Living in Finland

Cities

Maahanmuuttajana Helsingissä

Living as an immigrant in Helsinki

Immigrant guidance and integration

Virka Info

Virka Info is the City of Helsinki’s immigration advice service.

From Virka Info, you can request information on residence permits, courses, citizenship applications, housing, social security, employment, education and health, among other things. You can also ask for help if you do not understand a document that concerns you or are uncertain as to which authority to contact.

Virka Info’s services are available in many languages.

To make sure that you reach a service advisor who speaks your language, book an appointment in advance.

Contact information:

Virka Info
Helsinki City Hall
Sofiankatu 1/Pohjoisesplanadi 11–13
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9 am–7 pm, Sat–Sun 10 am–4 pm
Tel. (09) 310 11 112 Mon–Fri 9 am–3 pm
E-mail: virkainfo(at)hel.fi

linkkiVirka Info:
Advise for immigrantsFinnish | Swedish | English

Immigration Unit

The Immigration Unit of the Helsinki Department of Social Services and Health Care helps with the integration of refugees living in Helsinki. Services provided by the Immigration Unit include guidance, counselling and initial assessments. The Immigration Unit also helps people who are victims of human trafficking.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Immigration UnitFinnish | English

In To Finland

In To is a service point provided by Kela and the Tax Administration (Verohallinto) for workers coming to Finland. In To guides and advises foreigners moving to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in any questions they may have. In addition to workers moving to Finland, In To serves job seekers, entrepreneurs and students who are coming to Finland, as well as companies that hire or supply Finnish workers, in questions regarding social security and taxation.

In To
Salomonkatu 17 A, 2nd floor
Helsinki
E-mail: info(at)intofinland.fi

Initial assessment and integration plan

When you register as a job seeker, an employee of the Employment and Economic Development Office (Työ- ja elinkeinotoimisto) will complete an initial assessment (alkukartoitus) with you and prepare an integration plan (kotoutumissuunnitelma). The Employment and Economic Development Offices of Itäkeskus and Pasila perform initial assesments. In order to have an initial survey, you must register as a job seeker online at te-palvelut.fi. You can register as a job seeker online if you have Finnish online banking credentials. You can also register for an initial assesment at an Employment and Economic Development Office.

Itäkeskus unit
Address: Asiakkaankatu 3 A, 4th floor
Telephone: 0295 040 000
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9 am to 4 pm

Pasila unit
Address: Ratapihantie 7 (entrance from the Veturinkatu side of the building)
Telephone: 0295 040 000
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9 am to 4 pm

If you are not looking for a job, but would like to receive an initial assesment and integration plan, contact Immigrant Services provided by the City of Helsinki's Department of Social Services and Health Care.

Contact information for the Immigrant Services:

Dagmarinkatu 6
00100 Helsinki
Social work helpline (09) 310 37 577

Read more: Integration into Finland.

linkkiTe-info.fi:
Videos and brochures for immigrantsFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | French | Somali | Spanish | Turkish | Chinese | Arabic | Kurdish | Thai | Vietnamese

Do you need an interpreter?

If you do not know how to speak Finnish or Swedish, you can use an interpreter when dealing with the authorities.

In some cases, the authorities may provide the interpreter. If so, the interpreting services will not cost you anything. You can ask about the interpreting arrangements beforehand from the authority in question or Virka Info’s advisory service. Kela and the Finnish Immigration service (Maahanmuuttovirasto), for example, book interpreters for their customers in some cases.

You can employ the services of an interpreter at any time if you pay the costs and book one yourself.

Many companies also provide interpretation services. You can search for such companies with an online search engine, for example. The Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters website hosts a search engine through which you can search for an interpreter or a translator.

The services of the Helsinki Region Community Interpreting Centre are primarily intended for authorities that work with immigrants.

Read more: Do you need an interpreter?

linkkiThe Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters:
Search for an interpreter or a translatorFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiHelsinki Region Community Interpreting Centre:
InterpretingFinnish | English