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Finland is a highly developed nation with a well-constructed economy. It is one of the hardest countries to reside in as a U.S. native or expatriate but it isn’t impossible and living in the nation will provide you and your family with a memorable and profound experience. The easiest way into the nation is to apply for the proper visas before you arrive. However, you can stay in the country for up to 90 days without any registration, permissions or documentation other than your passport.
You’ll have a lot to prepare and plan for before you move from the U.S. to Finland. You can ease a lot of the stress by hiring professionals for help. For example, international moving companies are great assistance with the importation of your things while migration agents will help you get into the country lawfully, making sure you understand the laws and regulations for immigration into the nation. Take plenty of time making decisions and preparing for your relocation. It will only benefit the situation and make everything go along much smoother.
Applying for your rights to citizenship or for stay in Finland is time consuming and will require various forms of proof and documentation. Try to gather these documents in advance so you get start applying early on. It could take months to earn a visa and the residence permit. The resident visa is the first thing you should apply for if you plan on staying in Finland for longer than 90 days. The application for residency permits must be submitted abroad. To obtain the first residence permit, you must meet the following requirements:
- Have a valid passport
- Proof you have not been prohibited to enter the country for any reason
- You’re not a danger to the public
- You’re not a threat to public health
- You’re not a danger to Finland’s international relations
Of course, you may be asked to bring other forms of proof and documentation depending on the circumstances but those working for the Embassy of Finland or your migration agent will inform you of what’s necessary. The first residence permit is only valid for one year in Finland. To obtain a permanent residence permit, you must reside in Finland for four years. To work in Finland, you’ll need to apply for the appropriate work visa.
Decide on Housing
Unless you plan to stay in a hotel or temporary housing, start looking for places to live while you’re still in the U.S. Buying might be too difficult to do as an American in Finland but if you intend to rent, you’ll find that you have more luck. Renting in Finland is unique. Don’t expect to find the same features you do in American homes and apartments. For instance, it’s rare that you’ll find carpeting, window coverings or permanent light fixtures. However, you are likely to find that most apartments come with the essential kitchen appliances as well as communal saunas you can book at your leisure.
Rent in Finland is relatively cheap depending on the area you choose to reside in. On average, monthly rent for a decent sized apartment is around 1910 Finnish Markka which is equivalent to $372.44 in U.S. dollars. You may not get everything you’re used to in your rental property, but it will certainly provide you with comfort and shelter. Make sure you understand the contract between you and the landlord. Many of the lease contracts in Finland have clauses that entitle them to changing the rate of rent as needed.
Packing and Shipping Over Your Belongings
The more you choose to ship over to the nation, the more your international moving services are bound to cost. Sort through your things months before you’re scheduled to relocate. Get rid of broken and useless items by throwing them away. Any items in decent or good condition that you wish to leave behind, can be sold online, sold at a garage sale, or donated. Holding a garage sale will help you to earn some extra cash before you move.
Many movers have storage solutions you can take advantage of if you want to keep some of your things around until you decide if you need them or not. Otherwise, when you purchase moving services, make sure you choose wisely and try to take advantage of any discounts or promotions you may qualify for. For examples, movers often offer discounted rates to students.
As you pack your things (unless you have the movers do it for you which is the wiser option), package them according to the standards of Finland and the moving company. They must be properly packaged and labeled if they are to enter the nation. They must also gain import approval through Customs by showing compliance with all of the nation’s import laws.