Quick guide when you move abroad

When you move abroad from Finland, your entitlement to benefits from Kela is determined on the basis of how long you intend to stay abroad, to which country you move and your reason for the stay abroad.

Abroad for less than 6 months

 

Abroad for less than 6 months

If you stay abroad temporarily, that is for less than 6 months, you are usually entitled to Kela benefits.

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Notify Kela even if you move abroad temporarily

Not all Kela benefits are paid abroad even during temporary stays abroad. Notify Kela if you receive child care allowance or general housing allowance, or you buy prescription medicines to cover the need for medication for more than 3 months due to a stay abroad.

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Abroad for more than 6 months

If you move abroad for more than 6 months, your entitlement to Kela benefits usually ends on the day of moving abroad.

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Notify Kela if you move abroad for more than 6 months

Notify Kela immediately when it is certain that you will move abroad and you receive some benefit from Kela. You can file the notification online.

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Kela issues a decision on the benefits

f you no longer have the right to receive a Kela benefit, you will receive a decision about this.

Working abroad

 

Work in an EU country or at sea

Even a short employment spell in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland will usually end your entitlement to Kela benefits even if you live in Finland. The same rule applies to work at sea on board a vessel carrying the flag of another Member State.

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Notify Kela of work abroad

Notify Kela if you start work in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. Also notify Kela of work at sea. Check your entitlement to social security coverage and benefits in the country of employment.

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Posted worker abroad

If you are a posted worker, you can remain covered under the Finnish social security system. If you are posted to an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or a country that has a social security agreement with Finland, you should apply for coverage under the social security system with the Finnish Centre for Pensions (Eläketurvakeskus).

 

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Apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system for the duration of the posting

You must together with your employer notify Kela if you are posted to work in some other country than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or a country that has a social security agreement with Finland for more than 6 months.

If your family accompanies you abroad, your family members must also notify their stay abroad. This is especially important if your family accompanies you abroad and you or a family member receive Kela benefits.

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Students and family members

 

As a student abroad

You may receive Kela benefits even if you study abroad for longer than 6 months.

 

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Notify Kela if you study abroad

Kela usually gets information about the studies abroad if you are applying for or receive student financial aid for your studies abroad. If you do not receive student financial aid from Kela, you must notify Kela about your studies abroad.

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Residence abroad in retirement

 

Staying part of the year abroad on a regular basis

You are usually entitled to Kela benefits if you stay abroad for a maximum of 6 months without interruption.

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Residence abroad as a family member

If you accompany your family member who is entitled to social security coverage to another country, you are also entitled to social security coverage and Kela benefits.

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Permanent move abroad

Your entitlement to Kela benefits usually ends on the day of moving. If you move to an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you can still receive certain Kela benefits, such as national pension.

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Notify Kela of move abroad

Always contact Kela if you move abroad.

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Payment of benefits abroad

 

Benefits can be paid abroad

You can usually receive benefits from Kela in the same manner as if you were living in Finland if you stay abroad temporarily. You can also receive benefits from Kela during stays abroad of more than 6 months if you for instance study abroad on a full-time basis or if you work abroad as a posted worker. Please note, however, that for instance social assistance is only paid for costs incurred in Finland.

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Notify Kela if you are moving abroad

Always contact Kela if you move abroad and you receive benefits from Kela. If the benefit cannot be paid abroad, Kela will give you a decision about this.

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Move back to Finland

 

Notify Kela

Also notify Kela of your return to Finland. Just filing a notification of move with the local register office is usually not enough.

 

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