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Establishment of identity

Before you can become a Finnish citizen, your identity must be reliably established. Finnish citizenship can only be granted to persons whose identity is known. 

Establishment of identity when you have a reliable identity document

You can prove your identity with reliable identity documents, such as:

  • a valid passport issued by your home country
  • another official identity document issued by your home country.

The way you have obtained your passport or identity document, and the documents you used to obtain them, affect the reliability of these documents. Even if you prove your identity with a passport, for example, we will also take account of any information about your identity you have given earlier in Finland and abroad. 

Establishment of identity when you do not have reliable documents

In the absence of reliable documents, the Finnish Immigration Service will investigate and establish your identity. We will check what you have told in Finland and abroad about your:  

  • name
  • date of birth
  • citizenship
  • family ties.

Establishment of identity after changes in personal data, such as your name or date of birth 

Your identity is considered to be established only after you have exclusively used the identity registered in the Population Information System of Finland for at least the past ten years. 

If there are changes in your date of birth or citizenship, the counting of the ten-year period may start over. Even changes in your name may interrupt the ten-year period, if there is no justifiable reason for the change.  

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 for you.