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Backlogs in the processing of citizenship applications

Publication date 15.11.2021 13.46
Press release

At the moment, there is backlog in the processing of citizenship applications. For the time being, approximately 15 000 applications are waiting for processing.

In particular, the backlogs concern applications in which we have to ask for additional information in order to process them. The processing time is shortest for applications where the customer has arrived in Finland with a permit obtained in advance, has a national passport and meets the general requirements for naturalisation.  

Remember to renew your expiring passport and residence permit

In order to be granted Finnish citizenship, you must have a valid residence permit and the valid passport of your home country. If your passport or residence permit is about to expire, you must renew it as usual. The expiration of a passport or residence permit is not a reason to expedite your citizenship application.

We understand that our decisions affect the lives of our customers to a large extent. We do our best to process the pending applications as efficiently as possible.

If you have not yet received a decision on your application, please wait patiently. We will contact you if additional information is needed for your application.

Reasons for the backlogs

Even this year, employees were needed for processing urgent residence permit matters, which has led to a lack of employees in the processing of citizenship applications. There has also been a general shortage of employees who process applications, whereas the number of citizenship applications submitted has been higher than predicted. In addition, the COVID-19 situation has contributed to the challenges in the processing of citizenship applications.  

The expected processing time of an application is an estimate. Due to the backlog, the estimate possibly given to you may have become longer.

We are working on improving the situation. Next year, we will have more employees processing applications. We are also improving and streamlining the processing of applications using various methods, including automation.  

Ask our chatbot Kamu about the processing of your application

Kamu will tell you your application's place in the application queue. Kamu will check the status of your application among all other applications with the same type of matter and processing grounds. However, Kamu will not be able to tell your application’s position in the processing queue if the application has been waiting for a decision for over 18 months. For more information, see the page

The number of applications waiting for processing differs from the number announced in May 2021 because the statistical sample reported in the bulletin was erroneous.