Where to apply for unemployment benefit if I lose my job abroad? In my home country or abroad?

12th Oct 2022

Have you left your job abroad and are wondering where to apply for unemployment benefits? What are your options and which are easier?

Where can I apply for unemployment benefit?

Option 1: Abroad

In general, an unemployed person should apply for unemployment benefits in the country of last employment. For example, if you left your job in Germany, you should apply for unemployment benefit in Germany. After 4 weeks from the date of registration, you can apply for a transfer of the benefit to your home country. Benefit transfer is possible provided you plan to look for a new job.

Option 2: In your home country

The second option is to apply for unemployment benefits in your home country as soon as you return from abroad. In this case, you will need to get all the documents related to the unemployment benefit processed.

Why is it important to consider where to apply for unemployment benefits?

The official arrangements for claiming unemployment benefit are different if you claim unemployment benefit abroad or when you return to your home country. Ultimately, the idea is not to complicate the process but to simplify it.

Which option is easier?

It is clearly quicker and simpler to apply for unemployment benefits abroad or in your country of last employment. The whole process of applying for unemployment benefits is less demanding and quicker for the following reasons:

  • the social insurance records are kept by the country of last employment - so there are no forms to be submitted
  • the country of last employment does not examine the centre of interests - so you do not have to prove any ties with your home country

On the contrary, when claiming benefits in your home country, you need to prove periods of employment, which involves processing and submitting the relevant documents. The subsequent data verification process is lengthy. The home country also checks the centre of interest, or examines your residence, economic, family and social ties to your home country, while you are working and living abroad. If you cannot prove these links, you will be refused unemployment benefit.

Have you worked abroad? We can help you file your tax return so you can claim your foreign tax refund.

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