Brexit – Frequently asked questions

MOVING AND STAYING

I’m a Finnish national permanently living in the UK. Should I apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to register my right to stay in the UK?

Applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is currently voluntary, and you should decide for yourself whether you wish to apply. The scheme will open fully in the end of March 2019. In the future, almost all EU citizens permanently living in the UK will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

For information about the rights and status of EU citizens in the UK and about applying, please see the Home Office website Gov.uk: Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families.

For advice on the EU Settlement Scheme, please contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre
Tel. 0300 123 7379 (in the UK) or +44 203 080 0010 (outside the UK)
Monday to Friday 8:00–20:00, Saturday and Sunday 9:30–16:30
Contact form

You can also subscribe to the Home Office email alerts on the status of EU citizens: Gov.uk: Status of EU nationals in the UK – email alerts.

Where can I get help and expert advice on how to get an EU national’s registration certificate or permanent residence document and how to complete the application?

Currently Finnish nationals who have been staying in the UK for over three months can apply for a 'registration certificate' to confirm their residence status. Finnish nationals who have been living permanently in the UK for at least five years can apply for a 'permanent residence document'. For more information, please see Gov.uk: Existing UK residence documents for EU citizens.

For general advice, EU nationals can contact the UK Visas and Immigration helpline: 0300 123 2253, Monday to Thursday 9:00–17:00, Friday 9:00–16:30.

For the contact details of official and registered Immigration Advisers, go to Find an Immigration Adviser.

In the future almost all EU citizens permanently living in the UK will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, even if they have a 'registration certificate' or 'permanent residence document'. For information about the rights and status of EU citizens in the UK and about applying, please see the Home Office website Gov.uk: Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families.

I am a Finnish national about to move to the UK. What should I take into account regarding the UK’s exit from the European Union?

For the rules for entering the UK, please see Gov.uk: Entering the UK. If you need more information, please contact the British Embassy in Helsinki: Gov.uk: British Embassy in Helsinki.

Currently Finnish nationals can exercise their right to free movement within the EU and move to the UK without a work or residence permit. For as long as the UK remains a member of the EU, the rights, obligations and free movement of EU citizens living in the UK will not be affected. 

The withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK has not yet been signed and different scenarios are still possible. For more information, please see https://vnk.fi/en/information-about-brexit

For information on travelling to the UK after the withdrawal date if the UK leaves the EU with no Brexit deal, including visiting, studying, working and joining your family, see Gov.uk: Guidance – European Temporary Leave to Remain in the UK.

As always when travelling or moving abroad, please read the travel advice for your destination, ensure that your travel documents are valid and contact your destination country’s embassy to see if there are any visa requirements. Submit a travel notification and make sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance. For more information, go to https://um.fi/matkustaminen.

I’m a British national permanently living in Finland. Should I register my right to stay in Finland?

The Finnish Immigration Service advices British nationals who live permanently in Finland to register their right of residence in Finland as soon as soon as possible. For more information, go to Finnish Immigration Service: British citizen: register your right of residence as soon as possible and Finnish Immigration Service: Latest information on Brexit.

SOCIAL SECURITY AND BENEFITS

I am a Finnish national and receive pension from Finland. I’m about to move to the UK. Will I receive my Finnish pension in the UK?

Please contact Kela to see if you are entitled to the Finnish social security, old-age pension or disability pension. For Kela’s information and contact details, please go to Kela: International situations. For more information, please also see Kela: Brexit may have some effects on benefits provided by Kela.

Regarding Finnish earnings-related pensions, please contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions. For the Centre’s contact details, please go to Contact information. For more information, please see Finnish Centre for Pensions: Brexit may affect social security.

I’m an exchange student in the UK and have received a decision that I am covered by the Finnish social security. Will this cover continue?

Please contact Kela to see if you are entitled to the Finnish social security, old-age pension or disability pension. For Kela’s information and contact details, please go to Kela: International situations. For more information, please also see Kela: Brexit may have some effects on benefits provided by Kela.

