Unemployment security and working abroad

If you move abroad, inform your unemployment fund and ask them for advice on continuing your membership and on transferring your periods of insurance and work (EU/EEA countries and Switzerland). If you are leaving Finland to seek employment in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you should first contact your local Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) to find out if you qualify for continued unemployment benefits.


EU/EEA countries and Switzerland

Regulation (EC) 883/2004 regulates the coordination of social security systems in the EU/EEA countries and Switzerland, and facilitates the movement of labour in the area. As a rule, you are covered by the social security of the country you work in and you can transfer your periods of work and insurance as you move from one EU/EEA country to another.

The EEA comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, along with all 28 European Union states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Northern Ireland (except for the Channel Islands: Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man), Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

Switzerland does not belong to the EU/EEA, but due to a separate treaty concluded with Switzerland, the same regulations apply to Switzerland and the EU/EEA countries.

In addition, the Nordic Social Security Agreement applies to the Nordic countries.


If you are leaving to seek employment in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland

You can go and seek employment in another EU/EEA country for three months. For that period, you may be entitled to an earnings-related allowance from your unemployment fund.

Contact your local TE Office and find out if you fulfil the requirements for seeking employment on a Finnish unemployment allowance. Eligibility requirements include that you are not employed and that you have been registered as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Office for a minimum of four weeks. After the TE Office has informed your unemployment fund that you are eligible for an unemployment allowance during your job-seeking period abroad, the fund will issue you with form U2 which you can present to the employment officers in the target country.

Eligibility requirements for the unemployment allowance are the same as they would be in Finland, so no payment will be made for waiting periods or periodisations, or after you have reached the maximum period. If you are not eligible for any earnings-related unemployment allowance during the job-seeking period, your unemployment fund will not issue you with form U2.

In order to receive the unemployment allowance without interruptions, you must register with the local unemployment office in the target country within seven days of your departure. If your register after seven days, the allowance can only be granted from the day you register.

Use the links below to find contact information of officials in the EU/EEA countries.



In the target country, it is best to deal with EURES advisers whenever possible as they have been specifically trained for these situations. Find contact information of EURES advisers from the link below.



If you want to continue receiving earnings-related unemployment allowance after the three months, you need to register as a jobseeker in Finland within three months of leaving. If you are late returning to Finland, you will only be eligible for earnings-related allowance after you have been working or participating in training organised by the TE Office in Finland for four weeks.


If you are leaving to work in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland

When moving to another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, contact your unemployment fund before leaving for more detailed information on whether or not to continue your membership in a Finnish fund. You should also seek advice from your unemployment fund if you will continue to reside in Finland but will be working in another EU/EEA country or if you are leaving for an EU/EEA country to become an entrepreneur.

If you will be working for a Finnish employer as a posted worker, you will still be covered by the Finnish unemployment security system. In this case, you should remain a member of your unemployment fund during the time you work abroad. You must also obtain, in advance, certificate A1 from the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

If you are working in another EU/EEA country for a longer period of time and then remain in that country as an unemployed jobseeker, you will be able to get credit for your periods of insurance and work from Finland if required. This is why you should ask for form U1 from your unemployment fund in Finland when you leave. The form provides officials in other countries with information about your periods of insurance and work in Finland.

In Sweden and Denmark, you need to be a member of an unemployment fund to be eligible for earnings-related unemployment allowance the same way as in Finland. In those countries, you need to join an unemployment fund if you wish to continue your earnings-related unemployment security. Contact a local unemployment fund for further advice on how to join and what the requirements are. Other EU/EEA countries have general unemployment insurance that does not normally require any specific action from you during your stay.


If you are moving to Finland after working in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland

In Finland, you can be credited for periods of insurance and work in other EU/EEA countries. In other words, if you become unemployed before you have fulfilled the employment and membership requirements in Finland, you may have fulfilled the requirements for earnings-related unemployment allowance by working in another EU/EEA country. For Sweden and Denmark, only periods of insurance and work as a member of an unemployment fund will be considered for earnings-related unemployment security. You can confirm periods of insurance and work in another EU/EEA country by delivering form U1 to your unemployment fund from the country you are leaving.

Periods of entrepreneurship may also be credited for the entrepreneur’s employment requirement in Finland if you have been an entrepreneur in a country where entrepreneurs are eligible for unemployment security. You should ask your unemployment fund for more detailed information.

Periods of insurance and work in another EU/EEA country may be credited for the employment requirement for earnings-related unemployment allowance provided that

  • immediately before becoming unemployed, you have worked in Finland for four weeks or been an entrepreneur in Finland for four months, and
  • you have joined an unemployment fund within four weeks of moving to Finland.


However, you are not required to have worked for four weeks or to have been an entrepreneur for four months in Finland if

  • during your period of work you have continued to reside in Finland and become unemployed, or
  • you qualify for the five-year rule, i.e. your last employment was in a Nordic country and, within the last five years, you have worked or received an unemployment allowance in Finland. In these cases, you are allowed eight weeks, instead of four, to join a Finnish unemployment fund.


If required, the unemployment fund will request information regarding your periods of insurance and work from the officials in the country you used to work in.

If your last employment was in Finland, or you qualify for the above mentioned five-year rule, your earnings in Finland will be used to calculate your earnings-related allowance. However, if you have resided in Finland while working in another EU/EEA country, your income from the EU/EEA country will be used to calculate your earnings-related allowance.


Frontier worker

If you work or have worked in an EU/EEA country other than your country of residence, the nature of your unemployment will determine which country will pay for your allowance. If you are partially unemployed (e.g. you still have an employment relationship but you have been laid off, you are working part-time, or you are called to work when required) your unemployment allowance is paid by the country of employment.

If you have been working in an EU/EEA country other than your country of residence and you become fully unemployed, your unemployment allowance is paid by your country of residence. This is why you must register as a jobseeker in your country of residence. If you wish, you may also register as a jobseeker in your country of employment but, as a rule, your unemployment allowance is paid by your country of residence.

You will be credited for your periods of insurance and work as mentioned earlier.


Other than EU/EEA countries and Switzerland

If you have worked in a non-EU/EEA country, you cannot be credited for your periods of insurance and work abroad. In order to be eligible for a Finnish unemployment allowance you must be a resident of Finland and fulfil all the eligibility requirements for benefits in Finland.

However, if you have been posted abroad by a Finnish employer, your unemployment security will be considered the same as if you had been working in Finland. In these cases, it is advisable to remain a member of a Finnish unemployment fund.



Sivu päivitetty viimeksi 02.01.2017

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