Iraqi citizens lead statistics on citizenship applications

16.11.2020 10.53

The greatest number of citizenship applications in Finland this year has been submitted by Iraqi citizens. For years, Russian citizens have been the group lodging the highest number of citizenship applications in Finland.

Asylum seekers who arrived in Finland in autumn 2015 and received international protection are now applying for citizenship. Anyone receiving international protection must live in Finland for four years before they are eligible for Finnish citizenship. 

The other conditions for being granted citizenship are at least satisfactory Finnish or Swedish language skills, a clean record and a reliable proof of identity. The applicant must also submit proof of income, which shows how he or she earns a living, and look after such responsibilities as paying taxes.

The number of citizenship applications submitted by Iraqi citizens already showed a clear increase last year. This year, Iraqis have taken the lead over Russians in the application statistics. 

“Russians have led the citizenship application statistics practically always. This is why finding them replaced by Iraqi citizens is an almost historical event”, says Head of Branch Ulla Vainikka. 

Between January and October 2020, Iraqis have lodged 1,473 citizenship applications. While 972 Iraqi citizens applied for Finnish citizenship in 2018, in 2019 this figure was 1,588. 

Read citizenship statistics in our statistical service at

Further information for the media

Ulla Vainikka, Head of Branch, tel. +358 295 433 037, e-mail [email protected]

Press release