Social security coverage for jobseekers

Looking for work abroad

Unemployed jobseekers can go to look for work in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland for a maximum of three months. During this time you can receive basic unemployment allowance and earnings-related unemployment allowance to the same amount as in Finland.

Register as an unemployed jobseeker in the country where you are looking for work within seven days. Take with you a certificate from Kela or an unemployment fund showing that you are entitled to unemployment benefits (form U2). If you find work within three months, you will usually become covered under the social security system of your country of employment. Notify Kela that you have found a job.

If you do not find a job, you must return to Finland within 3 months in order to retain your right to unemployment benefits in Finland. If you stay abroad longer than 3 months, your right to social security coverage in Finland will be determined by reference to whether your residence abroad is temporary or permanent. If the move abroad is permanent, lasting for more than 6 months, your entitlement to benefits from Finland will end.


Noel graduates from a Finnish university of applied sciences and decides to go to Germany to look for work. Noel can receive unemployment benefits from Finland for three months. For this purpose, Noel must apply for a form U2 from Kela or the unemployment fund. If Noel finds a job in Germany during these three months, he becomes entitled to social security coverage in Germany. If he does not find a job in three months, he must return to Finland in order to keep his unemployment benefit. 

Looking for work from Finland during temporary stay abroad

Persons who look for work in Finland but who stay abroad temporarily can receive unemployment benefits from Finland. A prerequisite for this is that you are registered as a jobseeker with an Employment and Economic Development Office in Finland. Stays abroad that last for less than 6 months are considered temporary.