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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Other Public Services - Embassy of Finland, Washington - Consulate Generals of Finland, New York, Los Angeles : Services for Finns : Other public services

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, consulate.nyc@formin.fi
  • Consulate General of Finland, Los Angeles
    Tel. 1-310-203 9903, sanomat.los@formin.fi
  • Contacts
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 Other Public Services

 Address change

Please remember to keep your personal information up to date at the Population Registry (Local Register Office) in Finland. This will facilitate in voting, birth, marriage, passport, military service, crisis situations etc. issues.

The Population Registry (Local Register Office) in Finland, maistraatti

When a Finnish citizen changes address while living abroad, he/she should inform the Local Register Office either with the address change form or by letter. The notification can also be submitted to the nearest Finnish Embassy or Consulate.

Download the change of address form from the suomi.fi website, fill it out and send it to the local registry office in Finland.

http://www.suomi.fi/suomifi/english/eservices/forms/maist_muu/index.html

Change of address notification form for a person living abroad when registered in the Finnish Population Information System

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Apostille authentication

In order for the Registry Office in Finland to submit any personal information (such as birth, marriage, death, Finnish social security number etc.) to the population registry system, they require all paperwork to have an Apostille authentication.

The US Department of State is responsible for providing authentication service to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals on all US documents that will be used overseas.

PLEASE NOTE: A notarized document does not qualify as Apostille authentication.

Information on where to obtain an Apostille authentication in the US:

  • contact the appropriate State Authentication Authority for State-issued documents (for example: certified death, birth or marriage certificates)

    State Authentication Authority for State-issued documents
    http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=authorities.details&aid=353(scroll down to find the appropriate authority for the state that issued the document)
  • contact the US Department of State Authentication Office in Washington DC for documents that have been signed by a federal official with the official Seal of that agency, American Consular Officer, Military Notary or Foreign Consul (for example: the US naturalization document that has been certified by the Department of Homeland Security)

    http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/index.htm

More information on the Hague Convention and Apostille authentications can be obtained at http://www.hcch.net

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Animals

The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira is responsible for the import of food elements of animal origin and products derived from these as well as live animals to Finland. These imports are subject to specific requirements set out in the legislation.

There are separate provisions for the imports from the EU area and for those from the non-EU countries. Imports from the so-called third countries must come through the veterinary border inspection posts.

Imports to Finland are controlled by the Finnish authorities, while the authorities of the country of destination lay down the conditions for exports.

Further information on importation of dogs and cats etc. can be obtained on the website of the Finnish Food Safety Authority.

Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira

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Birth

In order to register a child born in the United States (to Finnish parents/ Finnish parent) to the population registry in Finland, you need to send the Embassy in Washington DC, the Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles consular section the following:

If your marriage is not registered in Finland you must register it first with separate form. (Marriage registration)

If only the father is a Finnish citizen and the parents are not married, the child cannot be registered as a Finnish citizen before an acknowledgment of paternity and a citizenship declaration has been made. Please contact the Embassy in Washington DC or the Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles regarding this.

The Finnish Embassy in Washington DC, the Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles will forward the documents to the Finnish Population Register. The registration process takes approximately 2-3 weeks.

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Car

If you are a permanent resident abroad, you may bring a vehicle registered in another country into Finland for an uninterrupted period of six months, or for repeated brief stays totaling no more than six months within a twelve-month period. Custom districts may grant you an extension, though no longer than twelve months.

For further information on vehicles and regulations or any possible extensions, please contact the Information Service of the National Board of Customs

Customs Information Service

  • National Board of Customs
    Erottajankatu 2, P.O. Box 512
    00530 Helsinki
    Tel. +358-9-6141
    Fax +358-20-4922852
    E-mail: kirmo@tulli.fi

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Customs

Also see "animals", "car", "moving to Finland"

The web site of the Finnish Customs is a good source of information. The National Customs Information Service responds to client queries through their web pages, by phone and by mail. You may also use their enquiry form to consult custom issues.

Enquiry form

  • National Board of Customs
    Erottajankatu 2, P.O. Box 512
    00530 Helsinki, Finland
    Tel. +358-9-6141
    Fax +358-20-4922852
    E-mail: kirmo@tulli.fi

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Death

To register a death of a Finnish or former Finnish citizen to the population registry in Finland, please send the Embassy in Washington DC, the Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles the following:

The Finnish Embassy in Washington DC, Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles will forward the documents to the Population Register Center's Office in Finland. The registration process takes approx. 2-3 weeks.

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Driving license

Before a Finnish driving license can be obtained, it is necessary to apply for a driving license permit from the local police station. Driving license permit applications are submitted in person and in writing to the police authorities of the applicant's place of residence.

There are 90 district police departments in Finland with some 280 service points. To find your nearest police department, go to main website http://www.poliisi.fi contact information and click on the pull-down menu. Simply choose the relevant municipality.

