Social Security

Social security is adminstered by the The Finnish Social Insurance Institution (KELA). Kela manages social security services and benefits, such as the national pension, child benefit, basic unemployment security, sickness and parenthood allowance, income support and rehabilitation. Kela also provides health care benefits paid for private health care. 

Kela does not offer health care services as such. Health care services are the responsibility of municipalities and are generally provided through local health centres and hospitals.

Entitlement to Finnish Social Security Coverage


Coverage by the Finnish social security system requires that you are either moving permanently to Finland or working in Finland for at least four month. The scope of social security coverage of employees is also determined by the citizenship of the employees and the intended length of their employment.

For more precise information, please see

Researchers working on a grant

Researchers working on a grant are usually not covered by the Finnish social security system since their stay in Finland is considered temporary. However, if the research work continues for more than a year, you have financing for more than a year and all other circumstances also indicate permanent residence in Finland, you can, as a rule, be covered by the Finnish social security system on the basis of permanent residence.

For more precise information, please see

Family members

If you move to Finland with your family member, your family members eligbility to Finnish social security is usually assessed on the basis of whether the family member who comes to work in Finland.  For more information, please see

If you work in Finland but your family does not move to Finland with you, you may be entitled to family benefits from Finland for your children if they live in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland. For further information, please see

Local Kela Offices
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00-16.00

  • Joensuu: Koulukatu 24 and Puronsuunkatu 1
  • Kuopio: Suokatu 40

Further information:


Kela Card


To apply for Kela's social security coverage, please submit the Y77e form to your local Kela office. You will receive a written decision about whether you have been enrolled in the Finnish social security system. If the decision is positive, you will be sent a personal health insurance card (Kela card). Unfortunately, decisions of Kela are only issued in the official languages of Finland (i.e. Finnish or Swedish). If you have difficulties with understanding the decision, please contact Kela. If you cannot find a common language, Kela's customers are entitled to interpreter services free of charge.

If you have been enrolled in the Finnish social security system you will get a KELA card. It proves that you belong to the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme of Finland.  By presenting your KELA card at pharmacies or many private medical clinics, you can get a direct, on-the-spot reimbursement for your costs.

Further information: