Permits and citizenship

For employers of seasonal workers

There are different seasonal work permits.

Nationals of countries whose citizens are required to have a visa need a seasonal work visa if their seasonal work lasts for 90 days at most. Applications for seasonal work visas are processed and granted by Finnish missions abroad.

Nationals of visa-free countries need a certificate for seasonal work if their seasonal work lasts for 90 days at most. Decisions on the requests for a certificate for seasonal work are made by the Finnish Immigration Service.

Persons coming to work in Finland for 3-9 months need a residence permit for seasonal work. A residence permit is applied for from the Finnish Immigration Service. If the duration of seasonal work is 6–9 months, the Employment and Economic Development Office makes a partial decision on the application, after which the application is transferred to the Finnish Immigration Service for decision. 

What is considered seasonal work?
A seasonal work permit is granted for work in employment of one or more employers
Duration of seasonal work
Starting work
Continuing to work
Income requirement
Criteria for granting a seasonal work permit
Employer's duty to cooperate
Refusal of a seasonal work permit for reasons attributable to the employer
When you want to hire a minor employee

Find out more about instructions for supplementing the terms of employment.

What is considered seasonal work?

The types of seasonal work to which the Seasonal Workers Act is applied include agricultural and garden work, forestry and work in the tourism sector. 

See the Government decree to check whether the work you are offering is in a field considered seasonal work. See the Standard Industrial Classification TOL 2008 to check the classifications of the industries related to the Government Decree. 

To be considered seasonal work, the work must be of seasonal nature. It must include activities related to seasonal conditions that require considerably more labour force at a certain time of the year than at other times.

A seasonal work permit is granted for work in employment of one or more employers

Seasonal workers may only work for the employers whose names have been marked on their seasonal work permit. If your employee intends to work for more than one employer at the same time, he or she must submit a TY6_plus form on all the employers. 

An employee with a valid seasonal work permit must apply for a new certificate or residence permit for seasonal work if:

  • he or she intends to work for an employer whose name is not marked on his or her seasonal work permit.

Duration of seasonal work

A permit for seasonal work may be granted for 9 months over a period of 12 months. Take this into account if your employee has already worked on a seasonal work permit in Finland during the previous seasonal work period. 

The entire duration of the permit granted for the previous season is calculated as working time. For example, if your employee worked for two months during the previous season but was issued a certificate for seasonal work for three months, the Finnish Immigration Service calculates the duration of his or her seasonal work to be three months. 

The 12-month period is calculated backwards from the end of the certificate applied for. 

Example: The employee applies for a seasonal work certificate for the period from 15 March 2021 to 12 June 2021. The employee was also employed in seasonal work in Finland on a seasonal work permit from 13 May 2020 to 13 October 2020.  The certificate can be issued because the maximum period of 9 months is not exceeded between the period from 13 June 2020 to 13 June 2021. (15 March 21 – 12 June 21 = 90 days and 12 June 2020 – 13 October 2020 = 124 days. In other words, a total of 214 days, or about 7 months.) 

Starting work

An employee may not start working until he or she has been granted a certificate or residence permit for seasonal work. A pending application alone does not give the applicant the right to work. 

When hiring foreign labour, read about the employer’s obligations on the page migri.fi/en/employer-s-obligations.

Continuing to work

An employee with a residence permit for seasonal work may continue to work during the processing of the application for an extended permit: 

  • If he or she applies for a residence permit for seasonal work or a residence permit for an employed person and 
  • he or she intends to continue working for the same employer and 
  • he or she submits the application for an extended permit before the expiry of the first residence permit for seasonal work.

An employee with a seasonal work visa or a certificate for seasonal work may continue to work during the processing of the application for an extended permit: 

  • If he or she has been working in Finland on a seasonal work visa or certificate for seasonal work and applies for the first residence permit for seasonal work and
  • he or she intends to continue working for the same employer in Finland and 
  • he or she submits the application for a residence permit for seasonal work in Finland before the expiry of the seasonal work visa or certificate for seasonal work. 