For more information on healthcare for EU citizens living in the UK, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, please see Gov.uk: Guidance – Healthcare for EU and EFTA nationals Iiving in the UK. For more information on healthcare for residents in the EU visiting the UK, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, please see Gov.uk: Guidance – Healthcare for EU and EFTA citizens visiting the UK

STUDYING

I’m a Finnish national studying in the UK. What should I do to continue my studies?

In the future almost all EU citizens permanently living in the UK will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. For information about the rights and status of EU citizens in the UK and about applying, please see the Home Office website Gov.uk: Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, for information on the status of EU citizens living in the UK before the withdrawal date, please see Gov.uk: Policy paper on citizens' rights in the event of a no deal Brexit.

For information on higher education, go to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service UCAS. For information on the possible effects of a no-deal Brexit on higher education in the UK, go to Gov.uk: Guidance – EU exit: no deal preparations for higher education institutions.

To check whether you’re entitled to Finnish social security during your studies, visit Kela: International situations. And for further information, see Kela: Brexit may have some effects on benefits provided by Kela.

I would like to apply to a British university in the autumn 2019 or spring 2020. What should I take into account?

For information on higher education, go to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service UCAS. For general information on studying in the UK, please visit these websites: British Council – EU students in the UK and UK Council for International Student Affairs.  You should also contact directly the university to which you intend to apply.

For information on travelling to the UK after the withdrawal date if the UK leaves the EU with no Brexit deal, including visiting, studying, working and joining your family, please see Gov.uk: Guidance – European Temporary Leave to Remain in the UK. For information on the possible effects of a no-deal Brexit on higher education in the UK, please see Gov.uk: Guidance – EU exit: no deal preparations for higher education institutions.

To check whether you’re entitled to Finnish social security during your studies, please contact Kela: Kela: International situations. For further information, please see Kela: Brexit may have some effects on benefits provided by Kela.

For the rules for entering the UK, please see Gov.uk: Entering the UK. If you need more information, please contact the British Embassy in Helsinki: Gov.uk: British Embassy in Helsinki.

As always when travelling or moving abroad, read the travel advice for your destination, ensure that your travel documents are valid and contact your destination country’s embassy to see if there are any visa requirements. Submit a travel notification and make sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance. For more information, go to https://um.fi/matkustaminen.

TRAVELLING

I’m planning to travel to the UK. How long does my passport have to be valid and do I need a visa?

At the moment, when travelling to the UK, your Finnish passport or ID card only has to be valid for the duration of your trip, and Finnish citizens do not need a visa. For the rules for entering the UK, please see Gov.uk: Entering the UK. For more information, please contact the British Embassy in Helsinki: Gov.uk: British Embassy in Helsinki.

For information on travelling to the UK after the withdrawal date if the UK leaves the EU with no Brexit deal, including visiting, studying, working and joining your family, please see Gov.uk: Guidance – Visiting the UK after Brexit and Gov.uk: Guidance – European Temporary Leave to Remain in the UK. 

As always when travelling abroad, read the travel advice for your destination, ensure that your travel documents are valid and contact your destination country’s embassy to see if there are any visa requirements. Submit a travel notification and make sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance. For more information, go to https://um.fi/matkustaminen.

Can I travel to the UK using my Finnish ID card?

An ID card can be used as a travel document instead of a passport when travelling in EU and EEA countries. For more information, please see Finnish Police: Use of the ID card. At the moment, when travelling to the UK, your Finnish ID card or passport only has to be valid for the duration of your trip, and Finnish citizens do not need a visa.

For the rules for entering the UK, please see Gov.uk: Entering the UK. For more information, please contact the British Embassy in Helsinki: Gov.uk: British Embassy in Helsinki.

For information on travelling to the UK after the withdrawal date if the UK leaves the EU with no Brexit deal, including visiting, studying, working and joining your family, please see Gov.uk: Guidance – Visiting the UK after Brexit and Gov.uk: Guidance – European Temporary Leave to Remain in the UK.

