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Language skills

One requirement for becoming a Finnish citizen is that you have at least satisfactory skills in one of the following:

  • oral and written Finnish
  • oral and written Swedish
  • Finnish Sign Language
  • Finland-Swedish Sign Language

Therefore, you should attach proof of your language skills to your citizenship application. You must have a certificate of your language skills before you submit a citizenship application.

You may demonstrate your language skills in the following ways:

We also take into consideration your practical language skills when you are in contact with us

You must also be able to use Finnish or Swedish in practice, at least on a satisfactory level.

When we are processing your citizenship application, we will also take account of your ability to express yourself in spoken and written Finnish or Swedish, for example when you interact with the Finnish Immigration Service. This means that we will compare your language skills with the certificate that you have presented as proof of your language skills.

If your Finnish or Swedish skills do not correspond to the certificate you have presented to us, this may affect the decision.  

What are the grounds for granting an exception to the language skills requirement?

Exceptions to the language skills requirement are made very rarely. The situation of each applicant is considered individually. There has to be sufficient grounds as defined by law before an exception can be made. Read more about the grounds for granting an exception to the language skills requirement.