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Working and internships during studies

A student who has been granted a residence permit for studies is allowed to work in paid employment in any field for an average of 30 hours per week. The number of working hours can be exceeded some weeks, as long as the average working hours are no more than 30 hours per week at the end of the year.

  • During holidays, for example, students are allowed to work full-time in any field, provided that their average working hours are no more than 30 hours per week at the end of the year.

A student is allowed to work for an average of 120 hours per month, or a total of 1,560 hours per year.

The limitations do not apply to diploma work or paid internships that are part of the student’s degree. In other words, these are not counted towards the weekly 30-hour limit.

The employer of a student checks how many hours the student is allowed to work with his or her residence permit. Both the student and the employer are responsible for ensuring that the maximum number of hours is not exceeded. The authority responsible for overseeing working times is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (tyosuojelu.fi).

A student who has been granted a residence permit before the legislative amendments of 15 April 2022 has a similar right to work as those who have a new residence permit. In other words, the student may work for 30 hours per week on average.

Internships

A person who is coming to carry out an internship at an educational institution must have a residence permit. Internships cannot be carried out visa-free or with a visa. A residence permit is not granted for unpaid internships. The intern has to receive monetary compensation for the internship.

A person residing in Finland with a residence permit for studies can spend an unlimited time as an intern as part of his or her degree.

Apprenticeship training

A residence permit can also be granted for apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship training is education that mainly takes place at a workplace, in genuine work situations. The employer and the student sign a written apprenticeship agreement, which is a fixed-term contract of employment.  

If the student will complete less than half of his or her studies in apprenticeship training, he or she can study with a residence permit for studies. If the student will complete half or more of his or her studies in apprenticeship training, he or she will need a residence permit for an employed person.

The duration of apprenticeship training determines the residence permit type that the student must apply for

The duration is calculated on the basis of the student’s personal competence development plan (PCDP), which is created with the educational institution.

If more than half of the duration of the degree studies will consist of apprenticeship training, the student must apply for a residence permit on the grounds of employment (a residence permit for an employed person). In this case, the right to work is determined according to the residence permit for an employed person. Read more about the residence permit for an employed person.

If at the maximum half of the duration of the degree studies will consist of apprenticeship training, the student must apply for a residence permit on the grounds of studying. The student may work full time in employment included in the apprenticeship. In addition, they may work in other paid employment for a maximum of 30 hours per week.

If the student has first studied for a degree in an educational institution with a residence permit for studies but later the main part of remaining studies are carried out as apprenticeship training, the student must apply for a residence permit for an employed person.

For more information on apprenticeship training, see the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education (oph.fi) (in Finnish).