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You can exceptionally be issued with an alien’s passport if you are applying for a residence permit in Finland and cannot obtain a passport from your home country due to the coronavirus restrictions

1.6.2020 10.13
Press release

In certain situations, you can be issued with an alien’s passport if you are applying for a residence permit in Finland and cannot obtain a passport from the authorities of your home country due to the restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. This exception is temporary and valid until 31 October 2020.

You can be granted an alien’s passport in connection with your residence permit if

  • you meet all the other requirements for the residence permit you are applying for and you are not suspected of or have not committed an offence
  • your identity has been verified
  • you cannot obtain a new passport from your home country while you are in Finland.

By introducing this temporary practice, we want to ensure that you do not get a negative decision on your residence permit application only because you cannot get a passport from your home country due to the coronavirus restrictions. It may be that you, for example, cannot travel to your home country to submit a passport application, or your home country’s embassy in Finland is closed. If you have been unable to obtain the passport of your home country in Finland before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, you can now due to this exception apply for an alien’s passport when you apply for a residence permit. The exceptional practice is applied to alien’s passport decisions made in connection with decisions on first residence permits and extended permits. The practice will be applied until 31 October 2020.

An alien’s passport is issued for a maximum of one year for obtaining a passport from your home country. A residence permit issued at the same time is also valid for one year. 

You must show reliable proof of your identity

If you have not presented a passport of your home country, you are required to present an identity document issued by the authorities of your home country including the following details:

  • your full name
  • your date of birth
  • your place of birth
  • your photo
  • your citizenship.

As documents vary from country to country, we evaluate case by case whether we can establish your identity on the basis of the documentation you have presented. The identities of, for example, Iraqi customers can usually be established on the basis of a citizenship certificate and an identity card. We investigate the authenticity of the documents.

This is what you should do to apply for an alien’s passport:

  • Book an appointment at one of the service points of the Finnish Immigration Service in our appointment system.
  • Bring with you to the service point:
    • a passport photo
    • a written statement on why you are applying for an alien’s passport and why the coronavirus pandemic hinders you from applying for a passport from your home country
    • your identity documents
    • money (cash or card) to pay the processing fee.

If you are unable to book an appointment, you can also send your application and your documents to the Finnish Immigration Service via email and pay the processing fee into the bank account of the Finnish Immigration Service. Instructions on how to send your application via email can be found on our website.

The temporary practice does not concern you if

  • you are only applying for an alien’s passport, or
  • you have already been issued with an alien’s passport for obtaining a passport from your home country. We will not grant you a new alien’s passport automatically. Instead, you need to present an explanation for why you have not been able to obtain a passport from your home country during the period of validity of your alien’s passport.

If your previous residence permit application was rejected only because you did not have a passport issued by your home country and you have appealed the matter at an administrative court or the Supreme Administrative Court,

  • you must wait until the court decides your appeal. This does not prevent you from reapplying for a residence permit and applying for an alien’s passport at the same time. These can be granted to you if you meet the requirements described above. 

More information

Follow the updates at migri.fi/en/coronavirus. On that page, you will find updated information about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on our services as well as answers to frequently asked questions.