Working in Finland

If you have plans coming to Finland to work in the health care sector, the first thing to do is to learn Finnish or Swedish. All medical or health care professionals working in Finland must be able to speak either Finnish or Swedish. Finland is officially a bilingual country and some 5% of the population speaks Swedish as their first language.

In Finland you have to have a license to practice as a health care professional. Therefore, when planning to come to Finland to work, the best place to start is the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). Valvira grants, upon application, the right to practice as a licensed or authorised professional and authorises the use of the occupational title of healthcare professional. Valvira registers all persons granted professional practice rights in the Terhikki-register and also maintains information on all registered nurses.

Citizens of EU/EEA member states are not required to provide official proof of their Finnish or Swedish skills directly to Valvira when applying. However, your future employer has a legal duty to make sure you have enough language skills so you can work safely. To verify this your employer is allowed to ask for a Language Proficiency Certificate before hiring.

Citizens of non-EU/EEA member states need to present Valvira with an official language certificate that verifies they have satisfactory skills in Finnish or Swedish. The Finnish National Board of Education grants two kinds of National Certificates of Language Proficiency and both of them are accepted by Valvira. The tests for the Certificates are quite demanding and Valvira requires that you pass with a Satisfactory grade, at least.

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