Three women working on a desk

Frequently asked questions about international recruitment

1. How to begin recruiting international talent

To begin with, employer should start by recognising the different steps of the recruitment process that are included when hiring international talents. It is also good to prepare to duration of the process, if for employee requires for example a residence permit and/or right to practice their profession – for example like in the health care sector. One must remember that suitable candidates can be found multiple ways, from abroad or from Finland. 


Support to plan recruitment of international talents can be found from multiple public and private partners. In the beginning of the process we recommend to examine the local partners and service providers. Public services are often partly or completely free of charge. Excellent place to start is Work in Finland International Recruitment Advice for Employers, which helps all employers acting in Finland through the process step by step. Additional information about public and private service providers and recruitment partners can be found from here.

2. What is the work-related immigration process like?

Work-related immigration process differs according to the nationality of employee; EU/EEA or Swiss citizens have a different process, compared to outside of these countries. 


EU/EEA or Swiss nationals do not require a working permit to work in Finland. If the intention is to stay longer in Finland, they must register their residence. This means that, citizens of EU countries, Liechtenstein and Switzerland must register their right of residence in Finnish Immigration Service and citizens of Nordic countries in Digital and Population Data Services Agency.


Talents, who are not citizens of EU/EEA or Switzerland, most of the time require a residence permit to work in Finland. One can start the application process of the permit, once they have a job in Finland. There are several type of different permits and you can read more from Finnish Immigration Service’s website.


It is crucial that employer makes sure, that foreign employee has the right to stay in Finland, right to work and has the required certificates and permits to practice their profession. 


Most often international talent apply for residence permit before moving to Finland. We recommend using Finnish Immigration Service’s Enter Finland -service. After filing the application, talent must identify in either in Finnish embassy or VFS Global service centre. It is employers duty to deliver required additional information about the company and work task to the application. This can also be done in same Enter Finland -service.


Free Work in Finland International Recruitment Advice Service for Employers will help and guide employers to the process – step by step.

3. When can employee apply for work-based residence permit?

A work-based residence permit can be applied for once the person has a job in Finland.


Employer must provide details about employment as part of the application process.

It is crucial that employer makes sure, that foreign employee has the right to stay in Finland, right to work and has the required certificates and permits to practice their profession.


4. Considerations for hiring foreign employees

First, the employer must make sure that the foreign employee has the right to live and work in Finland and that the employee has the required certificates or the right to practise their profession. For example, healthcare professionals must get a permission to practise their profession in Finland from Valvira, the national Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.

The employer must store the information about the foreign employee, their job and their right to work during the employment relationship and for two years after the foreign employee’s employment has ended. The information being stored must include the foreign employee’s personal details as well as the basis for the employee’s right to work in Finland.

After this, the employer must submit an employee announcement to a TE Office, if they hire an employee, who is not an EU citizen or a comparable person or a family member of such a person and who already has a valid residence permit and the right to work in Finland. An employee announcement is not needed if the employer has already submitted or will submit the terms of employment as part of the residence permit application submitted on the basis of employment. The employer can submit the employee announcement through the EnterFinland -service for employers.

The employer must also notify the workplace’s shop steward, employee representative and occupational safety and health representative of the foreign employees’ names and the applicable collective agreement.

5. Can employers apply for an employee's residence permit?

Employee must apply for a residence permit themselves. The employer cannot apply for a residence permit on behalf of an employee. However, if the employee is applying for a residence permit through the EnterFinland -service, they can allow their employer to add information to their application and track its processing.

6. What is an Employee Announcement and who must make one?

Employee Announcement must be done, when employing a person who comes from outside the EU and EEA countries and already has a valid residence permit and right to work. In addition the announcement must be done on work which is done by visa or visa free. One should not make the announcement, if employee is a family member of a EU or EEA citizen. Please note, that if employer has already added or will add the terms of employment in the employee’s application, one does not need to submit an employee announcement. 

We recommend using employers Enter Finland -service to make the announcement. It can also be made by sending the details to TE-office using Turvaviesti (Classified email) service. More information can be found from Job Market Finland website, under Forms, and about sending classified emails from TE-office website.

Employee Announcement must be done, when employing a person who comes from outside the EU and EEA countries and already has a valid residence permit and right to work.


7. Can light entrepreneurs apply for a residence permit?

Term light entrepreneur is used when one is self-employed, but does not own the company. 

In these cases the answer is no.

According to law, in Finland one can only work in income purposes either as entrepreneur or as employment based employee. 

8. How can the employer help an employee settle in Finland?

Supporting a new employee who is moving to Finland is very important for the success of the recruitment and the immigration experience. Before the employee arrives in Finland, it is a good idea to give them advice about the basics of moving to the country. For example, the multilingual InfoFinland website has plenty of information for those planning to move to Finland or already living in the country. 

In addition to onboarding, the employee may have many other things they need to take care of when moving to a new country. Relocating may involve, for example, official authority matters, opening a bank account, finding a place to live, learning the language and other things related to daily life.

The employer can help the employee plan and book the required appointments with the authorities in advance. Nowadays, many official and bank services are only available by appointment. With good planning, the employee can have a smooth immigration experience and a more comfortable start at work.

Free Work in Finland Employer Advice Service will assist and describe available services in more detail.

9. Can EU or EEA citizens work without a residence permit?

Yes; EU and EEA citizens have unrestricted right to work in Finland.  

To stay and work in Finland longer than 3 months, one must register right of residence. This is called EU registration. EU and EEA citizens must have a valid passport or identity card, which proves individuals nationality. Right to work begins immediately after individual has arrived to Finland.

Soon after arriving to Finland, one should do the EU registration using Enter Finland service, book a time and visit Finnish Immigration Services service point. More information can be fround from their website.

10. How to hire someone to work abroad for our company?

If employee is living abroad at the beginning of the employment and the work would be done fully from abroad, this is usually described as staff employed locally. 

In a situation where Finnish employer recruits already abroad living employee and who is employed locally, the local legislation is usually applied. In situations like these, employer must clarify from the local officials, how employer should manage taxing, labour code, social security contributions and insurance. In addition employer must make sure, that individual has the right to work in that current location.

Please note, that the situation is highly dependent on the local legislation. We also recommend employers to check issues regarding permanent establishment risk and check the policies in Finland regarding taxation, incomes registration announcements and possible reporting and accounting responsibilities. The correct governmental agencies would be Vero and Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Work in Finland Employer Advice Service is unfortunately not able to comment or advice on other countries legislation or staff employed locally.

The International Recruitment Advice Service for Employers' customer service representative sits at a desk in the middle of a start-up company's office. - Work in Finland International Recruitment Advice Service for Employers

International recruitment advice for employers

Work in Finland International Recruitment Advice Service for Employers serves all employers free of charge on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call +358 295 016 770 or send a message to