If you are an EU citizen, you have lost your job in Finland and you have right to receive Finnish unemployment benefits and for example you want to return to your country of origin, you can contact your national employment service to find out if you are entitled to still receive unemployment payments from Finland. If you are, you'll need to:
- Register directly as a jobseeker in your home country.
- Apply for a U1 form (formerly E 301 form) in Finland. This is a statement of insurance periods to be taken into account when calculating an unemployment benefit.
Even if you don't submit a U1 form, the claim handlers can get the information directly from the Finnish authorities, but still the form is recommended because it may help to speed up the processing.
According to the European Commission, you can apply for an authorization to transfer your unemployment benefit from Finland either back to your home country or to any other country of the EU where you want to look for a job. But you can only get payments from Finland if your country of origin or destination does not recognize you the right to perceive national benefits.
It is also important to note that what is explained in this article is valid for people who have generated the right to collect unemployment benefits for having been working previously in Finland. This mechanism does not apply for the labour market subsidy, the basic benefit that Finnish authorities pay in order to provide basic support while the person is looking for a job.
At least for 3 months
If you fulfill the conditions explained above, you can keep receiving abroad your unemployment benefit from Finland for at least 3 months. You can only do this if you are:
- Totally unemployed (not partially or intermittently).
- Entitled to receive unemployment benefits in Finland.
If you want to do so, before leaving Finland you must:
- Have been registered as an unemployed jobseeker in the TE-Office for at least 4 weeks.
- Apply to your national employment services for a U2 form (formerly E 303). This is an authorisation to export your unemployment benefits.
On arrival in the new country, you need to:
- Register as a jobseeker with the national employment services within 7 days from the date on which you ceased to be available to the employment services in the country you left.
- Submit your U2 form (formerly E 303) when you register.
- Agree to any checks made on unemployment benefit claimants in your new country as if you were receiving unemployment benefits there.
The same amount as before will then be paid directly into your bank account in Finland. However, it is important to check out your rights and duties as a jobseeker in the new country, they may be very different from Finland.
If you want to keep your entitlement to unemployment benefits after three months, be sure to return to Finland before or on the day your entitlement expires.
Please note that if you come from Croatia, there may be rules temporarily restricting your right to work in some other EU countries.
Staying abroad more than 3 months
If you want to stay abroad for longer than 3 months, you need to apply for an extension from TE-Office as early as possible, before the end of the initial 3-month period. They may extend the 3-month period up to 6 months. Depending on the case, they could ask for:
- Evidence of any efforts you made to find a job during the first 3 months.
- Evidence that you have a better chance of finding a job abroad during the extended period.
- Information about job opportunities on your host country's labour market.
Not always the same benefits
Each EU country has its own rules on unemployment benefits. This means you might get benefit for 24 months in your home country but just 12 months in another. It's worth comparing the benefits paid in each country, paying special attention to:
- Periods of work required to qualify for unemployment benefit.
- Applicable rates for calculating the benefits.
- Duration of the benefit.