From Finland to another country

You must notify Kela if you move abroad. Temporary stays abroad and return to Finland must also be reported.

If you move abroad for less than a full year (which is regarded as temporary residence), you will normally retain your coverage under the Finnish social security system for the duration of your stay and you may qualify for Kela benefits. If you stay abroad for more than one year, your move abroad is considered permanent. Your right to coverage under the Finnish social security system will in most cases end on the day you move abroad.

When a temporary stay abroad becomes permanent, your right to coverage under the Finnish social security system will end when the circumstances change.

Regular stay abroad

You cannot be covered under the Finnish social security system if you regularly spend more than half of the year abroad. Those who mostly stay in Finland but who regularly spend part of their time abroad can be covered under the Finnish social security system if they maintain close ties to Finland.

In unclear situations, for instance the following factors are considered when determining if a person has close ties to Finland:

  • individual circumstances
  • periods of residence in Finland and abroad
  • family ties
  • housing circumstances
  • recurring stays in Finland.

Some benefits are not paid abroad at all, or their payment is restricted. More information about the benefits is available at Benefits in international situations (linkki /etuudet-kansainvalisissa-tilanteissa).

You can handle your Kela-related affairs over the Internet even while abroad

Through Kela’s online customer service (in Finnish and in Swedish), you can:

  • notify Kela of a move abroad
  • apply to retain your social security coverage when moving abroad
  • check your coverage under the Finnish social security system
  • notify Kela if your circumstances change while abroad (e.g. if you start work)
  • notify when you will be returning to Finland.
  • Any documentation in support of an application can be submitted to Kela either online or by mail.