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Virallinen todistus kielitaidosta
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Official certificate of language proficiency

If you want to apply for Finnish citizenship, you will need an official certificate of your skills in Finnish or Swedish. You may also need the certificate when applying for a job or study place.

You can prove your language skills with the following:

  • National Certificate of Language Proficiency (yleinen kielitutkinto)
  • Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate in Finnish or Swedish (valtionhallinnon suomen tai ruotsin kielen kielitutkinto)
  • the Finnish or Swedish grade in your school certificate (päättötodistus)

The National Certificate of Language Proficiency

The National Certificate of Language Proficiency test is intended for adults. With it you can prove your proficiency in Finnish or Swedish.

The certificate is subject to a charge. After the test, you will receive a certificate stating the level of your language proficiency.

The language certificate has three levels: basic, intermediate and advanced. Each level of the certificate covers two proficiency levels, of which there are six altogether.

· The basic level is for those who are able to use the language in question in everyday situations, i.e. whose proficiency level is 1–2.

· The intermediate level is for those who can speak the language quite well, i.e. whose proficiency level is 3–4.

· The advanced level is for those who speak the language extremely well, i.e. whose proficiency level is 5–6.

More detailed descriptions of the proficiency levels are provided on the website of the Finnish National Board of Education.

If you want to apply for Finnish citizenship (kansalaisuus), you will need to prove that you have a satisfactory level of Finnish or Swedish, which means passing the written and oral part of the National Certificate of Language Proficiency at the minimum level of 3.

The language test takes 3-6 hours. The subject matters in the assignments are linked to everyday life, such as leisure time, training and the most common work situations. The test consists of different kinds of questions which require the following skills:

  • reading comprehension
  • writing
  • grammar and vocabulary
  • listening comprehension
  • speaking

The test can be taken in different parts of Finland. You can find out more about enrolment on the website of the Finnish National Board of Education (Opetushallitus).

The tests are classified according to a different scale than the courses. If you have completed a language course that has been classified according to the Common European Framework of Reference, the course content corresponds to the level of the National Certificate of Language Proficiency roughly in the following way:

  • A1 - National Certificate 1
  • A2 - National Certificate 2
  • B1 - National Certificate 3
  • B1 - National Certificate 4
  • B1 - National Certificate 5
  • A2 - National Certificate 6

Before you enrol for a test, please read about the requirements for the different levels carefully. You can also ask your Finnish or Swedish teacher for advice.

You can find out more about the National Certificate of Language Proficiency on the website of the Finnish National Board of Education.

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
National Certificates of Language ProficiencyFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Skill levels of the National Certificates of Language ProficiencyFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Enrolment for a National Certificate of Language Proficiency test and test feesFinnish | Swedish | English

Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate for Finnish and Swedish

If you want to work in public administration, you will usually need a certificate of your skills in Finnish or Swedish. You can prove your ability in one of these languages with a Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate. Ask your employer what the language proficiency requirements are for the job you want to apply for.

The test has three levels: satisfactory, good and excellent. The test level that you need to pass depends on the job or study place in question. To be granted Finnish citizenship, you will require a certificate of at least satisfactory skills.

Satisfactory or good level tests can be taken in different parts of Finland. The website of the Finnish National Board of Education has a list of the towns where the test can be taken.

The test demonstrating excellent skills can only be taken in Helsinki.

The test is composed of various kinds of questions which involve reading and listening to texts and answering questions. It also includes interview, discussion and writing assignments.

The Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate can be substituted with specific completed studies. For example, a B.A. / M.A. maturity exam (kypsyysnäyte) taken at a university in Finnish or Swedish corresponds to the Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate’s ‘good’ level. For more information, go to the website of the Finnish National Board of Education.

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Civil Service Language Proficiency CertificatesFinnish | Swedish

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Skill levels of the Civil Language Proficiency CertificateFinnish | Swedish

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Recipients of the Civil Language Proficiency Certificate, FinnishFinnish | Swedish

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Recipients of the Civil Language Proficiency Certificate, SwedishFinnish | Swedish

Certificate of language proficiency on the basis of studies

If you want to apply for Finnish citizenship, you can also prove your proficiency in Finnish or Swedish if you have one of the following:

  • basic education certificate with a pass in Finnish or Swedish as a first or second language
  • general upper secondary school certificate with a pass in Finnish or Swedish as a first or second language
  • Finnish or Swedish matriculation examination with a pass in Finnish or Swedish as a first or second language
  • a certificate of vocational upper secondary qualification that you have completed in Finnish or Swedish
  • a certificate of further vocational qualification that you have taken in Finnish or Swedish
  • a certificate of civil service Finnish or Swedish studies which you have taken at a university
  • a certificate of a B.A./M.A. maturity exam which you have taken in Finnish or Swedish for a university degree or university of applied sciences degree

You can find out more on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto).

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Proving language proficiency in connection with studiesFinnish | Swedish

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Language proficiency and Finnish citizenshipFinnish | Swedish | English