Brexit – Frequently asked questions

General 

There seems to be a lot of information available on Brexit. Where can I find the most relevant information?

Finnish Prime Minister's Office has compiled and organised by topic information on Brexit. These pages offer information, for example, on the negotiation process and the withdrawal agreement and on how UK and Finnish citizens and businesses should prepare for UK's withdrawal from the EU. Read more here: Information about Brexit. 

I have a Brexit related question which I don't think the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for dealing with. Where can I find the correct contact person in a different ministry? 

You can find contact details for Brexit experts at different ministries in Finland here: Brexit experts at the ministries and the contact information. Each ministry is responsible for dealing with the aspects of Brexit that affect its administrative branch. Brexit experts at the ministries answer to questions relating to UK’s withdrawal from the EU or forward questions to other experts. 

Moving and living

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

Almost all EU citizens residing in the UK before the withdrawal date, along with their family members, will have to apply via the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme for a new residence permit if they wish to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020. The EU Settlement Scheme applies to EU citizens and their family members who arrived in the UK before 1 January 2021. According to current information, EU citizens and their family members must submit an application for a new residence permit via the EU Settlement Scheme registration system by 30 June 2021. The application is free of charge. 

All Finnish citizens and their family members residing in the UK are invited to apply for a new residence permit via the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible if they have not already done so and they intend to continue residing in the UK after 31 December 2020. 

The withdrawal agreement will safeguard the residence, employment and social security rights of Finnish citizens residing in the UK and UK citizens residing in Finland for life if they have settled in the UK or Finland before 1 January 2021. Information on the citizens' rights in the withdrawal agreement can be found here: Summary of the provisions of the withdrawal agreement on citizens’ rights

For information about the rights and status of EU citizens in the UK and about registration, please go to the Home Office website: Stay in the UK after it leaves the EU ('settled status')

For advice on the EU Settlement Scheme, call 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

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

What is the permanent residence document for EU citizens? How does it differ from the EU Settlement Scheme?

Until the UK's withdrawal from the EU, a Finnish citizen who lived permanently in the UK under certain conditions for at least five years was able to register his or her permanent residence document. This is based on EU legislation and may be useful if you want to apply for UK citizenship, for example. This is different from the EU Settlement Scheme registration system. If you wish to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020, you must apply via the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme for a new residence permit – even if you have previously received 'a registration certificate' or 'a permanent residence document'. 

For information about the rights and status of EU citizens in the UK and about registration, please go to the Home Office website: Stay in the UK after it leaves the EU ('settled status')

The withdrawal agreement will safeguard the residence, employment and social security rights of Finnish citizens residing in the UK and UK citizens residing in Finland for life if they have settled in the UK or Finland before 1 January 2021. Information on the citizens' rights in the withdrawal agreement can be found here: Summary of the provisions of the withdrawal agreement on citizens’ rights.  

 

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

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

The EU–UK withdrawal agreement enters into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the relationship between the EU and the UK will continue under the EU’s current rules, as if the UK were still a member of the EU. During the transition period, for example all rights related to free movement between the EU and the UK will continue as if the UK were still a member of the EU.

Almost all EU citizens residing in the UK before the withdrawal date, along with their family members, will have to apply via the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme for a new residence permit if they wish to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020. The EU Settlement Scheme applies to EU citizens and their family members who arrived in the UK before 1 January 2021. According to current information, EU citizens and their family members must submit an application for a new residence permit via the EU Settlement Scheme registration system by 30 June 2021. The application is free of charge. 

The withdrawal agreement will safeguard the residence, employment and social security rights of Finnish citizens residing in the UK and UK citizens residing in Finland for life if they have settled in the UK or Finland before 1 January 2021. Information on the citizens' rights in the withdrawal agreement can be found here: Summary of the provisions of the withdrawal agreement on citizens’ rights.  

At the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020, the free movement of EU citizens to the UK will end and restrictions will be placed on the entry and rights of EU citizens arriving in the country. In that case, the provisions on third-country nationals will be applied on entry. The UK government has announced that it will have a new immigration system from 1 January 2021 onward. The UK has released plans for a future immigration system, but more detailed information has not yet been provided. The EU and the UK will discuss the arrangements related to immigration in further detail during 2020. More detailed information will be provided as the situation becomes clearer.

