Relocation as EU citizen

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sd1291
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:17 pm

Relocation as EU citizen

Post by sd1291 » Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm

Hi,
I am a software developer and my wife is a molecular biologist and we would like to relocate to Finland with two kids in 2024. We are EU citizens (Hungarian) and currently living in Budapest, Hungary.
Theoretically, being EU citizens we do not have a visa to stay in Finland and have the right to work for up to 90 days. This 90 days can be extended permanently or temporally by getting a residence permit. Based on this, our original plan was to continue working in Hungary (we cannot afford quitting our jobs without a job offer from a Finnish company) and to apply for Finnish jobs and to get a job offer from home. When at least on of us have a Finnish job offer, we could move to Finland, get an address (by renting an apartment), henkilötunnuses, residence permits etc. So the key would be the Finnish job offer in this case. Sounds like a clear-cut story, right? We have good qualifications and the news are full (or at least were full before 2022) of the info that there is a huge demand in the Finnish labor market for qualified personnel. But things seem to be changed recently: 1) wars started 2) signs of global recession make companies reserved with hiring 3) new Finnish government is against immigration as such 4) AI hype burst (“AI will take our jobs…”). Do you agree that getting a Finnish job got significantly harder in the recent 2 years or it is just our perception?
So unfortunately, things are not so easy in practice and the main obstacle now is that Finnish companies do not even want to consider talking to us while we are not in Finland. One of the HR person even stated that they did not want to deal with complicated visa processes… When I replied that I was an EU citizen and as a result, I did not need one, they simply ghosted the conversation – a huge difference between expectation (huge demand for programmers) and reality.
So, the 22’s catch is that we need a job to stay in Finland and we need to stay in Finland to get a job. I think it would be extremely irresponsible to quit our jobs and just move to Finland with two kids hoping that we will find a job in 90 days. Does anybody have an idea how to solve this situation?



Relocation as EU citizen

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betelgeuse
Posts: 4340
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by betelgeuse » Sun Nov 26, 2023 8:12 pm

sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
Theoretically, being EU citizens we do not have a visa to stay in Finland and have the right to work for up to 90 days. This 90 days can be extended permanently or temporally by getting a residence permit.
EU citizens register their right of residence instead of applying for residence permits (with some limited exceptions).

https://migri.fi/en/eu-citizen

SecretCode
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by SecretCode » Sun Nov 26, 2023 10:51 pm

Even in good economic times and with candidates already working in the same country, recruiters can drop a qualified candidate for no apparent reason - often something that doesn't reflect badly on you. And many will not bother telling you the reason; some will not even bother contacting, however unprofessional it may be. Don't take a negative outcome from the first 19* applications as implying anything at all - keep at it.
* Not a scientific number

That said, conditions are harder than average for all the reasons you give. Don't move without a job here if you can possibly manage it.
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FinlandGirl
Posts: 1313
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by FinlandGirl » Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm

sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
we would like to relocate to Finland with two kids in 2024. We are EU citizens (Hungarian) and currently living in Budapest, Hungary
Why?
Your post sounds like coming from someone who has never been in Finland, and in that case a visit to Finland would be a good first step.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
hoping that we will find a job in 90 days
For EU citizens the 90 days are not really a limit for anything.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
So unfortunately, things are not so easy in practice and the main obstacle now is that Finnish companies do not even want to consider talking to us while we are not in Finland. One of the HR person even stated that they did not want to deal with complicated visa processes… When I replied that I was an EU citizen and as a result, I did not need one, they simply ghosted the conversation
This sounds incredibly amateurish, like a startup founder hiring for the first time - no one who is working professional in HR would take the legal risk of telling a rejected applicant a reason for the rejection.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
I am a software developer and my wife is a molecular biologist and
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
We have good qualifications
A molecular biologist who is not able to work in Finnish does not have good qualifications, the number of private sector jobs for such a person might be zero.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
We have good qualifications and the news are full (or at least were full before 2022) of the info that there is a huge demand in the Finnish labor market for qualified personnel. But things seem to be changed recently: 1) wars started 2) signs of global recession make companies reserved with hiring
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
Do you agree that getting a Finnish job got significantly harder in the recent 2 years or it is just our perception?
This is just your perception.

