Guidance

Notarial and documentary services in Finland

Documents, certificates, letters and notes available at the British Embassy in Helsinki.

Overview

The British Embassy can provide a range of notarial and documentary services for British nationals in Finland.

Where local notaries can provide services, the British Embassy will not provide them. In many cases local notaries or lawyers can provide services more cheaply, quickly and conveniently.

You must make an appointment for each service that requires your personal attendance. Use the links after each service to make a reservation. A member of staff will contact you to confirm your appointment.

Before booking, make sure you have selected the correct service and that the document will be accepted by the relevant authority. This could be the local town hall, registry office, tax authorities, immigration office or another authority either in Finland, the UK or a third country.

Services we provide in Finland

Consular staff in Finland can:

  • administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit
  • witness a signature
  • make a certified copy of a British Passport
  • unite documents
  • legalise a document (but not those issued in the UK)

For information about documents relating to marriage, such as a certificate of no impediment (CNI) and affirmations or affidavits of marital status, see getting married abroad.If you are planning to get married in Finland, please request an appointment by contacting us using our web form. You will be sent full guidance in response.

If you can’t find the service you are looking for on this page, see other services provided by the British Embassy in Finland.

What to bring to your appointment

See the individual services below for details of supporting documents to bring. Make sure you have acceptable proof of address and identity, and payment for any fees. See the full list of consular fees.

Payment

We accept payment by Visa (but cannot accept Visa Electron), MasterCard, or cash in the local currency on the day of the appointment.

Proof of address and identity

For all appointments for notarial services you will need to bring acceptable proof of your identity and address.

We accept passports or national identity cards as proof of identity.

We accept a recent ‘virkatodistus’ (from www.maistraatti.fi) as proof of your address.

Administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit (other than marriage purposes)

This service is for people who need to swear an oath, make an affirmation or make an affidavit in front of a consular officer. However if this service is provided by a local authority – the embassy does not provide it.

The Embassy will not draft documents for you. First check with the Embassy what format they need and then have the document drawn up or checked by a professional. We will ask you to email copies of your documents to us before a reservation can be confirmed.

What you will need to bring with you:

Book an appointment to administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit in Helsinki

You may need to make an affirmation or affidavit of marital status in order to get married in Finland. There is a separate guidance for processing a Civil Status document (for Marriage in Finland). To request an appointment and full guidance, please send an enquiry using our web form.

Witness a signature

This service is for customers who need to sign a document and have their signature witnessed by a consular officer. The document must be prepared before your appointment as we will not draft documents for you. We do not handle wills or probate, countersign passport applications or witness deed polls, nor do we provide this service if a local authority may process it.

Please do not sign the document before your appointment.

What you will need to bring with you:

Book an appointment to witness a signature in Helsinki

Make a certified copy of a document

This service is for customers who need certified photocopies of British passports. This is not necessary for UK authorities who will accept a local authority to certify a copy. Please explain which country asks for a consular copy and we shall tell you whether we can help.

What you will need to bring with you:

Book an appointment to make a certified copy of British passport in Helsinki

Unite documents

This service joins documents together using ribbon and a seal and is usually only needed for legal reasons.

What you will need to bring with you:

Book an appointment to unite documents in Helsinki

Legalise a document

This service is for customers who require confirmation that the signature, seal or stamp on a document is genuine. It does not certify the authenticity of a document or give approval of its content. UK public documents can be legalised by the Legalisation Office - not by the Embassy in Helsinki.

We may only legalise documents originating in Finland and already legalised by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

What you will need to bring with you:

Book an appointment to legalise a document in Helsinki

Services provided elsewhere

We no longer witness life certificates for British nationals claiming a British pension abroad. Please refer to the list of people working in a recognised profession who can do this for you.

Other services you may be interested in:

  • yachting and sailing certificates - Royal Yachting Association
  • police clearance, “criminal record” request - see GOV.UK
  • taxation and UK national insurance contributions certificates - see HM Revenue & Customs
  • certificates regarding British driving licences - see DVLA
  • certificates confirming British nationality - see GOV.UK

A Finnish notary public can witness a signature, take certified copies etc.

Data protection

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy / consulate by the relevant authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British embassy / consulate will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. For all notarial and legalisation services it is the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the precise requirements of the person requesting the notarial or legalisation service and to satisfy themselves that the service provided by the embassy/consulate will be accepted.

Published 28 November 2013
Last updated 30 May 2018 + show all updates
  1. Update on the notarial and documentary services in Finland.
  2. There is a disruption to all notarial and marriage related services at the British Embassy in Helsinki from 18 to 22 December 2017.
  3. Updated Notarial Guide of the British Embassy Helsinki.
  4. Updated Notarial Guide for the British Embassy in Helsinki.
  5. Disruption to all notarial and marriage related services from 8 August to 5 September 2016.
  6. Changes in appointment booking procedure.
  7. Clickbook link added to make an appointment online for services.
  8. First published.