Before moving to Finland

Job seeking abroad requires more time and preparations than job seeking in your native country. Before you move to Finland, carefully familiarise yourself with Finnish working life and customs so that you will be able to adapt to the change and take care of matters as smoothly as possible. Your move will be more comfortable if you are properly informed.

Page contents

Find out which fields can provide work
Look for jobs
Consider entrepreneurship
Make sure your permit matters are in order

Find out which fields can provide work

Finland, too, is experiencing a period when the baby-boom generations are retiring and new employees are needed in many fields. Job creation is especially strong in the healthcare sector. 

Both room and demand also exist in various fields for those wishing to become self-employed.

Before you move to Finland, find out whether jobs are available in your field. If you are planning to become self-employed, find out what you need to take into account when starting a business.

Look for jobs

Begin looking for a job in Finland before you move here. You can look for jobs using the online service of the Employment and Economic Development Offices that lists all currently vacant positions. You can find English job advertisements by using the word search field. 

The European Job Mobility Portal EURES maintained by the European Commission also provides concentrated information on vacancies and the labour market situation in Finland.

Many jobs are so-called hidden jobs that are not announced for application publicly. It is worth being active and directly contacting interesting companies. 

You can search for companies operating in Finland using search engines on the internet. The use of social media is also common in modern-day recruitment. You will achieve the best result by using several parallel channels in your job-seeking process.

Take into account that if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you must have a job before you move to Finland. 

If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you can move to Finland and search for a job during a period of three months.

Consider entrepreneurship

One alternative for becoming employed in Finland is starting your own business. New entrepreneurs are needed in several fields, such as in providing services for the ageing population. Becoming an entrepreneur gives you the opportunity to make use of your professional, language and social skills.

Before starting a business, you must have a good business idea that you believe in. You should also be familiar with Finnish legislation. Consider is your personality suitable for starting a business. In general, the greatest challenge in starting a business is acquiring enough financing.

Various forms of support are available to new entrepreneurs. You can contact the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and Finnish Enterprise Agencies for advice, training and information about issues such as financing and subsidies. Prospective entrepreneurs can also have their business ideas tested free of charge. 

The Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) also provide new entrepreneurs with advice and inform prospective entrepreneurs of education opportunities.

Make sure your permit matters are in order

The permits and registrations you need depend on your nationality. Make sure that your passport or official EU identity card is valid for the entire duration of your stay in Finland.

If you are a citizen of the EU, Liechtenstein, Switzerland or the Nordic countries, you do not need a residence permit in order to be able to work, study or start a business in Finland. However, make sure that the necessary registrations are in order when you arrive in Finland.

If you are a citizen of a country other than the EU countries, Liechtenstein, Switzerland or the Nordic countries, you will have to apply for a residence permit for an employed person while still in your country of origin. You must have a job in Finland before you can be granted the permit.

The consideration of workforce needs related to the granting of residence permits for employed persons is performed by the Finnish Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices). The TE Office makes a positive or negative partial decision and submits it to the Finnish Immigration Service. 

A residence permit for an employed person is valid in one or several occupational sectors. The permit is either temporary or continuous. If your permit is temporary and your employment continues beyond the validity period of your residence permit, remember to apply for an extension in good time before your previous permit expires.

Take into account that if you have not applied for a residence permit for an employed person in advance, you will need to have documents providing you the right to stay in Finland, such as a visa and a passport, in order to be able to stay in the country for less than three months. 

As a rule, a visa does not give you the right to carry out work in Finland. The Finnish Aliens Act has separate provisions for situations in which working is possible under an ordinary residence permit, a visa or visa exemption. 

The international services of TE Offices will advise you in matters related to residence permits for employed persons.

Appendix to worker's residence permit application (suomi.fi)