Living in Finland

Cities

Työntekijä tai yrittäjä

Employee or entrepreneur

Residence permit for an employee

If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, EU member state, EEA member state or Switzerland and you come to work in Finland, you do not need a residence permit. Read more on the Infopankki page EU-citizens.

If you are a citizen of another country, you will need a residence permit for an employed person. If you are already in Finland on some other grounds, you may have a right to work even if you have not applied for a residence permit based on employment. Read more on the Infopankki page Coming to work in Finland.

Regardless of your nationality, in some cases you may be able to work in Finland without a residence permit. Read more on the Infopankki page Coming to work in Finland.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Working in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

Residence permit for an entrepreneur

Anyone with a permanent place of residence in a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) can start a business in Finland.

Entrepreneurs from the Nordic countries and EU member states

If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, you can freely engage in trade or practise a profession in Finland. All you have to do is register at the Local Register Office (maistraatti).

If you are a citizen of an EU member state, EEA member state or Switzerland, you can freely engage in trade or practise a profession in Finland. You will not need a residence permit. Read more on the Infopankki page EU citizens.

Entrepreneurs from other countries

If you are not a citizen of a European Union member state, EEA member state or Switzerland, you will need a residence permit for a self-employed person (elinkeinonharjoittajan oleskelulupa) to be able to engage in entrepreneurship in Finland.

More information on the residence permit for entrepreneurs can be found on the Infopankki page Becoming an entrepreneur in Finland.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Residence permit for a self-employed personFinnish | Swedish | English

Residence permit extension for an employee or entrepreneur

Apply for the permit extension online in the Enter Finland service or at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. Submit the application before your current residence permit expires. More information on applying for a permit extension is available on the Infopankki page Residence permit extension.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Extending your residence permitFinnish | Swedish | English

Working and entrepreneurship in Finland

On the Infopankki page Employment and entrepreneurship you can find a wealth of information on employment and entrepreneurship in Finland.

Finnish and Swedish language

Some employers organise Finnish language training for their employees. Ask your employer whether or not Finnish language courses are held at your workplace. The Infopankki page Finnish and Swedish language contains information on other the possibilities for studying Finnish or Swedish.

Studying

If you would like to obtain a qualification or improve your professional expertise, you can take part in continuing education. Continuing education is provided by educational institutes, trade organisations and the Institute for Occupational Advancement, among other organisations. Many employers also train their own employees in the use of new equipment or software, for example.

Studying is more than just learning a new profession. Studying can also be a hobby. Read more on the Infopankki page Studying as a hobby.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Basic information on continuing educationFinnish | Swedish

Social security

EU countries, EEA countries and Switzerland

If you are moving to Finland for work from within the European Union, an EEA country or Switzerland, you are normally entitled to partial coverage by Finnish social security, even when you have a short employment contract.

If you are coming to Finland for work from a country other than Switzerland outside the EU or EEA region, the following factors affect your social security:

  • The length of your employment
  • The country from which you are moving to Finland

The majority of Kela benefits require you to move to Finland permanently to be entitled to them. In addition, you must meet the same requirements for benefits as other residents of Finland.

Even if you are not moving to Finland permanently, you can, in some cases, be entitled to partial coverage by Finnish social security for the duration of your employment. The requirement is that your working hours and salary are sufficient. More information on social security in Finland is available on the Infopankki web page Finnish social security.

If you work in Finland, it is recommended to become a member of a Finnish unemployment fund. If you are a member of an unemployment fund, you can receive earnings-related daily unemployment allowance, if you become unemployed. Read more on the Infopankki pages Trade unions and Unemployment benefit.

linkkiKela:
Social security of a person moving to FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

Health

Health care for employees and entrepreneurs

If you have come to Finland to work, you may be entitled to use public health services in Finland. This depends on the duration and type of your contract of employment, as well as on the country from which you have come to Finland.

In Finland, employers have a duty to pay for preventive health care for their employees.

Entrepreneurs can organise occupational health care for themselves, if they wish. In other words, entrepreneurs are not under an obligation to arrange occupational health care for themselves. An entrepreneur is, however, required to organise occupational health care for any employees working for them.

Occupational health care can be arranged at a local health centre or, for example, private clinic.

You can find more information on the Infopankki web page Occupational health care and on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

linkkiMinistry of Social Affairs and Health:
Occupational health careFinnish | Swedish | English

Problem situations

If you lose your job

If you have a worker’s residence permit, which only applies to working for a particular employer and you lose your job, you must apply for an entirely new worker’s residence permit or base your permit application on other grounds.

If the Finnish Immigration Service has granted you a worker’s residence permit and your employment ends before the permit, you or your employer must notify the Immigration Service in writing that employment will end.

If your worker’s residence permit has not been limited to working for a particular employer and instead applies to a specific professional field and is effective, you can switch jobs within the same field.

More information on working and running a business in Finland is available on the Infopankki page Employment and entrepreneurship. Information on residence permits for employees and entrepreneurs can be found on the pages Coming to work in Finland and Becoming an entrepreneur in Finland.

Workplace discrimination

Should you experience discrimination at work, contact your superior. If he or she cannot help you, contact the occupational safety officer (työsuojeluvaltuutettu) or employee representative (luottamusmies) at your workplace. If the issue cannot be resolved at the workplace, contact your local occupational safety district (työsuojelupiiri) or your trade union.