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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Visa - Embassy of Finland, Washington - Consulate Generals of Finland, New York, Los Angeles : Visas and residence permits : Visas


  • Embassy of Finland, Washington
    Tel. +1-202-298 5800,
  • Consulate General of Finland, New York
    Tel. +1-212-750 4400,
  • Consulate General of Finland, Los Angeles
    Tel. 1-310-203 9903,
  • Contacts
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What is Schengen area and Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa is an entry permit for a short, temporary stay for less than 90 days within 180 days. A Schengen visa issued by one Schengen country allows a person to travel within the whole Schengen area. Applying for a visa does not guarantee it will be issued. A visa issued by a Schengen country permits free movement within the Schengen area, unless otherwise stated on the visa sticker. Visa does not provide an automatic right to entry and the holders of visa are requested to present proof that they meet the requirements regarding the entry conditions at the external border.

Schengen member states are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Great Britain, Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania have not signed the Schengen contract.

Visa Code (810/2009/EC) is applied in all Schengen countries when processing and deciding Schengen visas. Visa Code is a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council.

Who needs a visa to Finland?

US citizens do not need to obtain a visa if they stay in Finland less than 90 days within 180 days, but their passport should be valid for a minimum of three months after the journey. When staying in Finland for a longer period of time, a residence permit which is issued by Finnish Immigration Service is required (see Residence permits).

If you are a foreign national requiring a visa, you must have one when entering to the Schengen area. If you would normally need a visa but have a valid residence permit in one of Schengen countries, you do not need a visa to enter another Schengen country.

Please check if you need a visa to the Schengen area and which travel documents are accepted by Finland:

Where and how can I leave the application?

Schengen countries began to collect fingerprints from the visa customers in all the missions in North America from 15th May 2014. The first biometric Schengen visa is applied in person from an embassy, a consulate general or a consulate of the main destination in a country where an applicant lives or legally resides. If the main destination is Finland, a visa must be applied from a Finnish mission. An appointment is required and may be done by calling or sending e-mail in advance.

If the visit includes more than one destination, a visa is applied from a country which is the main destination of the journey (length of the stay or the purpose). If no main destination can be determined, a visa is applied from a Schengen mission of a country of the first entry.

In certain cases Finland may be represented by another Schengen country, from which a Schengen visa to Finland must be applied form (in the Washington DC area Finland is represented by Sweden, see below).

You can apply for the visa from the Consulate General of Finland in New York or Los Angeles or from the Embassy of Sweden in Washington DC depending on your jurisdiction. Honorary consulates do not process visas.

The visa shall be applied from a mission located in your jurisdiction:

  • The Embassy of Sweden in Washington DC if the applicant resides in Washington D.C.,MD,VA.
  • The Consulate General of Finland in Los Angelesif the applicant resides in AK,AZ,CA,CO,HI,ID,NM,NV,MT,OR,UT,WA,WY.
    (Please find contact information and customer service hours below)
  • The Consulate General of New York if the applicant resides in AL,AR,CT,DE,FL,GA,IL,IN,IA,KS,KY,LA,ME,MA,MI,MN,MO,MS,NC,ND,NE,NH,NJ,
    (Please find contact information and customer service hours below)

Customer service

Embassy, Washington D.C.
Tel: +1-202-298 5800
Customer service by appointment only Mon-Fri 9.00 am -12.00 pm
Telephone inquiries: Mon-Fri 9.00 am -12.00 pm and 1 pm - 4.15pm
Please note: Finnish Embassy no longer issues visas. Visa applicants residing in Washington D.C., Virginia or Maryland should contact the Embassy of Sweden, which represents Finland in visa matters.

