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 employment abroad. Filing a notification is important, even if your country of residence will not change.
  • you belong to a group of persons that is entitled to Kela benefits during stays abroad of more than 6 months.

Payment of benefits abroad

If you live abroad temporarily (that is, less than 6 months) you are usually entitled to Kela benefits in the same way 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, basic social assistance is not paid abroad.

If you live abroad on a permanent basis (for more than 6 months), you are normally not eligible for benefits from Kela. Payment of benefits ends on the day you move.

Check the data Kela has about your stays in Finland and abroad through Kela’s e-service (in Finnish or Swedish).

Check your entitlement to social security coverage in Finland through Kela’s e-service.

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 the claim for benefit you must complete the notification “Ilmoitus Suomeen muutosta” (Notification of move to Finland) in Kela’s e-service or submit the form Moving to Finland (Y 77e). If you have filed the notification earlier in connection with some other claim for benefit 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 about 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.

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.

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