As always when travelling abroad, read the travel advice for your destination, ensure that your travel documents are valid and contact your destination country’s embassy to see if there are any visa requirements. Submit a travel notification and make sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance. For more information, go to https://um.fi/entering-finland-and-travelling-abroad.

DRIVING LICENCES

Can I use my Finnish driving licence in the UK?

For information on the validity of foreign driving licences in the UK, please contact the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency): Gov.uk: Driving in the UK and abroad and Gov.uk: Contact the DVLA.

If you plan to rent a car in the UK, you should also contact the rental company directly. Car rental companies may have more comprehensive driving licence restrictions or, for example, age limits.

For information on the validity of EU driving licences in the UK after the withdrawal date if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, please see Gov.uk: Guidance – Prepare to drive in the EU after Brexit -- EU drivers visiting or living in the UK after EU Exit.

I am a Finnish citizen but I have a UK driving licence. Can I exchange my UK licence for a Finnish one when I move back to Finland?

For information on the validity of foreign driving licences in Finland and on exchanging a foreign licence for a Finnish one, visit the Traficom website:
Traficom: Validity of foreign driving licences in Finland
Traficom: Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Finnish one 

CITIZENSHIP

I am a Finnish citizen who has been residing permanently in the UK for many years. Can I get UK citizenship?

For information on the requirements for acquiring UK citizenship and the application process, contact the UK authorities. For further information, please see Gov.uk: Become a British citizen.

Will I lose my Finnish citizenship if I get UK citizenship?

No, you will not lose your Finnish citizenship. The Finnish Nationality Act allows dual and multiple citizenship. A new Nationality Act with less stringent requirements for dual citizenship entered into force on 1 June 2003.

However, it is important to remember that a Finnish citizen who also holds the citizenship of a foreign state can lose their Finnish citizenship automatically at the age of 22 years if the individual does not have a sufficient connection to Finland. An individual can retain their Finnish citizenship if they are deemed to have a sufficient connection to Finland. A sufficient connection to Finland can be demonstrated by applying for a passport or providing notice in writing of their wish to retain their Finnish citizenship.

Maintaining accurate citizenship information in the population register is the responsibility of the individual, and changes in citizenship information must also be registered in the population register.

More information is available on the Finnish Immigration Service website.

I have lost my Finnish citizenship. I can I get my Finnish citizenship back?

Yes. If you are a former Finnish citizen, you can acquire Finnish citizenship by declaration. An underage child in your custody will also receive Finnish citizenship if they are also included as an applicant in your declaration.

However, it is not possible to acquire citizenship by declaration based only on the fact that you are a descendant of a former Finnish citizen. If you would like to find out whether you are a current or former Finnish citizen, you can ask the Finnish Immigration Service to determine your citizenship status.

More information is available on the Finnish Immigration Service website.

How can I find out if I am eligible for Finnish citizenship based on family relations?

You can ask the Finnish Immigration Service to determine your citizenship status. Citizenship status refers to a person’s current and previous citizenship, statelessness and unknown citizenship.

More information is available on the Finnish Immigration Service website.

I am a Finnish citizen who has lived for X years in the UK. I would like to move back to Finland. What do I have to do?

A Finnish citizen who has lived abroad can return freely to their home country. Upon returning to Finland, you must submit a notification of move to the local register office. Kela will decide at what point you will be covered by the Finnish social security system after your return.

For further information, please go to:
Local Register Office: Notification of move 
Kela: International situations

I am a UK citizen. Can I get Finnish citizenship?

Finnish citizenship can generally be acquired based on birth, either by declaration or application. More information about registering a child born abroad and making a declaration of citizenship is available on the Finnish Embassy's website: Citizenship. For information on applying for citizenship, please visit the website of the Finnish Immigration Service: Finnish citizenship.
 

We are happy to answer any other questions you may have. You can find the contact details of the Embassy of Finland in the UK here.