It’s always a pleasure writing about Finland a partly Scandinavian country located in northern Europe that shared a border with Norway, Sweden and Russia. Emotionally, if I have to pick the best country in Europe to visit or live I will definitely make Suomi my number one. That’s why I’m delighted in telling you about living and working in Finland – NON-EU citizens.
The purpose of this piece is to explain in practical terms the possibilities of living and working in Finland specifically for citizens of non-EU countries, that is immigrants coming from developing countries who are interested in relocating to Finland in their quest to seek better lives for themselves or their wards.
LIVING AND WORKING IN FINLAND – NON-EU CITIZENS
In taking a decision on living and working in Finland as a citizen of a non-EU country, the foremost thing to do is to check the three options available that you can explore:
1. SEEKING OUTRIGHT ASYLUM
2. OBTAIN WORK VISA
3. STUDY TO STAY APPROACH
1. SEEKING OUTRIGHT ASYLUM: Using this option we found out that many immigrants nowadays are travelling one way or the other to seek asylum in Finland. This system is gaining popularity due to all kind of conflicts prevalence in the world currently. Such as wars in the Middle East and North Africa. Political uphivers which makes many able body professionals ran far away from their country of origin and seek refuge in Finland, a place they considered not only safe but where they will be able to secure reasonable jobs.
Therefore, if you’re from those war-torn areas or war ravaged country and you can take it no more, compile or gather concrete evidence of war, such as on the spot photographs, video recording of part of the political or ethnic conflict in your area or country and how you were affected. You can use it to seek for asylum in Finland.
If you’re an asylum seeker, it’s advisable you apply as soon as you arrived Finland, after the submission of your application, you have the right to reside in Finland for as long as your application is undergoing processing. Early application is the proper way to start.
2. LIVING AND WORKING IN FINLAND – NON-EU CITIZENS – OBTAIN WORK VISA:
Despite the facts that obtaining a work visa is increasingly difficult everywhere, however, if you’re a professional or an expert in a certain area, getting a work visa to Finland is possible.
Recently, there is an online report (yle.fi) stating that more job opportunities are opening for immigrants in Finland as officials ease restrictions on the types of work where EU and EEA are given priority.
The report stated further than last year, officials in southern Finland’s Uusimaa region relaxed rules on hiring non-EU workers to ease a labour shortage in the construction sector. Currently, they are considering expanding the measure to other industries.
From the above report, it is a fact that there are job opportunities for foreigners coming from developing countries who are well qualified in critical sectors of Finland industries such as IT, software engineers and developers, house builders, carpenters, painters, building construction engineers, heavy earthwork operators, metals and engineering technicians, plumbers, roofer, plasterers, insulation installers, nursing / medical practitioners and healthcare professionals, etcetera.
All you have to do is to find out how to get recruited, by engaging professionals job recruiters online. I believed if you start searching, definitely you will find those who can package how to secure employment currently available in Finland.
Searching for jobs: In your quest to get employment in Finland besides using outright professionals in assisting you, you can do it personally by visiting Web pages for jobs, such as EURES portal (information about jobs in Europe, especially Finland)
Finland Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Vacancies, links to recruitment sites.
Make use of social media in job searching: Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are vital instruments for seeking jobs.
Get in touch directly with employers: In this technological age it is possible to get in touch directly with some employers by getting their addresses or phone contracts and link them directly, this can work sometimes.
3. LIVING AND WORKING IN FINLAND – NON-EU CITIZENS – STUDY TO STAY APPROACH
The third option is the study to stay approach which involves doing extensive research from your home country, the type of professional studies you can embark in Finland which will enable you secure employment as soon as you graduated.
Furthermore, it involves familiarizing yourself with the current employment reality and needs in the Scandinavian country and go for the best profession.