Consulate General, New York
Tel. +1-212-750 4400
Customer service by appoinment only: Mon-Fri 9.00 am -12.00 pm, both Mon and Thu 1.30 pm - 4.30 pm
Telephone inquiries: Mon-Fri 9.00 am -12.00 pm

Consulate General, Los Angeles
Tel: +1-310-203 9903
Customer service by appointment only Mon-Thu 9.00 am-12.00 pm
Telephone inquiries Mon-Thu 12.30 pm -1.30 pm, Fri 10.00 am - 12.00 pm

All passports, except diplomatic and service/official passports, shall be stamped by the diplomatic mission showing the date and place of submitting the visa application. However, this stamp has no legal implications.

How long does the visa processing take?

It is advisable to apply for a visa well in advance for the planned date of travel. The application can be submitted a maximum of 3 months ahead of the trip. The processing time for a visa takes usually 15 days and 10 days for the nationals coming from the visa facilitation agreement countries. In some cases the processing time may take up to 60 days. The applications are processed in the order of arrival. Expedited requests cannot be taken into consideration, for example, in the case of flight tickets bought in advance.

What supporting documents do I need?

The required supporting documents are imposed in Visa Code and agreed upon in the local Schengen cooperation and might vary in different countries. Incomplete documents may have a negative effect on the decision. Supporting documents are not returned. Applicants may be required to submit additional documents and applicant may be called for a separate interview.

Visa application can be downloaded, filled out electronically and printed from the link below. Applications are also available in the missions.

Visa application:

pdfSchengen visa EC109 2010 (en)  (PDF)

Tourist trip or private trip; required documents

  • Visa application, completed and signed (signature and date must be written in two sections: section 36 and 37). Application must be signed in the mission or the signature must be notarized by a notary public.
  • Photograph; one color photo, max 6 months old and fulfilling standards of ICAO (light background and neutral face expression).
  • Passport or other travel document accepted in every Schengen country. Passport requirements: validity minimum 3 months after the journey, validity max 10 years and contain at least 2 blank pages. An old passport must be presented if required.
  • Green Card or US visa (A, E, F, G, H, I, J+J1-form, L, O, R). Green Card as a notarized copy or an original. Visa or Green Card must be valid minimum 3 months after the journey.
  • Copy of the passport's ID page.
  • 3 months bank statement; proof of sufficient funds. From an entrepreneur: documents regarding the business activity (business license) and taxation (the tax return documents: 5 first pages) of a company. From a pensioner; documents stating amount of pension.
  • Proof of employment or studies (an official letter from the employer or school with contact information): duration of the employment or studies and holiday entitlement for the journey.
  • Hotel reservation (tourist or business trip) or invitation letter (private trip). If another Schengen country is visited, the hotel reservation or invitation must be presented accordingly.
    • Hotel reservation must contain name and contact information (address and telephone) of the hotel and reservation number.
    • Invitation must contain contact information of the inviter, purpose of the trip, duration of the trip and the address as well as signature and date. If another Schengen country is visited, the hotel reservation or invitation shall be presented accordingly.
  • Airline reservation/itinerary (roundtrip). We do not recommend purchase the tickets before receiving a visa decision. If a third country is visited before or after the trip, airline or train tickets and possible visa to this country must be presented.
  • Under 18 years old applicant must present a birth certificate and passport copies from both custodians. If the applicant travels alone or with one custodian only, a notarized permissions for the trip and proof of sufficient funds from parents are required. If the custodians do not reside in the US, permission must be notarized or legalized according to the laws of the custodians’ home country.
  • Travel insurance according to the Schengen requirements. Please, note, that an insurance card is not sufficient proof of coverage. If the insurance company cannot provide a letter covering above mentioned requirements, please find international insurance that does. Insurance is not required from the applicants holding a diplomatic passport.
    •  Insurance must be valid in the whole Schengen area
    •  Insurance must be valid for the entire duration of the journey
    •  The coverage of amount of USD 50,000 (EUR 30,000) non-deductible and must cover:

                         -  emergency medical expenses
                         -  emergency hospital treatment 
                         -  repatriation for medical reasons or death

Applicants applying for a multiple entry visa must acquire insurance for the duration of the first trip and sign the section on the last page of the application form: “Applicable in case a multiple entry visa is applied for. I am aware of the need to have an adequate travel medical insurance for my first stay and subsequent visits to the territory of Member States”. 

