Living in Finland

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Foreign diploma or degree in Finland

If you have completed a degree in another country, you may need a decision of recognition of the degree to be able to work or study in Finland.

In most situations, the employer, educational institute or university assesses the qualifications and competence that your foreign diploma or degree has provided.

You need a recognition decision from the Finnish National Agency for Education or another authority if you want to work in a regulated profession or a position that requires a higher education degree at a specific level.

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Recognition of a degreeFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish National Agency for Education:
Brochure on the recognition of a degree(pdf, 102,14 kt)Finnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | French | Spanish | Chinese | Persian | Arabic

linkkiFinnish National Agency for Education:
Diagram on the recognition of a degree(pdf, 410,87 kt)Finnish | Swedish | English | Russian

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Service price listFinnish | Swedish | English

If you want to continue studies in Finland

Universities and educational institutes decide on student admission. They also decide whether foreign studies and your other competence can be accepted as a part of the degree you complete in Finland.

If you have completed higher education courses abroad and want to continue your studies in Finland, you can get information and guidance from the student services and SIMHE services of higher education institutes.

linkkiFinnish National Agency for Education:
Institutes of higher education offering SIMHE servicesFinnish | Swedish | English

Jobs that do not require specific training

Not all jobs require specific training or degree level according to Finnish law. For example, a private sector employer usually assesses independently whether a foreign diploma or degree provides sufficient qualifications for the job.

Comparability of higher education degree levels

Public sector (municipal or state) positions usually require a higher education degree at a specific level, such as a master’s degree.

If you have completed a higher education degree abroad, you can apply to the Finnish National Agency for Education for a decision to recognise your degree as comparable to a certain level. The decision is subject to a charge. Once your degree level has been recognised as comparable to a Finnish higher education degree, you can apply for jobs that require that level of higher education.

linkkiFinnish National Agency for Education:
Comparability of higher education degree levelsFinnish | Swedish | English

Regulated professions

Some professions are regulated in Finland. This means that the education and training required for them is specified in law. Such jobs include, for example, physiotherapist, doctor, dentist, pharmacist, nurse, attorney, auditor, class teacher and chimney sweeper.

The authorities for each sector make decisions on the right to carry out a regulated profession or use the professional title.

For example, in the social and health care sector, the decision is made by Valvira National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, and in the education sector, it is made by the Finnish National Agency for Education. The decision is subject to a charge.

The website of the Finnish National Agency for Education has a list of regulated professions and the decision-making authorities.

linkkiFinnish National Agency for Education:
Regulated professions and responsible authoritiesFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiValvira National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health:
Information on recognition of degrees in health care professionsFinnish | Swedish | English

Regulated professions and a degree from another EU country

If

  • you are a citizen of an EU member state, EEA member state or Switzerland, and
  • you have qualified in another EU country, EEA country or Switzerland for a profession that is regulated in Finland,

you can apply for the recognition of professional qualifications from the authority responsible for the sector.

If your education and training is very different from the education and training required in Finland, you may have to complete an adjustment period or qualification test.

linkkiFinnish National Agency for Education:
Recognition of professional qualifications acquired in an EU countryFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiEuropean Commission:
Information on regulated professions in EU countriesEnglish

Vocational degree abroad

If you have completed a vocational degree abroad, you can apply to the Finnish National Agency for Education for a statement on your degree. The statement describes the level and contents of the degree and the positions that the degree qualifies you for in the country where you completed it. However, the statement does not qualify you to act in a regulated profession in Finland.

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Statements on foreign vocational qualificationsFinnish | Swedish | English

Translation of documents

If the original language of your certificate is not Finnish, Swedish or English, you usually need an authorised translation of the documents done by an authorised translator. Some authorities also accept documents in some other European languages.

Read the application instructions of the authority responsible for the sector carefully.