For English speakers, Finland is a dream destination for long term living and work. Boasting a high quality of life and long life expectancy, Finland comes with other perks aside from a strong job market. Finland is leading the way in Nordic startups with a growing tech scene that is getting international recognition. Finland alone accounts for 10% of all the world’s startup exits despite having population smaller than most US cities.
With startups and a booming tech scene comes jobs and a need for international talent. If you’re looking to add some incredibly valuable international experience to your resume as a young professional, you may find the opportunity of a lifetime in Sweden. You can search for Finnish companies with vacancies for international hires here.
Below, we’ve outlined all of the options in terms of visas you can choose to get started on your next adventure:
There are generally two options we’ll go through to both live and work legally in Finland:
Employee Residence Permit:
This permit is for those employees that have a professional contract lined up in Finland with a Finnish company. This permit allows you to live and work long term in Finland. Once you’ve signed a contract your employer will submit a TEM 054 form to begin the process. The great thing is that even though one employer files, you have a permit for the entire industry you work in, so you may hold several jobs under one permit in the future.
Here is the total process:
- Your employer will submit the TEM 054 form
- You will submit this form online or at an embassy with copies all necessary documents (outlined below).
- You will select a service point (embassy) where you will confirm your identity in person and show original documents.
- You will pay 450 euros to process the application.
- You will be notified whether your application is confirmed or not.
Here is the documents you need:
- A valid passport
- Your employer’s form filled out and submitted
- Your employment contract
- Any educational certificate
- Passport photos
Finland is a part of the Schengen countries so if you do not have a Finnish embassy to process your visa near you, you can go to an embassy of one of the other countries. Check embassies online for an appointment beforehand. You will be able to check the status of your application through the process here.
Self-Employed Residence Permit:
Finland is open to self-employed foreign workers setting up show in Finland! This is pretty rare for most countries. For this process, you can apply for a permit for your industry, much like the employee residence permit. However, you first must register your business with the National Board of Patents and Registration.
Here is the process:
- Register with the National Board of Patents and Registration
- Fill out the application online and gather any documents related to your business (below)
- Submit all documentation to a Finnish embassy and prove your identity in person
- Pay the processing fee of 450 euros
- You will receive a first decision: the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment decides if you business plan and financials pass.
- Then you will receive a final decision from the Finnish Immigration Service. You may be interviewed.
Here are the documents you will need to submit:
- The self-employment residence permit application
- Your passport
- Your business plan including leases and financials
- Your trade registration with the National Board of Patents and Registration
Once receiving confirmation from both of the approval boards, you will be granted your work and residence permit as a self-employed individual. If you are a founder of company, you are also considered self-employed. You can check the status of your application here.
Here are a few more helpful resources: