Are Work Credits Transferable from Other Countries?

Some U.S. citizens work outside of America, and they are permitted to receive Social Security with foreign work credits. Having foreign work credits may complicate the benefits process, but it does not take away the citizen's eligibility. 

In order for a citizen to still be eligible for benefits, the citizen must be employed by one of the nations America has made arrangments with in order to count your work credits. These countries are listed below:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • The Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • The Slovak Republic
  • Spain
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The United Kingdom

Foreign work credits are only counted if you do not have enough America-based work credits to obtain Social Security benefits. If your work credits from another country must be counted, you receive partial credit from the SSA. The work credits you accumulated in another country may qualify you for retirement benefits within that country. You may be able to collect U.S. retirement benefits, as well benefits from the country of which you worked.