For people with qualifications that are in demand the job market is not bad right now.

Outside IT being able to work in Finnish is usually mandatory for being considered qualified (with some exceptions like jobs at universities), even in IT the majority of jobs requires working in Finnish.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
3) new Finnish government is against immigration as such
Not as such, immigration of highly qualified people is something the government actually wants.

The problematic immigrants are others:
When looking at how the failed immigration politics in Sweden have resulted in riots and deadly gang wars there, some people were intelligent enough to realize that Finland made the same mistakes and that always taking in plenty of refugees and giving citizenship to all of them after 4 years was a stupid idea.

2% of all schoolchildren in Helsinki speak Somali as first language, and it is not uncommon to see black women with a niqāb.
Their children are only in exceptional cases seen at universities, but are overrepresented in crime and unemployment statistics.

The situation is a bit better with the many Finnish citizens who came in 2015 as refugees from Iraq/Syria/Afghanistan/..., but it's still quite different from the skilled immigration Finland needs.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
4) AI hype burst (“AI will take our jobs…”)
Right now the AI hype is creating plenty of jobs for AI experts, there is not (yet) an effect on other jobs.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
a huge difference between expectation (huge demand for programmers) and reality.
Reality is a huge supply of programmers with poor skills from all over the world, you have to demonstrate that you are not one of them.

It is not uncommon that a Finnish company posting a job on LinkedIn gets 100 applications from countries like India.
India has some good universities and some good programmers, but the output of a "senior programmer" provided by some outsourcing company is usually far below what would be considered appropriate for a job applicant in Finland. That's fine for cheap outsourcing, but not for paying a Finnish salary.
If no applicant is considered suitable, no one might end up being hired.

In what area of IT exactly is your expertise?
What formal qualifications do you have?
What job experience do you have?
How well are these aligned with the requirements listed in jobs offered in Finland?

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agroot
Posts: 576
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:04 pm

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by agroot » Thu Nov 30, 2023 8:06 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 2:14 pm
we would like to relocate to Finland with two kids in 2024. We are EU citizens (Hungarian) and currently living in Budapest, Hungary
Why?
Your post sounds like coming from someone who has never been in Finland, and in that case a visit to Finland would be a good first step.
It's not needed. I never did. Why? Because there are few jobs here and it's like lottery.


To the OP, your wife might have problems finding jobs here. Unless she'd settle for other jobs, best to wait until she gets an interview first.


Hiring has been slowed down a lot last year, not because companies aren't doing well but because American companies were acting really funny and everyone gets scared. It should resume soon. Under no circumstances should you move until you secure a job.

And don't bother with the language requirement - those companies (= most) wouldn't even try to hire from outside. I doubt they would offer relocation support which is very important.

sd1291
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:17 pm

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by sd1291 » Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
Why?
Your post sounds like coming from someone who has never been in Finland, and in that case a visit to Finland would be a good first step.
We visited Finland (Helsinki) and plan to do so in January. The main motivation of the relocation is that we would like to live and work in honest, trust based society. In Hungary we are losing this day by day...
FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
This sounds incredibly amateurish, like a startup founder hiring for the first time - no one who is working professional in HR would take the legal risk of telling a rejected applicant a reason for the rejection.
I totally agree, and hope that this is not a common practice. Your comment suggests that it is not :)
FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
A molecular biologist who is not able to work in Finnish does not have good qualifications, the number of private sector jobs for such a person might be zero.
agroot wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2023 8:06 pm
To the OP, your wife might have problems finding jobs here. Unless she'd settle for other jobs, best to wait until she gets an interview first.
Yes, we know that and that's why she has been learning Finnish for ~6 months and this is one reason that we will visit Helsinki in January: an YKI test will take place on the 27th of January. She is extremely licky with languages so we hope she will pass hopefully the B2 level and later the C1. Btw I am learning Finnish too.
agroot wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2023 8:06 pm
And don't bother with the language requirement - those companies (= most) wouldn't even try to hire from outside. I doubt they would offer relocation support which is very important
We don't want to get relocation support, we would like to manage it by our own. One of my colleagues suggested to tell this to the companies. He did and in 7 months he got a job offer. So it sounds like a good idea.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
This is just your perception.

