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Last checked : 25/04/2017

FAQs - Transferring unemployment benefits

  • How can I make sure I don't lose my unemployment benefits if I go to look for a job in another EU country?

    Once you've been registered for 4 weeks, you can apply for an U2 form from the country where you became unemployed. This form authorises you to keep claiming your employment benefit while looking for a job abroad. Once you have the form, give it to the national employment services in your new country.

    When you arrive in the new country, register as available for work with the local employment service. To avoid losing any benefit, do this within 7 days from the date on which you ceased to be available to the employment services in the country you left.

  • When should I apply for an extension to my unemployment benefit transfer?

    To make sure you don't lose any unemployment benefits, you should apply for an extension as early as possible. You must apply before the first 3 months are up.

  • I am unemployed and I come from Bulgaria. Am I allowed to look for work in another EU country and have my benefits transferred there?

    YES — in most countries, but Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom still apply restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals. Spain has restricted its labour market to Romanian workers until 31 December 2012.

    All such restrictions must be lifted by 31 December 2013 (31st May 2016 for Switzerland).

    These restrictions sometimes affect your capacity to transfer unemployment benefits to these countries. If you wish to look for a job there, check first with a European employment adviser which restrictions apply.

  • I am Polish and I have come to look for work in the UK. Am I entitled to assistance from the local employment office even if I have not worked or lived here before?

    YES — as an EU national, you have the same rights as UK nationals to look for work and to get assistance from the UK employment office.

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