Social security coverage for students and researchers

Persons who study or pursue research work abroad remain covered under the Finnish social security system if the stay abroad lasts for one year, maximum. Notify Kela about your move abroad. If the full-time studies or research work abroad last for more than one year, you can apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system.

In order to continue to be covered in Finland during a period of foreign study or research lasting more than one year, you must have been covered under the Finnish social security system when you moved abroad and must maintain close ties to Finland. You must study full time in a programme which leads to the attainment of a degree or professional qualifications and which is organised by a state-accredited educational institution.

In this context, research means post-doctoral work supported by grants. If you receive pay for your work, you are usually covered under the social security system of the country of employment. If you are not counted as an employee, you can remain covered under the Finnish social security system.

Persons who in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland work alongside their studies are usually covered under the social security system of the country of employment. You cannot be covered under the Finnish social security system at the same time. Please note that persons who in some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland work alongside their studies usually retain coverage under the Finnish social security system. Remember to always notify Kela of your employment abroad.

You can receive a decision on your coverage under the Finnish social security system at first for a maximum of five years. The decision can be continued for another five years. If you have studied or pursued research work abroad on a full-time basis for 10 years, you must return to Finland for at least one year in order to again qualify for continued coverage under the Finnish social security system during a stay abroad.

Grant recipients

If you receive a Finnish grant for research work or postgraduate studies in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland which has to be insured under the Farmers' Pensions Act (maatalousyrittäjien eläkelaki), you have to apply for a decision on coverage under the Finnish social security legislation and an A1 certificate with the Finnish Centre for Pensions (Eläketurvakeskus) for the duration of the work that is financed through the grant.

Coverage under the Finnish social security system for persons who pursue research work or postgraduate studies in a country that has a social security agreement with Finland requires consent from the authorities of the country of employment.

Apply for coverage under the social security system with Kela if you receive a grant from Finland and you pursue research work for more than one year in some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland. The grant must be insured under the Farmers' Pensions Act (MYEL). Follow the same procedure if you go abroad for artistic work.

Further information