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Responsible for the service TE Office

Immigrant’s independent study

  • Service
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

Independent study is beneficial if the TE Office is unable to offer you a place of study in integration training or if education that is more suitable to your needs is otherwise available. Sometimes independent study may even facilitate your employment and integration.

You may look for a place of study yourself, or the TE Office may offer you a place of study for independent training. Please note that if the TE Office offers you a place of study, you must start and complete the training in order to be eligible for an unemployment benefit.

Studies that may be completed independently:

  • basic education studies
  • preparatory education for upper secondary school
  • preparatory vocational education
  • qualifying studies (e.g. physicians)
  • Finnish or Swedish language studies
  • in addition to education, the studies may involve an internship or voluntary activities
  • illiterate persons may have the opportunity to complete a short introduction training to Finnish society in their own language.

The main study language must be either Finnish or Swedish. Language studies must include at least 20 hours of weekly education.

The TE Office decides whether you are eligible for receiving an unemployment benefit for your studies. The support period is determined on the basis of the studies’ duration, and the maximum period of unemployment benefit for one training is 24 months. However, the support period for completing basic education may be as long as 48 months.

Do the following

If you plan on starting studies or have already applied for a study place, do the following:

  • Contact the TE Office immediately.
  • Sometimes the TE Office may send you forms that relate to starting studies or study support. Follow the instructions and submit the forms to the TE Office at least 2 weeks prior to starting the studies.
  • If the decision is favourable, a new integration plan will be prepared for you. Agreements concerning the studies and the related obligations are set out in the new integration plan.
  • If the decision is negative, the TE Office will inform you of the decision by letter.

To whom and on what terms

Requirements for receiving support for studies:

  • the TE Office has established your need for education
  • the TE Office has stated that it considers that studying supports your integration and employment
  • prior to starting the studies, you and the TE Office have agreed in your integration plan that you may start the studies

If you apply and are accepted to an independent course (at least 20 hours/week), you must notify the TE Office immediately. You must pay the course fee by yourself.

If you discontinue your studies, the unemployment benefit may be interrupted.

The service is free of charge.

Basic information

The service is provided byTE Office
Other responsible organisationsPohjois-Savo TE Office, Häme TE Office, Varsinais-Suomi TE Office, Pohjanmaa TE Office, Keski-Suomi TE Office, Kaakkois-Suomi TE Office, Uusimaa TE Office, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa TE Office, Etelä-Pohjanmaa TE Office, Lapland TE Office, Pohjois-Karjala TE Office, Etelä-Savo TE Office, Pirkanmaa TE Office, Kainuu TE Office, Satakunta TE Office
Responsible for the serviceTE Office
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, English, Swedish
Text edited by: TE Office
Updated: 5/7/2020