Going abroad to work or study
How can I find a job abroad?
Open positions in EU and EEA member states are available on EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal. The job advertisements come from EURES members and partners, especially from public European labour agencies. You can identify them from the abbreviation EPES.
Employers use the portal to advertise jobs for which they are especially interested in hiring employees from other European countries. These “EURES jobs” can be identified from the blue flag.
The EURES portal will also help you formulate your CV. In addition to the portal, you can also find tips and links on where you can find jobs from the website of the TE Services. Use the Foreign countries search menu in the Job Vacancies search.
Where can I get an apartment?
You should first ask your employer whether they can help you find an apartment. The information on the job in EURES may specify if the employer is able to provide housing.
However, you will often be required to look for an apartment, much in the same way as you would in Finland.
What sorts of language skills will I need?
Your employer will decide on the language skills required by the task. When you are looking for a job, you will usually be required to have at least a good command of the language of your destination country. In some international corporations, the working language may be e.g. English no matter where the work is done. However, you will often need to know the local language when you are outside the office.
How should I write my application letter and CV?
The job advertisement will often specify what type of application the employer is looking for. The contents of your application letter and CV will be fairly similar to the ones used in Finland.
However, be aware that there are differences in practices between different countries. For example, in Britain you should add the contact information of the people who can recommend you, and in Germany you will be expected to append copies of your certificates.
A common European model for CVs has been approved for use in the EU. It is suitable for both vocational and academic graduates. This Europass CV provides a clear picture of your competence and professional skills.
Include the following in your Europass CV:
- your personal information
- your educational background
- your previous work experience
- the knowledge and skills that you have gained in your life that you have not received a certificate for.
You can download the CV model from the CV online section in the EURES portal or from the Europass website. The model is available in several different languages.
Should I translate my work and educational certificates?
You do not need to send any copies of your certificates unless specifically requested to do so in the job advertisement. However, take note that different countries have different practices – for example, you may need to send them for a position in Germany. Usually you will only need to send an application letter and your CV to begin with.
If you do not have any certificates available in the language of your destination country, you may need to translate them. If you translate them yourself, they can still be of use in the job application process.
Authorised translations cost money and you will usually only need them if you are applying for a regulated profession. These include for example the position of a doctor or nurse which are subject to specific competency requirements laid out in the country’s law or regulations.
How quickly can I get a job abroad?
You can never know with absolute certainty how much time it will take to apply for a job in Finland or abroad. If there is great demand for employees in the field, you can find a job very quickly.
Your employer may request that you should begin the work at short notice.
When you are applying for work abroad, you should reserve more time for the process, for example 3–4 months. If you decide to move abroad, this will entail many practical arrangements that will take quite a bit of time.
How do I pay my taxes? Do I need to take my Finnish tax card with me?
The taxation of the work that you perform abroad is affected by whether your salary will be paid by a foreign or Finnish employer.
If your salary is paid by a foreign employer
- you will pay your taxes to the country that you are working in
- you do not need a Finnish tax card abroad
- your tax rate is defined by the laws of the country you are working in.
Your salary is also subject to taxation in Finland, but in practice most tax agreements will prevent your salary from being taxed twice. You should visit the local tax office during the first days of your work abroad.
Find out more about any basic matters related to the taxation principles of your destination country with your employer before you accept the job. You should also contact your local tax office in Finland before you leave.
Am I eligible for assistance from the TE Office if I go abroad for a job interview or to work?
Your TE Office can reimburse you for any for a two-way job interview journey to another EU or EEA member state if the work will last for at least two weeks and your working hours will be at least 18 hours per week on average.
As an unemployed jobseeker, you are allowed to go to another EU or EEA member state or Switzerland for three months to look for work and still retain the right to an unemployment allowance that is paid in Finland.
You may receive a mobility subsidy for any expenses that are caused when you accept a job. The subsidy is paid by your unemployment fund or Kela.If you are a customer of a local government trial on employment, contact your municipality of residence in matters related to refunding travel and overnight stay expenses for job interviews.
- Jobseekers’ services during the local government trials
- More information on job interview or application trips in the EU and EEA region and Switzerland
- More information on travel and accommodation expenses and travel allowance
You can apply for support from the Your First EURES Job project when you are going abroad for a job interview or to work if
- you are between the ages of 18 and 35
- you are an EU citizen and you are officially resident in an EU country
- your place of employment is located in a EU member state, Norway or Iceland, but not in Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
What should I remember to do before I move abroad?
What are forms U2 and U1?
These forms are used to define your social benefits when you move from one country to another.
Form U2 allows you to transfer your unemployment benefit to another country for a maximum period of three months, during which you will look for work abroad. For more information, see the page
Going on a jobseeking trip to the EU and EEA region and Switzerland on an unemployment allowance
Form U1 is used to prove your insurance and working period. If you have worked in an EU member state and you become unemployed before the employment period required for the unemployment benefit has been met, you can utilise the insurance and working periods that you have accumulated in other EU member states.
When you move as an EU citizen from one member state to another, your social security is defined by the EU regulation on the coordination of social security systems, or the so-called basic regulation. This applies to all EU and EEA member states.
This social security regulation is further applied to the citizens of so-called third countries – i.e. people who come from other countries than the ones included in the EU and EEA and Switzerland – if their country of departure or country of application is the United Kingdom or Denmark. This regulation includes forms E303 and E301, and they correspond to the U forms used in EU member states.
For more information and the forms, contact Kela or your unemployment fund.
What documents do I need when I come back from working in an EU or EEA member state?
Before you return back to Finland from your work abroad, remember to ask for specific certificates that you will need for your unemployment benefits and insurances. Doing this after the fact may be more laborious than you expect.
- Your work reference should include the date that the work started and ended as well as the reason for why the work ended for any potential unemployment benefit applications.
- You can ask for your U1 form – or E301 form – on your work and insurance periods from the officials who handle unemployment insurance matters in the country in question.
- Remember to also ask for any certificates on other than salaried work if for example you have been studying or looked for jobs.
- Even your payroll statements can sometimes be of use in unemployment insurance matters.
Where can I find more information on Finnish companies that operate abroad?
The TE Offices do not have any lists of Finnish companies that operate abroad. The TE Office can only tell you about the vacancies that an employer has advertised at the moment.
If a Finnish company advertises a vacancy that is located abroad, you will find it on the Open vacancies page. Use the search filter titled “abroad”.
What is the difference between a posted worker and an employee looking for a position?
A posted worker is an employee who has been sent to work in another country by their employer.
If a person is sent to work abroad from Finland
- they are subject to Finnish laws and collective agreements during the employment relationship, but they must also take the host country's regulations into account
- the employer will pay for the posted employee’s trips and accommodations.
An employee who is looking for a position is an employee who travels abroad on their own initiative and finds a job there.
In such cases
- the work is subject to the labour laws, social security policies and collective agreements of the country where the work is performed
- the applicant must usually pay for their trips and housing, unless otherwise agreed.
When it comes to the taxation, insurances and social security of an employee, there are significant differences between a posted worker and an employee who has found employment abroad. For example, see Kela’s website: Posted workers