Interpretation, translation and legalisation
You may need an interpreter if you are interviewed in connection with your application. In some cases, you need to have the documents attached to your application translated and legalised.
If you are applying for asylum in Finland and need an interpreter at your asylum interview, the Finnish Immigration Service will provide one for you. You do not need to pay for the interpretation.
If you are applying for another type of permit, such as a residence permit or EU registration, you must pay the interpreter’s fee yourself. If you are in Finland, the Finnish Immigration Service makes the necessary arrangements for an interpreter to be present at your interview. If you are abroad, the arrangements are made by the Finnish mission. Your interview invitation contains more detailed instructions.
It is possible that you will not be interviewed at all. The decision as to whether you will be invited to take part in an interview is made during the processing of your application.
If the documents attached to your application are written in a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English, you must have them translated by an authorised translator (search engine available in Finnish and Swedish) or by a translator who is considered to be an official translator by another EU Member State.
- You can ask the Finnish mission in your country of residence whether they know of any authorised translators in that country.
- You may have your documents translated by a translator who is not an authorised translator but in that case you need to have the translation legalised.
You must pay for translations yourself.
Documents issued by an EU Member State do not need to be translated if
- the document in question concerns birth, marriage, a registered partnership, or death, and
- you also submit a multilingual standard form issued by the relevant authority. You can request a multilingual standard form from the same authority that issued the document in question.
Legalisation means that a document is legal in the country that issued it.
Documents must be legalised if
- they concern your family ties (marriage and birth certificates, for example)
- they were issued by a country that is not part of the Nordic countries or the EU, and
- the application form states that the attachment in question must be legalised.
There are two ways to legalise documents
The appropriate method of legalisation depends on the country that issued the document in question.
The document was issued by a country that is party to the Hague Convention
Have the document legalised with an apostille certificate. Check a list of countries that are party to the Hague Convention (hcch.net).
The document was issued by a country that is not party to the Hague Convention
If the document in question was issued by a country that is not party to the Hague Convention and not part of the Nordic countries or the EU, the following instructions apply:
- have the document legalised by the foreign ministry of the country that issued it, and
- have the document legalised at a Finnish mission abroad.
For more information about legalisation, see the websites of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
Exceptions to translation and legalisation requirements
- If you are an asylum seeker, you do not need to have your documents translated or legalised.
- If you are applying for a residence permit on the basis of family ties, you do not need to have your documents legalised if your family member has been granted international protection in Finland, and you are unable to have the documents legalised.
In this case you may attach the documents to your application without having them legalised. If documents related to the family ties of an applicant cannot be legalised, other methods of establishing the family ties may be used, including DNA testing.