The Finnish personal identity code system might change in the beginning of next year, January 2023. The changes proposed would be an improvement to foreigners moving to Finland. The initiative would allow a foreign citizen to apply for the Finnish personal identity code even before moving to Finland. The Finnish Identity Code has also been proposed to become gender-neutral.

The new law would make it easier for a foreigner to apply and receive his or her personal identity code already before moving to Finland. Person could possibly get the number already when applying for their immigration, student, work visa or other form of legal residency. Person needs to be registered in the Population Information System to be able to receive this identification number. The number is required to be able to operate in Finnish society. Receiving it earlier in the process would make the entire process easier for the foreigner moving to Finland.

The government’s proposal is also suggesting to revamp the current system to make it gender neutral. With the current identity card system in Finland, a person can determine if the card holder is a female or male based on the last digits of the serial number. Women are identified by even numbers, males by odd numbers. The suggested new system would remove this and pick random numbers to the new identity card holders. The initiative is supported by saying that it would improve equality.

The current identity codes are not going to change. If the new law is passed, the foreigners moving to Finland will have the opportunity to apply for the identity code starting earliest January 2023. The gender-neutral identity code is projected to launch in 2027.

Finland’s Digital and Population Data Services Agency (Suomen Digi- ja väestötietorekisteri) provides the current rules of registering a foreigner in the population information system and when can a person apply for the ID number. This is a useful place to start if you are planning to move to Finland with a spouse and/or children who might not yet have their own personal identity code.