The right to work must be verified

The right to work must be verified - Alasivu

The employer is required to ensure that foreign employees have a residence permit entitling them to work in Finland. This obligation to verify foreign workers’ right to gainful employment also applies to principal contractors or principal clients operating in Finland in situations where the foreign employees are employed by a foreign employer in contract work or subcontracting work or as temporary agency workers.

The grounds for the right to work must be verified before the employment contract is signed.

The right to work may be confirmed by a passport, other official travel document or residence permit card. In the case of a prospective employee, the grounds for his/her right to work must be ensured before the employment contract is signed.

Further information: Travel documents. The Finnish Border Guard.

Grounds for the right to work

A foreign employee may have the right to work in Finland on any of the following grounds:

  • citizenship of an EU or EEA Member State
  • a valid residence permit for an employed person, or 
  • a residence permit is not required as per the Aliens Act or the Seasonal Workers Act.

Residence permit restrictions:

  • If the residence permit is granted for a fixed term, employment is only allowed while the residence permit is valid.
  • If the residence permit is specific to a particular sector, employment is only allowed in the sector entered on the residence permit.
  • If the residence permit is specific to a particular employer, employment is only allowed with that employer.

A residence permit may also involve other restrictions. The following points must also be taken into account:

  • An application to extend a fixed-term residence permit must be submitted before the current residence permit expires.
  • The employer may not apply for a residence permit for an employed person on behalf of an employee

Further information:
Right to work. Finnish Immigration Service.
Working in Finland. Finnish Immigration Service.

When is a residence permit not needed?

The Aliens Act lists a number of scenarios where employment of a national of a non-EU/EEA country is allowed without a residence permit. The situations can be related to, for example, short-term work tasks in science, culture and sports. Also an asylum seeker can work without a residence permit depending on verification of identity after a period of three or six months of having sought asylum. In addition, in seasonal work in agriculture or tourism, as per the Seasonal Workers Act, a person can work on the basis of a seasonal work visa or a seasonal work certificate for a maximum of 90 days.

Students have a limited right to work

A student is allowed to work on a student residence permit if such work is part of a traineeship required for a degree or is on a research paper required for the studies. A student may perform other kinds of work for 25 hours a week on average during the academic term and with full freedom at times when the educational institution offers no instruction.

Further information: Residence permit application for studies. Finnish Immigration Service.