Permits and citizenship

The employer is responsible for verifying the right to work

An employer must verify that a foreign employee has the required residence permit for an employed person or that the employee does not need a residence permit.

  • The residence permit shows what kind of work the employee may do and how many hours a week he or she may work.
  • If an employer employs a foreign national who does not have the right to work, the employer may be committing an offence or a crime.

  • Read more about the right to work and the right to work while an application for an extended permit is being processed.

  • If a seasonal worker has a valid certificate for seasonal work and the employment ends, he or she can apply for a new certificate for seasonal work for a new employer. A new certificate must be applied for before the previous certificate expires. The granting of a new certificate for seasonal work requires, however, that the employee still has visa-free residence time left. The employee is responsible for checking the duration of his or her visa-free residence. If the visa-free residence time has already expired, an employee who has been working with a certificate for seasonal work can apply for a residence permit for seasonal work in Finland for a new employer. If an employee continues to work after his or her visa-free residence time has expired, both the employee and the employer are committing a punishable violation of the Aliens Act.

  • An employee is allowed to work in Finland without a residence permit for a period of up to 90 days within any 180-day period if he or she is a permanent employee of a company that operates in another EU or EEA country, he or she comes to Finland to perform temporary acquisition or subcontracting tasks as specified in the regulations concerning the freedom to provide services, and the maximum total duration of the contract is six months. The work in Finland has to be genuinely temporary. The employee must have a permit allowing him or her to reside and work in said country, and the permit has to be valid for at least one year. The permit must be valid when the work in Finland ends. If these requirements are not met, the employee needs to have a residence permit for an employed person in Finland. The Finnish Immigration Service does not issue binding preliminary decisions on an employee’s right to work. The authority responsible for supervising an employee’s right to work may have a different interpretation on the matter, depending on what information the authority has at its disposal. The Finnish Immigration Service cannot give assessments on behalf of another authority.

The employer must also verify that the foreign employee has the right of residence in Finland.

  • The employer can ask the employee to show his/her valid residence permit card or residence permit sticker in a travel document.
  • An asylum seeker has a right to work in Finland without a residence permit after three or six months has passed from the date he or she submitted his or her asylum application.Employers can verify this by asking their employees about it. An employer may also request a certificate on an asylum seeker’s right to work.
  • If the employer employs a person who is residing in Finland illegally, the employer will be liable to an administrative fine ranging from 1,000 to 30,000 euros. The amount to be paid will be determined by the Finnish Immigration Service.

Instructions for employers can be found on the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Finland.