Finnish citizenship

Frequently asked questions

What kind of account of my livelihood must I provide when I apply for Finnish citizenship?

In your application, you must provide an account of your source of livelihood for the entire period of residence required of you. Please append the following to your application:

  • References from any previous employment. Should you have no references, give the name and contact information of your employer(s) in your application.
  • If you are presently in paid employment, append your employment contract and your most recent payslip.
  • If your livelihood is based on income from your own business, please append:
    • an accounting firm’s statement on wages paid or amounts taken for personal use,
    • the profit and loss account as well as the balance sheet for the previous financial period, and
    • an extract from the Trade Register no older than six months.
  • If your livelihood is based on social assistance, indicate the type of assistance received.

How much does it cost to apply for citizenship?

For processing fees, see the page titled "Processing fees and paying methods."

The processing fee is payable on submitting your application at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. If you fill in an electronic application, the application fee will be charged via e-service.

Will I lose my Finnish citizenship, if I apply for and acquire citizenship of another state?

No, you will not. Finnish legislation allows multiple nationality (dual nationality).

Although multiple nationality is allowed, a person with citizenship in more than one country (dual nationality) may lose his or her Finnish citizenship at age 22 if he or she lacks a sufficient connection to Finland.

I lost my previous citizenship when acquiring Finnish citizenship. Is it possible to regain it?

The Finnish Nationality Act allows multiple nationality. You should consult the authorities of the country in question regarding the possibility of regaining citizenship. The easiest way to do so is to contact the embassy of the state in question.

My citizenship application is pending and my passport/residence permit is expiring soon. What should I do?

You have to renew your passport and residence permit normally. The expiration of a passport or of a residence permit is not a ground for expediting a citizenship application.

Period of residence

Is the required period of residence shortened by the fact that I used to be married to a Finn?

No, it is not. You are required to have a continuous period of residence of five years or accumulated residence of seven years. Accumulated residence may consist of a number of separate periods of residence in Finland.

Read more about the residence period required.

I have a citizenship application pending. I am about to go abroad for an extended period of time. Am I required to notify the Finnish Immigration Service of my departure?

If you are going away for more than two weeks, notify the Finnish Immigration Service by phoning the service number or sending an e-mail. By doing so you ensure that you will not receive a negative decision for the reason that you have not responded to a possible request for additional information.

Is the reason for staying abroad of any relevance to the interruption of continuous residence? For example, does it make any difference if my Finnish employer has sent me abroad on an assignment?

No, the reason for spending time abroad is of no significance.

Read more about the residence period required.

Is my period of residence affected by the fact that my stay abroad has been temporary in nature or that, during my stay abroad, I have:
- paid taxes to Finland,
- received a study grant from Finland,
- been registered in the Finnish Population Register, or
- been registered at a Finnish university?

The time you have spent abroad will not be included in the residence period for any of the reasons mentioned.

Read more about the residence period required and trips outside Finland.

Next year I will have lived in Finland for the period of residence required for citizenship and I am planning to complete the National Certificate of Language Proficiency. Can I submit my citizenship application now?

If you do not meet all the requirements or do not have all the obligatory attachments, you should not submit your citizenship application. You must also attach a language skills certificate to your application before submitting it. If you do not meet the requirements or an obligatory attachment is missing, the processing of your application will be slowed down and may result in a negative decision.

Language skills

I have lived in Finland for four years and want to apply for Finnish citizenship. How do I prove my language skills?

The standard residency requirement is five years. If you have attained the language skills required for citizenship before you have been a resident for five years, you may apply for citizenship earlier, that is, after four years of continuous residence in Finland.

Read more about the methods of proving language skills.

I have resided in Finland for ten years. Must I prove my language skills when I apply for Finnish citizenship?

Yes. The fulfilment of the language skills requirement must always be proved when applying for citizenship.

Which examination do I need to complete, the National Certificate of Lan-guage Proficiency (YKI) or the National Language Examination?

You can use either examination to prove the required language skills. You can choose yourself which one to take. Read more on the page titled "Language skills."

Will a certificate of studies at a university, institute of higher education or polytechnic be considered sufficient proof of language proficiency?

You can demonstrate your language proficiency using a certificate of studies from a university, institute of higher education or polytechnic if your certificate states that

  • You have passed a maturity test in either Finnish or Swedish as part of the qualification, or
  • You have demonstrated the level of Finnish or Swedish language proficiency that civil service personnel are required to have when working for bilingual authorities. This is known as "Finnish (or Swedish) for civil servants".

Are studies in "Finnish for foreigners" organised by a university or an institute of higher education considered sufficient to demonstrate language skills, if I have taken at least 15 study credits of such studies?

