The greatest number of citizenship applications in Finland this year has been submitted by Iraqi citizens, according to the latest data released by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri).
For years, Russian citizens have been the group lodging the highest number of citizenship applications in Finland. But many asylum seekers who arrived in Finland in autumn 2015 and received international protection are now applying for citizenship.
As a result, this year "Iraqis have taken the lead over Russians in the application statistics," Migri said in a press release.
Between January and October 2020, Iraqis have lodged 1,473 citizenship applications. The number of citizenship applications submitted by Iraqi citizens already showed a clear increase last year, when 1,588 people from Iraq applied for Finnish citizenship. In 2018, this figure was 972.
“Russians have led the citizenship application statistics practically always. This is why finding them replaced by Iraqi citizens is an almost historical event”, says Head of Branch Ulla Vainikka.
After 4 years of asylum
Anyone receiving international protection must live in Finland for four years before they are eligible for Finnish citizenship.
The other conditions for being granted citizenship are at least satisfactory Finnish or Swedish language skills, a clean record and a reliable proof of identity.
The applicant must also submit proof of income, which shows how he or she earns a living, and look after such responsibilities as paying taxes.