According to the Aliens Act, an alien may be refused entry into the country if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that he or she may sell sexual services. EU-nationals and people coming from the third countries are not treated equally. There are no consequences for EU-nationals. For people coming from the third countries, the suspicion of selling sexual services is grounds for refusal of entry.

In general, a residence permit for an employed person is granted in a two-phase process. First, the Employment Office ascertains that the preconditions for the work are fulfilled. In the second phase Finnish Immigration Service decides whether or not to grant the permit of residence.

The above principles are applied to foreign sex workers as well. However, because the legal status of sex work and prostitution remains vague and the legal provisions that are relative to the penal code and the Aliens Act have an influence on the employment as well, it is not possible to furnish general rules or definitive principles.

To get an idea of how the system works, the following employment decisions related to sex work have been made. Within the last few years foreign sex workers have been granted a work permit/permit of residence in the following way:

No work permit has been applied nor granted for prostitution.

Within the last five years, very few permits of residence/work permits for strip-teasers or dancers have been granted in southern Finland.

Within the last five years, Thai-masseuses have been granted less than ten permits of residence or work permits. A few entrepreneurial permits of residence or work permits have been applied for, but none have been granted. Sex work per se has not been the grounds for rejection; however, the lack of information concerning the requester or his/her qualifications relative to the enterprise have been cited.