Welcome to Work and Live in Alavus

Alavus is all about the people living here!

Alavus is a diverse country town of 11500 residents. You can have a good life here but also just enjoy a visit, stay, and have fun if you prefer. All that you need is conveniently close and there’s space and nature all around. Alavus is known for strong entrepreneurship which has created a variety of services to cater for all tastes.

Are you a new or future resident of Alavus?

Please be in contact with Maria, our Immigration Coordinator, with any questions you may have. You can have service in Finnish or English or via an interpreter in various other languages. The service is free.

We also help employers who have foreign workforce and companies planning to recruit from abroad. In addition, our information and guidance services are for everyone who deals with immigrants through their work.

Immigration Services in Alavus are in the Office of Fasadi Alavuden Kehitys Oy, Taitotie 1. Please be in touch to make an appointment.

Moving to Finland (general)

Language and culture

Housing

  • You should reserve enough time for finding a rental place to live. It is good to have a chat to your new local colleagues and/or friends for tips on shops and services, schools, and childcare etc. We are lucky in the South Ostrobothnia region in comparison to the bigger cities that there is still plenty of space and available apartments for rent.
  • Long term apartments are usually rented unfurnished, but they do include fitted kitchen cupboards, wardrobes, fridge and stove (also often a dishwasher).
  • Long term rentals are mostly listed online for example at: https://www.vuokraovi.com/vuokra-asunnot/Alavus
  • For local housing options in Alavus, you can also see: https://www.alavudenvuokra-asunnot.fi/

Health

  • Before you can access the public health care as a resident and if you are an EU citizen, you can use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which covers acute healthcare under the same conditions and at the same cost as for Finns. You need to apply for this card in your own country before you leave.
  • After you have a municipality of residence (kotikunta) in Finland, you are entitled to use public health care services.
  • For local public health care services, please see: https://www.kuusiolinna.fi/
  • To make an appointment, please call +358 (0)6 2525 7612. The main health centre is in Alavus, Salmentie 10.
  • In an emergency always call 112.

Pharmacies:

  • Alavus Pharmacy is located at Kuulantie 2, Alavus https://www.alavudenapteekki.fi/
  • Tuuri Pharmacy at Onnentie 7, Tuuri (inside the shopping centre) https://www.tuurinapteekki.fi/fi/ and
  • Töysä Pharmacy at Paavolantie 1, Töysä.

Dental health

  • Also, if you have a municipality of residence (kotikunta) in Finland, you are entitled to use public dental care services. You can make a booking by calling central number +358 (0)6 06 2525 7982.

The Move

  • Arranging an international move is a big one! It is good to consult and get quotes from a few removalist companies to compare. The prices can vary but also pay attention to the service and if possible, get recommendations. See some options here: https://www.expat-finland.com/moving_to_finland/international_movers.html
  • Consider carefully what you would need to bring. It is easy to find inexpensive furniture in second-hand shops and the recycling culture is very active in Finland. If you wish to bring electronics, you might need voltage converters and plug adapters.
  • Removal companies can also assist with bringing your pets along.
  • If you intend to bring a car as removal goods, you must declare it to customs: https://www.vero.fi/en/individuals/vehicles/car_tax/importing_of_a_used_vehicle/


The Mover’s List:

  • When you rent a home, always make a written tenancy agreement (vuokrasopimus). Tenancy agreement can be made for a fixed period (i.e. määräaikainen sopimus) or for the time being (i.e. toistaiseksi voimassa oleva sopimus). The amount of rent payable and the date on which it should be paid are stated in the tenancy agreement.
  • A security bond of 1-3 months is usually required. The bond will be returned to you when you move out (if you have kept the apartment in good condition and there is no rent owing).
  • It is highly recommendable to get a private home insurance. For some landlords, this might even be a requirement for renting the apartment. Home insurance (kotivakuutus) is provided by insurance companies. Insurance companies will help you to choose the kind of insurance that best meets your needs.
  • You can get an electricity supply contract (sähkösopimus) by calling a power company and giving them your name and new address. You can request tenders from different power companies and choose the one that suits you the best.
  • The tenancy agreement will state whether water (vesi) is included in the rent or whether it is payable separately each month.
  • By Finnish law, every home must have a fire alarm (palohälytin). The resident must make sure, that the alarm works, and batteries are changed approximately once a year. If the fire alarm is out of order, home insurance does not cover a fire.
  • Household waste is taken out in closed-up bin bags into containers reserved for them. Recycling and environment are very important in Finland so make sure to get to know the rules on this: https://www.infofinland.fi/en/living-in-finland/housing/waste-management-and-recycling
  • The storage facilities are reserved for belongings which are not needed daily.
  • Cars must be parked in allocated areas only.


