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Asylum seeker’s right to work

As an asylum seeker, you can start working (employment with a salary) after residing in Finland for three or six months, counted from the date on which you told the police or the border control authorities that you want to apply for asylum in Finland.

  • The waiting time is three months if you presented a valid and authenticated passport or other travel document to the authorities, either when you applied for asylum or during the processing of your application.
  • The waiting time is six months if you have not presented a travel document.

As an asylum seeker, you cannot start a business.

How long is the right to work valid?

If you get a positive decision, you can in most cases continue working in Finland. Please check your residence permit card or your decision to see whether you have the right to work in Finland.

If you get a negative decision, your right to work is valid until the decision on deportation or refusal of entry becomes enforceable. This means the date on which you can under law be removed from the country.

The employer is responsible for verifying the right to work

The employer has the responsibility to verify:

  • that a foreign employee has a residence permit for an employed person, as required; or
  • that he or she does not need a residence permit.

From time to time, the employer must also check if an asylum seeker’s right to work is still valid.

When an employer wishes to hire an asylum seeker, the employer should begin by asking the asylum seeker if he or she has the right to work.

Asylum seekers who have received a positive decision can check their residence permit card or their residence permit decision to see if they have the right to work in Finland. If a negative decision has been issued, the asylum seeker’s right to work ends when the decision on deportation or refusal of entry becomes enforceable.

 If an employer wants to hire an asylum seeker residing in Finland, the employer can call us to check if the asylum seeker has the right to work in gainful employment. You can find the service number for employers on the page Telephone service.

When an employer asks us about an employee’s right to work, this is registered in the Register of Aliens. In other words, it is possible to see that the employer in question has checked if an asylum seeker has the right to work, for example if the employer is suspected of not fulfilling this duty.

Subsequent application

The same time limits apply to both first and subsequent applications.

This means that when you have told the police or the border control authorities in Finland that you wish to submit a new asylum application, you will have the right to work again after three or six months.

Please note that your right to work ends when the decision on deportation or refusal of entry becomes enforceable. This is the date on which you can under law be removed from the country.

Residence permit on the basis of work or self-employment

If you find a job in Finland, you can find information on residence permits on the basis of work or self-employment on the page: migri.fi/en/working-in-finland.