Living in Finland


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Moving away from Finland

Notify the authorities of the move

When moving abroad from Finland, you must notify your Local Register Office (maistraatti) of your move. You can complete the notice of move online or with a form available at Local Register Offices and post offices.

If you permanently move away from Finland or reside abroad for a continuous period of two years, your residence permit will be revoked. You can lodge an application with the Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto) to prevent the cancellation of the residence permit. The application must be submitted before you have resided abroad for two years.

More information on the matter is available on the InfoFinland page Can I lose my residence permit?

Moving abroad and social security

When you move abroad or leave Finland for a period longer than a short holiday, you must also notify the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela). If you are covered by Finnish social security and leave the country for no longer than a year, you will usually retain your entitlement to Finnish social security during your stay abroad.

If you relocate to an EU or EEA country for work, you will be covered by the social security system in the country where you work even if your stay is shorter than one year. If this is the case, you are no longer eligible for Finnish social security.

If you move abroad for a period exceeding a year, your move is considered permanent. This ends your entitlement to Finnish social security upon your moving away from Finland. However, in some cases you can maintain your right to Finnish social security even if you stay abroad for more than a year. This option is available to students, for example. It also applies to workers who a Finnish employer has assigned abroad. The requirement is that you have submitted an application regarding the matter within a year of going abroad.

If you move to an EU or EEA country or Switzerland as a seconded employee (lähetetty työntekijä), your employer must apply for the E101/A1 certificate for you from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. It must be applied for before you leave the country. This certificate enables you to indicate that you are covered by Finnish social security even though you are working abroad.

When abroad, your social security can be affected by beginning studies or employment, for example. Always notify Kela of any changes in your circumstances.

More information on social security in Finland is available on the InfoFinland page Finnish social security.

Voluntary return of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants

If you want to return to your home country, you may in some cases receive assistance for this purpose. This assistance is either money or service. The amount of money depends on the country to which you are returning. Examples of the service include assistance in looking for a home or a job in the country to which you are returning.

You can receive assistance if:

  • you are an asylum seeker and your application is being processed
  • you have received a negative decision on your asylum application
  • you are a victim of human trafficking and do not have a municipality of residence in Finland
  • you have been granted a temporary residence permit because you cannot be removed from the country
  • you have received temporary protection
  • your international protection status in Finland has been withdrawn or cancelled and a decision has been made to deport you.

If you are a customer of a reception centre, you can apply for assisted voluntary return through your own reception centre. If you are not a customer of a reception centre, you can apply for assisted voluntary return through the Finnish Immigration Service.
Notification of moveFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Cancelling a residence permitFinnish | Swedish | English

Moving abroad and social securityFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiThe Finnish Immigration Service:
Voluntary returnFinnish | Swedish | English

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Social security and moving abroad