Working in Finland?
Job Search and Taxation in Finland
Where to Look for Work
An excellent website for looking for work is Mol. The website is available in Finnish, Swedish, and English; however, the individual vacancies are only listed in Finnish. It is run by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy (TE Office). If you move to Finland before you have found a job, you should register with your local TE Office upon your arrival as they provide assistance for finding work.
You should also check the EU Public Employment Service job database: EURES. They regularly post job openings for Finland. Jobsin Finland is also a handy website for English-speaking expats who are on the hunt for a job.
There is room in the Finnish economy for entrepreneurs and for people who wish to be self-employed. If you have a proposal for a business, submit it to the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and Environment. If they consider your plan to be feasible, you can then apply for a work permit as a self-employed person.
A Bilingual Country
Both Finnish (suomi) and Swedish (svenska) are the official languages of Finland, making it a bilingual country. The vast majority of Finns speak Finnish, about 94.2% of the population. Around 5.6% are native Swedish speakers and roughly 0.2% speak Sami, the language of the indigenous people (predominantly in Lapland).
Finnish is a rather mysterious language. It has no relation to the Scandinavian languages to its west, or to the Slavic languages to its east. However, the language of its neighbor across the Baltic Sea, Estonian, is part of the same language family, the Baltic Finnic languages, which is part of the larger Uralic language family (that includes Hungarian).
Finnish has the reputation of being difficult to learn and in some part, this may well be because most people learning Finnish have to start completely from scratch. Unlike how that one semester of Spanish might help you read a menu written in Italian, the languages you do speak are unlikely to help you learn Finnish. That being said, learning Finnish is well worth the effort as it will enrich your experience of Finnish life.
How to Increase Your Chances of Landing a Job
Do keep in mind that Finland might not necessarily recognize your qualifications from another country. For example, if you are registered as a doctor in your home country, you might have to re-qualify in Finland by completing further training and proving proficiency in one of Finland’s official languages. For more information regarding transfers of education, consult the Finnish National board of Education’s website.
Speaking either Finnish or Swedish will enormously increase your chances of finding employment in Finland. Although Swedish is the easier of the two to learn, it makes less sense to learn the language that only about 5% of the population speaks as a mother tongue. That being said, knowing it will be an asset nonetheless.
The University of Helsinki offers a popular Finnish for Foreigners course. It is open to everyone and you do not need to be a student to apply. You can take Finnish courses year round and register online. The university also has a website that introduces you to the basics so that you can get a head start before your first class.
Summer universities are popular in Finland and many of them also offer Finnish for foreigners. The website Summer Universities in Finland has a list of all programs. People of all ages and educational backgrounds can attend summer universities.
The City of Helsinki also has a website where you can search for Finnish courses.
Make Sure to Get Your Finnish Tax Card
If you work in Finland, you must have a tax card. Contact the Tax Administration regarding regulations and advice. You need to have a personal identity code in order to apply. The Tax Administration provides assistance in English as well as in Swedish and Finnish.
Income tax is progressive in Finland; so, the more money you make the more tax you pay. If you start working before you have a tax card, then you’ll automatically pay 60% tax until you receive your tax card and appropriate tax bracket.
If you are residing in Finland, you have to pay tax on your whole income no matter if it was made abroad or in Finland.
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