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Benefits in international situations

Moving to or from Finland may affect your entitlement to benefits provided by Kela.

Check your entitlement to Kela benefits if

  • you move abroad on a permanent basis
  • you start working abroad (report this to Kela even if your country of residence does not change)
  • you belong to a category of persons entitled to Kela benefits during stays abroad lasting more than 6 months.

Payment of benefits abroad

If you temporarily (for no longer than 6 months) live in a country other than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, you are usually entitled to Kela benefits as if you were still living in Finland. This means that benefits already in payment can continue to be paid to you while you are abroad. You can also apply for new benefits. However, basic social assistance is not paid abroad.

If, however, you live in a country other than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom on a permanent basis (for longer than 6 months), you will usually not be eligible for benefits from Kela. The payment of benefits ends on the day you move abroad.

Short-term residence in an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Many benefits can be paid if you are still considered to be living in Finland, even if your stay abroad in one of these countries exceeds 6 months. However, your right to Kela benefits usually ends if you start working there.

Use the OmaKela e-service to find out

  • what data Kela has about your stays in Finland and abroad
  • whether you are covered by Finnish social security.

Eligibility for benefits when moving to Finland

Your entitlement to social security coverage and Kela benefits will be determined when you apply for a benefit from Kela for the first time after moving to Finland. In addition to submitting a benefit application, you must file a notification of moving to Finland (Imoitus Suomeen muutosta) in the OmaKela e-service or send the form Y 77e Moving to Finland (PDF) to Kela. Please note that our e-service is only available in Finnish and Swedish. If you have filed the notification earlier in connection with some other benefit application and your circumstances have not changed, you do not have to file the notification again.

Return to Finland and continued payment of benefits

If you have been paid Kela benefits while abroad and you return to Finland, you should notify Kela of your return as soon as possible so that the payment of the benefits can continue without interruption. Temporary moves abroad usually need not be reported to Kela.

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Last modified 21/2/2024

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