Citizenship in Finland - Finnish Passport Requirements

Citizenship in Finland

Updated on Wednesday 28th June 2023

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Citizenship in Finland
After living for 5 years or more here (depending on the situation), a foreign citizen may become eligible for citizenship in Finland. This implies obtaining a Finnish passport by naturalization. However, this is not the only way through which one can become a citizen of this Northern European state.
Below, our immigration lawyers in Finland explain all the options one has as a foreigner to obtain citizenship. You can rely on us for support in the application process.

Routes to citizenship in Finland

Just like other countries, Finland too is quite flexible allowing for different pathways through which foreigners can become its citizens. These are:
  • citizenship by birth, descent, or ancestry;
  • citizenship by adoption;
  • citizenship by declaration.
Each has its requirements and implies a different set of documents to file with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is worth noting that in some cases Finnish residency must be obtained first.
Our lawyers in Finland will explain what each of them entails. 

How to get Finnish citizenship by birth

Finnish passport by descent can be obtained by children whose mother or father is a citizen of Finland. However, an important condition is for the father to be married to the child's mother. If a child is born in Finland, has a father who is a citizen of Finland at the time of the child's birth, and the father's paternity is confirmed, the child also gains Finnish citizenship.
There are also cases where a child who is born in Finland but whose parents are not citizens of this country can become a citizen without their parents attaining citizenship. In this situation, the child will acquire Finnish citizenship in accordance with the place of birth.
If you need more information to better understand how citizenship by ancestry can be sought in Finland, you can get in touch with our immigration specialists.

How to apply for citizenship in Finland for children

According to the Nationality Act, a child is an unmarried person who is younger than 18 years old. It is possible for those who immigrated to Finland and acquired citizenship to proceed to the same application for nationality for their children.
A child can become a citizen of Finland:
  • if the child's parent or legal guardian applies for Finnish citizenship via declaration, based on the mother's, father's, or both parents' citizenship by descent as a co-applicant;
  • by notification to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency if the child is born outside of Finland.
You can list your child as a co-applicant when you apply for a Finnish passport, either on notification or via declaration. You must have custody of the child, who must be under the age of 18. If you include your child as a co-applicant, both of you can become citizens of Finland at the same time. The child who is a co-applicant for citizenship must also reside in Finland if you are applying for citizenship through application.
You can rely on our Finnish lawyers to enquire with Immigration Service in order to determine a child's citizenship status if you wish to know if they have Finnish citizenship by way of mother or father.

 Who can obtain citizenship by declaration?

Finnish citizenship by declaration is available for any of the following categories of citizens:
  • a former citizen of Finland
  • a national of Nordic state, namely Sweden and Denmark;
  • a child born out of marriage outside of Finland to a Finnish father or a Finnish mother;
  • an adopted child between the ages of 12 and 17;
  • a young person between the ages of 18 and 22 who has lived in Finland sufficiently.
A person who has reached the age of 18 and whose permanent residence and domicile have been in Finland for the previous 5 years without interruption can also be granted citizenship by declaration.
Living here for 5 years implies being granted residency in Finland first, which is another matter in which our immigration can help.

Citizenship by naturalization or application in Finland

A foreign national may apply for Finnish citizenship if he or she is at least 18 years old and have lived permanently in Finland for the past 5 years or for 7 years after turning 15 years old without interruption in both cases. After 4 years of residency in Finland, citizenship may be awarded if the candidate proves a good knowledge of the Finnish or Swedish language.
Our immigration lawyers in Finland are at your service if you decide on this pathway, which is also the most common way of acquiring a passport for this country.

Documents to supply when applying for Finnish nationality

Citizenship applications must be filed through the Enter Finland service. You must fill out the standard submission form and attach a few more documents, such as:
  • a accepted form of personal identification document (valid ID, passport, or Finnish residence card);
  • proof of your proficiency of Finnish language;
  • bank reference as proof of self-sufficiency.
After that, you have 3 months to go and confirm your identification after submitting an application to the service. The Immigration Service allows you to schedule an appointment for a service location. You will have to have a personal identification document and the original copies of the application appendices with you when you go to confirm your identity.

Determination of citizenship in Finland

You may request that the Finnish Immigration Service determine your citizenship in the following circumstances:
  • you wish to find out if you are a citizen of Finland;
  • you are interested in learning what type of citizenship Finland you have, or you can be eligible for;
  • you are a citizen of a different state than the one shown in the Population Information System, so your citizenship information is incorrect;
  • you want to find out if a minor child under your care is a citizen;
  • you want information regarding your past citizenship in Finland;
  • you are interested in knowing if Finland considers you to be stateless.
Such inquires can be useful before starting the nationality application procedure as it can help you understand the most suitable option for you. This is a matter in which our law firm in Finland can help you.


Dual citizenship in Finland

A citizen who also holds citizenship in another country does not lose their Finnish citizenship. The acquisition of a passport here does not result in the loss of citizenship for a citizen of another country. However, we advise caution in such matters, as problems may arise in the country of origin of an applicant.
According to statistics:
  • in June 2023, the total population of Finland was 5,566,292 inhabitants;
  • in terms of immigration to Finland, at the level of 2022, nearly 50,000 foreigners entered the country;
  • between 2012 and 2022, the annual number of immigrants ranged from 28,700 to approximately 50,000.
To determine whether you qualify for dual citizenship, you can rely on our law firm in Finland.

Loss of citizenship

When a person acquires citizenship in another country, they retain their Finnish citizenship. Provided that one is a citizen of another country and has not maintained ties to Finland by the time he or she turns 22 years old, the risk losing citizenship.
If you need support in applying for a passport for Finland, please contact us!