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In order to work in Finland as a social worker, social service professional, professional of applied gerontology or rehabilitation councellor, you must be granted a right to practise by Valvira. In order to be allowed to use the title of practical nurse, home support worker or disability support worker, your protected occupational title must be registered with Valvira. Valvira grants rights to practise and protected occupational title registrations on application, also on the basis of degrees completed abroad. This guide is for applicants who have studied outside the European Union or the European Economic Area.
To apply for the right to practise a profession, you must submit an application to Valvira. In the application, you must state in which profession you are applying for the right to practise. If you wish to apply for the right to practise in more than one profession, you must submit a separate application for each of them.
Submitting an application
You may send your application to Valvira by mail, using theapplication form(pdf). You may also submit a freeform application indicating in which profession you are applying for the right to practise. Also include your name and your contact details for managing the matter. If you choose, you may submit your application through ouronline service, if you are able to use strong identification.
In order for your application to be processed, you must supply officially certified copies of the documents listed below. This means that you must send these attachments by mail.
Copies can be officially certified by a notary public in Finland or in another EU or EEA Member State, or by a Finnish mission in other countries. You must send to Valvira the copies that bear the original stamp and signature of the notary public or Finnish mission. You may also submit copies issued by a foreign authority and verified using the Apostille or Grand Legalisation procedure.
You must supply officially certified copies of the documents listed below by mail:
Document certifying your identity and nationality (passport or identity card)
It is in your interests to supply information on your training in as much detail as possible, because Valvira will compare the content of your training to the corresponding training given in Finland.
Submit the contact details for the educational institution (snail mail address and official e-mail address) so that Valvira can verify the validity of your degree.
Please have your original degree certificate (diploma) legalised in the country in which you completed your training, using the Apostille or Grand Legalisation procedure. In this procedure, the position of the person who signed the degree certificate and their right to sign that document must be verified.
Please contact the foreign ministry or other relevant body in the country where you completed your training to find out how your degree certificate should be legalised in that country.
More detailed description of the courses and training periods listed in the academic transcript (learning outcomes, contents and number of hours; and operating environments and duties in the case of training periods). If the educational institution supplies a general study programme to provide this information, the institution must separately confirm that you have completed the units as described. The educational institution may deliver the report directly to Valvira by e-mail. It is in your interests to supply information on your training in as much detail as possible, because Valvira will compare the content of your training to the corresponding training given in Finland.
Employment certificates for work in the profession following completion of your training. Employment certificates must have been issued by your employer, and they must state at least your job title, your job duties and the duration of your employment.
Certificate of supplementary professional training and continuing education
Certificate, no more than three months old, verifying that your right to practise the profession in question has not been restricted or revoked, such as a Certificate of Current Professional Status. If you have been granted the right to practise your profession in several countries, you must submit this certificate for each country.
If you have practised your profession in a country where practitioners of that profession are not registered, then you need to submit an official statement from the competent authority in that country stating that practitioners of your profession are not registered in that country, or some other reliable testimonial of the matter.
Translations into Finnish, Swedish or English of all the aforementioned documents. The translations must have been made by an authorised translator in Finland or in another EU or EEA Member State.
Freeform consent stating that Valvira has your permission to submit your application documents to a Finnish educational institution for an expert opinion if necessary. A fee will be charged from you if this is done (EUR 200–600).
Valvira may request further explanations as necessary. Please note that Valvira will not return any documents submitted, and Valvira will not make copies of any documents.
Valvira may request you to submit a certificate of sufficient language proficiency in Finnish or Swedish when you apply for your final right to practise. Please visit our website for further information on how to demonstrate language proficiency.
If you have completed your degree outside of the EU/EEA and you are applying for the right to practise your profession in Finland, it is difficult to estimate how long it will take for Valvira to process your application. In most cases, the processing period will be at least four months. The processing period is calculated from the time when Valvira has received all the required documents.
Decision and fee
A fee is charged for every decision concerning professional rights, even if decision is a negative one. If you cancel your application, you will be charged half of the application processing fee.
Types of fee include:
Fee for a statement requested from a university or other educational institution to evaluate a foreign degree or training programme
Decision on conditional recognition
Legalisation or protected title registration after an adjustment period or a proficiency test
Legalisation and protected title registration of a professional
The decision on the right to practise a profession will be issued in Finnish or Swedish. The invoice will be sent separately by post after the decision.
In matters relating to the right to practice as a social welfare professional:
Primarily by email suosikki(at)valvira.fi
Or you can call us on mon-tue and thu-fri 10-11 a.m. Tel. : +358 295 209 550