The right to work for foreigners in Finland is determined by nationality. EU citizens are allowed to work in Finland without a residence permit as well as citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. However, a stay of more than three months must be registered with the Finnish Immigration Service. Nordic citizens must register with the Local Register Office. The applicant is responsible for registering his or her stay. A residence permit or visa issued by a Schengen country is not entitled to work in Finland, with the exception of work specifically appointed in Section 79 of the Aliens Act.
An employee who is a national of a country other than the one mentioned above, or a so-called third-country national, usually needs a residence permit for an employed person or another residence permit allowing to work in Finland.
A residence permit for an employed person is applied for when the employee does not have another residence permit allowing him or her to work, and no other specific residence permit can be granted for the work or the work cannot be performed without a residence permit.
The employer has the duty to ensure that a foreign worker has the right to work in Finland. The right to work can be checked from the residence permit card. If the employee does not have a valid residence permit, or if the employee's right to work is restricted to work in another professional field, the employer cannot employ him or her until an appropriate residence permit has been issued.
The Finnish Immigration Service provides information on the right to work of foreigners and what kind of residence permit is needed for working or whether work can be carried out without a residence permit.
If the application is the employee's first residence permit application or the application is in a different field than the employment permit previously granted to the employee, the employment cannot be started until the employee's residence permit has been issued.
The employee's residence permit is issued on a professional basis, and in some cases the permit may be restricted to employment in a certain professional field only. The employee's residence permit card specifies the professional fields in which an foreigner can work. If the name of the company is mentioned on the residence permit card, the foreigner may only work for this employer.
Employment may be continued during the processing of a further permit application if a further permit is applied for before the end of the previous permit and the work continues with the same employer or professional field
More information on the Finnish Immigration Service's website (migri.fi)
An employer who employs a third-country citizen shall promptly provide TE Office with an explanation of the essential terms and conditions of the employment relationship and assurance that the terms are in accordance with the provisions in force and applicable collective agreement, or, if an applicable collective agreement cannot be applied, that they comply with the labour market practices for employers working in corresponding tasks. It is not necessary to provide clarification and assurance if the person recruited is an EU citizen or a family member treated as such.
In order to fulfil this obligation, the employer must deliver to TE Office:
The obligation to provide information is independent of the type of residence permit and also applies to working on a visa or visa-free. The occupational safety and health authority supervises compliance
The notification can also be made electronically through the employer's Enter Finland.
In addition, the employer must inform the shop steward of the workplace and the occupational safety and health representatives of the foreigner's name and the applicable collective agreement. For this purpose, a form can be used which can be found on the occupational safety and health website of the Regional State Administration. The employer shall keep this information for four years after the end of the foreigner's employment.
If the employee works in contracting, subcontracting or hired labour, the obligations apply to the main contractor operating in Finland or the main commissioner of the work. The Act on the Contractor's Obligations and Liability When Work is Contracted Out applies to the commissioner when hiring Finnish or foreign labour.