The Finnish government intends to tighten the conditions for obtaining citizenship. About it reported the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat with reference to the Minister of the Interior of Finland Marie Rantanen.
According to Rantanen, to obtain citizenship in the future it will be necessary to live in Finland for eight years (currently this period is five years). The number of days you can spend abroad during this period will also be reduced. Changes related to the period of residence may be introduced into the legislation as early as next spring. The government also intends to tighten income requirements. An obstacle to obtaining citizenship will be various offenses (currently only serious crimes), except for misdemeanors, which are punishable by fines.
In addition, to obtain citizenship it will be necessary to confirm knowledge of the Finnish language. A bill to introduce a language exam could be submitted to parliament in the spring session of 2025. Similar tests are used, for example, in Estonia and Denmark.
The government also plans to tighten the conditions for losing citizenship. You can lose it after providing false information about your identity or committing a serious crime, such as treason, betrayal or terrorism.
“The idea is to measure the core principles of Finnish society, which show that a person is truly oriented towards Finnish society,” Rantanen said.
According to statistics from the Finnish Migration Service, Finland processed approximately 10,700 citizenship applications in 2022. There were 9,500 positive decisions, just over 1,000 negative decisions, and some applications expired. Most often, immigrants from Russia received Finnish citizenship – just over 2,000 people. The second according to statistics was Iraq, the third was Somalia.
Previously, the requirements for knowledge of the national language were tightened in Latvia. In September 2022, the Latvian Seimas (parliament) approved amendments that shorten the period of permanent residence permits issued to Russians until September 1, 2023. To stay in Latvia, it is necessary, among other things, to pass an exam on knowledge of the state language at level A2. September 14 Sejm approved amendments extending by two years the period during which Russians can take the language exam. As a result, those who did not pass or did not appear for a valid reason before September 1 for the exam will be able to apply for a temporary residence permit for two years. During this period, the applicant undertakes to learn the language and successfully pass the test. 5 October Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia sent to Russian citizens who live in the country, 3255 letters with information about the expiration of their residence permit – all these people did not submit documents to request EU permanent resident status or an application for a re-examination in the Latvian language