These pages provide information on how persons who have qualified outside Finland can apply to Valvira for licensing and registration of a protected professional title.
The application instructions and legislation differ slightly depending on whether the qualification was obtained in an EU/EEA member state other than Finland or outside the EU/EEA and whether or not the applicant is a citizen of an EU/EEA member state.
How to apply
We recommend that applications from persons who have qualified outside Finland are submitted to Valvira on paper although applying is now possible even electrically.
The paper application form is available in Finnish or Swedish only.
The languages also on e-service are either Finnish or Swedish.
Processing time for applications
By law, Valvira must give its decision on applications submitted by citizens of an EU/EEA member state who have obtained their qualification in an EU/EEA member state other than Finland within three (3) months of having received all the required application documents.
It is difficult to estimate exact processing times at this stage with regard to applications from persons who have qualified outside the EU/EEA.
Valvira charges a fee for decisions.
If the application is sent as a normal paper application, decision or registration certificate of a protected professional title is sent to applicant in an ordinary envelope without Valvira’s logo. Invoices are sent separately by mail to the applicant’s address.
If the application is sent via e-service, decision or registration certificate of a protected professional title is sent electrically to applicant's electric account if the applicant has given the approval to electrical notification. If the applicant won't give this approval, decision or registration certificate of a protected professional title is sent in an ordinary envelope without Valvira’s logo. Invoices are sent separately by mail to the applicant’s address.
Decisions are issued in either Finnish or Swedish only.
Adaptation period and aptitude test
Valvira may grant an applicant who has qualified outside Finland a conditional recognition decision and require the applicant to complete an adaptation period or aptitude test as compensation measures before granting the final right to practice a profession. The applicant must submit proof of having completed the adaptation period or aptitude test when applying for a final decision on the right to practice a profession or the right to use a protected professional title.
If Valvira requires the applicant to undergo an adaptation period as a compensation measure, Valvira will also specify the adaptation period length and duties that the applicant must complete during the period and, at the employer’s proposal, the competence and work experience required of the person acting as applicant’s supervisor. The adaptation period may last a maximum of three (3) years. The person acting as supervisor must have the right to practice the profession concerned in Finland. Valvira may also impose other terms as may be necessary to complete the adaptation period and the evaluation thereof.
Applicants must arrange their own placement for the adaptation period, during which they will carry out the work under guidance and supervision. During the adaptation period, applicants must work in a social welfare unit where they are directly in the service of the body maintaining the unit. Applicants must comply with the terms specified by Valvira during the adaptation period, which may also include complementary studies. The adaptation period is completed in either Finnish or Swedish and can only begin once the applicant has sufficient language proficiency required for the duties given.
If Valvira requires an applicant to take an aptitude test as a compensation measure, Valvira will also specify the main content of the test and the test organiser. A Finnish educational institution with the authority to issue a certificate of completion of the training or qualification required in Finland for the profession concerned may organise the test. An aptitude test may include a practical part. The test is taken in either Finnish or Swedish. An educational institution may charge a fee for administering the test. A certificate issued by the test organiser indicates the applicant has passed the test. The applicant must annex the test certificate to the application submitted to Valvira.
Applicants who have qualified outside the EU or EEA may be required to provide a certificate indicating sufficient proficiency in Finnish or Swedish when applying for a final decision on the right to practice a profession or the right to use a protected professional title.
Applicants who have qualified within the EU/EEA and who are not citizens of an EU/EEA member state may be required to provide a certificate indicating sufficient proficiency in Finnish or Swedish.
The certificate must be annexed to the application form.
Updated5 Jun 2017
In matters relating to the right to practice as a social welfare professional: Primarily by email suosikki(at)valvira.fi