Specialist Doctor trained outside of the EU/EEA

Only persons duly legalised by Valvira are allowed to perform the duties of legalised health care professionals. Valvira grants the right to practise the profession of specialist doctor on application to medical professionals trained in Finland and abroad. 

Legalisation as a specialist doctor may be granted to a physician who has been legalised in Finland. For more on the legalisation process for Medical Doctors who have completed their degree outside the EU/EEA, see our website. To apply for the right to practise independently as a medical specialist, send an application to Valvira.

How to apply for legalisation as a medical specialist

Fill in the application form (pdf). Send your application with attachments to Valvira. If you submit all the relevant documents with your application, the application process will be quicker. The processing period is calculated from the time when Valvira has received all the required documents and reports. Please do not send your application or attachments by e-mail in advance, because this will slow down the processing of your application. You do not need to send to Valvira any documents that you have already sent earlier.

The processing of an application in Valvira is subject to a fee. A fee is also charged for a withdrawn application. By submitting an application, you agree to the fees. Please check the prices at end of the instructions, under “Fees”. 

Send your completed application and appendices by mail to:
National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira)
PO Box 43
FI-00521 Helsinki

You must supply officially certified copies of the documents listed below (1–4). Copies can be officially certified by a notary public in Finland or in another EU or EEA Member State, or by a Finnish mission in other countries. Copies issued by a notary public outside the EU/EEA and furnished with an Apostille or Grand Legalisation are also acceptable (valvira.fi). You must submit to Valvira, by mail, the copies that bear the original stamp and signature of the notary public or Finnish mission.

You do not need to send to Valvira any documents that you have already sent earlier.

Please attach the following documents to your application:

  1. Passport, identity card, alien’s passport or refugee travel document (proof of your identity and nationality). Please read the instructions on our website if you do not have a Finnish personal identity number.
  2. Specialist doctor’s degree certificate and the official e-mail address and mailing address of your educational institution.
    If you give the contact details, Valvira may verify the legitimacy of your degree. This verification may delay the processing of your application. If Valvira is unable to obtain the required information directly from your educational institution, you must submit your degree certificate, verified by Apostille or Grand Legalisation. You do not need to submit an officially certified copy if Valvira verifies your degree directly with your educational institution.
    OR
    Your degree certificate, verified by Apostille or Grand Legalisation in the country where you have completed your training. In this procedure, the position of the person who signed the degree certificate and their right to sign that document must be verified.
    Please contact the foreign ministry or other relevant body in the country where your completed your training to find out how your degree certificate should be legalised in that country. You can find further information on the Apostille and Grand Legalisation procedures on our website.
  3. A certificate verifying that your right to practise the profession in question has not been restricted or revoked (e.g. Certificate of Good Standing). This certificate must be no more than three months old when received by Valvira. You must submit such a certificate from every country where you have been legalised to practise your profession. If you have practised your profession in a country where practitioners of that profession are not registered, then you need to submit an affidavit from the competent authority in that country stating that practitioners of your profession are not registered in that country, or some other reliable testimonial of the matter. 
  4. Freeform consent stating that Valvira has your permission to submit your application documents to a Finnish educational institution for an expert opinion if necessary.

    The appendices listed below in points 5–8 are not mandatory, but they are recommended, because they may be necessary for obtaining an expert opinion.  Please submit these appendices, as it will be in your interest when Valvira evaluates your education and training in comparison with the relevant Finnish qualification.
  5. Report issued by the educational institution detailing the learning outcomes, contents and scope in hours of the units included in your degree and the operating environments in which you completed your practical training and your duties therein.
    If the educational institution supplies a general study programme to provide this information, the institution must separately confirm that you have completed the units required. The educational institution may deliver the report directly to Valvira by e-mail. It is in your interests to supply information on your training in as much detail as possible, because Valvira will compare the content of your training to the corresponding training given in Finland.
  6. Employment certificates for work in the profession following completion of your training. Employment certificates must have been issued by your employer, and they must state at least your job title, your job duties and the duration of your employment.
  7.  A certificate of any supplementary professional training and continuing education.
  8. Translations into Finnish, Swedish or English of the documents listed in points 2–7.
    The translations must have been produced by an authorised translator in Finland or in another EU/EEA Member State. Authorised translators in Finland can be found through the online service of the National Agency for Education. If the translator is not an official or authorised translator in an EU/EEA Member State, the translation may nevertheless be acceptable if the translator’s status is confirmed by Apostille or Grand Legalisation.

Valvira may request further clarifications if necessary. The application documents will remain in Valvira, and it is not possible to get them back after a decision has been made. If you request for documents to be returned to you while the application process is ongoing, you must send in replacing documents that meet the formal requirements. This will significantly slow down the processing of your application.