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 temporarily, that is for less than 6 months, you are usually entitled to Kela benefits. If you stay abroad for more than 6 months, your move abroad is considered permanent. In that case, your entitlement to Kela benefits usually ends on the day of moving.

Please note that if you work in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you cannot be granted benefits provided by Kela even if the work abroad lasts for less than 6 months.

When a temporary stay abroad becomes permanent the entitlement to Kela benefits ends immediately.

Regular stay abroad

If you regularly stay abroad part of the year but at the most for 6 months at a time, you are entitled to Kela benefits.  

If you repeatedly stay abroad for less than 6 months in a so called third country, i.e. some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, the country where you primarily stay is considered as your country of residence.

If you repeatedly stay abroad for less than 6 months in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, your country of residence is determined according to the country to which you have close ties. Factors that are taken into account are for instance

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

When determining a person’s country of residence within the EU area, the other member state’s opinion also counts if the situation is unclear.

Some benefits are not paid abroad at all, or their payment is restricted. More detailed information about the benefits is available under Benefits in international situations.

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
  • check the data Kela has about your stays in Finland and abroad
  • notify Kela if your circumstances change while abroad (e.g. if you start work)
  • notify when you will be returning to Finland.