The Three-Month Rule Jeopardizes the Success of the Finnish Game Industry



Representatives of the Finnish government are currently engaged in intense debate on creating a new immigration framework that would lead to deporting those foreign employees from the country who fail to find a new job within three months after the termination of their employment contract. Neogames Finland, the umbrella organization for the local game industry, opposes the proposed plan and underlines that it would harm the sector’s growth and competitiveness.

In general, the highly skilled individuals recruited from abroad to Finland’s game industry meet the criteria for a specialist residence permit. Their roles require specialized expertise acquired through either work experience or education, and the Finnish game industry offers exceptionally competitive wages. The currently debated Three-Month Rule would jeopardize both the domestic game industry’s ability to attract and to retain top talent from abroad.

  1. The Three-Month Rule would create a brain drain incentive. Game industry experts are highly specialized in particular professional roles. Leading game developer studios all over the world compete for their expertise, and they are ready to move rapidly from one country to another. The proposed rule would create an incentive for accepting job offers from abroad when domestic companies face temporary challenges. This would mean that Finnish enterprises would lose their top experts on the moment they need them the most.
  2. The Three-Month Rule would  create a significant emotional burden  for skilled professionals with families and increase their likelihood of leaving the country. Life circumstances and the wishes and concerns of our spouse and family members heavily weight our decisions. For instance, if your job stability is uncertain and there is a threat of being deported during a child’s school year, you are likely to accept a job offer from a country with more stable immigration policies.
  3. The Three-Month Rule does not align with the reality of the Finnish job market. Just like in any high-tech industry, the recruitment processes in the game industry often exceed three months. Searching for expert roles typically involves multiple interviews and various stages to evaluate expertise and suitability. If you face layoffs and an open position isn’t immediately available, for example due to Finland’s long summer holidays, the three-month window becomes incredibly short. By the time Finnish companies launch their recruitment process the expert might have already left the country, forcing companies to try to recruit the same expert back to Finland from abroad.
  4. The Three-Month Rule pushes emerging successful enterprises away from Finland. At the moment, top international experts are often the ones launching new successful game studios in Finland. Running through a process of founding a new business and securing sufficient risk financing from investors to be eligible for the  entrepreneur’s residence permit cannot be achieved within three months. It’s absurd that the Finnish government proposes immigration restrictions that hinder the game industry’s potential to initiate new success stories and encourage top experts who have lived in Finland to start their businesses elsewhere.

The current debate over the Three-Month Rule  already impacts the domestic game industry’s appeal in the international recruitment market. The Finnish government is committed to attracting more top experts to the country to boost the success of Finnish companies. Consequently, the Finnish government should strive to improve its image.

The message and impact of the Three-Month Rule run entirely counter to this goal. By demanding foreign specialists to secure new employment within three months under the threat of deportation, the governing parties impose an unreasonable pressure on individuals who have been recruited with considerable effort into Finland and whose skills significantly benefit our national economy.

Further reading

For more information, please contact 

Jari-Pekka Kaleva
Chief Policy Advisor

Neogames Finland ry. is the umbrella organisation for the Finnish game industry, coordinating, accelerating, and supporting the growth of the Finnish game industry. A functional immigration system is essential for the success of the industry and its surrounding ecosystem. Together with its members, the Finnish Game Developers Association representing Finnish game developer studios, game industry service providers, regional cluster organisations, and educational institutions, Neogames Finland ry is dedicated to building, supporting and defending an inclusive game industry community in Finland that attracts the best global talent into the country.