Living in Alavus/Everyday Matters

Housing, https://www.alavudenvuokra-asunnot.fi

Health, To make an appointment, please call +358 (0)6 2525 7612. The main health centre is in Alavus, Salmentie 10, In an emergency always call 112, To find out more about the local public health care services, please see: https://www.kuusiolinna.fi/

Pharmacies: 

  • Alavus Pharmacy is located at Kuulantie 2, Alavus https://www.alavudenapteekki.fi/
  • Tuuri Pharmacy at Onnentie 7, Tuuri (inside the shopping centre) https://www.tuurinapteekki.fi/fi/ and
  • Töysä Pharmacy at Paavolantie 1, Töysä.

Dental health

  • Also, if you have a municipality of residence (kotikunta) in Finland, you are entitled to use public dental care services. You can make a booking by calling central number +358 (0)6 06 2525 7982.

Leisure

  • There are two libraries and a library bus servicing the area: The main library is in Alavus, Järviluomantie 3, Töysä library, Rantatie 2, https://www.alavus.fi/fi/vapaa-aika/kirjasto.html
  • Sports and exercise
    • there are plenty of nature trails in the area
    • Kunto-lutra swimming hall is located at Kautunkuja 5, Alavus: https://www.alavus.fi/fi/vapaa-aika/liikunta/kunto-lutra/uimahalli.html
    • In winter there are numerous skiing tracks around and plenty of spaces for skating, often located near schools. Alavus also has an ice arena: https://www.alavus.fi/fi/kaupunki-ja-hallinto/kaupungin-organisaatio/konsernin-tytaryhtiot/jaahalli.html
  • The Adult Education Centre (kansalaisopisto) offers courses from languages to music and photography to cooking and many others https://www.alavus.fi/fi/vapaa-aika/kansalaisopisto.html
  • For local events, please, see: https://www.alavus.fi/fi/etusivu/ajankohtaista/tapahtumat.html or www.visitalavus.fi


After Arrival

  • Local Registration: After arriving to Finland, you need to submit a Notification of move to a local post office or online https://www.posti.fi/changeaddress/
  • Foreign citizens from all countries who intend to stay or work in Finland for at least one year or longer must also register at the local register office (Maistraatti, Juhonkatu 4, Seinäjoki). You can make an appointment online at: https://www.ajanvaraus.fi/isl/frontend/ or by calling: https://dvv.fi/en/customer-service-for-private-customers
  • The registration must be done within one week of your move.
  • Bring the following documents with you to the register office:
    1. Passport
    2. Residence permit (if you come outside the EU/EEA area)
    3. Other relevant documents and their official translations (the Apostille Certificate, apostille-todistus). For example, if you are married, you need to bring your marriage certificate. If you have children, you need to bring their birth certificates.
  • Social Security
    Social security is administered by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (KELA). KELA manages social security services and benefits, such as the national pension, child benefit, basic unemployment security, sickness and parenthood allowance, income support and rehabilitation. KELA also provides health care benefits paid for private health care.
  • KELA does not offer health care services as such. Health care services are the responsibility of municipalities and are generally provided through local health centres and hospitals.Find out more at https://www.kela.fi/web/en
  • Your closest KELA office is at Kuulantie 5, Alavus, but note that it is open by appointment only. You can book an appointment online https://www.kela.fi/web/en/book-a-time or calling https://www.kela.fi/web/en/call-kela
  • Entitlement to Finnish Social Security Coverage
    • Employees; Coverage by the Finnish social security system requires that you are either moving permanently to Finland or working in Finland for at least four months. The scope of social security coverage of employees is also determined by the citizenship of the employees and the intended length of their employment. For more detailed information, please see www.kela.fi/web/en/from-other-countries-to-finland-employment
    • Family members; If you move to Finland with your family member, your family members eligibility to Finnish social security is usually assessed based on whether the family member who comes to work in Finland is a resident here. For more information, please see www.kela.fi/web/en/from-other-countries-to-finland-family-members

