Your right and obligations in Finland
Foreigners living in Finland have nearly the same rights and obligations as Finnish citizens. The following rights and obligations also apply to foreigners living in Finland.
- Everyone has the right to equal treatment. No one must be treated differently based on gender, age, religion or handicap, for example.
- Everyone has the right to freely express their opinions verbally or in writing.
- People are allowed to hold meetings and demonstrations and participate in them. The police must be notified of all demonstrations in advance.
- No one can be sentenced to death or tortured.
- All people can choose their place of residence and freely travel within the country.
- Everyone has a right to the protection of their privacy. No one is allowed to read another person’s letters or listen to someone else’s phone calls.
- Everyone is free to choose their own religion. Should you not want to, you do not need to choose any religion.
- Those foreigners permanently residing in Finland who are over 18 have a right to vote in municipal elections.
- Foreigners who have the right to vote in municipal elections are also entitled to stand in the municipal elections.
- EU citizens with a municipality of residence in Finland can vote in the European Parliament elections in Finland if they have been registered in the voting register.
- Citizens of an EU country included in the Finnish voting register can also stand in the Finnish European Parliament elections.
- All persons living or residing in Finland must adhere to Finnish legislation.
- The obligation for compulsory education applies to persons between 7 and 17 years of age, i.e. they must complete the comprehensive school curriculum.
- Often, those working in Finland must pay taxes to Finland from their salary.
- Everyone is obligated to testify in court should they be summoned to do so.
- Parents have the responsibility to take care of their children.
- Everyone is obliged to lend their aid in the event of an accident.
The rights and obligations of Finnish citizens
Finnish citizenship entails a number of rights and obligations that do not apply to foreigners living in Finland.
- The right to obtain a Finnish passport
- The right to arrive in Finland and refuse extradition to another country
- The right to vote in presidential elections, parliamentary elections and referenda if the person is 18 or older
- The right to stand in parliamentary elections if the person is 18 or older
- The opportunity to be appointed to state positions that require Finnish citizenship
- The rights of EU citizens, such as the right to freely travel and work within the EU and the right to vote and stand in EU elections
- The obligation to participate in national defence or assist in the cause. Compulsory conscription (asevelvollisuus) applies to all men over 18 years of age.
- The responsibility to observe Finnish laws even when outside Finland. A Finnish citizen can be convicted in Finland for an offence committed abroad.