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Employer’s role and obligations
An employee who is not a citizen of an EU or EEA country must apply for a residence permit. Your employees must fill in and submit their own residence permit applications but you can help them select the right application form.
Employers have a key role in their employees’ residence permit processes
In almost all cases, the employer must fill in the terms of employment for the employee’s residence permit application. For more information, see the page Filling in the terms of employment.
As an employer, you also have the following responsibilities:
- To meet the obligations of an employer.
- To ensure that a foreign employee you hire has the necessary skills and competence needed for the job.
- To ensure that a foreign employee you hire has the right to reside and work in Finland.
- To ensure that your employees’ terms of employment comply with Finnish legislation and the applicable collective agreement.
- To ensure that information on all foreign employees you have hired and on the tasks that they have been performing is available at the workplace for inspection by occupational safety and health authorities. For more information on what data needs to be stored, see the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Finland.
- To inform the shop steward, the elected representative and the occupational safety and health representative of the foreign employee’s name and the applicable collective agreement.
On this page:
- Residence permit on the basis of work
- Notification of decision
- An employee’s right of residence and right to work
- Employees’ rights
- Employee announcement
Residence permit on the basis of work
There are more than 20 different residence permits that can be granted on the basis of work. You will find a list of the possible grounds for a residence permit on the page Applications. Which of the permits is the right permit for your employee depends on the nature of the employee's duties and possibly on the duration of the employment relationship. If your employee does not know which application to choose, the Application Finder will be of help.
The processing of your employees’ applications will be faster if your company applies for and is granted employer certification. You can read more on the page Employer certification.
Employees who are citizens of an EU or EEA country are allowed to work in Finland without restrictions. However, they must register their right of residence. If an employee of yours is a British citizen, read more on British citizens’ right to work in Finland.
Notification of decision
A decision on a residence permit application on the basis of work must be made within two months of the date when all of the following conditions are met:
- The residence permit application contains all the information that was required on the application form.
- The employer has submitted the terms of employment that are required as an attachment to the application.
- The employee has proved their identity.
Proving one’s identity means that the applicant visits a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service in Finland, or a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) or a service point of an external service provider abroad to prove his or her identity. The counting of the two-month time limit is interrupted if the application is incomplete and needs to be supplemented. See the page Processing times for more information.
An employee’s right of residence and right to work
An employee's right of residence in Finland and the right to work in Finland are two different things. Your employee may be staying legally in Finland but may not necessarily have the right to work in Finland.
Protection of workers’ rights in Finland
The following authorities are responsible for monitoring that employees' rights in Finland are respected:
- Police (permit matters, right of residence in Finland, suspicions of human trafficking)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (permit matters, terms of employment)
- Finnish Tax Administration (combating the grey economy).
You must submit an employee announcement if you hire a person who comes from outside the EU/EEA countries and already has a valid right to work and a valid residence permit, such as a permanent residence permit or a permit granted on the basis of family ties.
Under law, an employer who employs a person from outside the EU must submit an employee announcement to the TE Office. For more information about the employee announcement, see the website of the TE Office (in Finnish).
For instructions on how to submit an employee announcement, see Enter Finland for Employers.
You do not need to submit an employee announcement if your employee is only now applying for a residence permit and you have already added or will add the terms of employment in the employee’s application.