Guide to being Finnish

Working in Finland – General information

Posted by | 8th September 2012 | Finland Immigration, Why Finland, Why not Finland, Work in Finland


Finland has a fairly high unemployment rate, so it can be very difficult for foreign nationals to find jobs there, particularly if they are unable to speak Finnish. However, there are labour shortages in some occupational sectors, particularly in the cities. It is expected that there will be a high demand in the near future for construction professionals, and social and healthcare professionals.

Job vacancies in Finland are advertised in national and local newspapers, such as Helsingin Sanomat, in the Ministry of Labour’s network of employment offices, on online jobsites and the websites of Finnish companies. However, word of mouth is a common way of finding work in Finland, and many vacancies are never actually advertised. It is acceptable to make direct approaches to employers you are interested in working for.

Happy working people in Finland

Happy working people in Finland

There are employment offices in most cities and towns, which provide assistance to jobseekers at no charge. EU/EEA nationals are eligible to use their services to find work, and to register on and search the EURES jobs database. The larger offices also have EURES advisers to help EU/EEA nationals to find jobs in Finland.

There are also a number of private employment agencies, whose services are free to jobseekers.

Around three quarters of all employees in Finland belong to a trade union. Under Finnish law, the maximum regular hours of work are eight hours a day or forty hours per week.

Employment permits

The citizens of EU and EEA member states, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland are not required to obtain employment permit in order to take up work in Finland, although the citizens of those countries that joined the EU in May 2004 are still required to register with an employment office. The nationals of other Nordic countries are not required to obtain an employment permit.

In order to work in Finland the nationals of other countries, or their prospective Finnish employers, must apply for a worker’s residence permit either from the Finnish embassy in their home country, or from the employment office or local police department in Finland. Application forms and details of documentation required are available on the website of the Finnish Ministry of Labour.

Permanent residence

In order to be considered for permanent residence in Finland, it is necessary to have lived in Finland for a continuous period of three years.

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