December 31, 2007 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Anyone moved to Finland?

US Expat, considering moving to Finland to take a cool job.

I currently live in the UK.

How do I move? How do I move my cats from the UK? Is it as simple as using BA and showing the EU pet passport they have?

I'm considering seven seas again for boxed shipping, but I'd like to keep a few pieces of furniture. That said, if they're too expensive to ship, I'll rebuy when I get there.

I don't mind using palettized freight services, or other oddball approaches. I think a full moving service will be too expensive..

Any thoughts on the whole thing?

Any commentary on Helsinki?

Terrible idea?
posted by Lord_Pall to Travel & Transportation around Finland (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Sorta off topic, but as a fellow American residing abroad, how long have you lived in the UK for?

After five years you can get "Indefinite Leave to Remain"; essentially a UK Green Card. I you don't already have this I'd suggest you get it before you leave, so you can return to the UK later should Finland not work out. With an IDL you'd be able to leave the UK for two years and still return at later date to live & work without first getting an employers assistance to secure a work permit (HSMP not considered, of course)

The entire process took me about one month, and didn't involve a Home Office visit. I got my IDL back in 2001, so the process might have changed a little since.

This assumes, of course, that you don't already have IDL or you don't mind returning to the US.

...important to me as I don't want to live in the United States again if I can help it...
posted by Mutant at 9:07 AM on December 31, 2007

Not even close enough to get an IDL. I think I've got 4 years left.
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:17 AM on December 31, 2007

You don't mention any visas or permits you might need, if unsure I'd check here first: The Finnish Immigrant Service.

Getting your stuff over to Finland shouldn't be too bad (shipping them in a freight container overseas is probably the cheapest), but remember that Finnish houses/flats don't normally come furnished if you're renting unlike in the UK.

If you're never been to Finland, Helsinki is probably your best bet since it's the most "European" of the cities. I'm from a bit more north and lots of foreigners living there found it a bit hard due to a) the weather and the seasons b) the Finnish people who might not be so "international" outside Helsinki. On the other hand, lots of people from abroad really enjoy the place, once they get into it. English is widely spoken though, you shouldn't have any problems.

But then again I'm a Finn living in the UK, don't take my opinion too seriously...
posted by phax at 9:25 AM on December 31, 2007

The British pet passports are fine, but your cats probably need to be vaccinated against rabies if they already aren't. UK is considered rabies-free and so is Finland, but those are the rules.

Import from EU countries to Finland. Evira is the Finnish food safety authority, also responsible for animal import and export legislation.

Weather in Helsinki is awful during the winters, because there aren't any proper winters. Maybe some snowy weeks but mostly dark and damp. I'd recommend living further up north because snow makes all the difference during the dark months. Do you need to live in or near Helsinki because of your job?
posted by kaarne at 10:19 AM on December 31, 2007

Yeah, job is in Helsinki.

I'd have work visas through a job so thats covered.

Is it any damper than England? :)
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:07 AM on December 31, 2007

Never lived there, but I did visit for about a week. Very outgoing women. Which I guess, considering how stoic the men are, they have to be.

Also, there was this weird bar in Helsinki with a big tractor in the middle of it. Still not sure what was up with that.
posted by bingo at 5:19 PM on December 31, 2007 looks like exactly what you need. There's avery lively internet community of expats living in Finland, you should be able to find links there.

Welcome to Finland.
posted by Authorized User at 3:09 AM on January 1, 2008

Read this guy's blog.
posted by A Long and Troublesome Lameness at 5:43 AM on January 1, 2008

I randomly ended up living in Helsinki for 9 months during 2006 and loved it - am still torn between living in Australia and returning to live in Finland. I can't help with any advice about moving stuff there as I was travelling before I arrived in HKI so arrived with just a backpack.

Let's just say you did move the cats and the stuff over... Once there it would be a good idea to get involved with the Jolly Dragon social club. Also, it sounds kinda geeky - join the library - the Helsinki library system is very good, especially the music library near the central train station.
posted by pipstar at 6:13 AM on January 2, 2008

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