Working and job-seeking abroad

Job-seeking in the EU

You can go job-seeking in another EU country for a period of three months. You can be paid an earnings-related allowance from Finland while you are job-seeking abroad. However, you can only go job-seeking abroad if you are not currently employed and if you have been signed up as an unemployed job-seeker with the TE Office for at least four weeks. Steps to take if you want to go job-seeking abroad:
  1. Contact the TE Office. The TE Office will make an assessment as to whether you qualify and give a statement about your circumstances to your unemployment fund.
  2. Ask your unemployment fund for a U2 form to take with you on your job-seeking trip.
  3. Make sure to register as a job-seeker in your destination country within seven days of your departure. Give the U2 form you received from your unemployment fund to the employment authorities in your destination country.
If you fail to register as a job-seeker in your destination country within the first seven days, you will only be eligible for your earnings-related allowance from the registration date onwards. We recommend that you seek out EURES advisers in your destination country if you can. EURES advisers are trained specialists who provide assistance to both job-seekers and employers interested in the European job market. You can read more about the EURES network on the TE Services website. We can continue to pay you an earnings-related allowance after your job-seeking trip if you return to Finland within three months of your departure. You will need to sign up as a job-seeker in Finland. The deadline for your return to Finland will also be shown in the U2 form that you get from your unemployment fund. If you miss the deadline, your eligibility for an earnings-related allowance will not begin until you have been working or attending a training course run by the TE Office in Finland for at least four weeks. If you find a job in your destination country, you will need to let both the local employment authorities and your unemployment fund in Finland know about your job. If you find part-time work, we can continue to pay you an adjusted allowance. The maximum period for which an adjusted allowance can be paid is also three months from your departure.  

Working as a posted worker

If you are posted to work abroad by a Finnish employer, you will still be covered by the Finnish unemployment security system. Make sure to keep your membership with your unemployment fund active while you work abroad. Remember to also request an A1 certificate proving that you qualify for social security in Finland before you leave. A1 certificates are available from the Finnish Centre for Pensions and the Social Insurance Institution (SII). If your destination country has a social security agreement with Finland (e.g. EU Member States, USA, Canada, Australia), you can get the certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. If your destination country does not have a social security agreement with Finland (e.g. Russia and China), you will need to apply for a certificate from the Social Insurance Institution (SII). For more information, contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions or the Social Insurance Institution (SII).  

Working in the EU

Please let your unemployment fund know if you are going to work in another EU country (EU/EEA Member States and Switzerland). In many EU countries, you will be automatically covered by the social insurance system of your destination country, and being a member of a Finnish unemployment fund is therefore not necessary while you work abroad. If you intend to work in Sweden or Denmark, however, we recommend that you join a local unemployment fund there. Periods that you work in another EU country also count towards your insurance and employment history in Finland. This means that if you become unemployed before you satisfy the employment and membership requirement for an earnings-related allowance based on your employment history in Finland, you may still qualify based on work performed abroad. Periods that you work in Sweden or Denmark only count towards your insurance and employment history in Finland if you were a member of a local unemployment fund. We will request the details of periods that you have been insured and worked abroad from the employment authorities of your destination country via the EU’s EESSI (Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information) system. Work performed in another EU country can only be taken into account in the calculation of the employment requirement on the basis of this information. For periods that you have been insured and worked in another EU country to count towards satisfying the employment requirement for an earnings-related allowance, you must,
  • after your return to Finland, have worked in Finland for at least four weeks or run a business in Finland for at least four months immediately before becoming unemployed, and
  • have joined an unemployment fund in Finland within one month of your return to Finland.
In most cases, your eligibility for an earnings-related allowance will be based on your having worked for a period of at least four weeks in Finland after your return to Finland. The requirement of four weeks of work or four months of running a business in Finland does not, however, apply if
  • you are a so-called cross-border commuter, i.e. you continued to live in Finland while you worked abroad, and you become fully unemployed, or
  • you are a so-called Nordic remigrant, i.e. you most recently worked in another Nordic country and you have worked in Finland or received a daily allowance in Finland in the last five years. In such circumstances, you have eight weeks instead of the one month to join a Finnish unemployment fund.

Working in the Nordic countries

Sweden and Denmark have an unemployment fund system like Finland. If you go to work in Sweden or Denmark, you will need to join a local unemployment fund there. Periods that you worked in Sweden or Denmark can only be credited towards the employment requirement in Finland if you were a member of a local unemployment fund while you worked there. In Norway and Iceland, you will be automatically covered by the unemployment security system of your destination country. We will request the details of periods that you have been insured and worked abroad from the employment authorities of your destination country via the EU’s EESSI (Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information) system when you return to Finland. If you have worked in another Nordic country for more than five years, the work you performed there can only be credited towards the employment requirement in Finland if you work in Finland for a period of at least four weeks after your return.  

Nordic remigrants

If you return to Finland after working in another Nordic country for a period of no more than five years, you will be classed as a so-called Nordic remigrant. In such circumstances, you have eight weeks from your return to Finland to join a Finnish unemployment fund. You will not need to work for four weeks in Finland to qualify for an earnings-related allowance. As long as you return from living in another Nordic country within five years, your eligibility for an earnings-related allowance will be based on your last period of employment in Finland. This period can precede the time you spent working in the other Nordic country.  

Cross-border commuters who work in a country other than their country of residence

If you work in one EU country but live in another and return there at least once a week, you count as a cross-border commuter. Both the country in which you live and the country in which you work must belong to the EU (EU/EEA Member States and Switzerland). In order to be insured against unemployment, you must be a member of an unemployment fund or insured through your work in the country in which you work. If you are a cross-border commuter and you become fully unemployed, your unemployment security will be paid for by the country in which you live. If you are a cross-border commuter and you become partially unemployed due to, for example, a lay-off or part-time work, you will need to apply for unemployment security from the country in which you work.  

Determination of the place of residence

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to determine your place of residence separately in order to identify the work based on which you can be granted an earnings-related allowance. This may be the case, for example, if you work in one country but live in another and do not return there every week, in which case you cannot be classed as a cross-border commuter. The determination of the place of residence is always made on a case-by-case basis and in connection with the processing of your earnings-related allowance application.  

Working outside of the EU

Working outside of the EU (EU/EEA Member States and Switzerland) on a basis other than as a posted worker does not count towards the employment requirement in Finland. In order to qualify for an earnings-related allowance, you must satisfy all the eligibility criteria for an earnings-related allowance in Finland. When you return to Finland from outside of the EU, you cannot join an unemployment fund while unemployed like you can when returning from the EU. If you were receiving an earnings-related allowance before your departure and you have not yet used up your maximum earnings-related allowance period, you may be able to resume receiving allowance payments after your return on the same terms as before. However, this is only the case if you kept your membership with a Finnish unemployment fund active and remained available for work in Finland while working abroad. If you leave the labour market for a period of more than six months, you will be deemed to no longer satisfy the employment requirement and will therefore not be eligible for an earnings-related allowance. You can get more information about the rules of being available for work from the TE Office. If, on the other hand, you only go to work in a country outside of the EU for a short amount of time and then return to Finland, you can be paid an earnings-related allowance based on your work before your departure. However, for this to be the case, you must have worked for at least 26 calendar weeks in Finland before your departure within a 28-month review period. In addition, you must have kept your membership with a Finnish unemployment fund active throughout your time working abroad.

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  • Membership fee is only €7/month.
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  • Union members also get support for employment contract matters.
  • Secure your future. We are here for you!