Information about Brexit and what it means for the social security benefits available from Kela

The United Kingdom completed its withdrawal from the European Union on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal is commonly referred to as Brexit.

Withdrawal agreement

The EU and the United Kingdom negotiated a withdrawal agreement which has been applicable since 1 February 2020. The agreement contains provisions on a transition period that lasted until the end of 2020.

The withdrawal agreement secures your social security rights based on the EU legislation, if you moved from Finland to the United Kingdom to live, work or study before 2021.  It also guarantees your social security rights if you moved from the United Kingdom to Finland to live, work or study before 2021.

Partnership agreement

After finalising the withdrawal agreement, the EU and the EU negotiated a partnership agreement, officially known as the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

It protects the social security rights of persons moving between Finland and the United Kingdom in 2021 or later. We will update this page with information on the effects of the new agreement on social security rights.

Moving to live, work or study in Finland or in the United Kingdom before 1 January 2021

This section explains how Brexit affects your social security rights if you moved from the United Kingdom to Finland or from Finland to the United Kingdom before 2021. 

If you moved to Finland or to the United Kingdom before 2021, you are, in the main, covered by the same EU provisions on social security as before Brexit. The withdrawal agreement protects your social security rights for life or for as long as your circumstances warrant the application of the withdrawal agreement.

One requirement for the entitlement to benefits provided by Kela for British nationals who live and work in Finland and their family members is that they are generally required to be residing legally in Finland. Please follow the instructions of the Finnish Immigration Service (migri.fi) as regards applying for a right of residence and the relevant time limits for doing so.

Information about your right of residence is provided to Kela by the Finnish Immigration Service (migri.fi). Kela obtains information on citizenship and changes in citizenship from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Moving to live, work or study in Finland or in the United Kingdom in or after 1 January 2021

This section provides information about the impact of Brexit on your social security entitlements if you move from the United Kingdom to Finland or from Finland to the United Kingdom in 2021 or later. Your social security rights are determined on the basis of the EU-UK partnership agreement.

One requirement for the entitlement to benefits provided by Kela for British nationals who live and work in Finland and their family members is that they are generally required to be residing legally in Finland. Apply to the Finnish Immigration Services (migri.fi) for the right to residence.

Kela’s customer service

Kela’s customer service number for international matters is open from 10 am to 3 pm (Finnish time) at 020 634 0200 (in Finnish) and 020 634 0300 (in Swedish). Both helplines also serve English-language customers.

On the Ask about international situations forum, experts from Kela answer questions concerning Kela benefits when moving to or from Finland. Customers are welcome to ask questions in Finnish, Swedish and English.

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