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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Nationality Act - Embassy of Finland, Tel Aviv : Services : Citizenship


P.O. Box 9101
6109002 Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel. +972-3-745 6600
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Citizenship on the basis of birth

 A child acquires Finnish citizenship at birth if

 the child's mother is a Finnish citizen

  • the child's father is a Finnish citizen and the parents are married
  • the child's father is a Finnish citizen, the child is born out of wedlock, and paternity is established
  • the child's father who died before the child was born was a Finnish citizen and who was married to the child's mother at the time of his death
  • the child's father, who died before the birth of the child, was a Finnish citizen and the child was born in Finland out of wedlock and the father's paternity was established.

A child also acquires Finnish citizenship based on the place of birth if the child is born in Finland and cannot acquire any other citizenship.

 Dual/multiple nationality

 After June 1st, 2003 dual /multiple nationality is accepted by the Finnish legislation. Finnish nationals will no longer lose their Finnish nationality when they assume another nationality. Neither will foreign nationals gaining Finnish citizenship have to relinquish their present citizenship if the law in that country does not prevent them from gaining Finnish citizenship. It should be noted, however, that the nationality legislation of the country in question does not necessarily accept multiple nationality.

 Retaining Finnish citizenship at the age of 22

A child can gain dual nationality at birth if the parents are married but have different citizenships. A Finnish citizen who is also a citizen of another country may lose Finnish citizenship at the age of 22 if his/her ties with Finland have not been sufficiently close.

Finnish citizenship can be retained on the basis of the sufficient ties which may be any of the the following:

  • you were born in Finland and are domiciled in Finland when you turn 22, or
  • you have lived in Finland or another Nordic country (Denmark, Iceland, Norway or Sweden) for a total of seven years before your 22nd birthday, or
  • you were issued a Finnish passport when you were 18-21 years old, or
  • you have done your military or non-military service in Finland when you were 18-21 years old, or
  • you have submitted a declaration at the age of 18-21 to a Finnish diplomatic mission abroad (except honorary consulates) or a local register office in Finland that you wish to retain your Finnish citizenship. This is a free-form declaration and may be submitted in person or sent by post.

 Military service and multiple nationality

 Every Finnish man is liable for military service (conscription). Military service includes conscription service, refresher training, extra service and service during mobilisation as well as participation in call-ups and the examination of fitness for service. Call-ups form the first concrete step into military service.

The civic duty of military service is defined in the law on conscription (Conscription Act). This duty affects all Finnish men and begins when a man turns 18. It also applies until l he reaches the age of 60. This means a man is liable for military service and that he is either in service, in the reserve or in the auxiliary reserve.

The Regional Office can free you from peacetime military service on special grounds if:

  1. you have Finnish citizenship and one or more other citizenships,
  2. your permanent address is not in Finland, and
  3. you do not have any real ties to Finland.

If you have dual citizenship but are still legally required to do Finnish military service, you can be relieved from military service if you have lived outside Finland for the last seven (7) years. In this case, you do not need to ask for separate permission to be freed from Finnish military service. You can, however, be ordered into military service if you move to Finland before the end of the year during which you turn 30.

More information: The Finnish Defence Forces 

 Making a citizenship declaration

Citizenship application is submitted in Finland to a local police.
Citizenship declaration (former Finnish citizens) is submitted primarily in Finland to the local police. Declaration can be submitted also to a Finnish embassy abroad in the country of your residence.

Citizenship declaration via e-service

Citizenship declaration can also be submitted electronically. When the application has been submitted using the e-service, the applicant must nevertheless visit the Finnish embassy of police station in Finland which was selected. Electronic system expedites the application process and the progress can be monitored online. Additional information: Immigration Service's website

A declaration cannot be processed until the applicant has visited the embassy or a police station and proven his/hers identity, presented the original documents and paid the processing fee. The payments will be accepted  only by cash in Israeli shekels at the Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Finnish citizenship by declaration can be obtained by:

More information

The Finnish Immigration Service – Finnish citizenship

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Updated 1/21/2014

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