Are you a doctor and want to move to Finland? It’s a perfect destination for foreign doctors who also need skilled doctors. Finland has one of the world’s best and highest healthcare systems, and their economy is growing every year. This article will show you how to work and immigrate to Finland as a doctor.

Get the FREE Cheat sheet for
Immigrate to Finland as a Doctor

How to Immigrate to Finland as a Doctor?

How can I practice as a doctor in Finland? To immigrate to Finland as a doctor, you must go through several steps and requirements. Here’s a general guide to help you get started:

Step 1. Check Your Eligibility

How do you qualify for medical residency in Finland? Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for working as a doctor in Finland.

  • Ensure that the Valvira website recognizes your medical degree by Finnish authorities.
  • Pass a language test in Finnish or Swedish, Finland’s official language.
  • You may have to pass a Finnish licensing exam to meet local medical standards.
  • Work experience can vary according to the role you are applying for.
  • Ensure that your professional record is free of malpractice and disciplinary issues.
  • For non-EU/EEA citizens, you must obtain a work permit or meet residency requirements.

Step 2. Language Proficiency

Typically, you must be proficient in Finnish or Swedish at the C1 or C2 level of the CEFR in order to immigrate to Finland as a doctor. To meet the language proficiency standard, a C or higher is often required on tests such as the YKI (Finnish) or TISUS (Swedish).

Step 3. Recognition of Qualifications

The Finland Medical Council or other authorities must approve of your medical degree. If you want details on the recognition procedure in Finland, you can contact the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira).

Degrees from EU/EEA Member States

Follow these steps for recognition of your medical degree if you wish to immigrate to Finland as a doctor:

  1. Application. You can apply in Finnish or Swedish by filling out the application form.
  2. Required Documents. You’ll need to provide the following documents:
    1. Passports and identification cards
    2. Degree certificate
    3. A document indicating compliance with Directive 2005/36/EC requirements that proves your right to practice medicine in your country, issued within the last three months.
    4. Your professional qualifications must be certified by competent authorities as meeting Finnish standards.
    5. You can have your documents translated into Finnish, Swedish, or English. An authorized translator should do translations in Finland; an EU/EEA-verified translation company should do translations outside Finland.
    6. Finnish or Swedish language proficiency certificate
  3. Application Submission. The postal address or street address provided by Valvira should be used to send your application and documents.
  4. Keep Copies. Keep a copy of your documents because Valvira won’t return them or make copies.
  5. Processing Time. An application with Valvira typically takes about 3 months to process.
  6. Application Fee. You may not be refunded your application fee even if you are rejected. Contact Valvira to find out what the fee structure is.

Applicants from Non-EU/EEA States

The following procedures must be followed if you hold a medical degree from outside of the EU/EEA and wish to practice in Finland:

  • Submit Documents. To have your documents assessed by Valvira, please send them as follows:
    • Application form
    • A copy of your ID card and passport
    • If the degree certificate is not available, please explain.
    • In the last 3 months, you have received a letter from the competent authority confirming your medical qualifications.
    • You should have your documents translated by a reputable company if they are not in English, Swedish, or Finnish.
    • Finnish or Swedish language proficiency certificate.
  • Original Document Legalization. Ensure you have your original document legalized in the country where you received it and your training. Apostilles or grand legalization may be required, along with verification of the signatory’s credentials.
  • Copy Verification. You must make sure that the copies of your documents are verified.
  • Submission to Valvira. Contact Valvira at kirjaamo(at)valvira.fi with your documents. Secure mail should be used for confidential information.

Step 4. License to Practice

To immigrate to Finland as a doctor, you must obtain a medical license in Finland. Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, issued Finnish medical licenses.

  1. Valvira must recognize your qualifications before you can apply for a license. As we discussed earlier, language proficiency is crucial.
  2. Valvira may require additional training or exams if your qualifications differ significantly from Finnish standards.
  3. Through Valvira, you can apply for a medical license by providing the following documents: an application form, proof of identity, recognition of qualifications, a language proficiency certificate, and any additional training or exams you may have taken.
  4. During the application and document assessment process, Valvira ensures that your application meets the country’s requirements for practicing medicine.
  5. When Valvira approves your application, it issues you a medical license, a legal requirement for practicing medicine in Finland.
  6. Valvira monitors professional conduct to ensure compliance with Finnish medical laws and regulations.