For people with qualifications that are in demand the job market is not bad right now.
I am happy to hear it and I hope we were just unlucky so far. The truth is that we did not start extensively applying for jobs, I just applied for a few ones wich seemed to be a "click" for me.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
Not as such, immigration of highly qualified people is something the government actually wants.
It is good to hear that too. I heard the opposite from others, but at least this suggests to me that it is not a black or white situation.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
In what area of IT exactly is your expertise?
What formal qualifications do you have?
What job experience do you have?
How well are these aligned with the requirements listed in jobs offered in Finland?
I am mainly a .NET developer with more than five years of experience. My PM said that he would suggest me to be officially promoted to "senior developer" this month.
I am a career changer as my original profession is pharmacist and I got also a PhD in biology. In 2017 I attended a 18 months long programmer course (Codecool) and I am working as software developer since 2018. Before that I worked at a drug researh company for ~15 years, at first as a researcher and later as a project manager.
SecretCode wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2023 10:51 pm
Even in good economic times and with candidates already working in the same country, recruiters can drop a qualified candidate for no apparent reason - often something that doesn't reflect badly on you. And many will not bother telling you the reason; some will not even bother contacting, however unprofessional it may be. Don't take a negative outcome from the first 19* applications as implying anything at all - keep at it.
* Not a scientific number

That said, conditions are harder than average for all the reasons you give. Don't move without a job here if you can possibly manage it.
Thanks for your answer :) Yes, we will not move without a job. My current job is good and satisfying, but the polical/socieatal athmosphere is getting worse and worse here. So we can afford take the time.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 1313
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by FinlandGirl » Sun Dec 03, 2023 11:58 am

sd1291 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm
We visited Finland (Helsinki) and plan to do so in January.
Cold and dark January is definitely a good time for seeing whether you really like Finland.
sd1291 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm
agroot wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2023 8:06 pm
And don't bother with the language requirement - those companies (= most) wouldn't even try to hire from outside. I doubt they would offer relocation support which is very important
We don't want to get relocation support, we would like to manage it by our own. One of my colleagues suggested to tell this to the companies. He did and in 7 months he got a job offer. So it sounds like a good idea.
If relocation support is not offered in the job advertisement (for some jobs it is offered), then the company won't offer it.

I doubt mentioning it when applying makes a difference.
sd1291 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm
FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
Not as such, immigration of highly qualified people is something the government actually wants.
It is good to hear that too. I heard the opposite from others, but at least this suggests to me that it is not a black or white situation.
Highly skilled workers with an above-average salary, or people who earn less than the minimum salary for a full-time employed office cleaner?
The former are still wanted, the latter not really.

In addition to that, the main changes are in the areas of residence permits and citizenship that are not really important for EU citizens.

And since EU citizens must not be treated worse than Finnish citizens, there is anyway not much the government could do even if it wanted to.
sd1291 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm
FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
In what area of IT exactly is your expertise?
What formal qualifications do you have?
What job experience do you have?
How well are these aligned with the requirements listed in jobs offered in Finland?
I am mainly a .NET developer with more than five years of experience. My PM said that he would suggest me to be officially promoted to "senior developer" this month.
I am a career changer as my original profession is pharmacist and I got also a PhD in biology. In 2017 I attended a 18 months long programmer course (Codecool) and I am working as software developer since 2018. Before that I worked at a drug researh company for ~15 years, at first as a researcher and later as a project manager.
It is hard to judge for people in other countries how good or bad your skills actually are.
You changed careers, and your formal qualification in your current profession is an online course.
Is your current employer a cheap outsourcing company, or perhaps a company no one in Finland has ever heard about?

