Citizenship for a child

A child is a Finnish citizen if, at the time when the child was born

  • the mother was a Finnish citizen 
  • the father was a Finnish citizen, the mother was a foreign national and the parents were married

A child born outside marriage

If a child was born outside marriage and only the father was a Finnish citizen when the child was born, a declaration of acknowledgement of paternity is required. An application to obtain a Finnish citizenship for the child can be filed after that by means of declaration.

Please remember to register the birth of a Finnish citizen at the Local Register Office

Citizenship on application or declaration

The Finnish Immigration Service can grant Finnish citizenship on declaration or on application.  If you reside abroad, you can submit a citizenship application for a child or adopted child, a declaration on recovery of citizenship, or an application for release from citizenship at a Finnish mission or honorary consulate.

The declaration or application must always be submitted in person. The Finnish Immigration Service can start processing the matter only after you have paid the processing fee.

You can find more detailed information about citizenship matters, legislation, processing fees and forms on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service.

Loss of Finnish citizenship at the age of 22

You will automatically lose your Finnish citizenship when you turn 22 years of age if you are a citizen of another state and you have not had a sufficient connection to Finland. The Finnish Immigration Service will notify you of the risk of losing your citizenship.

You can find more detailed information on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service.

Multiple nationality

If you have multiple nationality, you must find out yourself what rights and obligations you have in your other home country. Missions of Finland abroad can serve only in matters concerning Finnish citizenship.

If you have multiple nationality and you are staying in your other home country, you are treated in accordance with the local laws in the same way as persons who are citizens of that country. In such situations, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland normally has rather limited opportunities to provide consular assistance.

Declaration of dual or multiple citizenship

If a person has acquired, or will acquire by virtue of his/her birth, the citizenship of another state, he/she should inform the authorities when registering the birth of the child. If the dual nationality is subsequently registered, officially certified copies of the child’s passport issued by the other country, the birth certificate and the passport of the parent holding the nationality of the other country are required.

Keeping the citizenship information correct and up to date in the Population Information System is one’s own responsibility. Any changes to the citizenship status must be registered in the Population Information System by submitting the original certificate/decision on citizenship (or an officially certified copy) to the nearest embassy of Finland or the Local Register Office in Finland. The decision must be in Finnish, Swedish or English.

For more information:  Finnish Immigration Service and Local Register Office.

Registration of Israeli citizenship in the Finnish Population Information System

A Finnish citizen who also has Israeli citizenship must register the Israeli citizenship in the Population Information System with the following documents:

  • The original certificate of Israeli citizenship issued by the Israeli authorities. The certificate is available in English upon request and is called 'Certificate of Attesting Israel Citizenship'.
  • Photocopy of a valid passport

The citizenship certificate and the authorised translation must be legalised with an Apostille stamp.

You can get the apostille stamp for example from the Consular Department of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. You can find the list of Israeli authorities issuing apostilles on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Interior.

More information about the Apostille stamp:

The registration form and all the appendices should be posted to the Jakobstad Unit of the Local Register Office of West Finland (address: Local Register Office of West Finland, Jakobstad Unit, PO Box 26, FI-68601 Jakobstad, Finland) or to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Finland in Tel Aviv. When you come to the Embassy, you must bring a valid passport or an ID card with you. Alternatively, the documents can also be posted to the Local Register Office of the municipality of your most recent residence in Finland.

Please note that when applying for a new passport, the citizenship information must be up to date in the Finnish Population Information System.