Banking

  • Opening a bank account as soon as you can is essential not only to receive your salary, but it is also a very handy tool for different online identification purposes.
  • You will need to visit a bank personally. Take with you as many official identification documents as you can. The following documents are usually needed:
  • Passport or other official ID with a photo
  • Residence permit from non-EU citizens
  • Work contract (recommended)
  • Finnish personal ID code (required in most banks) (When you are granted a residence permit or a residence card or your right of residence is registered by the Finnish Immigration Service, your personal information will automatically be recorded in the Finnish Population Information System. You will also be issued a personal identity code.)
  • In most banks, it is necessary to make a personal appointment in advance to open a bank account and to get service in English. Banks are usually open during business hours only.

List of local banks:

  • Nordea, Kuulantie 1
  • OmaSP, Järviluomantie 6
  • Osuuspankki, Kuulantie 2
  • More banks and branches can be found in Seinäjoki.

Tax

  • As a rule, all employees in Finland must pay income tax. Therefore, you must obtain a tax card (verokortti) from the Tax Office (verotoimisto) for tax withholding. If you work without a tax card, you will be taxed 60% of your salary. The most important factor affecting your taxation is the duration of your stay in Finland, namely whether you will stay here for longer than six months. If you are uncertain whether you will exceed the six-month limit, you will be taxed at source during the first months. A tax card will be issued when it has been confirmed that the six-month limit will be exceeded.
  • See also taxation in Finland: https://www.vero.fi/en/individuals/tax-cards-and-tax-returns/arriving_in_finland/work_in_finland/ .

Utilities (heating, electricity, water, internet, mobile)

  • Heating; Most homes in cities and towns have district heating systems (kaukolämpö). In this case, heating is included in the rent. However, if you live in a detached house or outside the city, you might have electric or oil heating and you should be prepared to pay for them. Electricity is quite expensive in Finland.
  • Electricity; Electricity is not usually included in the rent and you need to make an electricity contract (sähkösopimus) as soon as possible. You can choose the providing company. If you move, remember to terminate, or update you contract.
  • Water: Water is often included in the rent. In some case, however, you need to pay an additional monthly water fee either based on usage or a fixed sum. If the water is not included in the rent and/or you need to get your house connected to water, please, contact: https://www.alavus.fi/fi/asuminen-ja-ymparisto/asuminen/vesihuoltolaitos.html

Internet

  • Some recently built apartments offer internet access. However, it is very likely that you do need to make your own agreement with one of the internet service providers for example Elisa https://elisa.fi/asiakaspalvelu/aihe/english/ , DNA https://corporate.dna.fi/ota-yhteytt%C3%A4 or Telia https://www.telia.fi/english . You might have to pay a bond if you do not have long enough, usually two years of credit history to show.

Mobile

  • Telephone booths and land lines are almost non-existent in Finland. You will most likely get a work mobile phone with a plan but if you would like your own as well or one for a family member, a pre-paid phone card is an option for you to start. You can buy these at the operator shops (Elisa, Saunalahti, DNA) or in a R-kioski, which is a type of small convenience store. After living in Finland permanently for two years you can get a fixed plan for your phone.

