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We may grant you an exception to the language skills requirement if your health or a sensory or speech disability makes it impossible for you to meet the requirement of at least satisfactory language skills in Finnish or Swedish or in the Finnish or Finland-Swedish Sign Language.

However, an illness or a disability rarely makes it permanently impossible to meet the language skills requirement. Many illnesses and disabilities complicate life and slow down learning, making it difficult to learn a new language, but they do not usually make learning completely impossible.

When your application is being processed, the Finnish Immigration Service takes account of all the information we have about you. We for example have access to all the information and certificates you have submitted about your health when you have applied for a residence permit in Finland.

Your own experience of how your health affects your ability to learn or study a language, or a medical certificate of an illness, or a disability do not guarantee that you will be granted an exception to the language skills requirement. Please note that being diagnosed as unfit to work by a doctor does not necessarily mean that you are unable to learn and study a new language.

We will nonetheless take account of illnesses and disabilities in our overall assessment of your situations, even if they do not, on their own, prevent you from learning a language.

The following conditions alone are not sufficient grounds for granting an exception:

  • hearing or seeing difficulties
  • dyslexia (learning difficulties)
  • concentration problems
  • memory problems
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • pain conditions
  • depression
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • anxiety disorder
  • fear states

What are the requirements for the attachments to the application?

If you are applying for an exception to the language skills requirement based on your health or a sensory or speech disability, you should attach the following documents to your citizenship application:

  • a certificate issued by your treating doctor that states that your illness or disability permanently prevents you from acquiring the necessary language skills. The certificate must be as recent as possible and must also show how your illness or disability has been treated.
  • all your language course certificates
  • all other documents of your studies of the Finnish or Swedish language.