Finland Visa Application - Requirements,Cost,Processing Time & Interview Tips


To travel to Finland you need to get a Finland visa. Getting a Finland visa is an easy process, all you need to do is to provide all the necessary requirement needed for the visa processing. So in this post you will get to  know the necessary Finland visa requirements and the application process.

 

This post is to answer frequently asked questions such as

How to apply for a Finland visa

Requirements to apply for Finland visa

Cost of a Finland visa

Duration to process a Finland visa

Finland visa interview tips

 

Information when applying for a Finland Schengen Visa
If you are required a Schengen visa for travel to Finland, you must visit the nearest Finnish mission or a mission of another Schengen country representing Finland in visa matters. The application must be lodged not earlier than three (3) months prior to the planned visit.

The required form is to be filled in and signed, and a passport-size photograph is to be attached to the application. Processing of the visa application can start only after the visa fee has been paid.

The application form is to be submitted, together with a valid passport and the required additional documents, to the Finnish embassy or consulate at which the visa is applied for. The required documentation includes e.g. proof of valid travel insurance and flight tickets.

Some embassies or consulates may require additional documentation, and therefore the applicant should always check the requirements with the mission in question.

If Finland does not have official representation within a country, another Schengen member state can represent Finland in visa matters. Likewise, Finland can represent another Schengen member state when agreed upon.

The different types of Finland visas


         A single-entry visa – is issued for one journey during which you can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

         A double-entry visa – allows entry into the Schengen area twice and may be valid within the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

         Multiple-entry visa – is granted for several consecutive visits to the Schengen area. The total duration of the stays may not exceed the number of days stated in the visa sticker, which may be up to 90 days in a 180-day period. A multiple-entry visa is valid for a maximum of five (5) years.

         Airport transit visas – are needed by citizens of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka. If you require an airport transit visa, you are permitted to use the international part of the airport during intermediate landing or during a change between two journeys, and without entering the country in question.

 

Documents required when applying for a Finland visa
Passport: Citizens of Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Norway ) do not need a passport for entering Finland. EU-nationals, and citizens of Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland and Schengen Agreement countries can enter Finland with a valid passport or a valid identity card. All other nationalities require a valid passport.

 

Who issues a Finland visa
A visa is issued by a diplomat or consul representative of a Schengen country. It is advisable to apply for a visa well in advance of the planned date of travel.

Duration to process a Finland visa

 A minimum of 14 days should be reserved for processing. If the visa application for Finland is delivered in your country to a representation of a mission of another Schengen country, the process will usually take much longer. Applications should be delivered well in advance so that there will be proper time to process them.

How to appeal for a Finland visa after being rejected.
A
visa applicant or a visa holder has the right to appeal against a refused, annulled or revoked visa by lodging an appeal to the authority that has issued the negative decision. The appeal must be addressed to the authority that has made the decision, for example a mission, by lodging an appeal against a decision. A person whose visa application has been refused, annulled or revoked, receives the decision together with a separate appeal instruction. The appeal must be lodged within thirty (30) days from the date when the decision was informed to the applicant. The appeal must be made in writing and either in Finnish or Swedish.

 

What to know before applying for a Finland visa

1) When planning your trip, do not make the mistake of thinking your travel agent or the airline will be able to tell you if you need a visa. Make sure you find out for yourself. You can find out if you need a visa by going to the U.S. State Department website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html, there is a lot of terrific information to be found here including notes for Americans on safety and security overseas.

2) Make sure your passport has at least 4-6 blank pages, your visa won't need that many but many of the consulates require at least two blank pages; this is an easy excuse for them to give you a hard time. If you need more pages they're easy to get through the National passport processing office. You can find information the process on the State Department's website.

3) Make sure your passport isn't going to expire for a while. The passport's expiration date must be greater than six months from the date of entry for the visa you are applying for. If your passport does not meet the requirements, you must renew your passport.

4) Your visa application. This is where you really need the assistance of a good travel visa service. You'll find that many of the visa applications are quite confusing. There are language usage differences that may have you scratching your head. If you are not sure, ask, do not guess, errors on forms can be costly.

5) Passport photographs. This is one I had a particularly difficult time getting my boss to do. Go to your post office or perhaps you have a drug store or photo processing store that takes passport photographs, get them, and if you are traveling a lot get a lot of extra photos. Most often you are required to submit two passport photographs with your visa application. You may get away with only providing one, you may get away with submitting a digital you took and printed on photo paper. It's not worth the risk. Get the extra photos.

6) Include your travel itinerary. Most applications require you include your travel plans as proof of entrance and exit dates. This would be the itinerary you get with your tickets or from the airline/travel agent.

7) Make sure you make copies of everything you send the consulate or visa travel service. This doesn't include your passport of course, but it's a good idea to make a copy of the first page in your passport just for your records. You will be sending your passport with your visa application and other paperwork.

