Foreign diploma or degree in Finland
In Finland, some professions are regulated. A profession is regulated if, by law, it requires a specific education, qualification or right to practise. You need a decision from the Finnish National Agency for Education (Opetushallitus) or another authority on eligibility, i.e. recognition of a foreign degree or qualification, if you want to practise in a regulated profession.
You will also need a decision if you apply for a position that by law requires a tertiary degree or a tertiary degree at a certain level. Such positions exist especially in the public sector, i.e. the state and municipalities.
Finnish National Agency for EducationRecognition of a degreeLink redirects to another website
Finnish National Agency for EducationBrochure on the recognition of a degreeLink redirects to another website
Jobs that do not require specific training
If a job does not by law require a specific eligibility, the employer assesses independently whether a foreign degree provides sufficient qualifications for the job.
Comparability of the level of a tertiary degree
If you apply for a position that by law requires a tertiary degree or a tertiary degree at a certain level, you will also need a decision on the comparability of the level of your tertiary degree completed abroad.
A tertiary degree completed abroad may be comparable to degrees completed in Finland, including
- a bachelor’s degree completed at a university or a university of applied sciences,
- a master’s degree completed at a university or a university of applied sciences, or
- a postgraduate licentiate’s or doctoral degree.
In order for a tertiary degree completed abroad to be comparable to a tertiary degree completed in Finland, it must be completed and belong to the official degree system of the country where it was completed. The level of the Finnish tertiary degree corresponding to a tertiary degree completed abroad is assessed based on the scope, complexity and focus of the degree programme that led to the degree.
You can apply for the recognition of the level of your degree completed abroad using an electronic form in the Opintopolku.fi service. The decision is subject to a charge.
Finnish National Agency for EducationComparability of higher education degree levelsLink redirects to another website
Regulated professions in Finland
A profession is regulated if, by law, it requires a specific education, qualification or right to practise. Regulated professions include teacher, doctor, nurse, psychologist, physiotherapist, lawyer and auditor.
If you qualified for such a profession abroad and you also want to be qualified for it in Finland, you need a decision by an authority on the recognition of your degree or qualification or the right to practise the profession.
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 health and social services sector, the decision is made by Valvira, and in the education sector, it is made by the Finnish National Agency for Education (Opetushallitus). The decision is subject to a charge.
The process can be affected by whether you completed your degree in an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland or in another country, as well as whether you are an EU or EEA citizen.
The website of the Finnish National Agency for Education (Opetushallitus) has a list of regulated professions and their decision-making authorities.
Education sector and early childhood education
You need professional qualifications to work in education in Finland, for example as a teacher, early childhood education teacher or school social worker. You can apply for professional qualifications from the Finnish National Agency for Education (Opetushallitus).
Health and social services
You need a professional qualification to work in the health and social services sector in Finland, for example as a social worker, doctor or psychologist. You can apply for professional qualifications from Valvira.
Animal and food safety professions
In Finland, you need relevant professional qualifications to work in a profession related to animals or food safety, such as veterinarian or seminologist. You can apply for professional qualifications from the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto).
In Finland, you need professional qualifications for many transport professions, such as bus driver or driving instructor. Apply for professional qualifications from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (liikenne- ja viestintävirasto) Traficom.
If you want to work in the rescue sector in Finland, for example as a firefighter, you need professional qualifications. Apply for professional qualifications from the Emergency Services Academy Finland (pelastusopisto).
In Finland, there are also many other fields where you need professional qualifications. For example, lawyer, auditor and security guard are all regulated professions. The authority from which you can apply for professional qualifications depends on the field. Decisions on qualifications are made by, for example, the Regional State Administrative Agency (aluehallintovirasto), the Finnish Bar Association (asianajajaliitto), the police department (poliisilaitos), the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (patentti- ja rekisterihallitus), the Church Council (kirkkohallitus) and other authorities responsible for each sector.
Finnish National Agency for EducationRegulated professions and responsible authoritiesLink redirects to another website
Valvira National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and HealthInformation on recognition of degrees in health care professionsLink redirects to another website
Finnish National Agency for EducationApplication for a decision on recognition of a qualificationLink redirects to another website
Finnish National Agency for EducationRecognition of professional qualifications acquired in an EU countryLink redirects to another website
Vocational degree abroad
If you have completed a vocational qualification abroad, you can apply to the Finnish National Agency for Education (Opetushallitus) for a statement on your qualification. 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 practise a regulated profession in Finland.
Finnish National Agency for EducationStatements on foreign vocational qualificationsLink redirects to another website
Translation of documents
If the original language of your certificate is not Finnish, Swedish or English, you may need to have the documents translated. More detailed information on the document requirements can be found on the website of the responsible authority.
The processing of the application may take several months. The guidelines vary from one field to another, as decision-making is the responsibility of a different authority. Please read the application instructions carefully.