Moving to Finland

Your right to social security benefits in Finland is, as a rule, decided by reference to the length of your residence in Finland.

Moving permanently to Finland

If you intend to take up permanent residence in Finland, you will normally be covered by the Finnish social security system and will qualify for Kela benefits as soon as you move to Finland.

Kela determines whether your move to Finland can be considered permanent. The overall situation is taken into account in the consideration, which is affected by factors such as return migration to Finland, employment contract for work in Finland as well as marriage or other close family relationship to a person who is permanently resident in Finland. If you have already stayed in Finland for one year this can be taken into account later when considering whether the stay in Finland is permanent.

As a further requirement, you are expected to have been issued a residence permit valid for at least one year (assuming a residence permit is required in the first place). Residence permits are issued by the Finnish Immigration Service. As a citizen of a Nordic country or an EU or EEA country or a Swiss citizen you do not need a residence permit to be covered by the social security system. If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country or a Swiss citizen and stay for more than three months in Finland you have to register your stay with the police at your place of residence within three months of arriving in Finland.

Persons moving to Finland on a permanent basis must apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system via Kela's online service or by filing a Y 77 form. Persons who are covered by the Finnish social security system receive a written decision confirming this fact. Coverage under the Finnish social security system can also be checked by accessing Kela's online service.

Moving temporarily to Finland

If you move to Finland on a temporary basis, you will normally not be entitled to social security benefits from Kela. For example, students moving to Finland for the sole purpose of studying are considered to be staying in Finland temporarily.

In certain cases you are covered by the Finnish social security system on the basis of your employment.

You will not be covered by the Finnish social security system if you receive benefits from another country under the EU legislation or a social security agreement, or are otherwise covered by the social security system of another country. This is the case with such persons as

  • workers posted from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland
  • cross-border migrant workers who live in or take up residence in Finland but work in another EU/EEA country or in Switzerland
  • employees of a foreign government or an intergovernmental organization and their family members.

If you move to Finland temporarily from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland, you will have access to necessary medical care by presenting your European Health Insurance Card.

Further information and forms

Last modified 03/09/2014
Updated 22/10/2012