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Foreign Qualifications in Finland

Your Right to Practise a Profession in Finland

Who Can Practise?

  • Field-specific authorities decide on granting certain professional practice rights; see below
  • Private sector employers also assess foreign qualification when recruiting employees if national legislation does not specify qualification requirements for the position
  • The Finnish National Agency for Education decides on the eligibility conferred by foreign qualifications for civil service posts in Finland

Recognition and Comparability of Foreign Qualifications

To use your foreign academic or vocational qualifications in Finland, make sure they are recognised here. The responsible body is the Finnish National Agency for Education. Recognition of qualifications refers to a decision on the types of eligibility that a foreign qualification provides for a job or a place of study in Finland.

The Finnish National Agency for Education issues statements on foreign vocational qualifications on request and the service is subject to a fee. It is an advisory statement and does not grant eligibility for civil service posts or professional rights in Finland. Applicants who have completed a higher education degree abroad should apply for a decision. Statements describe the official status of the awarding body and the qualification, the level of the qualification, the professional competence provided by the qualification in the country of origin, and the content and scope of the studies. The Finnish National Agency for Education may issue statements only on completed vocational qualifications falling within the official system of education of the country of origin.
oph.fi/en/services/ > Recognition & international comparability of qualifications

Academic and Vocational Qualifications

Academic Recognition
If you intend to study, higher education and other educational institutions themselves decide on:

  • eligibility conferred by foreign qualifications for further studies
  • recognition of studies completed abroad towards a qualification to be taken in Finland

Vocational & Professional Recognition
Eligibility to practice certain vocations and professions is decided by the Finnish National Agency for Education. See the Recognition of of Foreign Qualifications and Regulated professions in Finland sections for information including but not limited to:

  • Applicable law
  • Teaching qualifications
  • Recognition of Law degrees
  • Social Welfare Professionals
  • Qualifications for Fire and Rescue Services
  • oph.fi/en/services/ > Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
  • oph.fi/en/services/ > Regulated Professions in Finland

Healthcare Sector
See the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) for information on your right to practice as a healthcare professional in Finland. Valvira decides applications for the right to practice where training has been undertaken outside Finland.

  • Licenced & authorised professionals: Physician, dentist, pharmacist, psychologist, nurse, optician plus...
  • Protected occupational titles: Orthopaedic technician, podiatrist, chiropractor, osteopath, psychotherapist plus...
  • valvira.fi - Professional Practice Rights

Regulated Professions & Competent Authorities

A regulated profession refers to a position for which the law specifies certain qualifications requirements. Regulated professions include both public sector posts and positions and professions requiring professional practice rights. The Finnish National Agency for Education lists regulated professions and the Competent Authorities for their regulation.

Nursing in Finland

A nursing education leads to excellent job opportunities in Finland. Your language skills will also improve - all healthcare professionals working in Finland must be able to speak a high level of Finnish or Swedish. There is currently a shortage of nurses in Finland, so work is available.

If you study nursing in Finland you'll get a Bachelor of Health Care degree, which includes the registered nurse’s qualification. Studying to become a registered nurse usually takes 3½ years.


Right to Practice
To work in Finland, nurses must apply for professional practice rights from Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.

Trade Specific and Foreign Entrepreneur's Permits

Suomi.fi provides information on activities and professions that require a separate licence, notification or registration, as well as links to the responsible authorities. These include but are not limited to

  • Vehicles, transport and traffic
  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Beauty and hair care
  • Real estate, construction and contracting
  • Tourism, restaurants, food, and leisure
  • Security
  • Communications
  • Businesses not requiring a licence are also listed
  • www.suomi.fi/company
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