When travelling or moving abroad, please always read the travel advice for your destination and ensure that your travel documents are valid. Also, please submit a travel notification and make sure that you have a comprehensive travel insurance. Read more: https://um.fi/entering-finland-and-travelling-abroad.

I am a UK citizen permanently living in Finland. Should I register my right to stay in Finland?

The Finnish Immigration Service advises UK citizens who live permanently in Finland to register their right of residence in Finland as soon as possible, if they have not done so already. Instructions for registration and further information: Finnish Immigration Service: Latest information on Brexit.

 

Healthcare, social security and benefits

I am a Finnish citizen and I plan to travel to the UK. Can I use healthcare services if I get sick? 

If you become unexpectedly ill or have an accident in the EU or EEA countries or Switzerland, you will receive treatment with the European Health Insurance Card at the same price as the residents of the country. However, the European Health Insurance Card does not replace travel insurance. Therefore, it is always recommended that travellers always have valid travel insurance, because the European Health Insurance Card does not cover medical transport costs from abroad to the home country, for example.

The EU–UK withdrawal agreement enters into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the relationship between the EU and the UK will continue under the EU’s current rules, as if the UK were still a member of the EU. During the transition period, you can for example use the European Health Insurance Card in the UK. After this, the use of the European Health Insurance Card in the UK will end unless some other arrangement is agreed. Please make sure your travel insurance is valid.

When travelling abroad, please always read the travel advice for your destination and ensure that your travel documents are valid. Also, please submit a travel notification and make sure that you have a comprehensive travel insurance. Read more: https://um.fi/entering-finland-and-travelling-abroad.
 

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

Please contact the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (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. Read more: Kela: Information about Brexit and what it means for the social security benefits available from Kela

Regarding Finnish earnings-related pensions, contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions. For the Centre’s contact details, go to Contact information. Read more: Finnish Centre for Pensions: Brexit would affect our services
 

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

Please contact Kela to see whether you are entitled to Finnish social security. For Kela’s information and contact details, please go to Kela: International situations. Read more: Kela: Information about Brexit and what it means for the social security benefits available from Kela

 

Studying 

I am a Finnish citizen studying in the UK. What should I do to continue my studies?

Almost all EU citizens residing in the UK before the withdrawal date, along with their family members, will have to apply via the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme for a new residence permit if they wish to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020. The EU Settlement Scheme applies to EU citizens and their family members who arrived in the UK before 1 January 2021. 

All Finnish citizens and their family members residing in the UK are invited to apply for a new residence permit via the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible if they have not already done so and they intend to continue residing in the UK after 31 December 2020. According to current information, EU citizens and their family members must submit an application for a new residence permit via the EU Settlement Scheme registration system by 30 June 2021. The application is free of charge. 

For information about the rights and status of EU citizens in the UK and about registration, go to the Home Office website: Stay in the UK after it leaves the EU ('settled status')

For more information on higher education, go to the website of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service: UCAS and UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs . UKCISA's website also has information on how Brexit affects studies in the UK: Brexit: immigration, fees and student support for when you arrive.

Information on the possible effects of a no-deal Brexit on university studies in the UK: Gov.uk: Guidance – Brexit guidance for EU students in the UK. See also the website of the Prime Minister’s Office: Information about Brexit.

To check whether you are entitled to Finnish social security during your studies, visit Kela: International situations. More information: Kela: Information about Brexit and what it means for the social security benefits available from Kela
 

Travelling 

I am a Finnish citizen and about to travel to the UK. How long does my passport have to be valid and do I need a visa?

For the rules for entering the UK, go to Gov.uk: Entering the UK. 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.

The EU–UK withdrawal agreement enters into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the relationship between the EU and the UK will continue under the EU’s current rules, as if the UK were still a member of the EU. During the transition period, for example all rights related to free movement between the EU and the UK will continue as if the UK were still a member of the EU. 

When travelling abroad, please always read the travel advice for your destination and ensure that your travel documents are valid. Also, please submit a travel notification and make sure that you have a comprehensive travel insurance. Read more: https://um.fi/entering-finland-and-travelling-abroad.

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. Read more: 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, go to Gov.uk: Entering the UK. For more information, please contact the British Embassy in Helsinki: Gov.uk: British Embassy in Helsinki.

UK might phase out accepting ID cards as travel documents in the future, however not before the beginning of 2021 the earliest. 

When travelling abroad, please always read the travel advice for your destination and ensure that your travel documents are valid. Also, please submit a travel notification and make sure that you have a comprehensive travel insurance. Read more: https://um.fi/entering-finland-and-travelling-abroad.

I am a citizen of a third country and a family member an EU citizen. I have a residence permit under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme. Do I need a visa when I travel to Finland?

A residence permit document under the UK’s new EU Settlement Scheme does not entitle family members of an EU citizen who are not EU citizens themselves to visa-free travel in the EU countries.

You must apply for a visa when travelling to Finland, if:

  • you are a family member of an EU citizen but you are not an EU citizen yourself;

  • you have a visa requirement when travelling to the EU, and

  • you only hold a residence permit document under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme. 
     

I am a UK citizen and about to travel to Finland. How long does my passport have to be valid and do I need a visa?

The EU–UK withdrawal agreement enters into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the relationship between the EU and the UK will continue under the EU’s current rules, as if the UK were still a member of the EU. During the transition period, for example all rights related to free movement between the EU and the UK will continue as if the UK were still a member of the EU. 

Citizens of an EU country, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland do not need a residence permit or a visa to visit Finland. You can travel to Finland if you have a passport or an identity card, which is valid for the duration of your stay in the country. This rule also applies to UK citizens  during a transitional period.

According to the current information, UK citizens will not be required to have a visa for stays in the EU of up to 90 days over any 180-day period as of 1 January 2021.

Read more about the travel documents approved by Finland: Visa requirements and travel documents accepted by Finland.

 

Driving licences 

Can I use my Finnish driving licence in the UK?

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

The EU–UK withdrawal agreement enters into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the relationship between the EU and the UK will continue under the EU’s current rules, as if the UK were still a member of the EU. There might be changes to the rules related to driving licences and vehicle insurance after the transition period. Check the validity of your insurance and the necessary documents before you travel.

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 age limits, for example.

More information on the use of foreign driving licences in the UK and the vehicle insurance requirements: Guidance – Visiting the UK after Brexit: Driving in the UK (gov.uk).
 

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 and Traficom: Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Finnish licence


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, please contact the UK authorities. More information: 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 be registered in the population register.

See the Finnish Immigration Service for more information: https://migri.fi/en/permits-and-citizenship
 

I have lost my Finnish citizenship. 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 included as a co-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.

See the Finnish Immigration Service for more information: https://migri.fi/en/permits-and-citizenship
 

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.

See the Finnish Immigration Service for more information: https://migri.fi/en/permits-and-citizenship
 

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 Digital and Population Data Services Agency. Kela will decide at what point you will be covered by the Finnish social security system after your return.

More information: The Digital and Population Data Services Agency: Notification of move and Kela: International situations

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

Finnish citizenship can generally be acquired based on birth, by either 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, visit the website of the Finnish Immigration Service: Finnish citizenship.
 

Business 

I represent a Finnish company which operates in the UK, and I'm worried about how Brexit might affect my company. Where do I find more information about Brexit and how to prepare for it? 

The EU–UK withdrawal agreement enters into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the relationship between the EU and the UK will continue under the EU’s current rules, as if the UK were still a member of the EU. A new relationship must be negotiated separately for each individual sector during 2020. Due to the tight negotiation schedule, some sectors may fall outside the scope of the agreement starting on 1 January 2021. Businesses in particular should be prepared for this possibility.

You can find more information on Brexit via the links below. More specific information on sectors and products is available on the websites of the European Commission and the British Government (two latter links). 

Finnish Prime Minister’s Office: Information about Brexit 
Gov.uk: Get ready for Brexit
European Commission: Brexit preparedness 

 

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.