Frequently asked questions

1. Who can I contact regarding questions on applying for income support?

Basic social assistance will be paid by Kela starting 1 January 2017

The application forms are available at Kela offices and online at www.kela.fi/web/en/forms

Supplementary and preventive social assistance will continue to be provided by the City of Helsinki

Supplementary and preventive social assistance will continue to be provided by the City's social services. However, as of 1 January 2017, you will first need a decision from Kela concerning basic social assistance before applying for supplementary or preventive social assistance.

Supplementary or preventive social assistance can be granted on a case-by-case basis for particular expenses not covered by basic social assistance.

Telephone numbers for social assistance advice to remain the same

The telephone advice service provides information and advice on matters related to applying for social assistance. You can call the telephone service to ask for information on the grounds for granting social assistance Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:00.

  • Finnish-speaking clients tel. 09 3105 6257
  • Swedish-speaking clients tel. 09 3104 4967

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2. How can I find out where the nearest health station is?

The Telephone Health Service, tel. 09 310 10023, provides information on Helsinki’s health services and medical advice around the clock.

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3. How can I apply for a day-care place for my child?

The information service of the Department of Early Education and Care provides advice related to day-care, playground activities and play clubs by telephone from Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. on 09 310 44986.

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4. How can I obtain a resident parking permit?

The parking services unit of the Public Works Department manages parking control, resident parking permits and parking control equipment. The customer service point is at Elimäenkatu 5. Open Mon 8:15 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Tue–Thu 8:15 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and Fri 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., tel. 09 310 39000.

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5. Who is responsible for the maintenance of streets and parks, as well as cleaning up street dust?

The Public Works Department, for more information on maintenance contact the Public Works Department’s customer service Mon 8:15 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Tue–Thu 8:15 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and Fri 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., tel. 09 310 39000. For information on seasonal matters, please refer to the news section on the Public Works Department website.

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6. How can I obtain a construction permit or advice on permit processes?

Building Control Department service point Tellinki, Mon–Fri 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., Siltasaarenkatu 13, 6th floor, tel. 09 310 26363, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

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7. How can I obtain more information regarding an invoice received from the City?

The City’s invoicing matters are handled by the Department of Financial Management Services, tel. 09 310 25300. The same department also handles the payroll administration of all City offices as well as other matters, such as dog tax. City of Helsinki invoices can be paid at the Public Service Cash Desk at Toinen linja 4 A, Kallio Office Building, open Mon–Fri 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

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8. How can I apply for rental housing from the City?

To apply for City-owned rental housing, use the City’s eServices or a self-service terminal at the customer service location. Address: Itämerenkatu 3, open Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Fridays 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. and Thursdays 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., tel. 09 310 13030.

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9. How can I obtain information on issues related to indoor air quality problems?

Advice related to housing and health is available from the Environment Centre, Mon, Wed–Fri 9:00 a.m.–12:00 noon, Tue 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., tel. 09 310 15000. Advice related to food and domestic water is available Mon, Wed–Fri 9:00 a.m.–12:00 noon, Tue 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. on 09 310 14000.

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10. How can I obtain information on zoning, city planning and new contruction in Helsinki?

The City Planning Department operates an information and exhibition space called Laituri at Narinkka 2, open Mon–Fri 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Sat 12:00 noon–4:00 p.m., tel. 09 310 37390, e-mail laituri@hel.fi

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11. What's on in Helsinki?

Major events are listed on the City of Helsinki tourism pages. You can also contact Helsinki Tourist Information, tel. 09 310 13300. Helsinki Tourist Information opening hours: 15 May–14 September, Mon–Sat 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Sun 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and 15 September–14 May, Mon–Fri 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Sat–Sun 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

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12. How can I find the shortest route to my destination using public transport?

Information on public transport routes, schedules and fares is available from the Helsinki Region Transport customer service, Mon–Fri 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Sat–Sun 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., tel. 09 4766 4000.  A Journey Planner is available for finding the shortest route to your destination.Journey planner.

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13. How can I obtain information on becoming an entrepreneur in Helsinki?

Helsinki Enterprise Agency offers business expertise and advisory services to entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs in the Yrityslinna building at Ensi linja 1. The customer service is open Mon–Fri 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., tel. 09 310 36360, e-mail yrityshelsinki@hel.fi.

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14. How do I obtain sales space at a market or flea market?

Sales space is managed by the Helsinki Wholesale Food Market at Vanha talvitie 10 H, 2nd floor. The customer service is open Mon–Thu 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and Fri 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., tel. 09 310 23565, e-mail tukkutori@hel.fi.

