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Who is the child’s guardian?

Normally the child’s guardian will be the father or mother, or both parents will be guardians.

In exceptional cases, the guardian may also be a person other than the child’s father or mother. In such cases, guardianship must be demonstrated by a court decision or by other reliable official documentation.

If the child’s parents are divorced or deceased, a divorce certificate or a death certificate must be presented. Clarification of the child’s guardianship must also be presented in the case of a divorce.

Foster child of a person with a Finnish residence permit

In exceptional cases, a residence permit may also be granted to a foster child. This may happen if the sponsor residing in Finland is effectively the child’s guardian but there are no official documents on the custody of the child.

In order to get a residence permit for your foster child, you need to present reliable documentation confirming the death or disappearance of the child’s previous guardians. A further requirement is that you have already acted as the child’s effective guardian before you arrived in Finland and that on the day when we make a decision on the residence permit application, the child is still in your custody and needs your care.