Everyday Matters

  • Day Care; In accordance with Finnish law, all children aged between 0 to 6 years of age living in Finland are entitled to municipal day care. It is the way to ensure that both parents can work or study. A breakfast, snacks and a warm meal are provided at day care centres so no need to pack lunch.
    • As there are several childcare centres in the area, the best way to find yours, is to contact:
    • Director of Early Childhood Education, Kaisa Haapaniemi, p. +358 (0)40 5549523.
  • Schools
    • If you are moving to Finland with school-aged (7-16) children, education is compulsory for them. From 1 August 2021 education will be compulsory for 7–18-year-olds. This change will include trade schools and upper secondary school.
    • School meals and materials are provided free of charge in basic education and there are no term fees. Compulsory education also applies to foreign children permanently residing in Finland. Municipalities and local authorities are obliged to ensure that all children can attend school.
    • You enrol your child to school at the local central school office:Manager of Teaching:, Riitta Soukkala, P. +358 (0)40 673 8195
  • Winter/clothing;
    • The winter in the region typically lasts from November to April. Average winter temperature is usually between 0 and -10 Celsius but it is usual to have a few colder days down to -20 -30 especially in January and February. Houses are well insulated and heated with double to triple glazing. So, nothing to worry there but you might want to check how to dress for winter here: How to dress right and enjoy the winter https://www.visitfinland.com/article/how-to-dress-right-and-enjoy-the-winter/
    • Keep in mind that the streets and roads can be quite slippery in winter! Thankfully, if you were to break say an arm, the Finnish health care system will look after you well.
    • Another thing to remember is that your car might need heating in winter if the temperature drops under -8 Celsius and to take some extra time in the morning to scrape the ice off the car windows.
  • Shopping
    • There’s a couple of big supermarket chains in Finland. The range is from massive hypermarkets (Citymarket, Prisma) to smaller corner stores.
    • Couple of unique features when food shopping: remember to weigh and price your fruit and vegetables yourself, either buy a plastic bag or bring your own shopping bag and always do your own packing (as quick as possible!).
    • Both big grocery store chains have their own bonus cards (Plussa and S-Etukortti). You do not need to get one, but you will always be asked at the counter and you can get special offers and discounts with them.
    • Local grocery shops:
      • K-market Asematie, Asematie 3 B 1
      • K-Supermarket Alavus, Vähtärintie 2
      • S-market Alavua, Piirantie 1
      • Kyläkaupan Ruokapuoti, Onnentie 7, Tuuri
      • Sale Töysä, Keskustie 5, Töysä
    • There are also five second-hand stores (kirpputori) in Alavus. These are great for finding for example inexpensive furniture or sports gear.

Transport

  • There are a few bus connections to nearby cities of Seinäjoki and Ähtäri but as the buses are not very frequent, a car is recommended when living here. A motor liability insurance is compulsory in Finland. If you have a driving licence issued in a Nordic country, an EU member state or an EEA country, it is also valid in Finland. You can exchange it for a Finnish driving licence if you are residing in Finland permanently.
  • Bus timetables: https://www.matkahuolto.fi/passengers/timetables
  • Transport between bigger cities can also be done by train: https://www.vr.fi/en/timetables
  • Bicycles: cycling or walking to work is very popular in Finland. Many people cycle all through the year. Wearing a helmet is compulsory and you must have a lamp in the front and back of your bike when you cycle in the dark. In winter studded tires are recommended.

How to find work

  • Comprehensive information on the topic of finding work in Finland can be found on the Info Finland pages:
  • https://www.infofinland.fi/en/living-in-finland/work-and-enterprise/where-to-find-work
  • Unique to this region is a service called “Pestuumarkkinat” https://pestuumarkkinat.fi/tyonhakijalle where companies can offer jobs and job seekers tell about the type of work they are looking for with the end result hopefully finding a match for both.
  • If you do not have a job or become unemployed, register as an unemployed job seeker at the TE Office no later than on your first day of unemployment. Read more on the InfoFinland page: If you become unemployed: https://www.infofinland.fi/en/living-in-finland/work-and-enterprise/unemployment-benefit/if-you-become-unemployed
  • TE Office: http://www.te-palvelut.fi/te/en/index.html
  • Keep in mind that if you have only recently moved to Finland and need support for integration, you can get to integration training through the TE Office. The integration training can include Finnish language studies, other education, or work try-out.

Yhteystiedot

Contacts for immigration coordination in Alavus:
Welcome2EP
Maria Kaijankangas, Immigration Coordinator
p. +358 50 5700 111
e. maria.kaijankangas@alavus.fi
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Welcome2EP
https://www.welcome2ep.fi/