Business trip; required documents

  • In addition to above mentioned supporting documents:
  •  Reference letter from the employer (original on official paper with contact information).
  •  Invitation letter from a Finnish company, specifying the nature of the business (must be either original letter written down on official paper including contact information or sent by a recognizable e-mail address).

Family member of an EU, ETA and Swiss citizen or Finnish citizen; required documents

  • Visa application, completed and signed (signature and date must be written in two sections: section 36 and 37). Application must be signed in the mission or the signature must be notarized by a notary public.
  • Photograph; one color photo, max 6 months old and fulfilling standards of ICAO (light background and neutral face expression).
  • Passport or other travel document accepted in every Schengen country. Passport requirements: validity minimum 3 months after the journey, validity max 10 years and contain at least 2 blank pages.
  • Green Card or US visa, which must be valid minimum of 3 months after the journey. Green Card as a notarized copy or as an original.
  • Documentation, that an appcant is a family member of an EU, ETA or Swiss citizen and applies of a directive 2004/38/EY or is a family member of a Finnish citizen (e.g. marriage or birth certificate).
    • An applicant is a family member of an EU, ETA or Swiss citizen: spouse, partner (registered relationship), under 21 year old child to union citizen or spouse, parents dependent on a union citizen or spouse or other relative who lives in the same household or needs personal care.
      • An applicant travels with a union citizen or follows the citizen later.
      • Citizen of Union travels to a country which is not citizen's country of citizenship or country of resident (=uses the right of free movement).
    • An applicant is a family member of a Finnish citizen (Alien Act 37§): spouse (marriage registered in Finnish population register), partner (registered relationship), cohabiting partner (living together minimum 2 years or having a child together), under 18 years old child or a guardian of a child under 18 years of age.
  • Travel insurance is not required.
  • Visa fee is not collected, but postal fee applies.

What types of visas are there?

A single-entry visa
is issued for one journey during which you can stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within 180 days period.

A double-entry visa
allows to enter the Schengen area twice for a maximum of 90 days within 180 days period.

Multiple-entry visa
is granted for several visits to the Schengen area. The total duration of the stay is the number of days stated on the visa, however being a maximum of 90 days within 180 days period.

Airport transit visas
are needed by citizens of certain countries when they are transferring the flights between the international parts of the airports without entering the country in question.

How much does a visa application cost and where can I pay it?

Visa fee may vary monthly due to currency exchanges. Please check out the updated service fees. Service fee also includes exceptions (children and applicant from visa facilitation agreement countries and free visas. Payment in US dollars in cash (exact change), money order or certified check made out to e.g. Consulate General of Finland (Los Angeles, New York) depending on the place. In case of refusal, the visa fee is not returned. If visa decision (issued or refused) is preferred to be returned with a commercial courier (FedEx), a postal fee of USD 10 is collected. It is paid along with the visa fee.

How is the passport and visa decision returned?

The applicant will be informed via e-mail when the visa decision (visa or refusal) has been made. Decision can be collected from the mission during the customer service hours in person or by providing a power of attorney. Visa decision can also be returned via mail if the applicant has paid FedEx fee (USD 10). Applicant´s own return envelope cannot be accepted.

If the visa was refused, can I complain about the decision?

In case the conditions for granting a visa are not fulfilled, the visa will be refused. The grounds for a refused visa are notified in written according to the Visa Code and are based on certain grounds mentioned in the Visa Code. Additional explanations are not given.

A visa applicant may request a rectification from the decision making authority (instructions of a rectification are attached on the visa refusal). The rectification must be submitted in Finnish or Swedish within thirty (30) days from the date when the decision was informed to the applicant. Google translations cannot be accepted. An applicant cannot submit a complaint against the visa decision to the administrative court. An exception is family members of EU citizens who have used their free movement, who are entitled to lodge complaints with Helsinki Administrative Court.

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This document

Updated 7/25/2014

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