If you are planning to continue your research career abroad, EURAXESS – Researchers in Motion, is the right starting place for you.
EURAXESS Jobs & Funding database offers research job vacancies, which can be searched by country and research field.
Once you have found a suitable research position, EURAXESS national portals provide you with the information necessary for your move. EURAXESS Services centres in your host country are ready to assist you before the departure with legal issues as well as give practical advice and help in everyday matters after arrival.
- For practical support search for the EURAXESS portal of your destination country and contact the EURAXESS Centre if necessary.
- Check your entry and residence conditions. If necessary, obtain a visa or residence permit for entry/employment/study.
- Update your health insurance. If necessary, obtain the European health insurance card. If necessary, obtain private health insurance.
- Check at your local tax authority whether you need a certificate proving your previous status as a tax payer.
- Arrange your accommodation
European Social Security coordination
One of the main rights in EU is the right to free movement within the European Union and the right to work in the country of your choice. Resulting from this right EU has set in place principles for social security coordination. Countries must ensure that people moving from one member state to another do not find themselves worse off than those who live and work in one member state their whole lives. The scope of benefits and rights varies from country to country, but in general the coordination covers unemployment insurance, pensions, social benefits and health insurance.
Four main principles:
- You are covered by the legislation of one country at a time so you only pay contributions in one country. The decision on which country’s legislation applies to you will be made by the social security institutions. You cannot choose.
- You have the same rights and obligations as the nationals of the country where you are covered. This is known as the principle of equal treatment or non-discrimination.
- When you claim a benefit, your previous periods of insurance, work or residence in other countries are taken into account if necessary.
- If you are entitled to a cash benefit (i.e pensions) from one country, you may generally receive it even if you are living in a different country. This is known as the principle of exportability.
In general you are subject to the legislation of the country where you work. There are variations to this rule if circumstances are more complicated.
You can find the responsible institutions in your destination country in the EESSI Public Directory of European Social Security Institutions.
If you have any problems, contact the EURAXESS Services centres in your destination country.
Coordination of family benefits
Family benefits vary moving from one country to another. Moving may affect the amount of benefits you are entitled to.
If all the members of your family live where you are insured, this country is responsible for your benefits. If the members of your family do not live in the country where you are insured, your family could be entitled to benefits in more than one country. You will not receive benefits twice: “priority rules” decide which country is responsible for providing them.
- Generally, the country where your family’s right is based on a situation of employment or self-employment is responsible for providing the benefits.
- If your right is based on employment or self-employment in both countries, the country where your children live is responsible if one of the parents works there. Otherwise it will be the country where the highest benefits are paid.
- If your right is based on a pension in both countries, the country where your children live is responsible if this country pays one of the pensions. Otherwise it will be the country where you have been insured or have resided the longest.
- If your right is based on residence in both countries, the country where your children live is responsible.
The benefits you receive from the competent country may turn out to be lower than what you would have received from the other county where you had rights. If this is the case, the second country will pay a supplement corresponding to the difference between the two benefits. Comparisons between amounts of family benefits are in some countries, like Estonia, made for each child separately; in some other countries all family benefits received by one family are compared together.
If you start receiving family benefits from a new country, make sure to notify the social insurance institution of the previous country, preferably with an official letter, where the amount of your new benefits has been stated (in Estonia this is the Social Insurance Board). Otherwise you may face claims to return the overpaid amount.
Contact the responsible institutions to be clear about your rights.
Unemployment insurance in Europe
The employment record you have built up in Estonia is taken into account when your rights abroad are determined. You can prove your employment record in Estonia using a form called U1 .You can apply for the form electronically or print out (website in Estonian). On this form, Töötukassa will enter the information other institutions abroad will need to know. It is a good idea to ask Töötukassa for this form before you leave the country.
Contact the responsible authorities in your destination country for more information.
If you move to another EU country or Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland to look for a job you can continue to receive the Estonian unemployment insurance benefit while you are effectively in the other country. This arrangement is called “export of benefit”. You will need to inform Töötukassa beforehand that you are going abroad to look for work. Another condition is that you have been registered as unemployed in Estonia for at least four weeks. To safeguard your rights to the benefit, you have to ask your job mediation consultant before you leave the country.
To be able to receive the benefit abroad, you need a special form, which is called the form U2. This form is handed to you by Töötukassa, and contains the information concerning the period of benefit export and the deadline of registering as an unemployed in another country. To obtain a form, please contact your job mediation consultant, who will explain you the rest of the procedure.
Pensions in EU
If you have worked in one or more EU countries, each country, where you have been insured for at least a year, pays you an old-age pension when you reach the pensionable age. If the period during which you have been insured in an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland is not long enough to qualify for a pension there, periods of insurance or residence that you completed in other countries will be taken into account. The amount of the pension depends on the time worked in a country and country legislation.
Your pension will be paid regardless of where you stay or reside within Europe. For coordination with countries outside EU some bilateral agreements are in place. Documents confirming your service record should be submitted to the social insurance board or other responsible authority in your country of residence.
Health insurance in EU
If you are moving to another EU or EEA country, Estonia remains the insuring country if you are a posted worker or pensioner in Estonia. In other cases contact the health insurance institution in your country of destination for local insurance.
European health insurance card
European health insurance card is meant for use during shorter visits (up to one year) to other EU or EEA countries. European health insurance card ensures you the same access to the health care system in another EU country that the residents of this country have. The European health insurance card enables you to receive necessary medical care during you visit. Necessary health care is not free of charge – the patient’s co-payment should be paid according to the tariffs of the country of location. The patient’s co-payment is later not covered by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. Therefore it is recommended to take also a travel insurance in the private insurance company, as on the basis of the latter the patient’s co-payment, private doctor’s visit, patient’s transport from one country to another etc., which are not compensated on the basis of the European health insurance card, are also covered.
Please note that the European health insurance card does not cover planned medical procedures nor patient’s own contribution amounts and in-patient fees. As the in-patient fees can be quite high in some countries, obtaining a private health insurance before your trip is a reasonable option.
Employees posted to another country for assignments that are shorter than 1 year can use the European Health insurance card. In case of longer assignments, the assignments should be first registered in the foreign relations department of Social Insurance Board. The Social Insurance Board fills out a form E101 and then issues a form E106, which entitles posted employees to get health care in the same terms with local insured persons. The scope of health care is wider than simple necessary health care received based on the European health insurance card.
European Commission - Practical benefits of the European health insurance card
European Commission - Apply for the European health insurance card
Estonian Health Insurance Fund - Apply for European health insurance card