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15. How can I obtain information on the decisions made by the City Board and City Council?

The City of Helsinki Registrar’s Office serves the entire City organisation. The Registrar’s Office provides information on the progress of pending administrative affairs and decisions throughout each process. The Registrar’s Office is at Pohjoisesplanadi 11–13, open Mon–Fri 8:15 a.m.–4:00 p.m., tel. 09 310 1641

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16. How can I apply for City grants for association?

Various City offices award grants to registered associations on a yearly basis.

More information on grants awarded by the City

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17. What services are available via City of Helsinki eServices website?

On the http://asiointi.hel.fi pages, you can use the electronic services of the City of Helsinki. You can for example fill out and send electronic applications and forms and enrol for courses. The e-services are open 24 hours.

Further information:
e- services

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18. I am an EU citizen and I would like to move to Helsinki. How do I go about it?

As an EU citizen you are allowed to stay in Finland for three months at your own expense. If you wish to stay in Helsinki and register as a Helsinki resident, you must have a job or active company, a place of study or long-term family ties. 

Further information:
http://www.infopankki.fi/en/moving-to-finland/eu-citizens

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19. How can I find Finnish language courses in the Helsinki metropolitan area?

The Finnishcourses.fi website lists courses in Finnish and Swedish. The course search tool provides information on courses that are open to the public.

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20. My fixed- term residence permit is expiring soon. Where can I renew it?

Residence permits are renewed by local police departments in Finland. Remember to reserve an appointment for your local police department’s permit services ahead of time, and keep in mind that there may be congestion. For more information on migration-related services, please contact the customer service telephone on 0295 417 905, Mon–Fri 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. To reserve an appointment, please use the electronic reservation system on the police website.

Police online appointment system.

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21. I have reserved an appointment at my local police department, but my residence permit will expire before the appointment date. What should I do?

According to the Police, residence permits must be renewed before their expiration. It is not sufficient that the applicant has made a reservation for an appointment if the residence permit expires before the date of the appointment. Residence permit holders in this situation should go to the local police department’s permit section without an advance reservation to wait in line and take care of the matter before the expiration of the residence permit. Helsinki Police Department customer service section: Pasilanraitio 11, 00240 Helsinki, Mon–Fri 7:55 a.m.–4:15 p.m. The customer service counters open at 8:00 a.m. For more information on migration-related services, please contact the customer service of the Police Department telephone on 0295 417 905, Mon–Fri 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.

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22. Am I allowed to work while I wait for a decision on a residence permit application submitted on the ground of employment?

You are not allowed to work while your first residence permit application submitted on the grounds of employment is still being processed. Work that does not require a residence permit constitutes an exception to this rule. However, you should note that you are only allowed to perform such work without a residence permit for the duration of the validity period of your visa or visa-exempt status.
If you have previously been issued a residence permit on the grounds of employment, or some other residence permit that entitles you to work, you can continue to work under the terms of your previous permit while your application for an extended permit is being processed. For this to apply, you must apply for an extended permit before the expiration of your previous permit.
More information is available from the Finnish Immigration Service. 

More information is available from the Finnish Immigration Service
Also read about work that does not require a residence permit  (”Employment without residence permits”; Aliens Act, Section 81).

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23. Is it possible for me to obtain a Finnish residence permit for my parents?

A residence permit on the grounds of family ties may, under certain circumstances, be applied for family members other than members of the nuclear family. Residence permit applications are processed by the Finnish Immigration Service.

Immigration Service

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24. How do I apply for Finnish citizenship?

If your identity is verified by means of a valid passport or ID card and you meet the other requirements, you can apply for Finnish citizenship. You can apply for the citizenship through the webpage of Enter Finland transaction service.

Requirements for applying Finnish citizenship
Applying online

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25. I move to Helsinki from abroad and I have school-aged children. How can they start school?

A child can be provided with preparatory education to improve his or her Finnish or Swedish language skills. Preparatory education is intended for all immigrant children who do not speak Finnish or English. The preparatory education typically lasts for one year, after which time the pupil will start in a regular classroom. On matters related to comprehensive school and preparatory education, please contact the City of Helsinki Education Department at Hämeentie 11 A, tel. 09 310 8600, Mon–Fri 8:15 a.m.–4:00 p.m. On matters related to day-care and pre-school, please contact the Department of Early Education and Care at Siltasaarenkatu 13, tel. 09 310 1711, e-mail: varhaiskasvatus@hel.fi.

Education Department
Department of Early Education and Care

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03.01.2017 14:34