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Responsible for the service National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health

Licensing of a medical specialist (trained outside EU/EEA)

  • Professional qualification
  • Nationwide
  • Public service

In Finland, the profession of medical specialist is a licensed profession. Practise of the profession is restricted to licensed professionals. On application, Valvira grants licensing to practise the profession for health care professionals trained in Finland and in other countries and, once granted, enters the right to practise the profession in the nationwide register of health care professionals (Terhikki).

Do the following

An application is made to Valvira to practise the profession of a licensed health care professional. The application process varies according to the applicant's nationality and country of training.

Applicants trained outside the EU/EEA member states:

The applicant completes an application form accompanied by an attested copy of his or her passport or other document indicating his or her nationality.

Other attachments:

  • if the applicant's current name is different from the name used in the annexed documents, the applicant must also provide a copy of a document indicating the change of name
  • an attested copy of the original degree certificate of a medical specialist and the supplement indicating the content and extent of the training completed (e.g. a diploma supplement, transcript of records).
  • a certificate issued by the competent authority of the country indicating the right to practise the profession, if the applicant has been granted the right to practise the profession in a country other than Finland. The certificate may not be older than three months. If the right to practise the profession has been granted in several countries, a certificate from each country is required. The certificate may be given as an original or an attested copy.
  • Translations of the above documents made by a translator authorised in Finland. The documents must be translated into Finnish or Swedish. The translations may be provided as originals or as attested copies.
  • an attested copy of the certificate of the National Language Proficiency Test or the State Administration Language Examination

If the applicant has obtained a degree outside the EU/EEA countries, and the degree has been recognised by another EU/EEA country, and the right to practise the profession has been granted, then the following additional documents are required:

  • a certificate issued by the competent authority stating that the degree obtained in a third country has been recognised in accordance with the Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EU) and that the applicant has adequate professional experience in accordance with the requirements of the Directive.
  • if necessary, copies of employment references for practising the profession in the EU/EEA country in which the degree was recognised.

To whom and on what terms

  • Completed specialist degree in medicine (obtained in Finland or elsewhere)

The following preconditions only apply to persons who are not nationals of an EU/EEA country

  • Adequate language skills; a certificate to show that the applicant has passed the State Administration Language Examination or the National Language Proficiency Test. The required level for the State Administration Language Examination is the satisfactory level, and for the National Language Proficiency Test, the intermediate level (levels 3 and 4).

An applicant without a Finnish personal identity number at the time of application must inform Valvira as soon as one is granted.

Applicants should check the websites of Valvira and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health at and and familiarise themselves with the guides prepared by the Ministry on the preparation and storage of patient records and on safe medication.

If an entrepreneur is established in another country within the European Economic Area and provides services in Finland on a temporary basis, the entrepreneur must clarify with the competent authority whether he or she is subject to licensing, notification or registering.

A fee is charged for the service.

Licensing decision, EUR 700 + postage. Any other expenses: A statement requested from a university or educational institution in order to assess the level of training provided abroad, EUR 200 – 600 (the statement is never requested without the applicant's approval). If the applicant is granted the right to practise the profession before the actual licensing, an additional fee of EUR 700 will be payable for the first licence and after that, a further EUR 350 for extending the license.

Processing time

3 - 4 months from the receipt of the application. Incomplete applications cause delays in the handling process.

Period of validity

The licence is valid until further notice.

Background information

Basic information

The service is provided byNational Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health
Responsible for the serviceNational Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health
Area Whole Finland
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish, English
Text edited by: National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health
Updated: 2/10/2020