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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, D.C.
CONSULATES GENERAL OF FINLAND, New York and Los Angeles

  • Embassy of Finland, Washington
    Tel. +1-202-298 5800, sanomat.was@formin.fi
  • Consulate General of Finland, New York
    Tel. +1-212-750 4400, sanomat.nyc@formin.fi
  • Consulate General of Finland, Los Angeles
    Tel. +1-310-203 9903, sanomat.los@formin.fi
  • Contacts
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Visa

A first biometric Schengen visa must be applied in person. An appointment is mandatory.

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 a 180-day period. A Schengen visa issued by one of the Schengen countries allows a person to travel within the whole Schengen area. Applying for a visa does not guarantee issuance. A visa issued by a Schengen country permits free movement within the Schengen area, unless otherwise stated on the visa sticker. A visa does not provide an automatic right to entry and thus visa holders are requested to present proof that they meet the entry requirements 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 Schengen visas. The 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 for less than 90 days within a 180-day period but their passport shall 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 the Finnish Immigration Service is required (see Residence permits).

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

Please check if you need a visa to enter 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 visa customers at all missions in North America on the15th May 2014. The first biometric Schengen visa has to be applied for 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. Fingerprints are valid for 5 years in which time visa application can be mailed. Mission always has the right to ask the applicant to came to an interview in person.

If the main destination is Finland, a visa must be applied for from a Finnish mission. An appointment is required and may be set by calling or sending an e-mail in advance. If the visit includes more than one destination, a visa is applied for from the country that 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 for the 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 for (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,
    NY,OH,OK,PA,PR,RI,SC,SD,TN,TX,VI,VT,WV,WI.
    (Please find contact information and customer service hours below)

Customer service

By appointment only

Embassy, Washington D.C.
Tel: +1-202-298 5800
E-mail: passi.was@formin.fi
Customer service by appointment only Mon-Fri 9.00 am -12.00 pm
Telephone inquiries: Mon-Fri 9.00 am -12.00 pm
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
E-mail: consulate.nyc@formin.fi
Customer service by appointment 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
E-mail: passi.los@formin.fi
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 of 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 is usually 15 days, 10 days for the nationals 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 the 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.

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

Visa application:

pdfSchengen visa EC109 2010 (en)  (PDF)


Tourist trip or private trip; required documents in this order

  • Visa application, signature and date must be written in two sections 36 and 37. Application must be signed by the applicant at the mission or unless the application is notarized by a notary public.
  • Photo; one color and max 6 months old photo. Fulfilling standards of ICAO (light background and neutral face expression).
  • Passport or other travel document accepted in every Schengen country. Passport requirements: validity a minimum of 3 months after the journey, issued within previous 10 years and contain at least 2 blank pages. An old passport must be presented if required.
  • Copy of the passport (ID page)
  • Copy of the Green Card or US visa (A, E, F, G, H, I, J+J1-form, L, O, R), which must be valid minimum of 3 months after the journey. An original or a notarized copy of a Green Card must be presented.
  • Proof of employment or studies
    • Employment: official company paper with stamp, date. name/position/signature of the countersigning officer with contact information. The Document shall consist: the name of the applicant, years of employment, position and salary of the applicant and approval of leave or absence
    • Studies: Either valid I-20 form or official school paper with stamp, date, name/position/signature of the countersigning officer with contact information. The document shall consist: the name of the applicant, years of studies, and approval of absence.
  • 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 purchasing 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.
  • Bank statement of the applicant (3 months) or 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.
  • A minor (under 18) 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 on one page. 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.
    • Name
    •  Validity for the entire duration of the journey
    •  The coverage of amount of approx. USD 40,000 (EUR 30,000) non-deductible. Must cover and include four words:

                         - Medical expenses
                         - Hospitalization
                         - Repatriation for medical reasons or death
                         - Validity area: Schengen / EU / World wide

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, who applies of a directive 2004/38/EY of free movement

  1. Citizen of Union uses the right of free movement =travels to a country which is not citizen´s country of citizenship nor country of residence inside EU area  
  2. The journey of an applicant and the citizen of Union is common and related (= an applicant travels with a union citizen or follows the citizen later)
  3. The applicant is a family member  

a) An applicant is a family member of an EU, ETA or Swiss citizen (eg. marriage or birth certificate):                                                                                - spouse, partner (registered relationship), cohabiting partner (living together minimum 2 years or having a child under joint custody), 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. 

b) An applicant is a family member of a Finnish citizen (Alien Act 37§) and family relation is registered in Finnish population register:                                   - spouse, partner (registered relationship), cohabiting partner (living together minimum 2 years or having a child under joint custody), under 18 years old child or a guardian of a child under 18 years of age. 

If all the above mentioned conditions (1-3) are not fulfilled, the visa application will be processed normally as a “tourist or private visit” application. Please note, that as item 1 is applicable only occasionally for a Finnish citizen, a family member of a Finnish citizen shall normally apply visa in a normal procedure.

If all the above mentioned conditions (1-3) are fulfilled, only the following documents are required:

  • Visa application, signature and date must be written in two sections: 36 and 37. The items of the application form marked by star are not mandatory.
  • Photo; one color and max 6 months old photo. Fulfilling standards of ICAO (light background and neutral face expression).
  • Passport + copy,  or other travel document accepted in every Schengen country. Passport requirements: validity minimum 3 months after the journey, issued within previous 10 years and contain at least 2 blank pages.
  • Copy of the Green Card or US visa, which must be valid minimum of 3 months after the journey. 
  • Documentation of items 1-3:
       - Proof of nationality of EU citizen (eg. copy of passport)
       - Proof of being a family member (e.g. marriage or birth certificate)
       - Proof of common journey (eg. flight reservation)
  • Travel insurance is not required.
  • Visa fee is not collected.

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 a 180-day period.

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

Airport transit visas
are needed by citizens of certain countries when they are transferring 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?

The visa fee may vary monthly due to currency exchanges. Please check out the updated service fees. Service fees also include 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.

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 in person from the mission during the customer service hours or by providing a power of attorney. The visa decision can be also mailed to the applicant’s home address inside USA by prepaid FedEx/DHL/UPS label/envelope provided by the applicant.

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 informed in writing 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 for a rectification are attached on the visa refusal). The rectification must be submitted in Finnish or Swedish within thirty (30) days from the date 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 an applicant who is covered by Directive 2004/38/EC of the right of free movement and is entitled to lodge complaints with the Helsinki Administrative Court.  Instructions for a complaint are attached on the visa refusal.

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This document

Updated 8/24/2015


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