Graduating as a health and social services professional? File your legalisation application immediately after graduation

9.5.2022 15:30

If you are about to graduate as a health care or social welfare professional in a licensed profession, it is important that you apply to Valvira for legalisation immediately after graduation. Without legalisation, you will only be allowed to work in a professional capacity for 30 days after graduation. To avoid having to interrupt your work, Valvira must legalise you within that time period.

Valvira aims to process legalisation applications quickly enough not to interrupt anyone’s employment. However, if you have graduated abroad, you should prepare for the possibility of such an interruption. If you have graduated in another EU/EEA Member State, Valvira will principally process your application within 30 days of receiving it, but you should be aware that this is not always possible.

“A legalisation application and its appendices are processed and assessed with care. In many cases, we require further clarification with regard to appendices. There are also cases where the application has to be dealt with by the supervisory committee for professionals,” says Head of Unit Maarit Mikkonen

Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis; requests for expedited processing are not considered. The law requires that processing take place within 3 to 4 months.

Employers must verify the professional practice rights and competence of new employees

If you are an employer, you have the duty to verify when recruiting new employees that the professionals and students you recruit have sufficient competence and the required professional practice rights when they begin employment. You can verify the professional practice rights of a recruitee by consulting the JulkiTerhikki or JulkiSuosikki registers of professionals maintained by Valvira. Students are only allowed to work under leadership and supervision and must thus have a designated instructor.

Valvira keeps registers of social welfare and health care professionals, medical students with four and five years of studies, and dentistry and pharmacy students. Valvira does not register other students studying for qualifications in licensed professions, such as nursing students.  In such a case, as an employer you must consult the person’s study records to verify that they have acceptably completed at least two thirds of their degree studies and are currently enrolled at their educational institution. 

Further information:

Maarit Mikkonen, Head of Unit, tel. +358 (0)29 520 9561

Kirsi Liukkonen, Head of Unit, tel. +358 (0)295 209 428

Read more:

Professional practice rights in health care (

Professional practice rights in social welfare (

Register of social welfare and health care professionals (