Benefits in international situations

Moving from Finland to another country or from another country to Finland may affect your social security coverage. Always remember to check your entitlement to social security benefits under the Finnish social security system and to benefits paid by Kela, if you:

  • move to Finland or abroad permanently
  • stay in Finland or abroad temporarily
  • start working in Finland or abroad. Filing a notification of move is important, even if your country of residence will not change.

Payment of benefits abroad

If your stay abroad is temporary  – less than one year – you are generally covered by the Finnish social security system. You are usually entitled to Kela benefits as if you were still living in Finland. This means that benefits already in payment can be paid to you while you are abroad. You can also apply for new benefits.

However, if you live abroad on a permanent basis (for more than 1 year), you are normally not eligible for benefits from Kela. Payment of benefits ends on the day you move.

Check your social security coverage in Finland via Kela's online customer service (in Finnish or Swedish)

The benefits available from Kela are divided into two groups based on whether they are payable to persons living abroad on a temporary or permanent basis. If you are a posted worker, a civil servant, a student or a family member to a person in any of those positions, you may be entitled to certain Kela benefits even if your stay abroad is longer than one year. Such benefits include national and survivor pensions, child benefit, parental allowance and maternity grant.

Eligibility for benefits when moving to Finland

You can apply for Kela benefits if you are covered by the Finnish social security system. You must also meet the entitlement criteria for the benefit.

You can find out if you are entitled to Finnish social security benefits either via our online customer service (in Finnish or Swedish) or by sending us the form Application for social security when moving to Finland (Y77e), if you have not already done so.

Residence-based social security systems such as those in Finland and the rest of the Nordic countries may require a certain period of residence to qualify for benefits, a qualifying period. Qualifying periods such as these apply to, for instance, the parental allowances and the national pension.

Any periods of insurance you may have completed under the social security system of another EU/EEA country or of Switzerland count towards this qualifying period.

Read more