Wednesday 10/20/21

Restrictions on the right to work of foreign students in Finland

As in almost everything related to immigration laws, there is a substantial difference between the right to work for students from EU member states and those from so-called third countries.


Do foreign students have the right to work in Finland?

The answer is yes. Foreign students in Finland can work while studying, but in some cases under certain restrictions. These limitations are mainly related to the country of origin and the field of work.

As in almost everything related to immigration laws, in Finland there is a substantial difference between the right to work for students from the member states of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) and those from the so-called third countries.

In this case, the difference is mainly marked by EU membership. The European Union treaties and laws allow freedom of movement for people, workers and goods between the different member states of the club.

Thus, international exchange and degree students from other member states of the EU or the EEA (this includes the EU plus countries plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein), can work in Finland as much as they want without any specific work permit or restrictions in the number of hours or field of work.

Students from outside the EU

The situation is quite different for those students coming from outside the EU or EEA countries.

First of all, if their studies last for more than 90 days they need to get in advance a student resident permit in order to stay legally in the country for such a long period. Once they have it, they are allowed to work without restrictions only if the work is related to their degree. According to the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) this means in practice they can do "practical training and thesis work".

Under Finnish law, students from third countries also have the right to work in other fields, but only if the jobs are part-time.

The rule in this case is that the time spent at work during the study term cannot exceed, on average, 25 hours per week.

According to Migri, this maximum work time is not restricted weekly, which means that students can adjust their work hours during the academic period provided the final average is a maximum of 25 hours of work per week.

It is very important not to go beyond the limit of 25 hours per week, otherwise the student may get in trouble with the immigration authorities and even lose the student residence permit. There are no limitations on working hours during holidays (this means specifically academic holidays, when the educational institution in which the student is enrolled does not offer any instruction).

For more information about studying in Finland and students right to work, you can read official information in Migri's website. Just click HERE