3. Jobseeker's Allowance

There are 2 types of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) - contribution-based and income-based.

You can’t get income-based JSA abroad.

You can get contribution-based JSA in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for up to 3 months if you:

  • are entitled to it on the day you go abroad
  • register as a jobseeker at least 4 weeks before you leave
  • are looking for work in the UK up to the day you leave
  • are going abroad to look for work
  • register at the equivalent of a Jobcentre in the country you’re going to
  • follow the other country’s rules on registering and looking for work

Ask your local Jobcentre Plus if there are any forms to fill out.

Moving to a country not in the EEA

Some countries outside the EEA have social security agreements with the UK. This means that if you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions in the UK, you may be able to get unemployment benefits in:

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

Help and advice on JSA