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British citizen: register your right of residence as soon as possible

Publication date 25.1.2019 15.45
Press release

The Finnish government’s Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs has decided that a special act extending the right of residence of British citizens in Finland will be drafted for the eventuality of the United Kingdom leaving the EU at the end of March without an agreement.

Under this special act, those British citizens who are currently living in Finland and who have registered their EU right of residence can continue to stay and live in Finland without any separate measures for a fixed time period that will be specified in the act. The period will be further examined during the drafting of the act.

The special act would apply only to those who have been registered – without registration, the right of residence would end on 29 March 2019

If there is a no-deal Brexit, British citizens must have registered their right of residence no later than 29 March 2019 to keep their right of residence for the time period specified in the special act.

If a British citizen has not registered his or her right of residence and the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU without an agreement on 29 March 2019, the EU right of residence of this person will end on that day. Starting from 30 March 2019, British citizens will be regarded as third-country nationals. If the EU and the United Kingdom agree on visa-free travel, British citizens can still stay legally in Finland for another 90 days.

Under the special act, the right of residence of British citizens who have not registered their right of residence will end after the possible visa-free period. After that, their stay in Finland becomes illegal. To keep residing in Finland legally, they must apply for a residence permit. Residence permit is not granted automatically.

If you have not yet registered your right of residence:

  • Register your right of residence as soon as possible. The easiest way to do this is to fill in an application in the e-service Enter Finland. After this, you must book an appointment at one of the service points of the Finnish Immigration Service to prove your identity and to show the originals of the documents that you have attached to your application.
  • If you have resided legally in Finland for an uninterrupted period of five years, apply for a certificate of the right of permanent residence of an EU citizen at the Finnish Immigration Service.

Are you a citizen of some other EU or EEA country?

In this case, we recommend that you register again on the basis of this other citizenship, even if you already have registered your right of residence on the basis of your British citizenship.

If you already have registered your right of residence, you do not need to contact the Finnish Immigration Service

Your registration is still valid. You do not need to renew it.

If you are not sure about whether you have registered your right of residence or not:

  • Call the Finnish Immigration Service's customer service number at 0295 419 600 (Mon–Fri 9–16); or
  • Send an email to State your name, date of birth and your citizenship in your message. State also your customer number, if you have one. Please do not send any enquiries to personal email addresses.

If you have lost your old registration certificate, you do not need a new one

The Finnish Immigration Service does not require you to have your old registration certificate at hand. However, some other authorities may in some cases need a certificate stating that you have registered your right of residence in Finland.

If you need a certificate of your right of residence:

  • The Finnish Immigration Service has been responsible for the registrations since 1 January 2017. If the Finnish Immigration Service has registered your right of residence, you can request a new certificate by sending an email to
  • Before 1 January 2017, the police have been responsible for the registration of right of residence. If the police have registered your right of residence, you can either contact the police or submit a certificate request, which is subject to a fee, to the Finnish Immigration Service.

We will publish further instructions and more information about applying for residence permits as soon as a decision about Brexit is made.

Read more: Special act to protect UK citizens’ right of residence after Brexit