I am recruiting from abroad

Is your organization hiring an employee from abroad? Read about what you need to consider as an employer.

If you are seeking international expertise for your company and a suitable individual cannot be found in Finland, it is worth looking for an employee or intern from abroad. It is important to remember, however, that you may need a separate permit for employing someone from another country.  

When hiring an employee from abroad, consider your statutory obligations.

Many hire an employee from abroad if they cannot find a suitable expert in Finland or they want to bring international competences into the work community. 

You may need a separate permit to hire an employee from abroad, and an employee from outside the EU or the EEA must have the right to work in Finland. Please also note that your foreign employees are subject to the same employment rights and obligations, terms of employment, occupational safety requirements, and statutory insurances as Finnish employees.

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The right to work in Finland is determined by one’s nationality.

An employee who is not a citizen of an EU country, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland usually needs either a residence permit for an employed person or another type of residence permit which entitles them to gainful employment.  Some tasks specified in the Aliens Act may be performed for a limited period of time with a visa or fully exempted from visa.

The residence permit for an employed person is issued in two stages. The TE Office makes a partial decision for the residence permit application for an employed person (TTOL) and the Finnish Immigration Service issues the final residence permit decision. The TE Office’s partial decision is based on an overall assessment, which includes assessing the availability of labour, the terms of the employment relationship, and both the employer’s and employee’s prerequisites. The employee’s income through gainful employment must also be secured.

The residence permit applications for employed persons (TTOL) are processed nationwide without regional jurisdictional boundaries. In the Åland Islands, the applications are processed by Ålands arbetsmarknads- and studieservicemyndighet (The Åland Labour Market and Student Service Authority).


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When is a residence permit for an employed person required?

A foreigner’s right to work in Finland is determined by one’s 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 Finnish Immigration Service.  Nordic citizens must register with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. The applicant is responsible for registering their stay. A residence permit or visa issued by a Schengen country does not entitle the holder 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 ones mentioned above, or a so-called third-country national, usually requires a residence permit for an employed person or another type of residence permit allowing one to work in Finland. An employee must apply for a residence permit for an employed person when they do not have another type of residence permit entitling them to work in Finland, no other specific residence permit can be granted for the work, and the type of work cannot be performed without a valid residence permit.

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