Establishment of identity
For a person to become a Finnish citizen, his or her identity must be reliably established. The Finnish Immigration Service will not assess whether an applicant fulfils other requirements for becoming a citizen until his or her identity has been established.
You can confirm your identity by the following means:
- Present relevant documents, such as:
- a valid passport issued by your country of nationality; or
- another official identity document.
- The way you have obtained your passport or identity document, and the documents you used to obtain them, affect the reliability of these documents.
- Provide otherwise reliable information, at least about:
- your name
- date of birth
- family ties.
When we are determining your identity, we will also take into account of any information about your identity you have given earlier in Finland and abroad.
Changes in your personal data
If you have used more than one identity earlier, your identity will be considered to be established only after you have solely used the personal data entered about you in the Finnish Population Information System in both Finland and abroad for the past ten years.
If your name, date of birth or nationality change significantly, the ten-year period will be interrupted. It will for example be interrupted if your date of birth changes by several years. It will also be interrupted if you reveal your true personal data after staying in Finland for a long time. Other changes related to your identity, such as information about your family ties, may interrupt the ten-year period, if these changes can be considered to create a new identity.
Passports from all countries are not considered reliable identity documents
On its own, a passport from one of the following countries is not enough to determine a person’s identity; instead the Finnish Immigration Service needs to perform more investigations: Afghanistan, Iraq, Gambia, Ghana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria.
The reliability of a passport in the establishment of identity may be deteriorated by deficient personal data registers or corruption in the country granting the passport, for instance.
As reliable establishment of identity requires more investigations, the expected processing time is longer. You should always present your passport, however, as it will speed up the processing of your application compared to you not presenting any identity document.