Visas and Work Permits 7 min

Work permits and visas in Finland: an employer’s guide

Written by Sally Flaxman
March 19, 2024
Sally Flaxman


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If your company wants to hire a candidate located in Finland or support a team member who wishes to relocate, you have to make sure they have legal permission to work and live in the country.

Without the correct visa and work permit, both employers and employees risk facing fines, penalties, and legal issues. Additionally, employers have to ensure compliance with local employment laws, immigration guidelines, and tax practices. 

This guide will take you through the work permits and visa requirements in Finland, the process of applying for a work visa, and the types of work visa available in Finland. We'll also explain how a reliable employer of record like Remote can help you hire or relocation employees to Finland and beyond quickly and easily.

The importance of immigration compliance in Finland

The rise of remote working has led to digital nomads traveling abroad on tourist visas and working in the location despite not having the correct work visa. In response, the governments of many countries have begun to enforce laws that cover illegal work. 

In Finland, the penalties for illegal work can affect both the employee and the employer.

A company that employs a person who illegally resides in Finland may be punished with an administrative fine per the Employment Contracts Act. It can range anywhere from €1,000 to €30,000. Some employers may also be required to pay for the cost of returning the illegal employee to their country of citizenship. 

Thus, it is essential that as an employer, you ensure each employee working in Finland has the correct documentation to work legally in the country.

Who is eligible to work in Finland?

Non-citizens who want to work in Finland, must apply for a residence permit.

However, EU citizens and citizens of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, or Liechtenstein can work in Finland without a residence permit as long as they register their right of residence.

It’s the employer’s responsibility to check the status of any foreign national they plan to employ in Finland. They may confirm an employee's right to work by reviewing their residence permit card, passport, or other official travel documents.

A global employment company like Remote can simplify the process of conducting eligibility checks on your company's behalf. After you upload all the required documentation to our platform, our specialized Mobility team will confirm whether the individual's work permit is valid for working in Finland.

If the individual does not have a valid work permit, Remote can also help you to get the necessary documentation.

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Do non-citizens need a work visa or work permit in Finland?

Non-citizens who require residence permits may have a restricted or unrestricted right to work in Finland, depending on their circumstances.

An individual has an unrestricted right to work if they possess certain permits, including a permanent or continuous residence permit.

Who has a restricted right to work?

The residence permit may be approved by the Finnish Immigration Service, but it is subject to certain conditions relating to the individual's profession, employer, and job responsibilities.

There are different kinds of resident permit applications based on the profession.

In some sectors, the individual is allowed to work only for a limited working time. If the length of time the individual wishes to work is longer than the time limit for that sector, they must apply for a residence permit for an employed person (TTOL). If the individual wishes to work in a different sector than that specified by their residence permit, they must also apply for a TTOL. 

There are several situations in which individuals may be allowed to work in Finland without possessing a residence permit.

How is the Schengen visa applicable?

Individuals who have the Schengen visa can live in Finland for up to 90 days. The Schengen visa is primarily intended for business and tourist purposes and should not be considered as permission to work. 

How is the European Union Blue Card applicable?

If an individual wishes to apply for a residence permit under the EU Blue Card, they must have a signed employment contract or a binding job offer. Both of these documents must specify that the work duration will be over a year. The individual must also have a higher education (university) degree. 

What are the eligibility requirements for a work visa in Finland?

In general, to be eligible to work in Finland, an individual must:

  • Have a valid passport

  • Have a valid, signed work contract in Finland

  • Have a university degree (except in the case of seasonal work)

  • Work professionally in their field

  • Uphold all Finnish laws.

What are the long-stay visa types in Finland?

Because the type of residence permit depends on the type of work the individual will perform, it can be confusing to determine which application to use. The Finnish Immigration Service provides a helpful Application Finder tool on their website to direct permit-seekers.

Under all circumstances, anyone wishing to stay in Finland for longer than three months must apply for a residence permit, of which there are several types.

First residence permit

Non-citizens of Finland who have not previously lived in the country must apply for a first residence permit if they plan to stay for over 90 days.

Extended permit

Anyone living in Finland whose residence permit is soon to expire may apply for an extended permit, which can be granted for up to four years.

EU residence permit

A third-country national, who is a citizen of a country that is not part of the EU, and who lives within the EU may apply for a long-term resident's EU residence permit.

Permanent residence permit

If a non-citizen lives in Finland continuously for four years with a continuous residence permit and still meets the original permit's requirements, they can apply for a permanent residence permit

Residence permit or certificate due to employer exploitation 

If a previous employer exploited an employee and significantly neglected their obligations as an employer, the individual can change their employer by applying for an extended permit or a certificate of expanded right to work. If approved under these circumstances, the individual can change employers and even fields of employment without restriction.

link to How to hire and pay remote workers in Finland
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How to hire and pay remote workers in Finland

This detailed, step-by-step guide walks you through the safest, simplest, and most scalable way to hire and pay remote workers in Finland.

How do you get a work visa for Finland?

The employee should submit the relevant application to the Finnish diplomatic agency in their country before traveling to Finland. The employee must also submit the following documentation:

  • Signed employment contract

  • Valid passport with photo

  • Payment details

  • Medical certificates

As the employer, you must confirm your employee's application for a residence permit by submitting the TEM 054 form. You must also retain all the employee's relevant documents for inspection by the Finnish tax administration, occupational safety and health authorities, or law enforcement.

The employer must provide the following documentation:

  • Employment contract

  • TEM 054 form

  • Certificate of the company's paid taxes or tax debts

  • Certificates regarding the company's statutory insurance premiums (eg., TyEL insurance)

  • A report detailing the number of employees in the company

  • A report regarding the company's recruitment of workers from the labor markets in Finland and the EU/EEA.

What is the process for employee work visa sponsorship in Finland?

Employers cannot directly sponsor an employee in Finland or submit the employee's application for a residence permit on their behalf.  But as an employer, you can guide the employee during the process. 

Relocation can be highly stressful, especially when an employee is relocating internationally. Remote offers a relocation program to help make the relocation process seamless for you and your employee, including ensuring the relocation is compliant with Finnish labor and tax laws. Through Remote Relocation, our Mobility team can assist with:

  • Gathering the required documentation

  • Submitting the TEM 054 form

  • Performing a work eligibility check

What are the visa requirements for digital nomads in Finland?

Finland does not have a specific visa for digital nomads. Any non-citizen seeking to work in Finland must apply for a residence permit.

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How to use an Employer of Record in Finland

Learn how to use an EOR in Finland and find out how an employer of record platform like Remote can make it easy to hire globally with full compliance.

Relocating team members internationally can be a massive headache for both the employee and the employer. Partnering with an employer of record like Remote can simplify the process significantly. 

Remote makes international hiring and relocation a fast and simple process.

We will assist you with various aspects of the relocation process, including:

Working with a global employment partner like Remote can reduce the burden on you as an employer and make international hiring and relocation fast and simple.

To learn how you can make the process of international relocation seamless, download Remote's Relocation Guide today!

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