The Police

If you have lost your Finnish driving license and cannot renew it in Finland at the local police station, please contact the Embassy in Washington DC or the Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles for instructions.

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Lost Goods

The police will submit lost goods to the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C., the Consulate General of Finland in New York or the Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles, if the owner is identified as a Finnish citizen. The Finnish authorities do their best to contact the owner, and deliver the goods to him or her. Passports and driving licenses are sent back to authorities that have granted the documents.

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Marriage

To register your marriage to the population registry in Finland, please send the Embassy in Washington DC, the Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles the following:

If both spouses are Finnish citizens, both have to fill out their own marriage registration form.

The Finnish Embassy in Washington DC, Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles will forward the documents to the Population Register Center's Office in Finland. The registration process takes approx. 2-3 weeks.

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Medicine

Medicine imports to Finland are subject to a number of restrictions. Travelers entering Finland are allowed to bring in the medicines they need for their own use. Those who are entering from outside the EEA can bring in an amount of three month's need. As those entering Finland can only bring in medicinal products for own use, prescribed products in their possession must be accompanied by a doctor's prescription. The regulation limits the amount of medicines anyone entering Finland can bring in, depending on whether such products come under the Finnish classification of self-care medicine, prescription drugs or narcotic drugs.

For more information, please contact:

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Military service

According to law, all Finnish men aged 18-60 are liable for military service, which means that only Finnish citizens will be called up. Finnish citizens abroad may register by proxy. Multinationals can be exempted from military service. Therefore, if you receive the nationality of another country, particularly at call-up or conscription age, you must inform the military authorities or the nearest Finnish diplomatic mission if you are abroad. Military service is carried out at the age of 18–29. Women may also apply for service.


Due to a bilateral agreement (Agreement 25/1939) between Finland and the USA, a dual citizen of Finland and the USA is not liable for military service in Finland as long as he resides permanently in the United States of America and he does not have any real ties to Finland. One should, however, verify from the Registry Office (maistraatti) that the dual citizenship and address information is properly registered in Finland. Persons who fit this description do not need to apply for exemption separately. An exempted multinational conscript can be ordered into service if he moves to Finland before the end of the year in which he turns 30, in that case he should contact his own supervisory regional office.

The Embassy in Washington DC, the Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles assist in forwarding the paperwork to regional office in Finland.

Further information can be found at the Conscript-booklet, which is in English at www.mil.fi.

Finnish Defence Forces

  • Defence staff
    PL 919, 00131 Helsinki, Finland
    Tel: +358-9-1810111
    Email: puolustusvoimat@mil.fi
    Information on military telephone numbers: +358-9-18123300
  • Eastern Command Headquarters
    P.O. Box 145, 50101 Mikkeli, Finland
    Tel: +358-15-181 0111
  • The Social Insurance Institution of Finland
    Office for International Affairs
    PL 72, 00381 Helsinki, Finland
    Tel: +358-20-434 2650 Coverage and benefit issues
    Email: inter.helsinki@kela.fi

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Moving to Finland

Helpful information about migrating to Finland can be found on the website of the Ministry of Labour http://www.mol.fi

Web site Suomi.fi http://www.suomi.fi gives information on public services necessary in everyday life.

The Directorate of Immigration (Finnish Citizenship and Immigration Officials) also has a "Migrating to Finland" web site to check whether you fulfil the requirements for migrating to Finland and what permits you need.

Finnish Immigration Service: Migrating to Finland

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Pensions

A pension accrues from work performed by a foreigner in Finland under Finnish legislation, in the same way as for a Finn.

In Finland, pension provision consists of the employment-based earnings-related pension and the residence-based national pension.
If a foreigner is on short posting in Finland, he or she may be covered by the social security in the country of origin. One requirement for this is a certificate on legislation applicable from the home country.

The earning-related pension safeguards the stabilized level of consumption, achieved during the time of active participation in working life. The earnings-related pension provides security in the event of old age, incapacity for work, unemployment or death of family breadwinner for employees and self-employed persons.
Further information on the national pension can be obtained from the Social Insurance Institution (KELA).

More information:

  • The Finnish Centre For Pensions
    Visiting address: Kirjurinkatu 3, Helsinki
    Customer service: Opastinsilta 7, Helsinki, Finland
    open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    The post address: FIN-00065 Eläketurvakeskus (without any street address or P.O. Box)
    Tel. +358-10-7511.
    Fax +358-9-1481172.
    Email: elakekysymykset@etk.fi
  • KELA's international department
    Visiting address: Höyläämötie 1 a B, 00380 HELSINKI
    Mailing address: PL 78, 00381 HELSINKI
    Tel. +358-20-6342550 Pension
    Fax. +358-20-6342502
    Email: inter.helsinki@kela.fi

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Personal data check

Finnish citizens can check their personal information from the Finnish population registry free of charge once a year.

