What is the change? As of March 1, Finland began recognizing same-sex marriages and registered partnerships.

What does the change mean? Same-sex couples may now marry in a civil ceremony or register as partners in Finland, and foreign same-sex partners may apply for residence permits on the basis of such relationships.

Implementation time frame: March 1.

Visas/permits affected: Residence permits.

Who is affected: Same-sex couples in Finland and foreign nationals applying for residence permits on the basis of a same-sex partnership or marriage.

Business impact: The legal recognition of same sex relationships will make Finland a more attractive location for foreign nationals sponsoring a same-sex partner or spouse.

Background: Finland is the last Nordic country to recognize same-sex marriage, although only civil ceremonies, not religious marriages are recognized by law. Sweden and Norway legalized same-sex marriage in 2009.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals are now legally eligible to apply for residence permits on the basis of a same-sex marriage or domestic partnership.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Finland. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Copyright © 2017 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact