Friday. 24.05.2019
El tiempo

How to obtain the Finnish citizenship

Find in this guide all the necessary information about the conditions, processing times, fees and the different methods to request it.

How to obtain the Finnish citizenship

Are you willing to become a Finn?. If the answer is yes, you are lucky because Finland accepts multiple citizenship. This means that a Finnish citizen may also hold the citizenship of some other country. Even in such a case, the Finnish authorities will consider her/him to be a Finnish citizen to all purposes, regardless of whether the person is in Finland or abroad. And that may carry an important significance in terms of legal and international protection.

However, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) clarifies that the authorities of other countries may not necessarily consider him or her to be a Finn “because not every country in the world accepts multiple citizenship in the same way”.

In fact, for some countries acquiring a new nationality also means the loss of the original (this is the case for instance for the citizens of Japan, Singapore or Azerbaijan). Others just consider irrelevant if their citizens hold some other citizenship and do not allow access to their citizens from the consular authorities of other countries (Iran, México and several Arab countries). And there are still others like Saudi Arabia who do not even accept the possibility of the double nationality and people can be imprisoned for having two passports.

Finland may grant Finnish citizenship on declaration or on application.

The declaration procedure is a faster and cheaper way to become a citizen. Finnish citizenship may be obtained by declaration by:

  • A child born to a Finnish man abroad and out of wedlock.
  • An adopted child between 12 and 17 years of age.
  • A former Finnish citizen.
  • A Nordic citizen.
  • A young person between 18 and 22 years of age who has lived in Finland long enough

If you meet any of those requirements and you want to apply for the Finnish citizenship by declaration, click HERE

Autumn Finland cabin bridge house

Finnish citizenship by application

Those people who do not belong to any of these groups may get the citizenship by application. This means that they must go through a process called ‘naturalisation’. In order to succeed and get a positive decision in their applications, they must fulfil the following requirements:

  • Established identity. You can confirm it by presenting relevant documents, such as a valid passport issued by your country of nationality or other official identity document.
  • Sufficient language skills in oral and written Finnish or Swedish. You must have a certificate of your language skills before you submit a citizenship application. You must also be able to use Finnish or Swedish in practice, at least on a satisfactory level. Your ability will be taken into account, for example when you interact with the Finnish Immigration Service.
  • Sufficient period of residence. You must have lived in Finland for the last 5 years without interruption (continuous period of residence) or for a total of seven years after you turned 15 (accumulated period of residence), with the last 2 years without interruption.
  • Integrity. You may not have committed punishable acts and no restraining order has been issued against you. If you have been guilty of a punishable offence, you may have to wait for a certain period of time before you can get citizenship. The nature of the act and the severity of the punishment may be also considered in order to make exceptions to this requirement and/or to determine the length of the waiting period.
  • Means of support. You must be able to inform reliably (by providing certificates or any other documental proofs) about your source of income and the sources of your livelihood.
  • Fulfilled payment obligations. You must have taken care of your payment obligations under public law in everything related for example to taxes, fines, state-guaranteed student loans, hospital fees or child maintenance payments.

Translation services

If you think you meet these requirements, then the next step is to make sure that you have all the attachments needed for the application and that they are up to date. If the application has to include attachments in another language than Finnish, Swedish or English, they must be translated by an authorised translator and legalised. The translation fees must be paid by the applicant.

For more information on translation and legalisation, click HERE

To get information on authorised translators and to access a register of authorised translators, click HERE

Man road finland by Andreas Wagner

Submit an electronic application

The next step is to fill in your application and pay the application fee. This can be made easier and cheaper by using the Enter Finland electronic services. The fee is 380 € for electronic applications, according to Migri’s website.

If you want to use the Enter Finland electronic system, you can access it in English by clicking HERE

In order to submit your application electronically, the system will require you to create an Enter Finland account if you do not have already one. To create your account, you can use your online banking credentials. If you do not have those, then you can also create an account by using a valid email address.

To have an account will ease the whole process of application because it will facilitate to you to be in touch with the authorities, to get to know the process evolution and receive any relevant notifications concerning your application.

To complete your citizenship application, you must visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service in Finland in order to prove your identity and show the originals of the documents that you have attached to your application.

If you want to book an appointment to visit a service point, you can do it by clicking HERE

Submit an application on paper

If you do not have the possibility to fill in your application via the electronic service, you can also do it on paper, but it will be more expensive (the fee for paper applications is 480 euros).

To apply for the Finnish citizenship on paper, you can download, fill in and print the application forms by clicking HERE

The paper application must be presented in person to the service point of the Immigration Service. A processing fee will be then charged according to the payment regulation.

If you want to book an appointment to visit a service point, you can do it by clicking HERE

According to the website of the Finnish Immigration Service, the expected processing time for a citizenship application is 5-9 months.

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