To check your personal information please fill out the request form called "Tarkastusoikeuden käyttäminen" and send it to your local magistrate office of the municipality of your most recent residence in Finland.

pdfTarkastusoikeuden käyttäminen (PDF, 120 kt)

Magistrate

The registry office will send back an extract from the population registry with the personal information that they have on you.

In case you do not know which your local magistrate office is, please mail the request form to the registry office in Vaasa

  • Vaasan maistraatti
    Pietarsaaren palveluyksikkö
    Kauppiaankatu 8
    PL 26
    68601 PIETARSAARI
    Finland

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Population registration

The Population Register Centre develops and controls the registration, maintenance and delivery of population information together with the local register offices. It is responsible for the national information services and permit decisions relating thereto. Information services are developed and tailored to meet the needs of the customers.

The new Finnish act on the Population Information System (661/2009) took effect on 1 March 2010. The act obligates Finnish citizens residing abroadto notify the Population Information System immediately of any changes of their personal data occurring during their residence abroad. Such changes may include for instance births of children, marriages, divorces and changes of names.

The up-to-date personal information facilitates voting, birth, marriage, citizenship etc. issues.

Local register offices

In order for the Registry Office in Finland to submit personal information (such as births, marriages, deaths etc.) to the population registry system, they require the paperwork to have an Apostille authentication.

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Social security

To be eligible for social security benefits, you must be living in Finland. In order to get certain pensions or the disability allowance, you must have lived in Finland for a certain period of time. The length of your residence in Finland also affects the amount of your pension. To qualify for parenthood allowance, you must have lived in Finland for 180 days before the date on which your child is due to be born.

For more information, please visit:

  • KELA's international department
    Visiting address: Valimotie 1 B, 00380 HELSINKI
    Mailing address: PL 72, 00381 HELSINKI
    Tel. +358-20 4342550 Pension
    Fax +358-20 4342502
    Email: inter.helsinki@kela.fi

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Taxes

In Finland, resident individuals are taxed on their world-wide income. Residents are taxed to progressive tax rates for national tax purposes, and flat rates for municipal ones.

A non-resident alien, e.g. one who is occasionally working in Finland, is taxed on Finnish-source income only. However, tax treaties may provide that, under certain conditions, even such income may not be taxed in Finland. Non-residents are taxed at flat rates in accordance with the Non-residents' Tax Act.

Information about the Finnish tax system can be found from the Finnish tax administration pages.

Finnish Tax Administration

General tax service number: +358-20-697050.
Their English-language enquiry numbers are at your service on weekdays 9.00 - 16.15 (GMT +2 h).

In To Finland is the service point of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and Finnish Tax Administration for employees moving to and from Finland. In To also helps self-employed persons, students and companies hiring and recruiting foreign labor. www.intofinland.fi

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US citizenship by Naturalization

After June 1st, 2003 dual or multiple nationality is accepted by the Finnish legislation. A Finn who acquires American citizenship will not lose his/her Finnish nationality.

Notice of receipt of the US citizenship must be sent to Finland:
Send the Embassy in Washington DC, the Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles a cover letter with your contact information and attach a certified copy of your US Naturalization certificate with an Apostille authentication.

ATTN. The Department of State in Washington DC will authenticate the US naturalization certificate with an Apostille once it has been certified by the Department of Homeland Security - see instructions from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

US State Department: "How Do I Obtain Certified True Copies of a Certificate of Naturalization?"

Short instructions on how to obtain the Apostille

  • Step 1. contact the USCIS to get a certified true copy of the US naturalization document
  • Step 2. send the certified true copy of the US naturalization document with payment to the State Department in Washington DC to get the Apostille authentication

More information on Apostille authentications

The Finnish Embassy in Washington DC, the Consulate General in New York or Los Angeles will forward the documents to the Population Register Center's Office in Finland. The registration process takes approx. 2-3 weeks.

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US J-1 Visa holders: no-objection statement

Two-year foreign residence requirement of Section 212 (e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Before a person can apply for a no-objection statement from the Finnish Embassy, she/he must have a case file number from the State Department. More information can be found on http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1296.html

In addition to a case file number the Embassy requires:

  • a notarized copy of the person's passport ID page
  • a notarized copy of the person's US visa (J1)
  • a letter explaining why she/he is requesting a waiver of the 2-year requirement to return home (=statement of reason)
  • a fee which is subject to change due to fluctuation in the MFA's exchange rate (see Service fees)
  • applicant's address

Applications can be sent to:

  • Embassy of Finland, Consular Section
    3301 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
    Washington D.C. 20008 USA
    Tel. +1-202-298 5800
    Email: passi.was@formin.fi

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This document

Updated 1/31/2014


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