View Full Version : Nationality Act and dual citizenship

Sandy Witt
21-08-04, 16:16
I recently found out some information that is of interest to me, my daughters, and perhaps to other Finlander members who may not be aware of the 2003 Nationality Act in Finland. There is an article on the Finnish news Website - http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/e.htm - about dual-citizenship options: “Citizens with Two Passports.”

The Nationality Act allows dual citizenship to former Finnish citizens or the children of a former Finnish national through an application process. The article states that most of the declarations have been submitted in the United States.

I contacted the Finnish Embassy yesterday, and they were extremely helpful. Although both of my parents were born in the USA, I could be considered eligible because my father is eligible (since his father was born in Finland). And – according the person I spoke with – when (if) my dual citizenship application is approved, my children would then be eligible. I would need to establish my lineage from my Finnish ancestor by submitting my grandparents’ and parents’ marriage certificates, my father's and my birth certificates, and other documents, which I have, thanks to my genealogy interests ;-)

Some FACTS from the article:

• Fee for the citizenship declarations is 300 euros, declaration for a minor alone is 100 euros, and for a person over 65, 250 euros
• The application will be processed in 2-6 months
• The decision is made by the Directorate of Immigration in Finland

There is more information on the “Directorate of Immigration” website: http://www.uvi.fi/netcomm/Default.asp?language=EN

Also, the Embassy of Finland website describes the Act: http://www.finland.or.jp/kansalaisuuslaki-en.html

I have two questions:

1) Has anyone in this forum done this? If so, I would like any recommendations you might have re submitting the application and paperwork.

2) I can only think of positives of dual citizenship, but think that there could be some negatives, and appreciate your thoughts about this. For example, would this affect or jeopardize my U.S. citizenship in some way?

Gainesville, Florida

21-08-04, 20:44
I have recently received my Finnish Citizenship which was completed very quickly once I obtained all my documents.

I was born in Canada and my father was born in Finland. Both my mother and my father's parents were also born in Finland. My application was made via my father's birth. My Mother (born in Canada) would also qualify to make this Declaration because her parents were born in Finland.

I believe that only children (and their children - under a certain age 16?) of a parent who was born in Finland qualifies to submit this Declaration and receive Finnish citizenship.

My children who are over 16 would only be able to benefit by having a Finnish mother (me) who now has Finnish citizenship. If they want to live in Finland they could easily go there and apply on their own for citizenship after a period of time has lapsed. It would be easier for them because I was Finnish and their Grandparents. They would have the Finnish connection.

Please let me know if I misunderstood this.



Sandy Witt
21-08-04, 21:36

You may be right. Since I posted my message this morning, I have found some discrepant information that is consistent with what you wrote me.

For example, at a FAQ website for the Finnish Embassy - http://www.finland.org/doc/en/consular/faq.html - is the following question and answer:

Question: Can I obtain Finnish citizenship through the application process since my grandmother was a Finnish citizen but lost her citizenship when she became a US citizen? My father never was a Finnish citizen. I live in the USA and am 35 years of age.

Answer: Unfortunately, you cannot.

The person with whom I spoke yesterday suggested that there shouldn't be a problem, but that may not actually be the case, unfortunately.

Thanks for your helpful reply.