Work permit policy

The regional policy on the use of foreign labour is based on the Aliens Act (HE 114/2022). Regional policies are related to the granting of an employee’s residence permit and the assessment of the availability of labour, and they define the occupational sectors in which the availability of labour has become reduced. The availability of labour in different occupations and sectors varies according to the structure and situation of the regional and local labour markets. The purpose of a regional work permit policy is to support the availability of labour in the areas of the ELY Centre, taking into account the special characteristics of the labour market in each region. The policy provides a concise description of the labour market situation and assesses the availability of labour. The work permit policy is updated every six months by the regional ELY Centre.

Regional policies (in Finnish)

Recruitment from third countries without an assessment of the availability of labour

An employer operating in Finland must primarily recruit an employee from the workforce that is already on the labour market. If applying for an employee's residence permit, the employer must first publish a job posting on the vacancy on the website for at least two (2) weeks, so that the TE Office can determine whether there is workforce available for the job on the labour market.

If the occupational sector is included in the current work permit policy of the ELY Centre, it is not in principle necessary to post the vacancy for two (2) weeks on the työ website because the ELY Centre together and labour market organisations have already assessed that the availability of labour in the listed occupational sectors has become reduced. This means that the regional work permit policy includes the occupational sectors that can be regionally justified without the aforementioned assessment of the availability of labour.

The regional work permit policies and availability consideration apply to the employee's residence permit, and do not apply to, for example, a specialist or seasonal worker's residence permit.

When recruiting an employee who is a citizen of a non-EU country, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, the person will principally need either an employee’s residence permit or another residence permit entitling gainful employment.

To enable the assessment of the availability of labour, the TE Office’s work permit services, which process employee residence permits in a centralised way, need up-to-date regional policies from the ELY Centres in the regions where the work will be carried out.

An employee’s residence permit is issued in two stages. The TE Office’s work permit services make a partial decision on the employee’s residence permit application, and the Finnish Immigration Service makes the final decision. The TE Office’s partial decision is based on overall consideration, which includes the availability of labour, the terms of employment relationship and the assessment of the employer’s and employee’s qualifications. When evaluating the availability of labour, the TE Office takes into consideration job seekers from the entire EU/EEA area.

See also

Päivitetty: 27.11.2023