Finnish Citizenship (Naturalisation)
Citizenship by application
A foreigner may be granted Finnish citizenship upon meeting certain requirements, including:
Six years continuous residence; or
A total of eight years residence since age 15, with the last two years residence continuous; and
knowledge of at least one of Finnish, Swedish or Finnish sign language.
For those married to or in a registered partnership with a Finnish citizen for more than three years, the residence requirement is reduced to:
Four years continuous residence, or
Six years total residence since age 15 (with the last two years continuous).
These reduced residence requirements also apply to recognised refugees and stateless persons.
Former Finnish citizens and citizens of other Nordic countries are only required to have two years continuous residence in Finland.
The authorities have the right to refuse an application for citizenship by application even if the requirements are met.
Citizenship by declaration
Declaration is a simpler method of acquiring Finnish citizenship. If the legal requirements are met it must be granted.
Categories of persons eligible for citizenship by declaration include:
Long-resident young persons
Persons aged between 18-22 may acquire Finnish citizenship by declaration if:
Resident in Finland for a total of 10 years (6 years if born in Finland); and
domiciled in Finland; and
not sentenced to imprisonment
Residence in another Nordic country before the age of 16 counts as residence in Finland (up to a maximum of 5 years). For males in the age group 18â22 years, getting the citizenship means becoming liable for conscription Military service.
Citizens of Nordic countries
Citizens of other Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Norway) who are former Finnish citizens and have held a Nordic country citizenship continuously since then may acquire Finnish citizenship by declaration if domiciled in Finland. There is no minimum residence requirement.
Otherwise the requirements are:
The person is not a naturalised citizen of that country; and
six years residence in Finland
A citizen of a Nordic country not eligible for citizenship by declaration may still be eligible for citizenship by application.