The moving to Åland-checklist is intended to help you with the most important practical issues related to moving.
Please note that the list does not necessarily include all of the things you must take care of when moving to Åland.
Before moving to Åland
In many jobs, it is enough that your employer finds your qualifications and professional competence suitable for the job. If the qualifications required in a profession are laid down by law, you will need a decision on the recognition of your qualifications.
Professions that require a recognition decision can be found in health care and teaching, for instance. A person whose higher education degree is completed abroad may need a decision also when applying for a civil service post or position in Åland/Finland, for which the statutory eligibility requirement is a higher education degree or a higher education degree of a certain level.
In some fields, you will be required to acquire a pass or card in order to prove your proficiency in a certain area. Many of the cards are statutory and they grant you the right to practice your profession.
Before acquiring a pass or a card, you usually participate in training that ends with the actual test. The tests are usually subject to a fee.
If you have obtained your proficiency qualification in another EU/EEA country, you can have it validated by the following authorities;
If you are coming to Finland for more than 90 days and you are a citizen of some other country (not EU citizen), you must apply for a residence permit in Finland.
Contact the authorities in your home country to find out what kind of information they need before you move abroad.
If you move to Finland from outside the EU, you do not usually have to pay duties or value-added tax for your removal goods, i.e. the personal property you bring with you. However, you do have to declare your removal goods to the customs authorities in Finland.
For example, the following are regarded as removal goods:
- furniture and other domestic goods
- bicycles and motorcycles
- cars and trailers intended for private use.
Please note that the exemption from duty and tax of removal goods doesn’t concern alcohol or tobacco. Separate restrictions apply to the import of these.
For more information, contact the Customs Information Service at +358 (0)295 5201 or go to the Finnish Custom’s website. The Customs Information Service provides assistance in Finnish, Swedish and English.
When bringing a car to Finland as removal goods, you must declare it to customs. If you bring your car to Finland, you must register it and pay a car tax (bilskatt) before you can use it in traffic.
It is possible to use the car temporarily before car tax has been paid. This requires that a commissioning notification (anmälan om ibruktagande) for the car is made to the Tax Administration. Your car must also have a motor insurance policy (trafikförsäkring) valid in Finland.
If you bring a car from outside the EEA area, you will also need a transfer permit before you can use it. Transfer permits are granted by inspection stations and certain customs offices. You are not allowed to use your car in Finland until you have made a commissioning notification and acquired a transfer permit.
Then contact Åland Motor Vehicle Authority (Fordonsmyndigheten), for registration of your car and to obtain Åland car registration plates.
If you have questions regarding car tax and commissioning notification, you can call the Tax Administration telephone service:
+358 (0)29 497 152 (English)
If you want to bring a pet with you to Finland, you should find out beforehand about the rules for importing animals Often, certain vaccinations, for example, are required for animals. The Finnish Food Safety Authority (Livsmedelsverket) provides more information about the rules applicable in Finland.
After moving to Åland
You must submit a notification of move to the local Register Office (Magistraten) in Mariehamn within a week after your move at the latest.
The notification of move shall be done personally by visiting the Register Office. The visiting address is Statens Ämbetsverk, Torggatan 12.
Please remember to bring your valid personal identification document. If you move with underaged children the personal identification document shall include the names of the child’s parents and guardians.
If you are granted a residence permit for Finland, you will be automatically registered in the Finnish Population Information System. You will receive a Finnish personal identity code at the same time. You can also get a personal identity code at the Local Register Office or Tax Office of your place of residence in Finland.
You can be covered by Finnish social security based on either permanent residence or work. You are entitled to social security benefits in Åland when you move here for a job in which your minimum salary is € 696.60 per month. The majority of Kela/FPA benefits require you to move to Åland permanently to be entitled to them. In addition, you must meet the same requirements for benefits as other residents of Åland and Finland.
If you are in need of social security benefits you must submit an application to FPA. In your application for social security benefits you shall also include a notification of move to Åland (form Y77e).
The social security benefits include for example the following;
- FPA-card (needed when visiting the public health care centre, hospital and pharmacy),
- child benefit,
- general housing allowance,
- sickness allowance,
- medicine expenses or
Contact information to FPA Åland:
Visiting address: Nygatan 7A in Mariehamn
Post address: FPA Åland, PB 57, AX-22101 Mariehamn, Åland.
You can submit your application online to FPA if you have Internet Bank codes/BankID to a bank in Åland/Finland.
For more information about applications and conditions for social security benefits;
You will need a bank account in order to handle your day-to-day finances. When opening a bank account, you need a passport or some other official identity card. It’s a good idea to compare the services and prices of different banks so that you will find the most advantageous option for you.
In Åland you can get the tax card at the local Taxation authority at Åland Tax Office, Ålands skattebyrå;
Ålands skattebyrå, Statens Ämbetshus, Torggatan 12, 22100 Mariehamn.
- National switch board; +358 (0)29 512 001
- Personal and corporation taxation on Åland; +358 (0)29 497 094
Once you have a flat, it is worthwhile taking out a home insurance policy (hemförsäkring). Home insurance covers, for example, damage to your furniture and other articles. Home insurance policies are sold by insurance companies.
In Åland you can take out home insurance with the following companies that also offer other types of insurances, such as personal and car insurances;
Currently, the TV license fee is €220 per year and it is paid by every household that has at least one TV set. You will not need to pay more if you have multiple devices.
In Finland and Åland, you pay income tax (inkomstskatt) on your salary. You must also pay taxes on the following income:
- payment for labour or service
- business income
- unemployment allowance
- parental allowance
- study grant
With tax money, the state and municipalities pay for the following, for example:
- health care
- day care
The taxation is progressive. This means that the tax rate (the share of taxes) is larger for a larger salary than for a smaller salary. A withholding tax percentage (skatteprocent) is calculated separately for each person in Finland. The spouse’s income does not affect your withholding tax percentage.
If you work less than six months in Åland there are two alternatives for your taxation:
- 35 percent tax at source. This is final and flat tax, i.e. it is not depending on the amount of the income
- Progressive tax: your working income can be taxed progressively. The tax rate depends on your total income.
To get an idea of how you will be taxed in Åland we recommend you to use the Tax Percentage Calculator;
More detailed information on taxation can be obtained at Tax administration office, Skattebyrån, in Mariehamn, phone +358 29 512 001.
Åland provides both public and private health services. You can use public health services if you have a municipality of residence on Åland. Public health services include, for example, health centres. Public services are much less expensive than private ones. In addition, employers in Åland are obliged to provide occupational health care service for their employees.
If you want to book an appointment with a doctor, contact a health centre. If you are not entitled to use public health services, you can visit a private medical clinic.
If you have a driving licence issued in a country that is party to the Geneva or Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic, the licence is valid on Åland for two years. After this period, you must exchange your licence for an Ålandic driving licence.
If you have a driving licence issued in a country not party to the Geneva or Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic, the licence is valid on Åland for one year after you are entered into the Finnish population register.
If you are a resident of Åland and wish to renew your driving licence, you should contact the Åland Police authority no later than one month before the validity period of your driving licence expires.
Phone +358 18 527100