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Seasonal work

If you are coming to Finland to do seasonal work, you must apply for the appropriate permit for it. The different kinds of seasonal work permits are visa for seasonal work, certificate for seasonal work and residence permit for seasonal work. The duration of your work will affect which seasonal work permit you need to apply for.

Seasonal work refers to work in agriculture and tourism that is tied to a certain time of the year. The maximum duration of seasonal work is nine months within a 12-month period.

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 a more detailed list of seasonal jobs on the page What counts as seasonal work?

The Seasonal Workers Act also applies to temporary agency work.

When you are in Finland with a residence permit for seasonal work, your family members cannot be granted a residence permit in Finland on the basis of family ties.

The duration of your work will affect which seasonal work permit you need to apply for

If you are going to work for less than 3 months:

  • If you need a visa to enter Finland, apply for a seasonal work visa at a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate). For more information about seasonal workers’ visas, see the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (um.fi)
  • If you are coming from a country whose citizens are not required to have a visa, apply for a certificate for seasonal work from the Finnish Immigration Service. The certificate for seasonal work proves your right to work. For your stay in Finland to be legal, you also need to have enough visa-free days left for the whole validity period of your certificate. A certificate for seasonal work does not extend your visa-free stay in Finland.
  • If you are going to pick wild berries, you do not need to apply for a permit. You must, however, apply for a visa from a Finnish mission (um.fi) if you are coming from a country whose citizens are required to have a visa.

If you are going to work for 3 to 6 months:

Apply for a residence permit for seasonal work from the Finnish Immigration Service.

If you are going to work for 6 to 9 months:

  • Apply for a residence permit for seasonal work from the Finnish Immigration Service.
  • In this case, your application will be processed in two stages. First, the Employment and Economic Development Office issues a partial decision. Then the Finnish Immigration Service processes the application and decides on the permit.
  • The duration of your employment relationship will determine how long your permit is valid.

How to add a new employer to your seasonal work permit:

If you want to add a new employer of seasonal workers to your valid seasonal work permit, you can apply for the addition of a new employer. Read more about the addition of a new employer.

You do not need a seasonal work permit if:

  • you are a citizen of a visa-free country and are coming to Finland for seasonal work as a picker of wild berries for no more than 90 days and the work is not done in an employment relationship. However, if you have signed an employment contract regarding the picking of wild berries, apply for a residence permit for an employed person (‘TTOL’).
  • you are a citizen of an EU Member State or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. You may work in Finland without a residence permit. However, you need to register your right of residence if you stay in Finland for longer than 3 months. 
  • you are a British citizen, you have resided in Finland before 31 December 2020 and your residence has been of permanent nature. If you have arrived in Finland on 1 January 2021 or after that date, you must apply for a permit for seasonal work.

You cannot get a seasonal work permit if:

  • you are a freelancer and have not signed an employment contract with a company that operates in Finland;
  • you live permanently in another EU Member State or in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland; 
  • you are a posted worker;
  • you are coming to Finland to pick wild berries; or
  • your employment contract is valid until further notice.

Right to work

You cannot start working before you get a seasonal work permit. For more information about the right to work, see the page Certificate for seasonal work or Residence permit for seasonal work.

Social security and healthcare services for seasonal workers in Finland

As a seasonal worker, you are not automatically entitled to use public healthcare in Finland. You need to submit a separate application to the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) regarding the right to social security coverage and healthcare in Finland. Read more about seasonal workers’ rights on the website of Kela (kela.fi).

The processing situation of applications for seasonal work permits

We process applications for seasonal work in the order in which they have been submitted. However, we take into account the starting date of the employment in the processing if the application has been submitted in good time before the start date of your employment. We try to process applications submitted for the same employer at the same time. Please wait patiently for the decision. As all applications for seasonal work permits are considered urgent, no requests to expedite are taken into account.

During the high season for seasonal work, the processing situation of seasonal work applications is updated every Tuesday. The high season begins in March.

Requests for certificates for seasonal work

  • In 2023, decisions were made on 2,809 requests for a certificate for seasonal work. 

Application for a residence permit for seasonal work (duration 3 to 9 months)

  • In 2023, decisions were made on 1,292 applications for a residence permit for seasonal work

Are you an employer of seasonal workers?

Read the instructions for employers of seasonal workers.