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Period of residence

A requirement for becoming a Finnish citizen is that you live in Finland and that the total time you have lived in Finland (your period of residence) is long enough. Exceptions to the period of residence requirement may be made in individual cases. As a general rule, only legal residence in Finland counts towards your period of residence.

You have lived in Finland long enough if

  • you have lived in Finland for the last five years without interruption (continuous period of residence); or
  • you have lived in Finland for a total of seven years after you turned 15 (accumulated period of residence), with the last two years without interruption.

The start date of your period of residence depends on the permit you had when you moved to Finland. If you move away from Finland, your period of residence will be interrupted. If you had a temporary residence permit before you got a continuous residence permit, a half of the time you lived in Finland with a temporary residence permit is included in your period of residence. In such a case, you need to have had a continuous residence permit for at least one year immediately before the Finnish Immigration Service makes a decision on your citizenship application. The time you have lived in Finland with a temporary residence permit can only be included in your continuous period of residence.

Normal holiday trips are allowed during your uninterrupted residence in Finland. For example, if you spend three weeks or a month abroad during your summer holiday, your continuous period of residence is not interrupted. If you live abroad repeatedly or for long periods of time after you have moved to Finland, you period of residence may be interrupted. Read more about the rules concerning the period of residence on the page How to calculate the period of residence.

In certain situations, a shorter period of residence is enough

The period of residence required of you is shorter if any of the following conditions applies to you. The required period of residence is different for each of these groups.