Checklist for emigrants

If you are considering a move to another country or will soon move there, you should get to know the work-related practices and customs of your destination country well in advance. You will have to handle many matters in your home country before you move. If you prepare yourself well, you will be able to handle all the necessary matters abroad in an easier manner, which will help you settle in your new country and culture.

Unemployment benefits for seeking a job abroad

Check whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits in Finland for the duration that you will be looking for work in Europe.

You can transfer your unemployment benefits to another EU or EEA member state for a maximum period of three months while you look for a job if you

  • are eligible for a basic unemployment allowance or earnings-related unemployment benefit
  • have been unemployed for at least four weeks before you go abroad.

To enable the transfer, order a U2 form from the party that pays your benefit, i.e. Kela or your unemployment fund. In addition to these, you can also receive more information from your TE Office.

You can transfer your work history to another country with a U1 form, which you can order from the party that pays your unemployment benefits in Finland. Remember to also ask for a U1 form from your local officials once you decide to stop working in another country. You will need it when you come back to Finland. For more information, contact Kela or your unemployment fund.

Submit the following notifices before you move abroad

  1. Notify your TE Office of your move. Use the online services and update your jobseeker information. This applies to you if you are an unemployed jobseeker.
  2. Submit a change of address and emigration notice. This must always be done in writing. You can find the correct form on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV) or, postal office or Kela office. You must submit your notice at least one week after you have moved. For more information, contact the Population Register Centre.
  3. Notify your building or property manager of your move.
  4. Notify the tax office of your move.
  5. Notify Kela of your move so that, if necessary, you can be issued with a European Health Insurance Card.

Remember to take all your important documents with you

  • Your passport is still the handiest form of identification, even though an official identification card should be enough in the Nordic countries and the Schengen region. If required, take your visa and vaccination certificates. Check whether you will need a residence or work permit in your destination country.
  • Be prepared to present your birth certificate.
  • Get an international driving licence or ask the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland (ATCF) if there are any time limits for your Finnish driving licence.
  • If you intend to take a pet with you, check the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for the documents you may need, such as a EU pet passport.

Arrange your financial matters beforehand

  • Find out how you can submit your tax returns to Finland while you are abroad.
  • Check whether you will accrue any employment pension while you work abroad.
  • Agree on any necessary standing payment orders with your bank. Remember to also check whether your bank has a so-called correspondent bank in your destination country.
  • The need for insurance is affected by whether you will be working while you are abroad. If you are staying in an EU or EEA member state, you are already entitled to basic health care at local prices. But when you intend to move outside the EU and EEA region, consider whether you will need additional insurance.
  • If necessary, you can provide a contact in Finland with the power of attorney for any matters related to your bank or taxation, for example.

Get to know the conditions in the destination country well in advance

Before you move, you should check at least the following details on your destination country:

  • the websites of Finnish diplomatic missions
  • the apartments that are available and how they have been furnished, as well as their costs and electric plugs
  • the level and costs of medical and dentistry services as well as the related insurances
  • its culture and living conditions.

Things to remember while you are in your destination country

Submit the following notices:

  • If you have informed your TE Office that you intend to go to an EU or EEA member state to look for a job for a maximum duration of three months, remember to also register with the destination country’s labour services. Submit your notice within seven days after your date of departure so that you will be able to collect your unemployment allowance during the duration of your trip.
  • Submit an immigration notice and send your contact information to the local Finnish diplomatic mission. When you move to another Nordic country, register yourself with the country’s registration authority.

Check that you have the following contracts and agreements:

  • Ask for an employment contract in writing.
  • Sign a written lease for your apartment.
  • Make any necessary electricity, gas and water supply agreements.
  • Sign a banking agreement.

Find out where your health care providers are and the emergency numbers.