Equality, marriage and health


Public authorities (such as interpreters and staff of refugee centres and municipalities) are required to treat everybody equal within the law – also regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

It is illegal to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression within the labour market, public sector and education. This applies to both the public and private sector. Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation may be reported to the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman and discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender identity and gender expression to the Ombudsman for Equality and National Discrimination and Equality Tribunal. NB! Your asylum process will not be affected by any such complaint or report.


Family reunification

Family reunification may be granted to family members regardless of their sex or gender (spouses, registered partners and cohabiting partners). Also someone with whom you have joint care of a child is considered your spouse. In the case of cohabiting partners, Finnish Immigration Service requires that you have lived in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years. Information on resident permits and applications here.


Marriage and partnership

Marriage between two persons of the same sex is possible in Finland starting March 2017. At the moment two persons of the same sex can register a civil partnership which can be changed into a marriage later. One can get married in the civil registry offices (Maistraatti).


Gender recognition, reassignment and medical treatment

Finland legally recognises the gender of a transgender person provided that the person in question fulfils certain criteria laid down in the Transgender Act. Legal gender reassignment process is not allowed in Finland without a medical expert statement. More information about gender recognition and medical treatment is found here: http://trasek.fi/in-english/

Access to treatment

If you are granted an asylum and are a resident in Finland and want to start gender reassignment process, you can ask your doctor to refer you to one of the University Hospitals depending on your place of residence. You should take the reference with you (written in Finnish) when visiting your doctor. The reference explains the procedure and should make it easier for the doctor to write the necessary referral. Any doctor can refer you.

How to refer a patient to gender identity examination (In Finnish)


HIV testing

HIV testing is available free of charge once a week at Helsinki (without an appointment) and at Oulu and Tampere (with an appointment). HIV testing is offered by Finnish AIDS Council (HIV-tukikeskus).

Places where you can get tested for HIV free of charge and where it should be anonymous: Local health centers, regional hospitals’ departments of venereology, Student Health Services YTHS. Finnish Red Cross offer testing and an advice hotline about HIV.

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