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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Embassy of Finland, Washington - Consulate Generals of Finland, New York, Los Angeles: Services for Finns: Registration Issues

EMBASSY OF FINLAND, Washington, D.C.
CONSULATES GENERAL OF FINLAND, New York and Los Angeles

  • Embassy of Finland, Washington
    Tel. +1-202-298 5800, sanomat.was@formin.fi
  • Consulate General of Finland, New York
    Tel. +1-212-750 4400, sanomat.nyc@formin.fi
  • Consulate General of Finland, Los Angeles
    Tel. +1-310-203 9903, sanomat.los@formin.fi
  • Contacts
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Registration Issues

Population Information System

Population Information Act (661/2009) obligates Finnish citizens to notify the Population Information System immediately of any changes to their personal data (including address change) during their residence abroad. Several rights and obligations concerning passport, military service, citizenship, pension, estate, tax and voting are determined according to the Population Information.

All documents concerning the Population Information (eg. marriage/ birth/ death abroad / new citizenship) are required to be presented with Apostille authentication. There is no registration fee. Population information may be submitted either to the Local Register Office of the latest residence in Finland or to the Finnish foreign mission abroad. Registration forms are available at the missions or website http://www.maistraatti.fi/fi/lomakkeet/.  If a citizen would like to keep the original document, the mission may provide a “Certification of copy” free of charge (see: Notarial Services) and return the original document by prepaid envelope of FedEx/DHL/UPS.

The legislation concerning the population information data gives the following rights through the Local Register Office:

- The right of access: Own personal data can be checked free of charge once a year: Check Your Registration Date

- The right of rectification: Own personal data can be requested to be corrected or completed based on legalized documents.

- The right to prohibit processing: Own personal data can be prohibited to be submitted for marketing or address inquiry purposes.

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Birth

Registration of a birth to Finland: A Finnish citizen born in the United States may be registered to the Local Register Offices in Finland or via a Finnish mission abroad. There is no registration fee. Registration takes 2-3 weeks. The following documents are required:

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Marriage

Registration of marriage to Finland: Marriages that were solemnized abroad are considered valid in Finland if the marriage is applicable in the country it was performed in, however only after it has been registered to the Finnish Population Register. The registration may be done directly to the Local Register Offices in Finland or via a Finnish mission abroad. There is no registration fee. Registration takes 2-3 weeks. The following documents are required:

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Divorce

Registration of divorce to Finland:  Divorces performed in the United States are considered valid in Finland if the divorce was confirmed in the United States, however only after it has been registred to the Finnish Population Register. If needed, the Helsinki District Court may decide if the foreign divorce is applicable in Finland.The registration may be done directly to the Registry Office in Länsi-Suomi/Pietarsaari (PL 26, 68601 Pietarsaari), the local registry office of the last place of domicile or via a Finnish mission abroad. There is no registration fee. Registration takes 2-3 weeks. The following documents are required:

Divorce decision granted in the EU area accompanied by a certificate issued in accordance with the EU provisions, are recognized as such in Finland. The certificate can be obtained from the authority that has granted the divorce and need no translation.

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Citizenship

US citizenship has to be registered to Finland according to the Population Information Act (661/2009) which obliges Finnish citizens to keep their population registers up-to-date. Registration can be done directly to Local Register Offices in Finland or via Finnish mission abroad. There is no registration fee in Finland. Registration takes about 2-3 weeks. The following document is needed:

1) Obtaining a Certified True Copy:

  • An appointment can be made with the office of Homeland Security via  www.uscis.gov
  • “A Certified True Copy of the US Naturalization Document” can be requested by taking the original certificate of Naturalization with you. Please note, that a notarized copy does not qualify as a “certified true copy”.

2) Obtaining Apostille                                                                                                            

Apostille authentication for a Certified True Copy is issued by the US Department of State Authentication Office in Washington D.C.: Instruction. Mailing the documents is done at one's own responsibility.

  • Please fill out DS-4194 form on the website.
  •  A “Certified True Copy of US Naturalization Certificate” and payment must be sent to the US Department of State Authentication Office in Washington DC. Address and fees can be found on their website.

 3) A document with Apostille authentication shall be sent either to a Local Register Offices or a Finnish mission abroad.

More information concerning US citizenship: www.uscis.gov

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Death

The registration of death to Finland:  A deceased Finnish national may be registered directly to the Local Register Offices in Finland or via a Finnish mission abroad. There is no registration fee. Registration takes 2-3 weeks. The following documents are required:

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Address change

Law on Population Information Centre's certificate services (661/2009) obligates Finnish citizens to notify the Population Information System immediately of any changes to their personal data (including address change). The address change shall be done to the Local Registration Office within one week of the move each time when changing residence permanently or temporarily (inc. abroad) for more than three months. Notification of an address change is to be submitted to the Local Register Offices or to a Finnish foreign mission by filling out the following form: "Change of address notification form for a person living abroad when registered in the Finnish Population Information System".  Address change may also be sent to Local Register Offices by email: address@maistraatti.fi

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Apostille

In order to present a public document for the authorities of another country (e.g. for registration), a legalization is required. Legalization of document is a measure related to the customer's security right to ensure, that authority is entitled to issue such a document according to the laws of the particular country.

The Countries of Hague Convention of the 5th October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of legalization for foreign Public Documents (incl. Finland and US) use this facilitated Apostille procedure for legalization. In these Convention continues a public document bearing a certificate of Apostille is recognized in any Convention country and no other measure of legalization is required. As to the states other than the Convention countries, the legalization procedure has three stages.

In order to present the US origin document in Finland (e.g. registration of birth, marriage, death or citizenship), the document shall be legalized by Apostille authentication. Apostille authorities in the US are:

  • Birth-, marriage-, or death certificates (State issued documents), the Apostille is issued by the authority that has given the original document. Instruction
  • Naturalization document (Federal state issued document), the Apostille is issued by the US Department of State Authentication Office in Washington DC. Instruction

Please note that a notarized document by a local US public notary does not qualify as Apostille authentication. Finnish mission in the US may not issue Apostille certificates. In Finland the Apostille certificate is issued by the Notary Public at the Local Register Offices.

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Updated 6/6/2018


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