Step 5. Work Permit

To Immigrate to Finland as a doctor and work as a doctor in Finland, especially if you’re not an EU/EEA citizen, you’ll need a work permit. Here’s a concise overview:

  1. Get a job offer from a Finnish healthcare organization.
  2. Make sure you meet the requirements.
  3. Contact the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) to apply for a work permit. Provide proof of qualifications, financial means, and the job offer.
  4. Be sure to prepare essential documents for your trip, such as your passport, health insurance, and, if necessary, your language proficiency certificate.
  5. There is usually a fee associated with processing, and processing times vary. Make sure you check Migri’s fee structure well in advance.
  6. You can work legally there if you obtain a work permit in Finland. Finnish immigration regulations should govern your stay in Finland.

Step 6. Job Search

Several job search websites are available in Finland, including “Mol.fi” and “Duunitori.fi.” You may also want to contact prestigious institutions like the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS), the Tampere University Hospital, the Oulu University Hospital, and the Turku University Hospital. In addition to general job boards, healthcare professionals can look into healthcare recruitment firms.

Step 7. Residence Permit

If you are not a European Union or European Economic Area citizen and want to practice medicine in Finland, you will need to obtain a residence permit. Migri, Finland’s Immigration Service, reviews and approves applications for residency.

Here is a rundown of the steps involved, the paperwork you’ll need, and the organization with jurisdiction:

  1. Ensure you have a valid work permit and comply with Finnish residency requirements.
  2. Typically, you can apply for a Finnish residence permit through the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), available online or at an embassy or consulate abroad.
  3. Your passport, work permit, proof of employment, health insurance, and financial documentation should be prepared.
  4. Finnish authorities will conduct background checks.
  5. Migri charges a fee, and processing times vary, so apply well beforehand.
  6. You can work and live legally in Finland once your residence permit is approved. During your stay in Finland, adhere to the Finnish immigration rules.

Step 8. Housing and Relocation

Apartments for rent, university housing, shared living, and short-term arrangements are all viable options. Oikotie and Vuokraovi are two websites that list rental properties. Check out Forenom if you’re looking for a serviced apartment, or use Airbnb if you need some leeway. Real estate agencies and Facebook groups can both provide useful insights. Ensure your selection fits your needs and satisfies any rental ordinances in your area.

Step 9. Integration and Social Services

After you immigrate to Finland as a doctor, enrolling in government-sponsored integration courses is a great step in learning the language and culture. You can also find information on community resources and help adjusting to your new location through local support centers and community organizations. Consider attending healthcare orientation sessions offered by healthcare institutions or local authorities to learn more about the Finnish healthcare system and its regulations.

Step 10. Continuing Education and Specialization

Finland’s medical schools feature a wide range of postgraduate options for the medically inclined. Find out what they’re offering and what’s needed. Alternatively, you can enhance your medical expertise by enrolling in professional development courses offered by medical institutions or associations in Finland. You can learn about local opportunities to specialize and conduct research in your field of medicine by networking with local medical professionals and researchers.

Step 11. Stay Informed

Checking official government websites and immigration authority platforms regularly is the best way to keep up with any changes to Finland’s immigration and healthcare regulations. Get the latest information on healthcare policy, industry news, and regulatory changes by subscribing to a healthcare-focused newsletter or mailing list. Another great way to stay on top of developments in the Finnish healthcare system and new regulations is to become a member of a professional medical association.

Infographic How to immigrate and work in Finland as a doctor

Can Foreign Doctors Work in Finland?

Can I work as a doctor in Finland? You can move to Finland if you qualify and meet the eligibility principles. You need a Finnish or Swedish language proficiency certificate and a medical degree and get approval from the related authorities.

Are Doctors Needed in Finland?

The aging population and the need for increasingly specialized medical care necessitate an increase in the number of doctors in Finland. The country requires qualified doctors in various medical fields and locations.

Finland Medical Licensing Exam

Applicants for licensure as a general practitioner in Finland must pass the national licensing examination. In addition to prior studies, classes, and clinical experience in various medical fields, the exam is comprehensive and conducted in Finnish. Obtaining a doctor’s license in Finland requires passing this exam. As part of maintaining their licenses and staying up-to-date on medical advances, licensed Finnish doctors must continue their medical education.

How to Become a Doctor in Finland?

