Applicants over the age of 65

If you are over the age of 65 you may request an exception to the language skills requirement based on your age.

Whether or not you are required to attach a certificate of your language skills to your citizenship application depends on the grounds on which your current residence permit was granted.

1. Applicants who have been granted a residence permit based on international protection

If you are over the age of 65 and have refugee status in Finland, or have been granted a residence permit on the grounds of subsidiary protection, you do not have to attach a certificate of your language skills to your citizenship application.

However, you should check the grounds for your residence permit before submitting your application. For example, a person who has come to Finland on the grounds of family ties has usually not been granted his or her residence permit on the grounds of refugee status or subsidiary protection, even though his or her family member has.

2. Applicants who have been granted a residence permit on other grounds

If you are over the age of 65 and have been granted a residence permit on other grounds than international protection, an exception to the language skills requirement can be made in your case if

  • you master at least elementary comprehension and speaking skills in Finnish or Swedish or
  • you have attended Finnish or Swedish language courses or training regularly and over a long period of time.

In this case, you should attach one of the following certificates to your citizenship application:

  • A certificate showing that you have mastered elementary comprehension and speaking skills in Finnish or Swedish. The certificate must include a detailed assessment of your language skills for the various components of speaking and listening comprehension, using the skill levels A1.1 to C2.2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). or
  • A certificate showing that you have regularly participated in studies in the Finnish or Swedish language. The certificate must include the time period when you participated in the language studies and a record of your attendance. Your participation in the studies is considered regular when you have attended Finnish or Swedish language courses for several years and when you are still continuing your studies or have only recently concluded them.

The recommendation is that the certificate be issued by a Finnish or Swedish language teacher who has taught you personally.

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