Travel documents

An alien’s passport and a refugee travel document are travel documents given instead of a national passport. They are not official identification documents even if they do not include a remark ‘Identity not verified’. You can apply for an official identification document (identity card) from the police.

If a holder of an alien’s passport or a refugee travel document travels abroad, he or she may return to Finland if his or her alien’s passport or refugee travel document and his or her residence permit are still valid.

The residence permit is found

  • on a separate residence permit card if it has been issued after 1 January 2012; or
  • on a residence permit sticker attached to the travel document if it has been issued before 31 December 2011.

Biometric travel documents

Finland started using biometric passports on 21 August 2006. Since that date, travel documents issued by Finland have contained a microchip. The alien’s passport and the refugee travel document also contain a microchip. The chip stores the information contained in the travel document: a facial photo, personal information, information on the passport, and fingerprints of persons over 12 years of age. The chip also contains data that makes it difficult to forge the passport or the travel document and to misuse the information contained in the chip.

No old-style alien’s passports or refugee travel documents have been issued since the biometric passport was taken into use, though they may still be used until their expiry date. A biometric alien’s passport or refugee travel document is valid for five years at maximum. The validity cannot be extended. Instead, when a passport document expires, a new travel document is issued for a maximum of five years.

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