Work and studies
You obtain the right to work and study as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority. If you do not have a bank account, your pay can also be loaded onto a prepaid card. In this case, ask your reception centre for instructions for your employer.
- During registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a printed certificate (pdf) proving your right to work. The certificate is called certificate of a pending application. Your right to work is unrestricted, meaning that you can find employment in any field. Keep the copy of the certificate you receive for yourself.
- If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate of a pending application (pdf) from the police or border control authority, we can send you the certificate by email. Send your request for the certificate to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don't yet have employment and have no need for a certificate, you can simply wait for the decision on your application.
The decision on temporary protection will state that you have an unrestricted right to work. You will also receive a residence permit card stating that you have an unrestricted right to work. The Finnish Immigration Service aims to issue the decision quickly and without undue delay.
Employment services and looking for work
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, you can register as a jobseeker at an Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) and access services that promote your employment. For more information on the right to work and on the employment services available, see the instructions issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (tem.fi). The instructions contain a reminder that the same terms of employment and pay terms apply to everyone in Finland, and that charging a jobseeker a fee for offering a job or for arranging employment is prohibited. The instructions contain a list of who you can turn to for help if you get treated inappropriately.
Assistance for finding work
TE Offices can give you advice on how to look for work and offer you services that will help you find employment. The services of TE Offices include, for instance, language courses in Finnish or Swedish.
Additionally, TE Offices have a lot of information about jobs available. You can also find jobs in Finland via online services:
Remember your rights
In Finland, everyone has the right to fair terms of employment. To find information about wages, working hours and holidays, for example, you can refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's guide:
If someone is trying to blackmail you for a broker’s commission or is pressuring you to work under poor conditions or to have sex or commit crimes in exchange for a job, accommodation or help, for example, we recommend that you ask the staff of your reception centre or other authorities for help. The Assistance System for Victims of Human Trafficking is a public authority that can also help you when necessary.
The police are responsible for ensuring the safety of people and the environment in all situations and at all times. The police seek to prevent crime and investigate offences. The crimes the police investigate are submitted to the prosecutor, who then decides whether or not to bring charges. A police report can be filed at any police station regardless of where the crime took place.
- For more information about filing a police report, see poliisi.fi.
For more information, see:
- Instruction of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment: People applying for temporary protection have the right to work in Finland (tem.fi)
- Working in Finland (tem.fi)
When you have a municipality of residence
If you get a municipality of residence, you will no longer be a client of the reception system. Instead, you will become a resident of the municipality where you live and a client of a wellbeing services county. A wellbeing services county arranges public healthcare, social welfare and rescue services to all residents in the region it serves.
If you are looking for work or need help with finding employment, you can register as an unemployed jobseeker at the TE Office. The TE Office will assist you with finding work, and that assistance is free of charge. If you have a municipality of residence, you can get access to the services provided by local government pilots on employment.
You are entitled to employment-promoting social services. The TE Office and your municipality of residence can draw up an integration plan for you and offer you services that will help you integrate in Finland.
For more information, see the website of the TE Offices (toimistot.te-palvelut.fi).
Finland supports students and researchers who have fled the war in Ukraine. On the website Study in Finland, maintained by the Finnish National Agency for Education, you will find information on the study and research opportunities for those whose studies or academic work in Ukraine were disrupted by the war.
- Finnish higher education institutions offer study opportunities, which can help you complete your degree to your home university.
- If you are a researcher, you can be offered support measures to help you continue your research work at a Finnish higher education institution.
Read more on the website Study in Finland.
Work and study activities organised by reception centres
If you are staying at a reception centre and receiving reception allowance, you must participate in work and study activities organised by the reception centre. The work activities consist of tasks such as cleaning the reception centre, maintaining the yard, or helping with repairs. Study activities entail Finnish or Swedish language training.
You may also study or find employment outside the reception centre, in which case you do not necessarily need to take part in the centre’s work and study activities. If you choose to study outside the reception centre, you can apply for a supplementary reception allowance to help cover the cost of your studies. Supplementary reception allowance refers to additional financial support for a particular need, such as studies.