Working or participating in an internship abroad

Your work or studies abroad will be affected by whether you decide to go to an EU or EEA member state or outside these areas. Before you begin applying for work abroad, evaluate your language skills, expertise and the employment situation of your field in your destination country.

Working in EU or EEA member states and Switzerland

As a Finnish citizen, you will be entitled to the same work-related rights and responsibilities as the citizens of the country in question.

When you intend to move from Finland to another EU or EEA member state or from one of these to Finland, the EURES online service will provide you with the best tips on open jobs, educational opportunities and the situation in the job market.

More information

Working in a country outside the EU and EEA region

If you intend to work outside the EU and EEA, you will usually need a work permit that has been issued by the country’s immigration authority. As a jobseeker, you will be personally required to find out the necessary prerequisites and procedures related to the work permits. For more information, contact e.g. the embassies of the countries that you are interested in.

Interning abroad

An internship supports your professional development, language skills and readiness to work internationally.
If you are studying in a vocational institution, you can apply for a workplace learning spot through your educational institution.

If you are a higher education student, you can find available internships abroad through e.g.

  • your educational institution
  • in case of EDUFI internships, through the Finnish National Agency for Education, which is responsible for international mobility and collaboration
  • international student organisations.

Job interview or application trips within the EU and EEA region and Switzerland

Your TE Office can reimburse you for any travel and accommodation costs 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.

Going on a jobseeking trip on an unemployment allowance

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.  
During your jobseeking trip, you are only be eligible for the earnings-related unemployment allowance and basic allowance. You will not be able to collect any labour market subsidy during the duration of your trip.

To be able to receive unemployment benefits while you are abroad, your unemployment before your trip must have lasted for at least four weeks. Your TE Office can reduce this period at its discretion and for a special reason, for example if you have already agreed on a job interview. Your unemployment period can also include the time that you have spent on services that promote employment.

Apply for your unemployment benefit well ahead of time

Remember to inform your TE Office of your travel date well before you leave, so that the TE Office can

  • determine that the prerequisites for transferring the unemployment allowance that falls within its domain are met
  • inform the payer of the unemployment benefit that you will be leaving to look for work in another EU or EEA member state or Switzerland.

Remember to order a U2 form from Kela or your unemployment fund well before you leave, as you will need to take this to the labour office of your destination country. Kela or your unemployment fund will determine whether the prerequisites for transferring the unemployment allowance that falls within their domain are met.

Register at the foreign labour office

After you have arrived at your country of destination, remember to register as a jobseeker at the local labour office within seven days. This will allow you to receive your allowance for the duration of your trip. If you complete your registration at a later date, the payment of your allowance will begin after your registration date.

During the jobseeking process, you are required to comply with the obligations and supervision methods that have been mandated by the labour officials of your destination country.

Your unemployment allowance is paid by Kela or your unemployment fund. During your jobseeking trip, you can apply for your unemployment allowance as you would normally online or by mailing your unemployment period notice to the party that pays our allowance.

Register with your TE Office after your trip

When you have returned to Finland, submit your registration to your TE Office immediately.
Your unemployment allowance will be affected if you do not return back to Finland and register as an unemployed jobseeker at the TE Office by the final return date specified in the U2 form.

This will prevent you from receiving any unemployment allowance before you have been employed or participated in labour market training in Finland for four weeks. You may be entitled to a labour market subsidy.

For more detailed instructions, contact your TE Office, Kela or unemployment fund.

If you are not a citizen of an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland, contact the TE Office and payer of your unemployment benefit.

The “Your First EURES Job” support scheme for young people

The “Your First EURES Job” project aims to help young people between the ages of 18 and 35 find a job in other EU member states. Your employment can be supported financially.

Three countries have enacted their own “Your First EURES Job” projects: Sweden, Italy and Germany. 

The “Your First EURES Job” project can help you

  • gain experience in your field, even if you have already worked in an EU member state
  • start your career
  • change the direction of your professional career.

You can apply for support from a “Your First EURES Job” project if you are

  • between the ages of 18 and 35
  • an EU citizen who officially lives in another EU member state.
More information

Reactivate support for people who have turned 35

The Reactivate project aims to help jobseekers who are at least 35 years old find a job in other EU member states. Three EU members states have initiated their own Reactivate projects: Italy, Germany and Poland. More information on these projects is available on the right side of this page. You can apply for support from a Reactivate project if you are

  • at least 35 years old
  • an EU citizen who officially lives in another EU member state
  • an unemployed jobseeker, a part-time worker looking for a job, or a person who wants to make a career switch or change jobs.
More information

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

  • 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.
  • 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 Population Register Centre or your Local Register Office, 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.
  • Notify your building or property manager of your move.
  • Notify the tax office of your move.
  • 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.
 

Questions and answers

Open positions in EU and EEA member states are available on EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal. The job postings 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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Your TE Office can reimburse you for any travel and accommodation costs 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. 

More information on job interview or application trips in the EU and EEA region and Switzerland 
More information on travel and accommodation expense compensation 

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 a EU citizen and you officially live in some other EU member state, Norway or Iceland 
  • your place of employment is located in a EU member state, Norway or Iceland, but not in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. 

More information on the Your First EURES Job subsidy for young people 

You can apply for support from the Reactivate project when you are going abroad for a job interview or to work if 

  • you are at least 35 years old 
  • you are an EU citizen and you officially live in another EU member state 
  • you are looking for work in another EU member state 

More information on the Reactivate subsidy 

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.  

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. 

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. 

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”. 

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

If you cannot find the answers that you are looking for, send your questions to the EURES portal’s chat service or by email: eures@te-toimisto.fi

Chat with a EURES adviser (ec.europa.eu/eures) 

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