If you are a Finnish citizen or live in Finland permanently, you have a right to Finnish social security. If you are a citizen of another country or you have come to Finland only to study, your home country will take care of your social security. If you are not a Finnish citizen, Kela will assess which group you belong to, based on your information.

If you are a citizen or live in Finland permanently

You are entitled to financial aid for students and a state guarantee for a student loan for your studies. While you are living in Finland, you may also receive general housing allowance and, while on exchange, a housing supplement. If you are suffering from a long-term illness, you are also entitled to sick leave and a sickness allowance.

You can apply for all these benefits at Kela’s website and you can read more about their conditions at their Students-subpage. The Student Union’s Specialist in Social Affairs will answer your questions and, if needed, help you apply for the benefits you are entitled to.

If you are not a citizen and not living in Finland permanently

If you live in Finland temporarily, you will usually only be entitled to necessary emergency social assistance (for instance, food and acutely needed medicines) if you have no other means of attaining them. The assistance is awarded in the form of vouchers. In such a situation, contact Kela’s customer service. You may also contact TREY’s Specialists in Social Affairs who can help you contact the right people, fill out forms or deal with any other issues you might have.

Kela – the Social Insurance Institution of Finland

Kela’s phone service in international situations: +358 20 634 0200

Kela’s customer service in Tampere:

Kuninkaankatu 21 18, 33210 Tampere

Open Mon–Fri 9.00–16.00

Read more on the City of Tampere services for immigrants on the city’s website.


The Student Union’s Specialist in Social Affairs will help you deal with all issues, fill in applications and, if necessary, take things further. With questions concerning Kela’s benefits, the fastest way to get a response is through Kela’s e-Services.