From Finland to another country to look for work

You can stay abroad without losing your entitlement to unemployment benefits if

  • you register as a jobseeker in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland (only concerns basic unemployment allowance) or
  • you stay abroad temporarily and your registration as jobseeker in Finland is valid during your stay abroad. You must also be prepared to accept a job offer in Finland or participate in employment promoting measures arranged by the TE Services (concerns both basic unemployment allowance and labour market subsidy).

Read more about payment of benefits abroad if you receive a benefit from Kela and you are about to move abroad.

Unemployment allowance to an EU or EEA country or to Switzerland

You maintain the right to basic unemployment allowance paid by Kela or earnings-related unemployment allowance paid by the unemployment fund for a maximum of 3 months, if you look for work in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland. In such situations, labour market subsidy is not paid, however.

Do as follows if you go to another EU or EEA country or Switzerland to look for work:

  • Notify the TE Services about your stay abroad well in advance. The TE Services verify if you can receive an unemployment benefit while looking for work abroad.
  • Request a certificate U2 from Kela or the unemployment fund at the least 2 weeks before going abroad. Take the certificate with you to the country where you will be looking for work.
  • Register with the local employment authorities within 7 days. If you cannot obtain the certificate U2 in time, register without it.
  • You must meet the obligations related to being a jobseeker.

Kela or the unemployment fund will pay you the unemployment benefit on the same grounds as for jobseekers in Finland. Payment of the basic unemployment allowance starts after Kela has received confirmation from the employment authorities in the country where you look for work that you are registered as a jobseeker. Payment of the benefit will not be interrupted, if you return to Finland within 3 months and register with the TE Services. If the registration is delayed, you will lose your entitlement to unemployment allowance.

Temporary stay abroad

If your registration as jobseeker in Finland is valid, you can stay abroad without losing your entitlement to basic unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy. However, this presupposes that you are still considered as permanently resident in Finland.

If you are offered a job or invited to a job interview, you must be able to return quickly to Finland.

Applying for unemployment benefits if you live abroad

If you have worked in Finland and you move or return to another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you can use your periods of employment in Finland if you apply for unemployment benefits in your country of residence. The conditions regarding employment history are in many EU and EEA countries similar to those in Finland.

The work in Finland can be verified with a certificate U1. You can ask Kela or the unemployment fund to give you a certificate for instance by phone. Request the certificate in time, since it takes time to issue the certificate. At Kela the unit responsible for matters related to the certificate is the Centre for International Affairs.