Cases in which it is allowed to work without a residence permit in Finland
Working in Finland even if you do not have a residence permit is possible in some cases, regardless of the country of origin.
Finnish labour legislation allows this possibility in the case of certain types of jobs and to asylum seekers, though with some limitations.
These possibilities, however, do not exempt the need for a visa to travel to the country, for the cases that is mandatory (for example for citizens from most countries outside the European Union or the European Economic Area). You must have a valid visa to enter the country or come from a visa-free country, in which case you are entitled to work for the duration period of your visa-free residence permit.
Those who are already in Finland can read below a list of the main cases in which ti is permitted to work despite not having a residence permit, according to information provided by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) at its webpage.
You can work without a residence permit if your tasks last 90 or less and you belong to any of the following professional groups:
- Permanent workers of companies of any member state of the European Union or of the European Economic Area that come to Finland to fulfil a temporary work under a contract or subcontractor. In these cases, the duration of such contracting or subcontracting must not exceed three months.
- Persons that arrive to Finland invited by the authorities or under a contract to work as interpreters, teachers, specialists or sports judges or referees. In this case, there is also a maximum of three months to do the work without need of residence permit.
- Professional artists, coaches or athletes or members of an assistance or support team for such persons.
- Product demonstrators or film workers whose employer does not have an office in Finland.
- Researchers coming to Finland on the basis of a hosting agreement, made in another member state in accordance with the Researcher’s Directive, to carry out a scientific research project as defined in said directive.
- Sailors who work on a ship listed in the Register of Merchant Vessels or, for the case of sailors hired outside Finland, on a ship that primarily operates between foreign ports.
- Foreign drivers of transport vehicles owned or controlled by foreign companies that move loads across the border to be delivered to or retrieved from a certain destination. This also applies to the cases when the operations in Finland are related to a regular service between municipalities and at least one of them is located abroad and the drivers do not reside in Finland.
- Tourism leaders for package tours whose destination is Finland.
Asylum applicants have also the right to work and earn a salary starting several months after they applied for protection.
They can start working after three months if they presented when arrived a valid and authenticated passport or other official travel document that entitles to cross borders. If they did not show such a document, the time limit is six months after submitting the asylum application.
The work can be done until the decision on his/her application is definitive. If the Finnish Immigration Service makes a positive decision, the residence permit granted normally includes the right to work. If Migri denies the asylum, the applicant has the right to work still while a potential appeal is processed. The right to work expires is the person is banned from the country.
Migri stresses that asylum seekers who are not entitled to work should not try to do it. And if someone’s right to work expires, then the person has to inform the employer, because otherwise they both can be punished.