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Citizenship application for a child

If you are a Finnish citizen you can with this application apply for Finnish citizenship for a minor child who is in your care and lives with you. For the best interest of the child or for a weighty reason, the application can also be submitted by the child’s guardian or a foreign national who has custody of the child.

Finnish citizenship for a child

The Nationality Act defines a child as an unmarried person under 18 years of age. In Finland, a child usually receives the same citizenship as the mother, the father or both of them. (This is called the parentage principle.) In other cases, a child may become a Finnish citizen by application, by declaration or as a co-applicant.

Notify a Local Register Office of a Finnish citizen born abroad.

If you want to find out if a child has received Finnish citizenship based on his or her mother or father, you can request the Finnish Immigration Service to determine the child’s citizenship status.

The Finnish Nationality Act was amended on 1 June 2003. The old Nationality Act is applied to children who were born before that date.

Child’s mother is a Finnish citizen

When only the child’s mother is a Finnish citizen, the child will automatically become a Finnish citizen regardless of his or her country of birth. The only requirement is that the mother has not lost her Finnish citizenship before the child is born.

Child’s father is a Finnish citizen

If only the child’s father is a Finnish citizen, the child’s nationality depends on

  • whether the child’s parents were married when the child was born; and
  • the country where the child was born.

Effects of annulled paternity on a child’s citizenship

A child whose Finnish citizenship is based on the citizenship of the father may lose his or her Finnish citizenship if paternity is annulled. The decision on loss of citizenship is a matter of discretion, and the decision must be made within a specified time.

Child’s guardian is a Finnish citizen

A child who is not granted Finnish citizenship automatically on the basis of the mother’s or father’s nationality, the parents’ marriage, or by declaration, may become a Finnish citizen by application.

Adoption

An adoptive child under the age of 12 will automatically become a Finnish citizen if at least one of the adoptive parents is a Finnish citizen and the adoption is valid in Finland. The Local Register Office will enter the child’s Finnish citizenship in the Population Information System. An adoptive child of 12–17 years of age may become a Finnish citizen by declaration.

Please note! If the adoption decision was made before 1 June 2003, a citizenship application must be submitted for him or her.

Parents who are foreign nationals

When a parent who is a foreign national applies for Finnish citizenship for himself or herself by application, the parent may include his or her child as a co-applicant in the application. The child must be under 18 years of age and in the parent’s custody. In this way, the child may become a Finnish citizen at the same time with his or her parent. You will find the co-applicant’s supplement forms on the application’s. If the parent applies for citizenship by submitting an application, the co-applicant child must also live in Finland.

If your child is born while your application or declaration is pending, you can add the child as a co-applicant. Fill in a supplement form for your child. You will find the supplement form on the application’s or declaration’s own page. Bring the supplement form to the same service point where you submitted your own application or declaration. Bring the child with you when you submit the form.

A child who is born in Finland to parents who are foreign nationals may only in exceptional cases become a Finnish citizen based on his or her place of birth.

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