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Frequently Asked Questions - The President of the Republic of Finland: FAQ

The President of the Republic of Finland
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Frequently asked questions

How can the President be contacted?

Letters, cards and other mailings to the President of the Republic or the President's spouse can be sent to the Office of the President of the Republic, Mariankatu 2, FI-00170 Helsinki. The President's e-mail address is president@tpk.fi, and faxes can be sent to +358 9 638 247.

The President of the Republic receives thousands of letters and other messages a year and cannot answer all of them personally. The Office of the President of the Republic tries to answer as many messages as possible, provided they contain the sender’s contact information.

How can an invitation or request for a meeting be sent to the President?

All invitations and requests to the President of the Republic or the President’s spouse for meetings, interviews, greetings and patronage should be sent in writing to the Office of the President of the Republic by mail, fax or e-mail. There is no specific official format for such invitations and requests, but they must include the sender’s contact information.

Contact

The person sending an invitation or request will receive a response when the matter has been decided.

How can a pardon be petitioned from the President?

In an individual case, the President of the Republic can remit a sentence or other criminal penalty imposed by a court. The President cannot waive obligations based on public or civil law, such as taxes, maintenance payments or bank loans. Anyone can submit a petition for a pardon, which does not require the consent of the person to whom it applies.

There is no specific official format for a petition for pardon. What is essential is that it must indicate the name and personal identity number of the person from whom a pardon is requested and the sentence or penalty which the petition concerns (which court issued the ruling and when).

A petition for a pardon should be sent to the Ministry of Justice at the following address:

Ministry of Justice
P.O. Box 25
FI-00023 Government

The Ministry of Justice processes petitions for pardons and requests statements as required. The President of the Republic makes decisions to grant or decline pardon on submission by the Minister of Justice. The petitioner and other concerned parties or authorities are informed of the President’s decision.

The Office of the President of the Republic does not handle petitions for pardons and cannot respond to inquiries concerning them. Any inquiries should be addressed to the Ministry of Justice.

More about the President's power to grant pardons

Can the President of the Republic grant a residence permit or influence the handling of applications for residence permits?

Citizenship and immigration matters do not fall within the purview or the authority of the President of the Republic. Citizenship matters are resolved by the Finnish Immigration Service; matters concerning immigration and residence permits are handled by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Finnish immigration Service or the local police authority.

The Finnish Immigration Service and the other relevant authorities exercise discretionary power which is based on current legislation. The President of the Republic cannot instruct the immigration authorities what to do and does not have the authority to overrule their decisions.

Can the President of the Republic grant dispensations or exemptions from laws?

The President of the Republic does not have the authority to grant exemptions from law. Provisions giving the President such powers used to exist but have been repealed; for instance, the granting of exemptions with regard to marriage is now in the authority of the Ministry of Justice. The Office of the President of the Republic does not handle exemption matters and cannot respond to inquiries concerning them. Inquiries should be addressed to the Ministry of Justice or whichever other ministry is the competent authority in the matter in question.

What is the procedure for proposing that the President grant a title or decoration?

The President of the Republic grants titles and decorations in Finland’s orders as well as the Public Service Medal and the Life Saving Medal. The Office of the President of the Republic does not handle these matters and cannot respond to inquiries concerning them. Applications, proposals and inquiries should be addressed to the appropriate body in each case:

Matters regarding titles are handled by the Title Board, based at the Prime Minister's Office, and inquiries should be addressed to the secretary of the Title Board.

Proposals concerning decorations are prepared by the Boards of Finland’s Orders, and inquiries should be addressed to their office.

Proposals concerning decorations awarded to outstanding mothers may be made to the relevant Regional State Administrative Agency, which will forward these to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. These decorations are awarded by the Minister of Social Affairs and Health at a national reception held on Mother’s Day. The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare is responsible for making the practical arrangements for this reception and for publishing the names of the recipients.

Matters concerning the awarding of the Life Saving Medal are prepared by the Ministry of the Interior. Proposals for a Life Saving Medal to be awarded to a private individual may be submitted to the relevant Regional State Administrative Agency, which will forward these to the Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry will publish the names of recipients.

Applications for a Public Service Medal may be made to the government Public Service Medal Committee. A Public Service Medal may be awarded to a government employee who has been in full-time employment in central government for at least 30 years.

Is it possible to visit the Presidential Palace?

At the moment, it is not possible to give tours of the Presidential Palace. The park at Kultaranta, the President’s summer residence, can be accessed by contacting the Naantali Tourist Service. No tours are given in Mäntyniemi. There is further information on the official residences on this website, together with a virtual tour to Mäntyniemi.

How can former Presidents be contacted?

Mail to President Mauno Koivisto, President Martti Ahtisaari and President Tarja Halonen may be addressed to the Office of the President of the Republic.
The contact information for the office of President Tarja Halonen may be found on the website www.presidenthalonen.fi. The archived website of the President of the Republic from Halonen’s term in office, 2000–2012, may be found at www.presidentti.fi/halonen. The archive includes speeches given by Halonen while in office, images and information on trips and visits.

The contact information for the office of President Martti Ahtisaari at the Crisis Management Initiative may be found on the website www.cmi.fi. The archived website of the President of the Republic from Ahtisaari’s term in office, 1994–2000, may be found at www.presidentti.fi/ahtisaari.

The President’s third Aide-de-Camp is assigned to assist former Presidents as required.

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Updated 3/1/2016

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