How to get employed in Finland as a Ukrainian

Blogs April 7, 2022

*This blog has been updated on 14.4.22 due to changes in the instructions of the Finnish Immigration Service as of 8.4.22. This blog is based on legislation per 14.4.2022.

The current situation in Ukraine is dire. As a result of the ongoing war, a growing number of Ukrainians are immigrating to Finland. Many have sought international protection, especially temporary protection, according to the Finnish Immigration Service.

Efforts are currently underway to make it easier for Ukrainians to get employed in Finland, but there are still many matters to be aware of in the process. If you are one of the Ukrainians wondering how to enter the local job market, here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to get employed in Finland.

1. Apply for a residence permit in Finland

If you hold a biometric Ukrainian passport, you can stay in Finland visa-free for three months. If you plan to stay in Finland for more than three months, you have the choice to apply for temporary protection, asylum or both. There is also the option to apply for a residence permit on such grounds as family ties to Finland or existing employment in Finland.

According to the Finnish Immigration Service, temporary protection applications are processed considerably faster than asylum applications and are recommended for Ukrainians fleeing the war. Temporary protection applications are also free of charge. Residence permits granted on the basis of temporary protection are valid for a maximum of one year.

If your stay in Finland lasts no more than three months, you can apply for a certificate for seasonal work that is issued for a maximum of 90 days instead of a residence permit for a charge. However, you cannot be granted a certificate for seasonal work if you have already applied for temporary protection or asylum. Please also note that in order to apply for a certificate for seasonal work, you must have confirmed employment for a seasonal job in Finland and meet certain other requirements as well.

2. Get your right to work

Temporary protection

The fastest option to get a right to work is to apply for temporary protection, as you can start working or studying as soon as you register your application with the police or border control authority. After registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a certificate proving your right to work.


If you apply for an asylum, the decision on your application will take some time. It is recommendable to start looking for work in the meantime if you do not have confirmed employment yet. You can search vacancies on employment service websites, newspapers or social media, for example. Asylum applicants are allowed to find paid employment once three or six months have passed since they applied for asylum in Finland, depending on if they have presented a valid travel document.

Seasonal work certificate

If you apply for a seasonal work certificate, the next step is to wait for a decision on your application, which will take some time. You can then start working when you have received the certificate.


Keep in mind that according to the Finnish Immigration Service, they do not currently make negative decisions on applications by Ukrainians that would entail removal from Finland.

3. Apply for jobs

Firstly, you should register as a jobseeker at the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Services).

Remember your rights while seeking for work. You should especially find out the average wages in the sector you are applying for. Refugees must be treated equally with other employees in terms of pay and other working conditions. On the other hand, if the job sounds too good to be true, it is unlikely to be true. Also, you should not have to pay any commission for being able to apply for a job. Paid employment services are illegal in Finland.

If in return for housing or other assistance you are pressured into, for example, working in poor conditions, begging, selling sex, or committing crimes against your will, you may be a victim of human trafficking. The Assistance System for Victims of Human Trafficking is a Finnish public authority that can help you, including if you yourself have been forced to commit crimes or are in Finland without the legal right to reside here. The help you can get includes safe accommodation, protection, healthcare services, guidance, and help with legal residence.

4. Sign the employment contract

After you have been chosen for a position, it is time to sign an employment contract with your employer.

The contract should be made in the language the employee understands. Make sure that you have understood the terms of the contract before signing it. It is strongly recommended that the contract is in written form, so do not agree to a verbal employment contract without careful consideration.  

With each paycheck, an employer must provide to the employee a pay slip showing salary, allowances, benefits, taxes, and other statutory contributions.

By the signing of the employment contract, you now have a job in Finland! If anything regarding your employment comes into your mind, ask your employer or contact TE- Services.