Do I qualify for Citizenship?

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Do I qualify for Citizenship?

Post by SoCalGuitarist » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:29 pm


New board member here.

I am an American Citizen born in the U.S. in 1982 and currently living in Los Angeles. For a long time I was estranged from my Father and recently we've re-kindled a relationship. As it turns out my Great Grandfather was born in Finland along with both of his parents. I'm curious to know if I would qualify for Finnish citizenship. It seems like such a beautiful country and I'm very intrigued by it. Fortunatley there's a Finnish consulate in Los Angeles that's been helping me but I thought I'd ask here too. The consulate has so far told me they would need more information (which I've gathered) to see if it's worth pursuing. They also said a lot would depend upon the citizenship laws in effect in Finland at the time of birth/marriage etc... of my ancestors.

So here's what I know....(this is the lineage on my fathers side of the family)

Myself- Born in 1982 in the U.S.A.
Father- Born in 1956 in the U.S.A (still living)
Grandmother- Born approx 1935 U.S.A. (still living)
Great Grandfather- Born August 1st 1903 in Vassa, Finland
Great Great Grandfather- Born August 2nd 1877 Vassa, Finland
Great Great Grandmother- Born January 31st 1877 Vassa, Finland

Sometime after my great Grandfather was born in Finland my great great Grandfather moved the family to the U.S.

Being that my Grandmother and Father are still alive is it possible for citizenship to pass down from them to me? It seems I'm eligible for a residence work permit which could eventually lead to Citizenship but like everyone I'm hoping to get the shortcut right to Citizenship by descent.

I do not speak Finnish or Sweedish but would be eager to learn. Time to get Rosetta Stone I suppose.

I'll let everyone know what I hear back from the consulate in Los Angeles


Do I qualify for Citizenship?


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Re: Do I qualify for Citizenship?

Post by Beep_Boop » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:44 pm

There are a few members here who are a lot more versed with the citizenship laws, so wait to hear from them.

As far as I know, the most important question is the status of your father when you were born. Was your father a Finnish citizen when you were born? If yes, then it's likely that you were a Finnish citizen as well, and you can get the citizenship with some paperwork.
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Re: Do I qualify for Citizenship?

Post by Rip » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:45 am

Hard to say for sure, but I find it unlikely. Too many steps. Your great grandfather would be the last one that definitely would count as a citizen (even if it was before Finnish independence).

Do you know when (if ever) he got US citizenship? If not before your grandmother was born (and he was married to your great grandmother) then your grandmother would have been born a Finnish citizen, even if that was never registered anywhere. By the way, this is important if you decide to get the residence permit by descent.

Then she should have been able to pass the citizenship to your father. How old was she when he was born, 21 or 20? I don't know what was the law at the time, but the difference could be significant.

Assuming your father still born as a Finnish citizen, it seems unlikely (the most unlikely link in the chain) he could have passed the citizenship to you. He was already at least 25, which I think makes it very likely he'd have lost the Finnish citizenship before you were born (if he ever had it).

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