FAQs - Unemployment abroad
What happens if I lose my job in the new country? Will I be able to come back to my country of origin and claim unemployment benefits there?
If you lose your job, in general you should claim unemployment benefits in the country where you last worked.
If during your last period of employment or self-employment you were residing in a different EU country than the one in which you worked but you returned there less than once a week, you can claim unemployment benefits either in your country of residence or in the country where you last worked. If you go back to your country of residence, you will need to request a U1 form in the country where you last worked.
Under certain conditions, you can transfer your unemployment benefits to another EU country while looking for a job there (ask for a U2 form). The transfer of benefits usually lasts 3 months, but may be extended to a maximum period of 6 months.
To find out about your entitlement to unemployment benefits, you should contact the employment services of the relevant country.
I am French and I lost my job in Spain. Where am I insured?
As a general rule, the country where you last worked is responsible for your unemployment benefits. So if you have worked and still live in Spain you should apply for unemployment benefits in Spain.
Nevertheless, if you were still residing in France while working in Spain, you may apply for benefits in France if you return there. For cross-border workers (also known as frontier workers), the country of residence is always responsible for the payment of unemployment benefits.
In any case, you will be insured in the country that pays your benefits.
I am a German worker posted to France by my employer. If I'm made redundant while in France, where can I claim unemployment benefit?
From Germany — because you were on a posting in France rather than moving there on a long term basis, and so you remained resident in Germany. As a result, the country from which you were posted is the one responsible for your social security coverage.
As a cross-border commuter, where should I apply for unemployment benefit if I lose my job?
If you lose your job, you should apply for benefit in the country where you live.
Your entitlement and the amount of benefit will be assessed according to the rules in your home country, taking account of your working periods abroad.
To prove your working periods abroad, get an U1 form from the national employment service of the country where you work and submit it in the country where you live.
If you are looking for work in the country where you lost your job, you can register with the employment services of the country where you used to work — but you will have to comply with checking procedures and obligations in both countries. However, as the benefits are always paid by your country of residence, the obligations and job-seeking activities there have priority. Another option is to request the transfer of your benefits to the country where you previously worked, if you feel you have more chances of finding a job there.
I work as a civil servant and my employer has offered me a post in another EU country. What happens if I lose my job during my time abroad? Will I be able to return to my country of origin and claim unemployment benefits there?
As a civil servant, if you become unemployed, you can choose to register as a jobseeker either in the country which employed you or in the country where you worked.
If you choose to remain in the country where you worked, you must register as a jobseeker there. You will be treated like a national. You need to apply for a U1 form (or an E 301 form) from the national employment authority of the country which employed you.
If you choose to return to the country which employed you, you must register directly as a jobseeker there.