Citizenship

How to get Finnish nationality

There are various ways of obtaining Finnish nationality. As well as gaining nationality through your parents, you can also become a Finnish citizen by naturalization. However, obtaining Finnish citizenship also depends on regulations set by your country of origin.

Citizenship by application

A foreigner looking to obtain Finnish citizenship has to meet the following requirements:

  • 18 years of age or married before the age of 18
  • Sufficient number of years resident in Finland before applying for citizenship
  • Is not subject to any criminal punishment
  • Has not failed to pay any maintenance or other fees under public law
  • Can prove that they can support themselves
  • Has a knowledge of either Finnish, Swedish or Finnish sign language

The requirements can vary according to your circumstances. To find out what criteria you will personally have to meet, you should visit the Finnish Immigration Service website .

Citizenship can be granted even if not all of the requirements are fulfilled. Equally your application can be rejected even if all requirements have been met.

Citizenship by declaration

The following groups of people can acquire Finnish citizenship by declaration:

  • A child born outside Finland whose mother is a foreigner and whose father was a Finnish citizen at the time of the child's birth, and whose paternity has been established
  • A person born in Finland whose mother is a foreigner and whose father was a Finnish citizen at the time of the child's birth, and whose paternity was established after the child turned 18 or by the date of their marriage under the age of 18
  • A foreign adopted child aged between 12 and 17, provided that at least one of the adoptive parents is a Finnish citizen
  • A young person aged between 18 and 22 who has resided in Finland for a long time
  • Citizens of a Nordic country
  • Former citizens of Finland

The requirements can vary according to your circumstances. To find out what criteria you will personally have to meet, you should visit the Finnish Immigration Service website .

If any of the requirements for declaration have not been fulfilled, Finnish citizenship cannot be granted.

Automatic acquisition of Finnish citizenship

Finnish citizenship can automatically be acquired on the basis of:

  • Birth: This depends on the citizenship of the child’s parents, as well as their marital status
  • Legitimation: A child born abroad can acquire Finnish citizenship if the father is a Finnish citizen at the time of marriage and paternity has been established
  • Adoption: This only applies to adopted children under the age of 12. Adopted children over the age of 12 must obtain Finnish citizenship by declaration
  • Place of birth: A child can acquire Finnish citizenship if they are born in Finland and cannot acquire any other citizenship

The conditions relating to parents’ citizenship and marital status are outlined on the Finnish Immigration Service’s website .

Dual nationality

Finnish legislation is open to the idea of dual or multiple nationality. A Finn who has obtained a foreign nationality will not lose their Finnish nationality. The same concept applies to foreigners seeking Finnish citizenship – they will not be required to neglect their current nationality.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: