Moving abroad

You must notify Kela if you move abroad or live outside Finland – even temporarily – or if you move back to Finland.

The social security coverage of persons moving from Finland is, as a general rule, decided by reference to the length of their residence outside Finland. If you intend to move abroad for less than a full year (which is regarded as a temporary residence), you will retain your coverage under the Finnish social security system for the duration of your stay and will qualify for Kela benefits. If you intend to stay abroad for more than a year, your residence will be considered as permanent, in which case your social security coverage in Finland will end, typically with effect from the date of your move from Finland.

If you originally intended to stay abroad for less than a year, but it turns out that your stay will last longer than a year (i.e., will be considered as permanent), your social security coverage in Finland will end effective from the date when your circumstances changed.

Persons who regularly stay most of the year abroad typically are not entitled to coverage under the Finnish social security system. However, if they continue to maintain close ties to Finland, they may retain their coverage. Cases where there is room for interpretation are decided individually by reference to such factors as the length of residence in Finland and abroad, family ties, housing circumstances and repeated residence in Finland.

The benefits available from Kela can be divided into two groups based on whether they are payable to persons living abroad temporarily or permanently. Certain benefits are not payable abroad at all. For more details about specific benefits, see the section titled Payment of benefits.

More information

Last modified 04/07/2014
Updated 22/10/2012