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Employment

Application requirements

I wish to move to Finland to work in paid employment. I am not an EU national or a person with an equivalent nationality. What do I need to do?

To move to Finland on the basis of employment, you must first get a job in Finland. After you have found a place to work, you will need a residence permit for an employed person issued by Finland. If you intend to be self-employed or an entrepreneur in Finland, you will need a residence permit for an entrepreneur issued by Finland. If you are not sure what application form you should use, use the Application Finder to find out.

In some cases, you may be entitled to paid employment if you have another type of residence permit instead of a residence permit for an employed person. In some cases, you are entitled to paid employment without any residence permit. For more information, see the Right to work page.

For general information on the rules and regulations of working life in Finland, see the website of the Employment and Economic Development Office.

May I apply for a residence permit for an employed person if I find a suitable job while visiting Finland?

As a rule, for your first residence permit you should submit your application before you come to Finland. However, if you are visiting Finland and have found a job, you may apply for a residence permit. The Finnish Immigration Service will process and consider the application.

Application procedure

I own shares of a public limited company (oy) in Finland. I wish to apply for a residence permit. Which permit do I need?

A residence permit will not be granted on the grounds that you own shares; you also have to work in the company, and the work must be performed in Finland. If you are not sure what application form you should use, use the Application Finder to find out.

Can I and my family member submit our applications at the same time? Will the applications be processed together?

Your family member can submit his or her application at the same time as you submit your application. Applications that are submitted at the same time are usually processed and decided at the same time.

Right to work

Am I allowed to work while waiting for a decision on my application for a residence permit on the basis of employment?

You do not have the right to work while your first application for a residence permit on the basis of employment is still being processed.

Work for which a residence permit is not required is an exception to this rule. Note, however, that you will be allowed to work in this way without a residence permit only until the expiry of your visa or exemption from visa.

If you have already been granted a residence permit on the basis of employment or some other residence permit on the basis of which you are entitled to work, you may continue the work that you are entitled to do in the same field during the processing of your extended permit on condition that you have applied for an extended permit before the expiry of your previous permit.

I did not apply for a residence permit until after arriving in Finland. When may I begin working?

You may begin working when you have been granted a residence permit including the right to work. Your right to work is valid as soon as you receive notification of the decision, even if you have not received your residence permit card yet.

May I work elsewhere within the Schengen area with a residence permit for an employed person issued by Finland?

If you have a Finnish residence permit, you may travel to other countries in the Schengen area for a short period of time, but you are not allowed to take paid employment there. If you wish to live or work in another country in the Schengen area, you need to contact the authorities of that country to determine the type of permit required.

Regardless of the type of residence permit (A, B or P) or the reasons why it was granted, a Finnish residence permit allows you to visit other countries in the Schengen area for no more than 90 days at a time. This is the longest total consecutive time you may spend outside Finland in other Schengen countries, not just in one country.

I have a permanent residence permit issued by another Schengen country. Does this allow me to live and work in Finland?

A residence permit issued by another Schengen country allows you to travel to Finland for a period of no more than 90 days at a time. If you do not have a residence permit issued by Finland, you may not stay any longer than that, and you may not take paid employment.

Work for which a residence permit is not required is an exception to this rule.

May I change from one occupational sector to another while my residence permit for an employed person is valid?

Your residence permit for an employed person entitles you to work in any or several occupations of your choosing. For more information, see Changing jobs.

Am I allowed to study if I have a residence permit for an employed person?

Yes. All Finnish residence permits entitle you to study in Finland. However, if the purpose of your residence in Finland changes permanently, for instance from employment to studying, you must notify the authorities of this at the latest when you apply for extension of your residence permit.

Other experts

I am entering Finland as a lecturer. I am not an EU national or a person with an equivalent nationality. Do I need to apply for a residence permit for an employed person?

If you are entering Finland as a lecturer on the basis of an invitation or agreement, you do not need a residence permit for an employed person.

However, you must have a valid visa or be a citizen of a visa-exempt country. You may work for no more than 90 days, until your visa or visa exemption period expires.

If you are entering Finland for an assignment lasting more than 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit which is granted separately for lecturing. If you are not sure what application form you should use, use the Application Finder to find out.