Guidance

Living in Finland

Official information British people moving to and living in Finland need to know, including residency, healthcare and driving.

Brexit: what you need to know

There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Finland while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate Brexit, you should:

Before you go

See our travel advice for Finland and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

See moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency

See entry requirements for Finland in our travel advice.

If you plan to stay for more than 90 days in Finland, you must contact the Finnish Immigration Service.

Healthcare

See our travel advice for Finland.

The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting Finland.

You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.

Medical treatment, medicine and hospital stays are rarely completely free of charge in Finland.

You can find English-speaking doctors in all Finnish hospitals. You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Finland.

S1 form – healthcare paid for by the UK

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Finland and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.

You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pensions Centre.

Working in Finland

See working in another EU country.

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

Tax

See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Finland.

See information about paying income tax in Finland.

You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

Pensions

See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

If you haven’t worked in Finland, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.

If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.

Life certificates for UK state pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Benefits

See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You may be eligible to claim some Finnish social security benefits – see Finnish social security benefits.

Driving in Finland

See driving abroad and road travel in Finland.

See driving licence renewal and exchange and taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Voting

British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

If you’re resident in Finland, you can vote in local municipal and European Parliamentary elections.

Births

See register a birth abroad.

Deaths

See what to do after someone dies.

See also:

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).

Pets

See travelling with pets.

Emergencies

Finland uses the European emergency number 112.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad.

Returning to the UK

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Finnish authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 15 November 2013
Last updated 20 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  2. Updated information for the recipients of UK old age state pension in the "Living in Finland" guide.
  3. Updated Living in Finland guide
  4. First published.