Every year more and more immigrants choose Scandinavian countries as a place to move to. In particular, they seek to obtain Finnish citizenship. Thus, according to the official data of the Finnish migration service, only in 2017, 12,219 passports were issued to foreigners, which is an absolute record in the history of the country's independence.

The desire of foreigners from third countries to obtain Finnish citizenship is not surprising. Suomi (Finnish pronunciation) is a state with a modern market economy, per capita income is among the highest in Europe, and the level of social security can only be envied.

Citizenship of Finland

For example, in 2017, the government launched a two-year pilot project to provide several thousand Finnish citizens with non-refundable financial assistance in the amount of 560 euros per month. Also not a bad incentive for those wishing to obtain a Finnish passport.

Besides, the country has amazing nature and friendly people. After all, Finland allows you to have dual citizenship. Which is also not prohibited by the legislation of many states.

A large number of immigrants already have a residence permit in Finland. Mostly through employment, family ties and education. This is a sure path to permanent residency in this country. Next, let's talk about how to get Finnish citizenship in 2024.

How to get Finnish citizenship

Finnish law provides for 3 main ways of acquiring Finnish citizenship:

  • Automatic citizenship: by birth or descent.

  • Naturalization.

  • Declaration.

Each of the options has its own peculiarities and requirements. In some cases, local authorities may refuse a candidate even if the specified conditions are met or, on the contrary, soften some points. Let us dwell on each of the listed methods in more detail.

Automatic citizenship of Finland

Citizenship is granted to persons under 18 years of age if the following conditions are met:

  1. Children, regardless of the country of birth, if the mother has Finnish citizenship.

  2. Children, regardless of the country of birth, if the father is a Finnish citizen and the parents are married. In the case of birth out of wedlock, the requirements are as follows:

    • If born in Finland, proof of paternity;
    • In the case of birth abroad, the parents must be married after the birth of the child and the
  3. Children under 12 years of age adopted by Finnish citizens. If the child is more than 12 years old, citizenship is assumed by declaration.

  4. Children born in Finland if the parents have not been identified.

Finnish citizenship by naturalization

Finnish citizenship by naturalization

A Finnish passport is granted to foreigners if the following requirements are met:

  1. A person must be at least 18 years of age. If a person is legally married, it is possible to apply for Finnish citizenship before the age of majority.

  2. Applicant's ability to prove his/her identity, i.e. to have a valid passport.

  3. Residence in Finland for a sufficient period of time for the application to be submitted. The time limits may be as follows:

    • Permanent (continuous) residence for 5 years;
    • General residence (intermittently) after reaching the age of 15 for 7 years, the last two years continuously;
    • For citizens of Scandinavian countries - Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland – 2 last years of permanent residence (declaration procedure) is enough;
    • In case of marriage to a Finnish citizen (at least 3 years), or refugee status, or lack of citizenship for reasons independent of the candidate, or sufficient language skills, the period is:
      • permanent residence for 4 years;
      • general residence after the age of 15 for 6 years, the last two years continuously.
  4. No criminal record for serious crimes. Each case is considered individually.

  5. No violations of financial obligations (administrative fines, tax payments, overdue loans and so on).

  6. Financial security. It is necessary to document the availability of a source of income (employment contract, extract from the commercial register on business registration, government assistance, etc.).

  7. Proficiency in the local language (Finnish or Swedish). Skills must be both oral and written, and must be confirmed by a certificate or diploma of education obtained in Finland.

Finnish citizenship by declaration

This method is based on meeting the basic requirements of the naturalization procedure and is designed to facilitate the Finnish passport application process. In addition to the 3 categories mentioned above, the following persons can obtain Finnish citizenship by declaration:

  • Foreigners between the ages of 18 and 22. The main condition is to have a permanent residence permit in Finland for 10 years, plus the last two years of uninterrupted stay in Finland. In case of birth on Finnish territory, the period is reduced to 6 years.

  • Persons who have previously been Finnish citizens.

Benefits of Finnish citizenship

  • Automatic acquisition of European Union citizenship and the corresponding rights and obligations.

  • Free movement in more than 170 countries.

  • Full access to education, employment and business in Finland or other European countries.

  • The right to vote in national and local elections in Finland and the possibility to hold certain positions of power or public office, e.g. to become a judge. It is allowed to have dual citizenship in Finland.

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