Moving abroad for study or research

Living abroad due to studies is usually regarded as temporary residence. In general, you remain covered by Finnish health insurance for the duration of your studies. You may use health care services in the country of your studies.


If you move abroad from Finland for study or post-graduate study or to complete unpaid training or research, you are usually covered by Finnish health insurance. In EU and EEA countries or in Switzerland you will receive treatment with the European Health Insurance Card. If you are moving outside the EU countries, it is recommended to take out private insurance to cover illness.

If you are moving abroad to do paid training relating to your studies, this may affect your health insurance coverage in Finland.

Do the following before leaving:

  1. Notify Kela of your move abroad if you are paid any benefits by Kela or have a European Health Insurance Card. If necessary, apply the European Health Insurance Card from Kela.
  2. Always notify Kela if you work abroad.
  3. Submit a notification of move to the Local Register Office too.

Moving to an EU or EEA country or to Switzerland for less than six months

Treatment in the new country: You will receive medically necessary treatment during a stay of less than six months in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland by presenting the European Health Insurance Card.

Treatment in Finland: In Finland, you will continue to receive treatment as before. Since you have a municipality of residence, you are entitled to use all public health care services. If you use private health care services, you will receive Kela reimbursements by presenting your Kela card.

Moving to an EU or EEA country or to Switzerland for over six months

Treatment in the new country: If you reside in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland for over six months due to your studies, you will receive medically necessary treatment. You should receive the medical treatment you need by presenting the European Health Insurance Card.

Treatment in Finland: If you live permanently in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland for the duration of your studies and Finland is responsible for the costs of your medical care, you will receive treatment in Finland just like before. If you do not retain a municipality of residence in Finland, you will need a certificate of entitlement to treatment benefits in Finland granted by Kela to demonstrate your right to treatment in public health care. If you use private health care services, you will receive Kela reimbursements by presenting your Kela card. Kela will grant the necessary certificates of entitlement to treatment, when you notify your move to Kela.

Moving as a student or researcher to the Province of Quebec in Canada

Treatment in the new country: The social security arrangement between Finland and the Province of Quebec covers medical and hospital treatment and, in part, dental care provided. Under the agreement, treatment can be obtained by the following categories of people moving to Quebec on a temporary basis:

  • exchange students or degree students
  • researchers
  • students participating in training relating to upper secondary education or to university studies
  • family member moving with one of the above.

In order to receive treatment, you must first register with Health insurance board of Quebec. You can request the registration form informally from Kela’s e-services, by telephone or from a Kela office. The health insurance board of Quebec also requires a valid entry document. Students and researchers are also required to provide an attestation of full-time enrolment as a student (for example a certificate of enrolment) or acceptance as a researcher or as a trainee.

Treatment in Finland: If you move to Quebec for a period of under six months, you will continue to receive treatment in Finland just like before. Since you have a municipality of residence, you are entitled to using the public health care services. If you use private health care services, you will receive Kela reimbursements by presenting your Kela card.

If you move to Quebec for a period of over six months and your health insurance coverage in Finland is discontinued and you no longer have a municipality of residence in Finland, you are only entitled to urgent medical care in Finland. You are responsible for the costs of treatment. If you retain your health insurance coverage in Finland, you are entitled to Kela reimbursements in private health care. Kela will grant the necessary certificates of entitlement to treatment, when you notify your move to Kela. If you retain your municipality of residence in Finland, you will receive treatment in the Finnish public health care system for the municipal resident’s client fee just like before.

Moving as a student or researcher outside the EU countries

Treatment in the new country: When you study or pursue research in an country other than an EU or EEA country, or Switzerland, you will receive treatment in the country where you are staying according to local legislation. In countries other than an EU or EEA country, or Switzerland, you are generally responsible for the costs arising from your treatment yourself. Find out in advance, for example from the educational establishment or insurance company, whether you will need private insurance to use health care services. If you retain your health insurance coverage in Finland, you can apply for reimbursements from Kela in case of sudden illness. Reimbursements are similar to the reimbursements for private health care in Finland.

Treatment in Finland: If you move outside EU countries for a period of under six months, you will continue to receive treatment in Finland just like before. Since you have a municipality of residence, you are entitled to using the public health care services. If you use private health care services, you will receive Kela reimbursements by presenting your Kela card.

If you move outside EU countries for a period of over six months and your health insurance coverage in Finland is discontinued and you no longer have a municipality of residence in Finland, you are only entitled to urgent medical care in Finland. You are responsible for the costs of treatment. If you retain your health insurance coverage in Finland, you are entitled to Kela reimbursements in private health care. If you retain your municipality of residence in Finland, you will receive treatment in the Finnish public health care system for the municipal resident’s client fee as before.