Working in Finland as an Immigrant all you need to know (allowed working hours, visa type you should have, what’s their minimum wage)

Finland, a Nordic country known for its stunning natural landscapes, high-quality education system, and vibrant culture, is an attractive destination for immigrants seeking employment opportunities.

Whether you’re considering moving to Finland for work or have already made the decision, it’s essential to understand the key aspects of working in this beautiful country.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know as an immigrant working in Finland, including allowed working hours, visa types, and minimum wage. Let’s get started.

Working in Finland as an Immigrant

Visa Requirements for Immigrant Workers in Finland

Finland offers various types of visas and residence permits for individuals who wish to work in the country.

The specific visa you need depends on your nationality, the nature of your work, and the expected duration of your stay. Here are some of the primary visa types for immigrant workers:

1. Residence Permit for Employment

This permit is suitable for individuals who have secured a job offer from a Finnish employer. It allows you to work and reside in Finland for the duration of your employment contract.

2. EU Blue Card

If you possess a higher education degree and have a job offer with a certain minimum salary, you may be eligible for an EU Blue Card. This card allows highly skilled non-EU/EEA nationals to work and live in Finland.

3. Self-Employment Residence Permit

Entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals can apply for this permit if they meet the required criteria. It enables you to establish and manage your business in Finland.

4. Seasonal Work Residence Permit

For those interested in temporary or seasonal work, Finland offers a specific permit. It’s typically granted for a limited duration and is suitable for jobs such as agricultural work during harvest seasons.

5. Student Residence Permit (for Part-Time Work)

If you’re a student in Finland and wish to work part-time during your studies, you can do so with a student residence permit. There are limitations on the number of hours you can work while studying.

Allowed Working Hours for Immigrant Workers

Once you’ve obtained the appropriate visa or residence permit, it’s crucial to understand the regulations regarding working hours in Finland. These regulations ensure a healthy work-life balance and employee well-being:

1. Standard Working Hours

In Finland, the standard working hours for full-time employees are typically 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. This may vary slightly depending on the industry and collective labor agreements.

2. Overtime

If your job requires you to work beyond the standard hours, it’s considered overtime. Overtime is compensated with higher pay rates or additional time off, as stipulated in your employment contract or collective agreement.

3. Part-Time Work

For those working part-time, the number of allowed working hours will be specified in your employment contract. Part-time work is common for students, parents with young children, and those seeking a flexible work schedule.

4. Breaks and Rest Periods

Employees are entitled to regular breaks during their working hours. A typical lunch break is around 30 minutes to an hour. Additionally, Finland places a strong emphasis on work-life balance, and employees are encouraged to take their annual paid leave for rest and relaxation.

Minimum Wage in Finland

Understanding the minimum wage in Finland is crucial when considering employment as an immigrant.

Finland does not have a statutory minimum wage like some other countries. Instead, wages are determined through negotiations between employers’ associations and trade unions.

However, there are regulations in place to ensure fair wages and workers’ rights.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Collective Labor Agreements

In Finland, over 90% of employees are covered by collective labor agreements, which set the minimum wage and other working conditions for specific industries. These agreements ensure fair wages and benefits for workers.

2. Earnings and Salary Negotiations

The actual minimum wage you can expect to earn depends on your job, qualifications, and the industry you work in. It’s essential to negotiate your salary with your employer, taking into account the relevant collective agreement.

3. Exceptions and Special Situations

In some cases, there may be no specific collective agreement in place, such as for very small businesses. In such instances, employers are still required to provide fair and competitive compensation to their employees.

Living Costs: The cost of living in Finland is relatively high, especially in major cities like Helsinki. It’s essential to consider the cost of living when evaluating potential job offers.

Fair Wage Principle: Even without a statutory minimum wage, Finnish law includes a fair wage principle, ensuring that employees are paid a wage that is reasonable and provides for a decent standard of living.

Gender Equality: Finland places a strong emphasis on gender equality in the workplace. This means that wages should be equal for both men and women in similar roles.

It’s worth noting that Finland’s approach to minimum wages, which relies heavily on collective agreements, ensures that wages are determined with consideration for the unique needs of different sectors. While this system can be beneficial for maintaining wage fairness, it may also lead to variations in minimum wages across industries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Working in Finland as an Immigrant

How do I find a job in Finland as an immigrant?

Finding a job in Finland as an immigrant requires careful planning and research. Start by exploring job openings on websites like TE Services (the Finnish Public Employment Service) and private job portals.

Networking is crucial in Finland, so attend industry-related events and join professional organizations.

Additionally, consider contacting the EURES network, which assists European job seekers in finding work in other European countries. It’s also beneficial to learn Finnish or Swedish, as most job opportunities require proficiency in one of these languages.

What are the visa and residence permit requirements for working in Finland?

The requirements for obtaining a visa or residence permit to work in Finland depend on your nationality and the nature of your employment. If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, you do not need a visa or residence permit to work in Finland. However, you must register your right of residence.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens typically need a residence permit for employment. The application process can vary, but it usually involves a job offer, sufficient funds, and health insurance.

It’s essential to check the specific requirements with the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) or the nearest Finnish embassy or consulate.

What is the Finnish work culture like?

Understanding the work culture in Finland is vital for a successful career. Finns value punctuality, efficiency, and honesty in the workplace. Work-life balance is highly respected, and employees often enjoy flexible working hours. Hierarchy is relatively flat, and teamwork and collaboration are encouraged. It’s customary to address colleagues and superiors by their first names, promoting a sense of equality. The work culture also emphasizes employee well-being, with generous vacation time and access to excellent healthcare and social services.