Don't worry about relocation support or what our government does, this is the challenge you face when looking for a job.

sd1291
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:17 pm

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by sd1291 » Sun Dec 03, 2023 9:32 pm

sd1291 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm
We visited Finland (Helsinki) and plan to do so in January.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 11:58 am
Cold and dark January is definitely a good time for seeing whether you really like Finland.
Sure, we will see :)
FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
In what area of IT exactly is your expertise?
What formal qualifications do you have?
What job experience do you have?
How well are these aligned with the requirements listed in jobs offered in Finland?
sd1291 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm
I am mainly a .NET developer with more than five years of experience. My PM said that he would suggest me to be officially promoted to "senior developer" this month.
I am a career changer as my original profession is pharmacist and I got also a PhD in biology. In 2017 I attended a 18 months long programmer course (Codecool) and I am working as software developer since 2018. Before that I worked at a drug researh company for ~15 years, at first as a researcher and later as a project manager.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:22 pm
It is hard to judge for people in other countries how good or bad your skills actually are.
You changed careers, and your formal qualification in your current profession is an online course.
Is your current employer a cheap outsourcing company, or perhaps a company no one in Finland has ever heard about?
I am ready to prove my programming skills in a technical job intervew.
Codecool is not an online course, it is a leading international programming school in the CEU region with 2000+ graduates in tech jobs and 300+ partner companies across Europe. In addition, in IT education does not matters as much as in other areas, progamming skills + passion are really important (I know excellent self-educated programmers and horrible programmers with an university degree).
My current company is amongst the top 10 digital pathology companies (globally).

FinlandGirl
Posts: 1313
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by FinlandGirl » Tue Dec 05, 2023 1:24 am

sd1291 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 9:32 pm
Codecool is not an online course, it is a leading international programming school in the CEU region with 2000+ graduates in tech jobs and 300+ partner companies across Europe.
Has anyone in Finland ever heard about this "leading international programming school"?

Based on course duration and contents of their courses on their website, it sounds like a (short) vocational education.

The quality of their education and graduates is hard to judge from outside.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 9:32 pm
I am ready to prove my programming skills in a technical job intervew.
Your biggest challenge is getting into the job interview, which might depend on whether a company has several suitable applications or is desperately looking for someone.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 9:32 pm
progamming skills + passion are really important
How do you prove your passion in your CV?
Have you done anything publicly visible inside or outside your job that might impress people in Finland?

Your CV is what gets you into the job interview.
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 9:32 pm
In addition, in IT education does not matters as much as in other areas,
sd1291 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 9:32 pm
(I know excellent self-educated programmers and horrible programmers with an university degree).
That's true, having someone already in the company who knows and recommends you is far more important than formal qualifications for most IT jobs in Finland.

I worked for some years at a company where over the years more than a dozen people from my previous employer joined. Whenever there was a job opening, we were discussing who from of the people still at the old company (that was slowly going downhill) might be suitable and interested since there were many good developers whose technical skills and personalities we knew quite well.

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agroot
Posts: 576
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:04 pm

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by agroot » Wed Dec 13, 2023 7:28 pm

sd1291 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm
We don't want to get relocation support, we would like to manage it by our own. One of my colleagues suggested to tell this to the companies. He did and in 7 months he got a job offer. So it sounds like a good idea.
Do you have a Finnish friend who can help you with bank, rental, etc? It won't be easy. Also you need to save a lot for the initial rental deposit.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 11:58 am
Cold and dark January is definitely a good time for seeing whether you really like Finland.
Slipping on frozen road is no joke.