When an employee has held a seasonal work visa or certificate for seasonal work, he or she cannot apply for an extended permit but must apply for the first residence permit for seasonal work.

An employee cannot continue to work during the processing of the residence permit application:

  • The employee is in Finland on a seasonal work visa or certificate, and he or she will transfer to the service of a new employer. 
    • He or she must apply for a residence permit for seasonal work or a residence permit for an employed person and wait for the decision before he or she can start working for a new employer. 
  • There is an interruption in the employee's employment relationship and the employment does not continue immediately after the previous one ends. 
    • The employee must leave Finland and apply for a new residence permit for seasonal work or a residence permit for an employed person from abroad. He or she cannot submit the application for a residence permit in Finland because there is an interruption between the employment relationships. 

Income requirement

The employee must be able to support him- or herself during the period of validity of the seasonal work permit with the income he or she receives from his or her gainful employment. 

The salary must be in compliance with the collective agreement of the year in which the employee works in the company. Therefore, remember to report a salary that is compliant with the valid collective agreement. In 2021, the salary must be at least EUR 1,252 per month to meet the income requirement. This is the daily allowance employees are entitled to in accordance with the work requirement, which is laid down in the Unemployment Security Act.

If no collective agreement is applied, the income requirement is met if your employee's salary corresponds to the salary level paid for similar tasks.

Criteria for granting a seasonal work permit

To be granted a seasonal work permit, the employee must have a valid employment contract or a binding job offer. The following must be included in the employment contract or job offer:    

  • place of work and nature of work
  • length of the employment relationship
  • pay
  • working hours per week or month
  • length of potential paid leave
  • other significant terms of employment, such as the collective agreement applicable to the job
  • employment start date

In addition, the employment contract or job offer must show that the employee has been or will be provided with appropriate accommodation. The living conditions must meet the generally recognised health and safety requirements applied to housing in Finland. The apartment must be warm, and it must have good fire safety and adequate sanitary facilities. There must also be warm water for washing and a sufficient sleeping area.

The terms of employment must meet the minimum level laid down in the relevant collective agreement and in Finnish legislation.

As an employer, you must submit the above information to the Finnish Immigration Service in the Enter Finland for Employers. You can speed up the processing of an employee's application by carefully supplementing the information on the terms and conditions of employment. 

If you cannot use the Enter Finland for Employers, use the TY6_plus form to report the terms of employment. 

The terms and condition of the employment contract or binding job offer must be the same as the terms of employment that you report to the Finnish Immigration Service. 

Employer's duty to cooperate

Under the Seasonal Workers Act, the employer has a duty to cooperate. In accordance with this duty, as an employer, you must provide the Finnish Immigration Service with all relevant information needed

  • for granting a seasonal work permit
  • for extending or renewing the seasonal work permit.

For example, you must assure that the terms of seasonal work comply with the provisions in force and the applicable collective agreement. 

Refusal of a seasonal work permit for reasons attributable to the employer 

A seasonal work permit may be refused if it has been applied for by an employer who has been sanctioned 

  • for an infringement of employer obligations
  • illegal work; or 
  • serious neglect of the obligations under the Seasonal Workers Act. 

The permit may also be refused if 

  • the employer has failed to comply with his obligations related to social security, taxation, workers' rights, working conditions or terms of employment based on law or collective agreement
  • the employer's company has been declared bankrupt or the employer's company has no economic activity or 
  • the employer has failed to comply with the obligation to cooperate laid down in the Seasonal Workers Act.

When you want to hire a minor employee

Take account of the Young Workers Act and the conditions laid down in it. The law has restrictions on, for example: 

  • when a minor employee can personally make a contract of employment
  • how many hours a week he or she can work 
  • what kind of work he or she can do. 

If an employee comes of age before his or her employment starts, the Young Workers Act shall not apply.