Moving away from Finland
Notification of change of address to the authorities
When moving abroad from Finland, you must notify the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (Digi- ja väestötietovirasto) of your move. You can complete the notification of move online or with a form available at post offices and service locations of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (Digi- ja väestötietovirasto).
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 to live abroad, you need to inform Kela if you are receiving Kela benefits or if you have a European Health Insurance Card.
If you are receiving Kela benefits, you will normally not lose your right to them if you stay abroad for six months or less. In that case, your stay abroad is considered temporary and you do not have to inform Kela.
If you stay abroad for 3–6 months, you should inform Kela if
- you are receiving general housing allowance,
- you are receiving child care allowance, or
- you need to buy prescription medicine from a pharmacy for over three months.
If you go to an EU or EEA country for work, you will be covered by the social security system of that country for the duration of your work, even if it is shorter than six months. In that case, you will not have the right to Kela benefits.
If you move abroad for over six months, the move is considered permanent. In that case, your right to Kela subsidies ends when you move. However, in some cases you can maintain your right to Kela benefits even if you stay abroad for over six months.
When you are abroad and have the right to Kela benefits, you must always inform Kela if your circumstances change. For example, if your family relationships change or if you start working, that may affect your right to Kela benefits.
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.