You can only be covered by social security in one country at a time. You are usually covered by social security in the country where you work. If you are not in work, you are generally covered by social security in your country of residence. However, there are many situations where you need to be particularly vigilant. Here the particular focus is on guidance relating to Finland in different situations.
You can find general information on social security coverage in different situations on the page Which country's social security system are you covered by? You can read more about Finnish social security benefits and services on the collection page Social security or on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
If you live or work in Finland
Just moving to Finland does not mean that you are entitled to Finnish social security benefits. When you apply for benefits, Kela assesses whether you live in Finland permanently or can be entitled to Kela benefits based on your employment. You can read more about moving to Finland permanently on the page Notifying a move and population registration in Finland.
Note that you are covered by unemployment insurance in the country where you work or whose legislation applies to you. You cannot therefore continue to belong to an unemployment fund in your country of residence if you have gone to another country for work and are covered by social security in your country of employment. Read more on the page Unemployment benefits in Finland.
You can gain entitlement to Finnish social security as soon as you have moved to Finland if your move is permanent or if you work in Finland and the minimum wage requirement is met. Professional athletes are treated in the same way as employees. You can read more about the minimum wage requirement on Kela’s website.
If you come to Finland from another Nordic country, you have been engaged in business activity continuously for at least 4 months and you have taken out insurance under the Self-Employed Persons' Pension Act (YEL), as a self-employed person you are entitled to benefits from the start of your business activities.
If you are a posted worker from abroad, you will usually remain covered by the social security system of your country of origin. You must have your A1 certificate from your country of origin with you. Read more on the Your Europe website.
Trainees, au pairs and other short-term or low-paid workers are usually not entitled to Kela benefits if they do not meet the minimum wage requirement and are not permanently resident in Finland. They remain covered by social security in their country of origin.
Persons not covered by Finnish social security are entitled to medical treatment in Finland with a European Health Insurance Card from their country of origin. Nordic citizens should also have access to treatment on presentation of a passport or other official identity document. Read more on the page Right to healthcare services in Finland.
If you work abroad
If you live in Finland but work exclusively in another country, you are generally covered by the social security system of the country where you work. Posted workers who have received an A1 certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions are an exception to this. If you work in several countries, the amount of work you do will affect which country you are insured in. If you work remotely, see the section on Teleworking abroad.
If you live in Finland but work exclusively in another country as an employee or self-employed person, you are generally covered by the social security system of the country where you work. Being insured in your country of employment means that your entire social security cover is determined by the legislation of the country you work in. A worker insured in another Nordic country cannot receive benefits based on residence in Finland (for example, maternity allowance or child benefit) even if he or she is still considered to be living in Finland and only staying abroad temporarily.
So-called cross-border workers may be entitled to limited benefits from Kela (maternity allowance, private day care allowance, general housing allowance and sickness benefits) even if they work in another country applying the EU regulation but still live permanently in Finland. A cross-border worker is defined as a worker who returns to his or her country of residence on a regular daily or at least weekly basis.
If you start working in another Nordic country, inform both Kela and the social security authorities in the country where you work. See also our country-specific guides.
If you live in Finland and work remotely from Finland for a foreign employer, as a rule you will always be insured in Finland. If you go abroad temporarily and work remotely for a Finnish employer, the employer must apply for an A1 certificate for you. Read more on the website of the Finnish Centre for Pensions.
If your employer sends you to work in another Nordic country, you will need an A1 certificate of Finnish social security coverage. It is recommended that employees apply for this certificate whenever they go abroad for their work. Read more on the website of the Finnish Centre for Pensions and on the page Workers posted from Finland.
If you live in Finland and work in Finland and another Nordic country, you are covered by Finnish social security in your country of residence if you do at least 25% of your work in Finland. If you do less than 25% of your work in your country of residence, Finland, it is your employer or your employer’s domicile that determines which country's social security you are covered by.
If you are an official and/or self-employed in one or more countries, you will be subject to the legislation of the country to which the agency you work for is subject.
You should apply for an A1 certificate from the social security authority in your country of residence.
If you work as a pilot or cabin crew member on a passenger or transport aircraft, or as a seafarer on board a ship, special rules apply to you. Read more on the Kela and the Finnish Centre for Pensions websites.
If you get a grant
If you are a researcher or a grant recipient, read the guidance on the page Researchers and grant recipients in Finland.
If you are a student
If you go abroad from Finland, you can usually get Kela benefits if your stay abroad lasts up to 6 months. However, if you are a student or doing research abroad, you are entitled to Kela benefits for a longer period. The requirement for this is that you were entitled to Kela benefits before you went abroad to study or do research. In addition, the studies must be full-time, lead to a profession or qualification and take place in an educational establishment governed by public law.
In certain situations, Kela pays study grants for studies abroad. Read more on Kela’s website.
If you come to Finland from another Nordic country to study, your stay in Finland is usually considered temporary. Then social security is the responsibility of your country of departure. However, you are entitled to essential medical care. Read more on the page Right to healthcare services in Finland.
If you come to Finland to study from another country, you generally get student financial aid from your country of departure. If you are not a Finnish citizen and you have come to Finland to study, you generally cannot get student financial aid from Finland. Read more on the page Financial aid for students in Finland.
If you are unemployed
If you are an unemployed jobseeker and want to move from Finland to another country or from another country to Finland, see the page Unemployment benefits in Finland.
If you have a family or are expecting a baby
If you have a family or are expecting a baby and are moving, check out the Info Norden and Kela pages below.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.