Social security coverage for jobseekers abroad | Our Services | KelaSkip to content

Social security coverage for jobseekers

As a jobseeker, you may be entitled to Kela benefits. The length of your stay abroad affects your right to claim benefits.

Looking for work abroad

Unemployed jobseekers can go to look for work in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland (but NOT in the United Kingdom) for a maximum of three months. During this time you can receive the same amount of basic unemployment allowance or earnings-related unemployment allowance as if you were seeking a job 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 from an unemployment fund showing that you are entitled to unemployment benefits (form U2). If you find work within three months, you will usually then be covered by 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 benefits in Finland will be determined on the basis of whether your residence abroad is temporary or permanent. If you move abroad on a permanent basis (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 from an 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 in Finland during a temporary stay abroad

Persons looking for work in Finland during a temporary stay abroad may be entitled to unemployment benefits from Finland. A prerequisite for this is that you are registered as a jobseeker with an Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) in Finland. Stays abroad that last for less than 6 months are usually considered temporary.

What do you think of this page?