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Unemployment benefits in international situations

Kela can pay unemployment benefits to you in international situations. Such situations include for instance if you look for work in another country or if you move to Finland.

The unemployment benefit can be labour market subsidy, basic unemployment allowance, or earnings-related unemployment allowance paid by the unemployment fund. Read more about how to apply for unemployment benefits.

From Finland to another country to look for work

If you receive unemployment benefit from Finland, you can under certain circumstances stay in another country and still receive unemployment benefit. You can also use your employment history from Finland, if you move abroad and apply for unemployment benefit in your new country of residence.

Read more about when you should report your move abroad to Kela in order to receive unemployment benefit.

You maintain the right to basic unemployment allowance paid by Kela or earnings-related unemployment allowance paid by the unemployment fund for a maximum of 3 months, if you go to look for work in another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland. Please note that you cannot receive labour market subsidy in this case.

What to do if you go to another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland to look for work:

  1. Notify TE Services about your stay abroad well in advance. TE Services will verify if you can receive an unemployment benefit while looking for work abroad.
  2. Request a certificate U2 from Kela or the unemployment fund at least 2 weeks before going abroad. Take the certificate with you to the country where you will be looking for work.
  3. Register with the local employment authorities within 7 days. If you cannot obtain the certificate U2 in time, register without it.
  4. Remember to comply with the obligations laid down by the employment authorities in the country where you are looking for work.

Kela or the unemployment fund will pay you the unemployment benefit on the same grounds as if you were looking for work in Finland. Payment of the basic unemployment allowance will start after Kela has received confirmation from the employment authorities in the country where you are looking for work that you are registered as a jobseeker.

Payment of the basic unemployment allowance or earnings-related unemployment allowance will not be interrupted, if you return to Finland within 3 months and register with TE Services after your return. If you register late, your entitlement to basic unemployment allowance or earnings-related unemployment allowance will end.

If your registration as jobseeker in Finland is valid, you can stay abroad temporarily and still maintain your entitlement to basic unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy. However, one requirement is that Kela still considers you to be permanently resident in Finland.

You must be able to return to Finland on short notice if you are offered a job or are invited to a job interview.

Read more about what a temporary stay abroad means.

You can use your employment history in Finland if you move to another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland and you apply for unemployment benefit in your country of residence. As in Finland, your employment history also affects the entitlement to unemployment benefit in many other EU and EEA countries.

You can provide proof of your employments in Finland on form U1. You can request the form from Kela’s Centre for International Affairs or from your unemployment fund for instance by phone. Request the form in time, since it takes time to issue the form.

Benefits for unemployed and jobseekers in Finland

You can be granted labour market subsidy in Finland if

You can be granted basic unemployment allowance if

  • you are registered with TE Services as an unemployed jobseeker
  • you worked in Finland before becoming unemployed
  • you meet the work requirement (work performed abroad can be included in the Finnish work requirement, if you have worked in another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland)
  • you stay or live in Finland.

Apply for unemployment benefits in your country of residence, if you were resident there already while working in Finland and you do not intend to stay in Finland after becoming unemployed.

If you have been temporarily laid off in Finland or your Finnish employment relationship is still valid, you must apply for basic unemployment allowance from Kela or earnings-related unemployment allowance from the unemployment fund in Finland even though you live in another country.

Do as follows if you have recently moved to Finland and you are unemployed:

  1. Register with TE Services (tyomarkkinatori.fi) as unemployed and looking for work as soon as possible.
    • TE Services sends Kela a labour policy statement. The statement determines whether you are an unemployed jobseeker who can be granted an unemployment benefit.
  2. Once you have registered with TE Services, apply to Kela for unemployment benefit. If you are applying for benefits from Kela for the first time after moving to Finland and your entitlement to benefits has not yet been determined, you should also complete and submit the form Moving to Finland Y 77e (pdf) to Kela.
  3. Kela will grant you labour market subsidy or basic unemployment allowance at the earliest from the day when you registered as an unemployed jobseeker with TE Services.

Read more about what to do if you have become unemployed.

Have you fled the war in Ukraine and moved to Finland? Learn more about the benefits available to you in Finland.

Work performed abroad can be included in the Finnish work requirement, if you have worked in another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland. Work in some other country than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland cannot be included in the work requirement.

You need a form U1 granted by the employment authorities in your country of employment, confirming all your employment and unemployment insurance periods.

In order for the employment in the other country to be included in the Finnish work requirement, you must have worked in Finland for at least 4 weeks after the employment abroad ended. It must be possible to include the work in Finland in the work requirement.

In the following situations, no four-week period of work in Finland is required, however:

  • Finland remained your country of residence despite your stay and employment abroad, and you returned to Finland after the employment ended.
  • You worked in the other country as a cross-border worker and you were permanently resident in Finland at the same time.
  • You return to Finland from another Nordic country and one of the following situations applies to you:
    • You have during the previous 5 years received unemployment allowance from Finland.
    • You have been in paid employment that can count towards the work requirement for at least 1 week during the previous 5 years.
    • You have been in self-employment that can count towards the work requirement for at least 4 months during the previous 5 years.

Do as follows, so that the work performed abroad can be included in the work requirement

  1. Request a U1 form from the employment authorities in your country of employment (EU/EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland). Request the form before you move to Finland.
  2. Register with TE Services (tyomarkkinatori.fi) as unemployed and looking for work.
  3. Apply for unemployment benefit in the OmaKela e-service. Send the U1 form as an attachment to the application.
  4. If you are applying for benefits from Kela for the first time after moving to Finland and your entitlement to benefits has not yet been determined, you should also complete and submit the form Moving to Finland Y 77e (pdf) to Kela.

If you come from another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland and you are looking for work in Finland, you can receive unemployment benefit from your country of origin.

This presupposes that you have agreed on going to look for work abroad with the employment authorities in your country of origin. You cannot receive unemployment benefits from Finland at the same time.

You can look for work in Finland and receive unemployment benefit from your country of origin at the same time for a maximum of 6 months.

Do as follows, so that your entitlement to unemployment benefit from your country of origin is maintained in Finland

  1. Request a certificate on your entitlement to unemployment benefits (form U2) from the employment authorities in your country of origin.
  2. Submit the U2 certificate to TE Services (tyomarkkinatori.fi).
  3. Remember to report any changes to the employment authorities in your country of origin. For instance you should report if you find a job.

Do you still have questions?

Call Kela’s customer service.

020 634 2550
020 634 2550

On the Unemployment pages

Last modified 20/2/2024

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