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Claiming Job Seekers Allowance Abroad

You need to be of working age, unemployed, and 'actively' seeking for work to qualify for the contribution-based JSA abroad. Even so, income-based JSA is not available outside the United Kingdom.

JSA ABROAD: You may qualify for the contribution-based JSA overseas.

It gets paid in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for up to three (3) months providing:

  • You are entitled to it on the day you leave and registered as a job seeker at least 4 weeks before you go abroad.
  • You are available for work in the UK up to the day you leave and are going overseas to look for work.
  • You register at an equivalent job center in their country and follow their rules on registering and searching for work.

Note: You cannot get both types of Jobseeker’s Allowance outside of the United Kingdom. But, if you contact Jobcentre Plus they will confirm what forms you need to claim for other benefit payments while overseas.

Unemployment Benefits in Countries Outside the EEA

Most EEA countries have a social security agreement with the United Kingdom. Some agreements exist even in countries which are outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).

That means you might be able to claim unemployment benefits in some non EEA countries. Your UK National Insurance contributions must be adequate to get some financial help in these countries.

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Channel Islands
  • Kosovo
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Serbia

International Pension Centre (JSA Help)
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 7652
Click to learn more about UK call charges.

Note: Check the page containing the International Pension Centre contact details. The IPC addresses and phone numbers are useful for pension enquiries made by those who live and work abroad.


Claiming Benefits Abroad: Check the rules for going abroad while on benefits and how to claim.
Countries You Can Claim Benefits: A list of countries that have special arrangements with the UK.
Maternity and Childcare Benefits Abroad: Learn how to get SMP and Maternity Allowance overseas.
Illness and Injury Benefits Abroad: Find out how to claim SSP, ESA, and IIDB overseas of the UK.
Benefits Abroad for Carers: How carers and people with disabilities can get allowances overseas.
Bereavement Benefits Abroad: How moving to, or living in, another country affects these payments.

Rules for Claiming Job Seekers Allowance Abroad of the United Kingdom