How to be a doctor in Finland? The education and training required to become a doctor in Finland is extensive and demanding. In Finland, one must complete the following steps to practice medicine:

  1. Meet Entry Requirements. Verify that you’re eligible to enroll in a university in Finland. Typical requirements include a certain linguistic fluency level and a high school diploma or equivalent.
  2. Choose a Medical Program. Find a medical school in Finland and apply to it. Students worldwide can enroll in Finnish medical schools that provide instruction in English.
  3. Apply to Universities. Send in your applications to the medical schools that interest you. Take note of the institutions’ application due dates and prerequisites.
  4. Entrance Exams. The admissions process at some universities in Finland includes taking an entrance exam. You should study for and take any entrance exams that are required.
  5. Student Residence Permit. Apply for a student residence permit if you plan to attend a university in Finland. If you have any questions about the prerequisites or procedures, you should contact the Finnish Immigration Service.
  6. Tuition and Scholarships. Keep in mind that tuition may be required of international students. Scholarships and other financial aid forms may be available, so look into them.
  7. Study in Finland. You can begin medical school studies in Finland once you have been accepted and obtained the appropriate visas. The time it takes to complete a medical degree varies by program, but on average, it’s around six years.
  8. Licensing and Certification. If you want to start a career as a doctor in Finland after earning your medical degree, you’ll need to get licensed first. This usually necessitates success on the United States Medical Licensing Examination.
  9. Residency Training. A residency program, which can last several years, is required to become a specialist in the medical field.
  10. Registration and Specialization. Becoming officially recognized as a medical specialist after completing a residency program is possible. This calls for success on a specialized test.
  11. Continuing Education. Engage in continuing education throughout your career and stay on top of the latest medical advances.

Is It Hard for Foreigners to Work in Finland?

Depending on their skills and experience, a foreigner may be eligible to immigrate to Finland as a doctor. In need of skilled professionals, the government has varying needs. A successful entry into the labor market requires familiarity with the necessary procedures and documentation.

Immigrant Doctors’ Salaries in Finland

Salaries for foreign doctors in Finland are up to various factors. According to Salary Expert, the average doctor salary in Finland is about 11,000 EUR per month. This source says that the lowest salary is 4,050 EUR, and the highest is 18,600 EUR

Your job title and the expertise you have are also determining factors. Look at this table to get an understanding of the average salary of different job titles:

Advanced Nutrition Aide6,710 EUR
Chiropractor5,260 EUR
Dermatologist14,200 EUR
Doctor11,000 EUR
Exercise Physiologist10,800 EUR
Genetic Counselor7,120 EUR
Interventionist14,100 EUR
Neurologist13,500 EUR
Obstetrician / Gynecologist12,400 EUR
Occupational Health Safety Specialist6,590 EUR
Ophthalmologist9,310 EUR

Immigrate to Finland as a Doctor: Let’s Recap

A foreign doctor can immigrate to Finland as a doctor, and they are needed in the country. They are needed in Finland, and if qualified and meet the eligibility principles, they can move to Finland.

This article brought you the requirements and the procedure you must follow to immigrate and work in Finland as a doctor. Also, you got answers to some of your questions. If you have questions, write them down in the comment section. The Visa Library team will answer them.


Can I immigrate and work in Finland as a doctor?

Yes, you can, but you must get your degree from Finland or send your degree for recognition and get approval.

Is Finland good for Foreign doctors?

Yes, it has one of the best and highest healthcare systems in the world. Doctors are needed, and they are paid a high salary and enjoy a good standard of living.

Do I need language proficiency to immigrate to Finland as a doctor?

Yes, you must have a Finnish or Swedish language proficiency certificate to send your documents for recognition or evaluation, and you need it to work with people and co-workers.

How do I apply for medical residency in Finland?

Annually, Finland’s matching system conducts medical residency applications. Detailed application procedures can be found by contacting the relevant authorities.

How much do MBBS doctors make in Finland?

Finnish doctors usually earn competitive salaries, often exceeding the national average, for their MBBS training.

Is MBBS free in Finland?

EU/EEA students are generally entitled to free medical education in Finland. Tuition fees may apply to non-EU/EEA students.

Is MBBS taught in English in Finland?

There are many medical programs offered in English in Finland, making it accessible to international students.

How much do doctors make in Finland?

Finnish doctors tend to earn good salaries, with the average salary being competitive, depending on their experience and specialization.

How useful was this article?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 3.9 / 5. Vote count: 13

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this article.


  1. Ali says:

    Hi .
    I’m doctor from iran & I’ve majored in general medicine . I’d like to immigrate finland for continue education and work.