Your preparations include:
1. Search for a college or University in Finland
2. Placed in an application for studies.
3. Obtain an offer of admission or acceptance of an offer from the university in Finland.
4. Get reasonable finance
5. Apply for a Student visa from Finland embassy in your home country.
6. If granted visa, go in and apply for a study permit.
The disadvantages of this approach is that
1. It involves long-term planning and time-consuming if you choose a degree course.
2. It involves heavy finance for a struggling person.
3. The visa requirements may be difficult to fulfil.
The advantage is far greater than the negative aspects:
1. You will study for a course that is highly needed in Finland employment market.
2. While studying you can be familiar with current happenings in Finland and consequently get used to the system.
3. After the graduation, you’ll have the opportunity of staying for a while to search for employment.
4. If you choose a course that is less than 90 days you will not need a residence permit.
5. Importantly, you can utilise the period to learn the Finland language.
LIVING AND WORKING IN FINLAND – HOW TO APPLY FOR STUDENT VISA
1. Your International passport with reasonable validity
2. Two recently taken photograph sized photographs with white background.
3. An original letter of admission or acceptance of the offer from a University or College in Finland.
4. Evidence of sufficient living expenses to cover the duration of your studies.
5. All the credentials used in processing the school admission.
6. Photocopy of the previous visa in your passport.
7. Photocopy of the data page of your passport.
8. European health insurance certificate.
9. Proof of payment school fees or proof of scholarship.
10. Completed student visa application form obtained at the nearest Finland embassy.
Compile all the documents and attach to the form and submit personally at the Finland embassy.
Obtaining the student visa: After the visa is granted and you arrived in Finland, the foremost thing to do is to apply for a residence permit and use it to apply for Finish Personal Identity Code.
Your residence permit is usually two years of validity and renewable until the conclusion of your studies.
STAY AFTER GRADUATION
When you graduated and intended to stay, you’re permitted to search for a job by receiving a temporary residence permit for an employment application.
It’s advisable you apply for the permit before your student’s residence permit expires.
The permit can take you up to a year and if you secure employment you will apply for a residence permit.
From the above analysis, it shows that it is possible to stay and work after studies, therefore, the study to stay approach is worth consideration.
LIVING AND WORKING IN FINLAND – CITIZENS OF NON-EU COUNTRIES
Regardless of the approach or option you choose or any of them, you’re fitted in, the fact is that currently, it’s possible for citizens of non-EU countries to get a job in Finland compared to other Scandinavian countries such as Norway or Sweden.
REASONS FOR CHOOSING FINLAND
In choosing to live and working in Finland – Citizens of non-EU countries the following are the real reasons that are worth consideration:
1. The current population of Finland is inadequately to provide the health workers or professionals need of Finland hence there is urgent need to recruit nurses, medical doctors, and other healthcare professionals outside the European Union.
2. Information technology is evolving, there are urgent needs for professionals in this area such as software engineers and developers, IT experts etc.
3. Learning the language: There are facilities provided by local authorities, Universities and employers for immigrants to master the language in a short possible time and at low-cost, some time free of charge.
3. Finland provides good working conditions which don’t allow for maltreatment and cheating immigrants. it’s a pleasure working here.
4. Working here, your safety is guaranteed.
5. It’s possible to start working without adequate knowledge of the language.
6. As an advanced country, the cost of living may be high but the salary is very good.
7. Citizens of non-EU countries who intend to study in Finland should expect to pay tuition fees.
LIVING AND WORKING IN FINLAND – NON-EU CITIZENS
For any immigrants who are interested in relocating to Finland, it is important to visit the website of Finish Immigration Service for comprehensive information on what is needed to realise your aim.
2. For immigrants seeking direct employment in Finland besides seeking the help of professionals recruiters, it’s important to find out by yourself the job offer and the requirements needed by checking the following websites:
. Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the environment
. European Employment services.
3. Payment of tax. Before setting out, find out about Finland employees tax system, it good to know.
4. Finally, to know about general life in Finland, visiting the following websites:
THE BOTTOM LINE
Currently it is advisable to put on hold temporarily decision on living and working in Finland due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world, Finland inclusive.
I’m sure it will soon be over, scientific solutions shall be found. Young people will soon be on the move again.
That’s all for now on living and working in Finland – NON-EU citizens.