Guidance

Living in Finland

Official information for UK nationals moving to or living in Finland, including guidance on residency, healthcare, passports and the Withdrawal Agreement.

What you should do

You should:

Stay up to date

You should:

You can also:

Attend a citizen outreach meeting

The British Embassy regularly holds events across Finland for UK nationals. Attend one of our citizen outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in Finland.

The Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in Finland at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Finland.

Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information.

In the meantime, make sure you are registered as a resident in Finland. We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

Check the 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.

Residency

If you are resident in Finland before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay.

If there are changes to residency registration processes, we will update this guidance as soon as information is available.

Passports and travel

The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Finland.

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available. You should sign up for updates to this guidance.

Driving in Finland

Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you are a resident in Finland, you should exchange your UK licence for a Finnish driving one. You can still use your Finnish licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

Read the guidance on:

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Finland

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Read the EU’s guidance on car registration and taxes in Finland.

You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.

Healthcare

If you are living in Finland or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Finland as you do now, provided you remain resident.

You must register for healthcare as a resident in Finland, as well as with The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela. It issues the Social Security & Health Insurance Card, which will give you access to healthcare on the same basis as Finnish citizens.

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

Read our guidance on who can access healthcare in Finland and how to register.

State healthcare: S1

If you live in Finland and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in Finland, you must not use your EHIC from the UK to access healthcare in Finland.

When you travel from Finland for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state-provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:

There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC, as you did before, during this time.

You should also read guidance on:

Working and studying in Finland

If you are registered as a resident in Finland on or before 31 December 2020, you will maintain your right to work, as long as you remain resident in Finland. Read our guidance on working in an EU country.

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

Studying in Finland after Brexit

If you are resident in Finland on or before 31 December 2020, your right to study in Finland will stay the same, as long as you remain resident.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Finland to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Finland have not changed.

Read the guidance on:

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Finland.

National Insurance

Find out if you can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU or EEA and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Pensions

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire in Finland, you can claim:

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.

Pensions after 31 January 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.

If you are living in Finland by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Finland, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Finnish pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Benefits

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are [moving or retiring abroad(]https://www.gov.uk/moving-or-retiring-abroad).

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in Finland.

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

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

You can request proof of time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Benefits after 31 January 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Finland, your UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for Finnish contributions-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim contributions-based benefits after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Read guidance from Kela about how the UK leaving the EU might affect your Finnish social security benefits.

Voting

If you are resident in Finland you can vote and stand in local municipal elections. You cannot vote in national or European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections.

Births, deaths, and getting married

If your child is born in Finland, you will need to register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in Finland:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Finland.

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on how to buy or let property in Finland.

Pets

Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you must visit your vet to get a pet passport.

Read guidance on bringing your pet to the UK.

Emergencies

Finland uses the European emergency number 112.

If you’re a victim of crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact the British Embassy.

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and Finnish authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

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

If you get healthcare in Finland through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.

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 24 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  2. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  3. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  4. EU Exit update: updated information regarding EU visa-free travel.

  5. EU Exit update: updated information on EU Exit regarding passports, pensions and returning to the UK.

  6. EU Exit update: updated information on EU Exit in the visas and residency, healthcare and driving sections

  7. EU Exit update: Updated information on healthcare.

  8. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  9. EU Exit update: Updated information on passports. you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip.

  10. EU Exit update: New link to the Finnish government's website added to the EU Exit section.

  11. EU Exit update: New links to the Finnish Immigration Service website and to a list of our outreach events added to the EU Exit section. New link to Kela's Centre for International Affairs added to the Benefits section.

  12. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare.

  13. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving

  14. EU exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section.

  15. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  16. Updated information for the recipients of UK old age state pension in the "Living in Finland" guide.

  17. Updated Living in Finland guide

  18. First published.