Amendments to the Nationality Act (Kansalaisuuslaki 359/2003) will enter into force as of 1 September 2011. The Act aims to improve the social cohesion and integration of immigrants by making naturalization more flexible.
The Nationality Act includes also amendments that concern persons living abroad.
Former Finnish citizens can re- apply for citizenship by declaration. The citizenship will be granted regardless of whether the former Finnish citizen’s domicile is in Finland or abroad.
The declaration procedure does not apply to Finnish citizens’ children.
A person living abroad (former Finnish citizen, illegitimate children of Finnish men, adopted children) can submit a declaration at any police station in Finland or at the relevant Finnish representation. The declaration can also be filed at the nearest embassy.
A child’s parent or legal guardian or representative can submit a declaration on behalf of the child.
Retaining Finnish citizenship at the age of 22 will also change. As of 1 September 2011, applying for a Finnish passport at the age of 18-21 years will serve as proof of sufficiently close ties to Finland. Furthermore, starting military or non-military service or voluntary military service for women before turning 22 years of age will prevent losing Finnish citizenship. Those who have acquired Finnish citizenship by application or by declaration will retain their citizenship at the age of 22.
More information about the amended Nationality Act and interpretation of the law will be available on the home page of the Finnish Immigration Service at http://www.migri.fi/.