Moving to Finland as an employee or self-employed person

If you arrive from another EU or EEA country, Switzerland or Quebec in Canada in order to work in Finland, you can usually use public health care services and receive reimbursement for private medical care even if you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland. Kela will verify your entitlement to treatment in Finland. If you arrive as a worker from outside of EU and EEA countries, Switzerland or Quebec in Canada, your right to treatment is based on having a municipality of residence in Finland and being covered by Finnish health insurance or the Immigration Directive.


When you arrive in Finland for the purposes of employment, the following factors affect your right to use Finnish public health care services and to receive reimbursement for the costs of private medical care:

  • country from which you are arriving
  • salary of your employment in Finland
  • whether you work for a Finnish or foreign employer.

You may be entitled to use public health care services in Finland and to receive reimbursement for medical care from Kela, even if you are not permanently residing in Finland or covered by Finnish health insurance. In this case, your employment is usually covered by EU legislation or an international convention on social security that will entitle you to treatment in Finland. Find out from Kela whether you can receive treatment rights in Finland, when you come to work in Finland.

If you intend to move to Finland permanently, submit a notification of move to the Local Register Office. If the Local Register Office records a municipality of residence for you, you can use all public health care services in the same way as local residents.

Working for a Finnish employer

If you come to Finland to work from another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you are entitled to the public health care services as long as you are covered by employment pension insurance, accident insurance or unemployment insurance in Finland. If you come from some other country, you will also need a residence permit or certificate entitling you to work granted by the Finnish Immigration Service or Embassy of Finland. If you are covered by the Finnish health insurance, you will receive reimbursements from Kela for the costs of private health care, medication and travel costs related to the treatment.

If you intend to move to Finland permanently, submit a notification of move to the Local Register Office. Remember to notify your previous county of residence about your move.  If the Local Register Office records a municipality of residence for you, you can use all public health care services in the same way as local residents. If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, ask for a certificate of entitlement to medical care from Kela.

If you apply for a benefit for the first time after moving to Finland and your entitlement to benefits provided by Kela has not yet been determined, you should notify your move to Finland to Kela.  If you are covered by the Finnish health insurance, you will receive reimbursements from Kela for the costs of private health care, medication and travel costs related to the treatment.

If you are working in Finland but living in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you have equal rights to treatment in your country of employment, Finland, and in your country of residence. Register the certificate of entitlement to medical care granted by Kela in your country of residence.

In addition, if you have started to receive treatment to an illness in Finland before retiring from frontier work, you are entitled to continue the treatment of the illness in question in Finland also after retiring. In this case, request a separate certificate of entitlement to medical care from the health insurance institution of the country responsible for your medical care costs during your pension. The certificate of entitlement to medical care allows you to continue treatment in Finland.

Posted worker or diplomat sent from an EU or EEA country or from Switzerland to Finland

If your employer posts you to Finland from another EU or EEA country or from Switzerland for the purposes of employment, your employer country is responsible for your health care costs. You are usually covered by health insurance in your employer country.

If your employment in Finland lasts for less than a year, you can demonstrate your right to treatment in Finland by showing a European Health Insurance Card issued by your employer country and you will receive:

  • medically necessary treatment within public health care at the same price as the residents of the municipality
  • reimbursement for the costs of private health care, medicines and travel from Kela. Apply for reimbursements from Kela retrospectively.

If you will be working in Finland for more than a year, submit a form granted by your employer country to Kela for registration. Based on this form, Kela will provide you with a certificate of entitlement to treatment in public health care and reimbursements for medical care costs.

Diplomats and other foreign personnel working in foreign embassies who have arrived from outside the EU or EEA countries or Switzerland are only entitled to urgent medical care within public health care. They are responsible for the costs of treatment. An insurance company or another party, such as the foreign embassy, can reimburse the costs.

Working in an international organisation located in Finland

The right of the personnel of international organisations to use public health care depends on the agreement between Finland and the organisation. As a rule, international organisations will arrange health care and health insurance for their foreign employees. If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can use all the public health care services.

These instances among others have dedicated social security systems in place for their employees. For more information, contact the instance in question or Kela.

Employers arriving from Quebec in Canada

Temporary workers and posted workers who arrive in Finland from Quebec in Canada are covered by Quebec’s health insurance, and the responsible health insurance institute will provide forms to workers that need to be registered with the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Kela.

After registration:

  • you are entitled to public health care services and reimbursement for medical care in the same manner as the residents of Finland from Kela.
  • Kela will provide you with a certificate of entitlement to treatment that you can use to demonstrate your right to use public health care services and to receive reimbursement for medical care