OP will need full winter gears, plus crampons that most don't wear here but it's really dangerous.

sd1291
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:17 pm

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by sd1291 » Wed Dec 13, 2023 8:12 pm

agroot wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 7:28 pm
sd1291 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm
We don't want to get relocation support, we would like to manage it by our own. One of my colleagues suggested to tell this to the companies. He did and in 7 months he got a job offer. So it sounds like a good idea.
Do you have a Finnish friend who can help you with bank, rental, etc? It won't be easy. Also you need to save a lot for the initial rental deposit.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 11:58 am
Cold and dark January is definitely a good time for seeing whether you really like Finland.
Slipping on frozen road is no joke.

OP will need full winter gears, plus crampons that most don't wear here but it's really dangerous.
Unfortunately, we don't have Finnish friends; yes, we know that it won't be easy but we are determined :)
Thanks for the tip about the gear!

sd1291
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:17 pm

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by sd1291 » Thu Feb 01, 2024 8:41 pm

sd1291 wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 8:12 pm
agroot wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 7:28 pm
sd1291 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 1:18 pm
We don't want to get relocation support, we would like to manage it by our own. One of my colleagues suggested to tell this to the companies. He did and in 7 months he got a job offer. So it sounds like a good idea.
Do you have a Finnish friend who can help you with bank, rental, etc? It won't be easy. Also you need to save a lot for the initial rental deposit.
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 11:58 am
Cold and dark January is definitely a good time for seeing whether you really like Finland.
Slipping on frozen road is no joke.

OP will need full winter gears, plus crampons that most don't wear here but it's really dangerous.
Unfortunately, we don't have Finnish friends; yes, we know that it won't be easy but we are determined :)
Thanks for the tip about the gear!
Hi all, I have positive news about our relocation i.e. I managed to get a job offer in Helsinki which I have accepted and I have a signed work contract :)
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me, I learned a lot from many of you.

As we discussed above, we visited Helsinki for a week in January. Helsinki was indeed cold, dark and slippery, but we still love the place :)
This visit greatly enhanced our chances to get hired and as a result I managed to get a software developer job, and also my wife is getting closer to get hired. Her situation is more challenging as she is not fluent yet in Finnish. She studies the language extensively and had an intermediate level exam today. As she is getting closer to C1 level day by day, her chances are growing with every day. Maybe this way it is better, beacuse this way she will have much more time to deal with the family movement. In addition, she has quite few student in Hungary who want to continue their collaboration onlie, so she will have some income.

We have already submitted an EU registrtaion request at Migri, which is pending.
Next step is renting a flat, which can be also challenging for newcomers. Please feel free to share your thoughts in this topic, too.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 1313
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by FinlandGirl » Thu Feb 01, 2024 9:59 pm

sd1291 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2024 8:41 pm
I managed to get a software developer job, and also my wife is getting closer to get hired. Her situation is more challenging as she is not fluent yet in Finnish. She studies the language extensively and had an intermediate level exam today.
sd1291 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2024 8:41 pm
Next step is renting a flat, which can be also challenging for newcomers. Please feel free to share your thoughts in this topic, too.
Your wife should already understand enough Finnish for searching at https://asunnot.oikotie.fi/kartta/vuokra-asunnot

Applicants with Finnish credit history are obviously preferred by landlords, but there shouldn't be a problem finding something acceptable for someone who has a job.

sd1291
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:17 pm

Re: Relocation as EU citizen

Post by sd1291 » Fri Feb 02, 2024 7:52 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2024 9:59 pm
sd1291 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2024 8:41 pm
I managed to get a software developer job, and also my wife is getting closer to get hired. Her situation is more challenging as she is not fluent yet in Finnish. She studies the language extensively and had an intermediate level exam today.
sd1291 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2024 8:41 pm
Next step is renting a flat, which can be also challenging for newcomers. Please feel free to share your thoughts in this topic, too.
Your wife should already understand enough Finnish for searching at https://asunnot.oikotie.fi/kartta/vuokra-asunnot

Applicants with Finnish credit history are obviously preferred by landlords, but there shouldn't be a problem finding something acceptable for someone who has a job.
Thanks to the job, today we got our personal ID codes so now it is getting easyer (at least I hope so).
Yes, she understands the searching tool (even me a bit).
So we are starting to take this next step


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