(FINNBAY) – Helsinki, 11 February 2014. According to the latest statistics released by the Finnish immigration services, 83 per cent (9,292) of all citizenship applicants in 2013 were granted, and the rest 13 per cent (1,339) were declined. Of those who received positive outcome, 8,500 of them obtained citizenship by application and 792 by declaration.
The largest groups among those who obtained citizenship by application were Russians (2,058), Somalis (789), Iraqis (505) and Afghans (467).
To obtain Finnish citizenship, an applicant must satisfy the Finnish immigration service that:
- his/her identity has been established beyond doubt
- s/he has reached the age of 18
- s/he meets the residential period requirement, meaning that they have lived in Finland for a sufficient length of time
- s/he meets the integrity requirement
- s/he has not neglected their payment obligations
- s/he has established their means of livelihood
- s/he has sufficient language skills
Former Finnish citizens, young people aged 18 to 22 who have spent a major part of their youth in Finland, and the children born out of wedlock of a Finnish father, are among the groups that may obtain Finnish citizenship by declaration, which is less onerous than by application. The largest groups among former Finnish citizens who obtained citizenship by declaration were Swedes (200), Australians (42) and citizens of the United States (34).
Russians sit at the top of the applicant list
During the last five years, the largest groups among those who applied for citizenship by application have remained unchanged. Only the rankings at the top vary. Russians top the list without exception.
In 2013, a total of 2,054 Russians applied for citizenship by application (2012: 2,111). The group with the second-highest number of citizenship applications were Somalis, whose number almost doubled compared to the previous year (2013: 1,140, 2012: 645).
With regard to the number of citizenship applications, they were followed by Iraqis (611), Afghans (421) and Estonians.
In 2013, 8 per cent of citizenship applications were submitted via electronic services. The Finnish immigration says, “E-services shorten the time taken to start the processing of the application as the application is forwarded between authorities more quickly than paper forms. With e-services, the applicant can also monitor the processing status of the application, supplement it and be informed of the status of the decision or the decision having been made.”