  2. Said ahmad Khan says:

    Hi. I am a m d doctor from Pakistan and I have an experience of more than one decade as a general physician. I want to move to Finland for further studies and bright future. Can I have some details.

    • Oliver says:

      Everything you should know is covered in the article. If you have questions, write them down in the comment section.

  3. Syed Rizwan Ghani says:

    I am an anesthesiologist and intensivist. I am from Pakistan and have few friends in Finland who speak high of your country. I am MBBS and post-graduate DA- equivalent to Masters in Anesthesia and ICU. I have more than 25 years of experience in the field with international exposures. It is known that anesthetist require least conversation with patients but mostly with surgeons and healthcare persons. Is there any relaxation to the required Finnish Language certification for anesthesiologists allowing me to come and work in Finland?

    • Oliver says:

      They are strict with the language fluency and often require a certificate with a certain level of fluency. But ask them about the requirements for your field.

  4. Dr Jay says:

    Can an International Doctor apply for Healthcare assistance Jobs get into the country and start the process for internship and legalization?

    • Max says:

      Yes, international doctors can apply for healthcare assistance jobs in Finland to start the process for internship and legalization. Look for openings in healthcare roles, ensure you have the necessary work visa or residence permit if you’re not an EU/EEA citizen, and be prepared for language requirements, as Finnish or Swedish proficiency is crucial for patient communication. Contact the Finnish healthcare regulatory authority (Valvira) to understand qualifications recognition. Explore internship opportunities in hospitals, ensuring your credentials are validated as needed. Connect with professional associations, understand local regulations and licensing requirements, and ensure appropriate insurance. Adapt to Finnish culture and procedures as you settle into your new role and life in Finland. Always stay updated on changing regulations through official sources for accurate information.

  5. Zahra Fayyaz says:

    Hey there
    I’m a doctor from pakistan
    I have done masters of public health after my
    Bachelor of medicine and Bachelor of science (MBBS)
    What are my options in findland?

    • Max says:

      Dear Zahra Fayyaz,
      With your medical background and Master’s in Public Health, you have several options in Finland. First, you can have your qualifications recognized to work as a doctor in hospitals or clinics, provided you meet language and licensing requirements. Alternatively, your public health expertise could lead to roles in government agencies, NGOs, or research institutions, focusing on health policy and initiatives. If you’re interested in research and education, opportunities in universities or research organizations are possible. Fluency in Finnish or Swedish is crucial for effective communication in professional and social contexts. Building a local network through events is valuable, and be sure to navigate Finnish licensing and regulatory processes. Embracing Finnish culture will also aid in your integration and success.

  6. Rathna says:

    My daughter has completed M.S. Opthamology from India .
    She wants to immigrate to Finland
    Can you tell me the procedure.

    • Max says:

      In order for your daughter to become a licensed medical practitioner in Finland after moving there from India, she must first have her credentials evaluated by Valvira, the Finnish National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. This assessment will guarantee that her credentials meet the requirements of Finland. She should be prepared to meet language requirements, which may include fluency in either Finnish or Swedish for successful communication in the healthcare field. She can then apply for registration with the Finnish Medical Association after having her credentials recognized. To live and work lawfully in Finland, one must first apply for and receive the appropriate residence or work permit from the Finnish Immigration Service. For a smooth immigration process to Finland, it is important to keep up with the latest rules and seek advice from Finnish officials or legal professionals.

  7. Afaq Ahmad says:

    Hi. i just wanted to inquire whether a specialist/consultant in non EU country can have his or her specialization recognized in finland so that they can work as a specialist? or do they have to undergo a training program in Finland?

    • Max says:

      Specialists and consultants from outside the EU can gain employment in Finland, but they will need to have their credentials assessed by the appropriate body in Finland. This could involve a comparison of their credentials to Finland’s standards, a test of their Finnish or Swedish language skills, and potentially even further education or certification requirements. Professional registration in Finland is available to anyone who meet the necessary criteria and who wish to practice as specialists in the country. Because the procedure differs from profession to profession, it is important to check with the appropriate authority or professional association for specifics and up-to-date regulations.

  8. Anthony Emasu says:

    Hello and thank you for the information. Actually very useful. I am from Uganda.
    But please can you attach a link for the application form for recognition of qualification as I can’t find the link for downloading it.

    Thank you.

  9. Anthony Emasu says:

    Hello and thank you for the information. Actually very useful. I am a doctor from Uganda.
    But please can you attach a link for the application form for recognition of qualification as I can’t find the link for downloading it.

    Thank you.