International mobility

Working in Finland

From the sites listed on this page you will find useful information about working and living in Finland. Please see also further information on employment and security (mitkä otsikot tulee esim. tieteentekijän arki enkuksi?!) here on our FUURT website.

Integration.fi (kotouttaminen.fi) is a website maintained by the Centre of Expertise in Immigrant Integration at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The website includes manuals, tools, research data and current issues regarding integration of migrants in Finland.

For further information, see also:

Working in Finland – Information for immigrants in 13 languages

Moving to or from Finland -brochure (Kela, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland)

Information on moving and living in Finland (Infopankki)

Residence permit

The most common residence permit among our members is the residence permit for scientific research. Research can be conducted either in salaried employment or with a grant/scholarship.

For other residence permits, see e.g.

Residence permit after completing a degree in Finland (requires a signed employment contract or a binding job offer).

Residence permit after finishing scientific research in Finland (requires a signed employment contract or a binding job offer).

Extended permit to look for work or start a business. You can apply for this permit when you are about to graduate or complete your research in Finland but do not yet have further employment. The permit requires previous valid residence permit for studies or for scientific research.

Leaving Finland to work abroad

Social security regulations of the EU and social security agreements concluded between the Nordic countries and bilaterally between Finland and other countries regulate the social security of those leaving Finland to work abroad. Taxation has not been similarly standardised.

Social security

The social security of researchers moving abroad for work is determined according to the country, the duration of the stay and the salary or scholarship funding.

Even a short period of salaried employment in an EU or EEA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland usually means that the employee is covered by the social security of their country of work. In that case, the social security regulations of the EU are applied as they cover nearly the entire scope of social security. Renewed in 2012, the Nordic Convention on Social Security is in line with the social security regulations of the EU but also includes special regulations concerning matters such as unemployment security. The amount of social security and the benefits are always determined according to the national legislation of the country of work.

If one is working in Australia, Chile, South Korea, India, Israel, Canada, China, Quebec or the United States, the social security is regulated by social security agreements concluded with these countries. The scopes of such agreements vary and only cover part of social security, usually pensions or, in some cases, medical care. In addition, Finland has concluded an agreement with Australia on medical care during a temporary stay, and agreed on specific social security arrangements with the Canadian province of Quebec.

In countries other than those stated above, the national legislation of both the country of origin and the country of work will be applied. Therefore, some researchers may face situations where some of the payments must be paid in double, yet the received social security may be incomplete.

If desired, employees posted abroad by Finnish employers as well as researchers with fixed ties to Finland, working on their doctoral degree full-time or under a grant awarded by a Finnish organisation or foundation, can remain covered by Finnish social security. In that case, contact either the Finnish Centre for Pensions or Kela, depending on the country of work, for a decision on inclusion in Finnish social security.

Grant recipients must obtain an insurance from the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution (Mela) and apply for a certificate for proof of inclusion in Finnish social security from either the Finnish Centre for Pensions or Kela. If the grant has been awarded by a foreign university, an international organisation or other foreign party, the inclusion in social security is determined case-by-case.

Unemployment security

Finnish unemployment allowance is only paid to unemployed individuals residing in Finland.

In EU and EEA countries and Switzerland, people are usually covered by the unemployment security of their country of work and the work and insurance periods are transferred between countries. If you are moving abroad, let your unemployment fund know. If you are heading abroad for a short work stint, you do not need to quit your fund membership. If the employment outside Finland lasts longer than a year, the right to earnings-related allowance is restored after working in Finland for four weeks.

Insurance and work periods accrued in countries outside the EU and the EEA or Switzerland cannot be transferred to the Finnish system upon return.

The Nordic Convention on Social Security is applied between the Nordic countries. In Sweden and Denmark, receiving earnings-related allowance requires a membership in an unemployment fund, similarly to Finland. We do not recommend quitting your membership in a Finnish fund before being accepted as a member of an unemployment fund in your new country of work. Other Nordic countries, EU and EEA countries and Switzerland have a general unemployment insurance that does not require any special actions during work.

Those returning to Finland from the Nordic countries within five years will be entitled to Finnish social security without the four-week employment condition. Insurance periods from another Nordic country will be accepted for the employment condition. You must transfer from the unemployment insurance system of the other Nordic country to a Finnish unemployment fund within eight weeks.

We do not recommend that researchers covered by Finnish social security and working abroad with a scholarship awarded by a Finnish organisation quit their union or unemployment fund membership when leaving Finland. If the researcher is also a salaried employee, the situation is different and, in that case, the researcher is usually covered by the social security of their country of work.

Taxation

Taxation is regulated by national legislation and bilateral tax treaties. When working abroad, the tax return must be filed in Finland as usual. Taxation depends on whether the researcher plans to live abroad permanently or temporarily.

Studying abroad does not affect taxation in Finland or require a report to the tax administration. Grants awarded by Finnish organisations or foundations are usually taxed in Finland under the same grounds as any other grants awarded in Finland, even if the grant recipient leaves Finland to work abroad.

Union membership when abroad

If a researcher is working abroad for a short time and is covered by Finnish social security, we do not recommend quitting the membership of the union or the unemployment fund. Even if the work period abroad is longer, quitting the membership is not recommended for those working under a grant.

Those leaving Finland to work abroad as a salaried employee may remain a member of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers, if desired, but salaried employment abroad usually excludes the person from the membership of a Finnish unemployment fund. Unemployment security must always be organised locally as described above. Members going abroad for work must always contact the union (via jasenpalvelu@tieteentekijat.fi) to update their membership.

Useful links

Researchers can find information on job opportunities at the

EURAXESS–Researchers in Motion website.

For useful information on moving abroad, see the Töihin ulkomaille? guide by the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Kela and the websites of the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Kela.

For further information on the unemployment security of researchers working abroad, visit the website of the Federation of Unemployment Funds in Finland.

The tax administration’s general instructions for those working abroad