What are the tax implications of working in Finland?

Finland has a progressive tax system, meaning that the more you earn, the higher the percentage of tax you pay. As an employee, your income tax is automatically deducted from your salary by your employer. In addition to income tax, you’ll also contribute to social security and healthcare funds. It’s essential to be aware of the tax rates and any tax treaties between Finland and your home country to avoid double taxation. Consider seeking advice from a tax expert or the Finnish Tax Administration to ensure compliance with tax regulations.

What are the general requirements for working in Finland as an immigrant?

To work in Finland as an immigrant, you will typically need a residence permit for employment. This permit is usually granted when you have a job offer from a Finnish employer. The specific requirements may vary based on your nationality and the nature of your work.

Are there different types of work permits for immigrants in Finland?

Yes, there are several types of work permits in Finland, including:

  • Residence Permit for Employment: For long-term employment
  • Seasonal Work Permit: For temporary or seasonal work
  • EU Blue Card: For highly skilled professionals with a job offer
  • Startup Permit: For entrepreneurs starting a business in Finland.

The type of permit you need depends on your situation and the duration of your stay.

What are the allowed working hours in Finland?

In Finland, the standard working week is 40 hours, typically divided into 8-hour workdays. However, working hours can vary based on your employment contract and industry. Overtime is common for jobs that require it and is compensated at a higher rate than regular hours.

Is part-time work common in Finland?

Yes, part-time work is prevalent in Finland, and many employers offer flexible schedules. Part-time employees are entitled to the same rights and benefits as full-time employees on a proportional basis.

Does Finland have a minimum wage?

Finland doesn’t have a statutory minimum wage. Instead, wages are determined through collective agreements between employers’ associations and trade unions in various industries. These agreements set minimum wage levels and working conditions.

How does the fair wage principle work in Finland?

The fair wage principle in Finland ensures that employees receive a wage that is reasonable and provides for a decent standard of living. Even without a minimum wage law, this principle safeguards workers’ rights.

Are there gender equality measures in Finnish workplaces?

Yes, Finland places a strong emphasis on gender equality in the workplace. This means that wages should be equal for both men and women in similar roles, and efforts should be made to eliminate pay disparities.

What are the key industries for employment in Finland?

Finland has a diverse job market, with key industries including technology, healthcare, education, forestry, and tourism. The demand for workers can vary depending on the region and the specific sector.

Is knowledge of the Finnish language required for work?

While knowing Finnish can be an advantage, especially in customer-facing roles, many international companies and organizations operate in English, making it possible to find work without being fluent in Finnish. However, learning some basic Finnish can be beneficial for daily life.

What is the cost of living in Finland?

Finland has a relatively high cost of living, particularly in major cities like Helsinki. Housing, healthcare, and education are some of the significant expenses. It’s essential to consider these factors when evaluating potential job offers.

What should I know about taxes in Finland?

Finland has a progressive tax system, with higher incomes taxed at higher rates. You’ll need to register for taxation in Finland once you start working, and your employer will withhold taxes from your salary. Be sure to familiarize yourself with Finnish tax regulations to ensure compliance.

What are the social benefits for workers in Finland?

Workers in Finland enjoy a range of social benefits, including healthcare, unemployment benefits, and parental leave. These benefits are designed to provide financial security and support during various life situations.

Is there a path to permanent residency in Finland for immigrants?

Yes, Finland offers a path to permanent residency for immigrants. You can apply for a continuous residence permit after living and working in Finland for a certain period. Once you obtain permanent residency, you have the right to live and work in Finland indefinitely.

How is the work-life balance in Finland?

Finland is known for its excellent work-life balance. The country values leisure time and offers a high quality of life. Most employees enjoy a good balance between work and personal life, with generous vacation days and flexible working arrangements.

Are there opportunities for further education and training in Finland?

Yes, Finland is renowned for its education system, and there are opportunities for further education and training. Finnish universities and institutions offer various programs, including language courses, to help immigrants integrate and enhance their skills.

How do I integrate into Finnish society as an immigrant?

Integration services are available to help immigrants adapt to Finnish society. These services may include language courses, cultural orientation, and support for finding housing and employment.

What is the attitude towards immigrants in Finland?

Finland generally has a welcoming attitude towards immigrants, and diversity is increasingly recognized as an asset. However, it’s essential to respect Finnish culture and customs while contributing positively to your new community.

Can I bring my family with me to Finland?

In many cases, yes. If you have a residence permit for employment, you can often bring your spouse and dependent children with you. They may also be eligible for their residence permits.

How can I access healthcare in Finland as an immigrant?

Finland has a comprehensive healthcare system, and immigrants are entitled to receive healthcare services. You will typically need to register with the local municipal authorities to access healthcare services.


Working in Finland as an immigrant involves navigating visa requirements, understanding working hour regulations, and recognizing the absence of a statutory minimum wage.

The Finnish labor market places a strong emphasis on collective labor agreements, which play a crucial role in determining wages and working conditions.

When considering employment in Finland, it’s advisable to research the specific requirements for your situation, seek legal advice if necessary, and engage in transparent negotiations with potential employers to ensure fair and equitable working conditions.

Finland’s commitment to work-life balance, social welfare, and employee well-being makes it an appealing destination for immigrants seeking meaningful and fulfilling work opportunities.


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