Quick guide when you move abroad

When you move abroad, 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 one year or for more than one year?

 

Abroad for less than one year

If you stay abroad temporarily, i.e. for less than one year, you are usually covered under the Finnish social security system and can receive benefits from Kela.

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Notify Kela even if you move abroad temporarily

Not all Kela benefits are paid abroad. Notify Kela also when you move abroad temporarily.

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Abroad for more than one year

If you move abroad for more than one year, your entitlement to Kela benefits and coverage under the Finnish social security system usually ends on the day of moving abroad.

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Notify Kela if you move abroad for more than one year

Notify Kela immediately when it is certain that you will move abroad. You can send the notification online.

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Kela issues a decision on the benefits

If you can no longer be covered under the Finnish social security system or a benefit can no longer be paid, 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 coverage under the Finnish social security system 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 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 social security system for the duration of the posting

Apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system with Kela, if you are posted for more than one year to some other country than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or a country that has a social security agreement with Finland.

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Students and family members

 

Residence abroad as a student

You may be covered under the Finnish social security system and receive Kela benefits even if you study abroad for longer than a year.

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Notify Kela if you study abroad

Apply for coverage under the social security system, if you move abroad to study there.

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Residence abroad as a family member

If you accompany a family member who is covered under the Finnish social security system abroad for more than one year, you can also be covered under the Finnish social security system.

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Apply for social security coverage as a family member

Apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system, if you accompany a family member abroad. On the same application you can also report any minor children.

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Residence abroad in retirement

 

Staying part of the year abroad on a regular basis

You may be covered under the Finnish social security system even if you live abroad for part of the year. You must maintain close ties to Finland, however.

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Permanent move abroad

Your right to coverage under the Finnish social security system will usually end on the day you move abroad. If you move to an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you can still receive certain Kela benefits.

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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

If you are covered under the Finnish social security system during the stay abroad, you can usually be paid Kela benefits on the same grounds as to persons living in Finland. 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 benefits 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. A notification of move to the local register office is not always sufficient.

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