No, they are not sufficient. You can demonstrate your language proficiency using a certificate of studies from a university, institute of higher education or polytechnic only if the certificate states that

  • you have passed a maturity test in either Finnish or Swedish as part of the qualification, or
  • you have demonstrated the level of Finnish or Swedish language proficiency that civil service personnel are required to have when working for bilingual authorities. This is known as "Finnish (or Swedish) for civil servants".

Is the passing of a maturity test as part of a higher education degree con-sidered sufficient demonstration of language skills?

Yes, if the maturity test was written in Finnish or Swedish.

Can I demonstrate my language proficiency using a type of language certificate that is not mentioned on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service?

No. Language proficiency can only be demonstrated using a certificate mentioned on the Finnish Immigration Service website.

No other language certificate can be used to demonstrate language proficiency even if such a certificate shows a skill level of three or "satisfactory".

How can the language skills of a 15-year-old who has not yet completed comprehensive education be demonstrated?

You can attach to the application the most recent school report that shows the grade awarded in the Finnish or Swedish language.

I have completed compulsory basic education and/or upper secondary education in Sweden. Can a certificate of Swedish basic education or upper secondary education be used to demonstrate fulfillment of the language skills requirement?

No, it cannot. You can demonstrate fulfillment of your language skills by a Finnish comprehensive school or upper secondary school leaving certificate showing that you have passed the examination in Finnish or Swedish as your native tongue or as a second language. If you have completed basic education or upper secondary education in Sweden, we would advise you to pass the National Certificate of Lan-guage Proficiency or the National Language Examination, for example, and attach the certificate to your application. See here for more information on the various certificates that may be used to demonstrate fulfillment of the language skills requirement.

Release from Finnish citizenship

If I am released from Finnish citizenship, but later wish to regain it, what are the requirements for regaining Finnish citizenship?

As a former Finnish citizen, you can apply for Finnish citizenship by declaration.

However, you cannot regain Finnish citizenship by declaration if you lost it because you gave false information in your earlier citizenship application and received your citizenship on wrongful grounds.

You also cannot regain Finnish citizenship by declaration if you lost it because of the annulment of paternity.

Former Finnish citizen

Do the attachments to a Finnish citizenship declaration need to be original or certified copies of the original?

Documents attached to your Finnish citizenship declaration must be original documents when you submit your application at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service in Finland or a Finnish diplo-matic mission abroad. When your application is being processed, you must also present original documents, if requested, to the Finnish Immigration Service.

Documents issued by foreign authorities must be legalised. For further information on legalisation, see www.maistraatti.fi.

Do foreignlanguage attachments to applications and notifications need to be translated into Finnish, Swedish or English? Do the translations need to be authorised?

If a document is in a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English, it must be provided in a translation into one of these languages prepared by an official translator.

I am a former Finnish citizen. How can I regain my lost Finnish citizenship?

As a former Finnish citizen, you can apply to regain Finnish citizenship by declaration.

If I lost my Finnish citizenship when reaching the age of 22, how can I regain my citizenship?

As a former Finnish citizen, you can use form KAN_7 to apply to regain Finnish citizenship by declaration. Read more about making a Finnish citizenship declaration.

Child

If the father of a child born before 1 June 2003 is a Finnish citizen, does the child also possess Finnish citizenship? How can a child acquire Finnish citizenship?

A child born before 1 June 2003 received Finnish citizenship at birth if his or her father was a Finnish citizen at that time and was married to the mother of the child.

If the child of a father who is a Finnish citizen was born out of wedlock, but the par-ents married before 1 June 2003, the child received Finnish citizenship when the marriage was contracted. This is the case if the child’s paternity was established.

However, a child has not received citizenship upon the contract of his or her parents’ marriage if:

  • at the time of the contract of marriage, his or her guardian was a person other than his or her own parents,
  • he or she had reached the age of 18,
  • he himself or she herself had contracted marriage before the parents were married.

The Nationality Act was amended on 1 September 2011. Read more about the ways in which a child can acquire Finnish citizenship.

Me and my spouse have applied for citizenship. Our child was born after we had submitted our citizenship applications. How do I apply for citizenship for the child? Do we need to fill in a new application? Or is it necessary to apply for citizenship for a newborn?

You do not need to fill in a new application. Fill in the KAN1_A supplement form to include the child in your citizenship application. If you have submitted your citizenship application in electronic format, you can supplement your application and attach the KAN1_A form using our e-services. If you have applied for citizenship in paper format, submit the supplement form in person at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. Please note that you must bring your newborn baby with you when submitting your application at a service point of the Finnish Immigration service. If you are adding a supplement form to your citizenship application via e-services, you still have to visit a service point with the child.

A newborn baby does not need a residence permit, but a residence permit application must be submitted within three months of the birth of the child. If you do not receive a decision on your citizenship application soon after the birth of the child, you must apply for a residence permit for the child.

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