of residence, your address will be entered in the Population Information System as a temporary address. When you have a municipality of residence, you can vote in the municipal elections of your municipality of residence and use the services that municipalities provide only to their residents. Sometimes you also need a municipality of residence to be able to use the services provided by the state authorities or to be granted financial benefits or support. The municipality of residence is always recorded by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Do the following

  • Complete the form titled the Registration information of a foreigner, preferably before the visit.

The registration information of a foreigner

  • When you request a personal identity code, bring the following documents with you:
    • your valid passport or EU citizen’s official identity card with a photograph
    • your residence permit card or some other proof that you have entered Finland legally
    • proof of work or studies performed in Finland (for example, an employment contract or a certificate of student status)
    • if necessary, the legalised, original and translated birth and marriage certificates and other official documents containing information that you would like the Digital and Population Data Services Agency to record in the Population Information System.

Personal identity code

  • If you have a residence permit or a residence card issued by the Finnish Immigration Service, or if the Finnish Immigration Service has registered your right of residence, you have usually been assigned a personal identity code. The code can then be found on the reverse side of the residence permit card. The same applies to other situations in which the Finnish Immigration Service has made some other positive decision concerning your stay in Finland. If you then want to register information about your family in the Population Information System or want to have a municipality of residence in Finland, contact the Digital and Population Data Services Agency and request registration or a municipality of residence. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency will then examine the preconditions for registration and your right to a municipality of residence.
  • If you are not a customer of the Finnish Immigration Service or have not been assigned a personal identity code in connection with a decision issued by the Finnish Immigration Service, visit the Digital and Population Data Services Agency to request a personal identity code. If you need a personal identity code for tax purposes, you can also request it at the tax office. However, in that case, you cannot be assigned a municipality of residence and it will not be possible to register information about your family.
  • To get a personal identity code, you must visit the authority in person. You cannot request a personal identity code electronically. All persons to be registered (including children) must visit the authority in person. The preconditions for registration will then be examined by the authority.

Who can get a personal identity code?

You can only get a personal identity code if you are staying in Finland legally. Legal residence may be based, for example, on a residence permit, free movement in the EU, a visa or visa exemption. In addition, one of the preconditions below must be met:

  • You will get a municipality of residence in Finland (see the preconditions below).
  • The Finnish Immigration Service has granted you a residence permit or a residence card, registered your right of residence of a citizen of the EU or made some other positive decision on your stay in Finland.
  • You need a personal identity code for reasons such as studying or working in Finland.

You can get a municipality of residence if you intend to live in Finland for more than a year and one of the preconditions below is met:

  • You are a citizen of a Nordic country.
  • You are a citizen of another EU country, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, and the Finnish Immigration Service has registered your right of residence of a citizen of the EU upon your application.
  • You are a citizen of another country and you have a continuous (A) or a permanent (P) residence permit.
  • You are a citizen of another country and you have a temporary (B) residence permit, which is valid and entitles you to stay for at least one year and, considering your circumstances as a whole, you intend to stay in Finland permanently.

You can demonstrate your intention to stay in Finland permanently, for example, in the following ways:

  • Present an employment contract or a certificate of student status, according to which your employment or studies will continue for at least two years.
  • Present a report on family relationships, according to which you are of Finnish descent.
  • Explain that you have previously had a municipality of residence in Finland.
  • Provide proof that you have been already living in Finland for at least one year.

You may get a municipality of residence without a personal visit. This applies to you if you meet all the conditions below:

  • are a citizen of an EU member state, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, or a family member of such a person,
  • have registered your right of residence with the Finnish Immigration Service, or have been issued with a family member residence card,
  • already have a Finnish personal identity code, and
  • move to Finland from any other country than Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Iceland. Citizens of the Nordic countries must visit the Digital and Population Data Services Agency personally.
  • You are in Finland at the moment.

Registration of the municipality of residence

In addition to the preconditions mentioned above, you will get a municipality of residence if your family member living in Finland already has or is assigned a municipality of residence. If you get a municipality of residence, your other family members living in Finland will also get a municipality of residence. Your family members include:

  • your spouse or the other party of the registered partnership
  • your underage children, whose guardian you are
  • your cohabiting partner, if you have lived together as a couple for at least two years or you share the custody of a child you have together

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