8) Include a copy of your driver's license. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but just good policy. A lot of times a country may require this but neglect to mention or they may decide they want more identification information. This is a "Just in Case" preventative measure.

9) Do not forget the fee. If you are using a visa travel service, most likely you can simply provide your credit card number. If you are not, you will most likely have to provide a check for their fee as most of the consulates do not take credit cards.

10) A key challenge is the decision to appear at the embassy or consulate or simply overnight your application and materials to the appropriate place. In many cases, there won't be an option as the embassy or consulate is too far to travel to. If you are doing this on your own and are able, it may be prudent to go to the embassy or consulate yourself. Base your decision dependent on your time and patience level.

11) Finally, hire a travel visa service. These services are reasonable, quick and experienced. You do not save money doing it yourself and you certainly don't save hassle. Your travel visa service is there to help you with everything from completing forms to emergency turn-around times. Don't just go with any service. Investigate. I recommend Visa HQ www.visahq.com, for their experience and customer service


Validity of a Finland visa
A visa granting multiple entries may be valid for one year at a time so that the number of days spent in the country of residence does not exceed more than 90 days within six months. The number of days will be counted based on the stamps in your passport.

A multiple-entry visa may be valid for a year

A single-entry visa for six (6) months

Transit visa for three (3) months.


Extending a visa when in Finland
Local police authorities can extend the residence time defined in a visa. The extended period of the residence permit must not exceed its final date and the total duration may not exceed three months within half year. In addition an applicant’s travel insurance must be sufficient to cover the extended time.

Information for non-EU citizens traveling to Finland
Passport: You will need a valid passport.
Visa: If your visa is from a country fully applying the Schengen rules, it automatically allows you to travel to the other Schengen countries as well. Moreover, if you have a valid residence permit from one of those Schengen countries, it is equivalent to a visa. You may need a national visa to visit non-Schengen countries.

When arriving in a Schengen country, citizens of countries that are subject to the visa requirement must have a passport or some other travel document, which will remain valid until at least three months after the intended date of departure from the Schengen area. The travel document must have been issued within the previous 10 years. Citizens of countries that are subject to the visa requirement must always hold a visa when entering the Schengen area. Those holding a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen country do not need a separate visa.

This information is gotten from Finland immigration page. Contact the closest Finland embassy available for more detailed information and updates.

 

Finland visa interview tips

 

1. Prepare a “grab bag” of documents frequently requested

Get a clearbook to hold all the documents that embassies usually require and make at least five copies of each of these documents. Usually, the embassy will need to look at the original copy for verification purposes and then just keep a photocopy. Make sure that your photocopies are clear. It will save you the trouble of having to photocopy another clearer copy while at the embassy

Documents to include in this clear book are:

·         Birth certificate (must be certified by the National Statistics Office)

·         Marriage certificate* (if annulled, you will probably need a copy of your Marriage Certificate annotated by the NSO certifying that the marriage was declared null and void.

·         Latest Income Tax Return

·         For business owners, include business permits, business license and (audited) financial statements

·         Photocopies of previous visas you have been issued

·         ID pictures: Different embassies will have different size requirements, so when you have your picture taken, have the picture reproduced in different size dimensions. I suggest you get one picture taken in the standard 2x2 white background and one in the US visa size and Schengen size. (Note that for all visa requirements, both ears must be shown and women should not be wearing earrings.)

·         Proof of income and ownership such as land titles and or car registration documents

Keep all your old passports with other visa stamps as reference. It may not fit in the clear book, but it should be made part of your visa app “grab bag.

2. Keep a list of the countries you’ve visited

Update the list of countries you've visited the way you would update your CV. Many embassies require you to list the countries you have visited within a certain number of years. Some embassies will specify a time frame, some will not, so it is best to start from countries you have visited from 5 years back. Keep a soft copy of this list in your computer and update it each time you travel.

3. Make a checklist of the visa application requirements – and triple check that!

When applying for a Schengen visa via the Italian embassy, for example, a checklist of requirements (which you can download along with the visa application form) is mandatory in the list of documents to be presented to the visa processing center. It is not a standard requirement for all countries, but a checklist is definitely a good thing to have on hand. Make one of your own if your destination country does not require it.

Double and triple check each requirement, line by line if you have to. It will be worth the trouble because there are varying specifications for each country.

Look out for fine print like required payment mode: Is a manager’s check required? Can you pay in Philippine pesos, US dollars or Euros? Tip is to pay in US dollars so you will not be subject to currency fluctuations. Remember to check for exact amount, e.g. if it says $58, bring $58 as some embassies will not offer change.

Double check the location of the visa processing centers as their addresses on the application forms may not be updated.

4. Have a standard template for letters of introduction to consuls

Embassies may require you to prepare a letter to the consul to introduce yourself and state your reason for travel. Make a standard template for this letter of introduction, save on your “Travel Docs” folder and just fill in whenever you need to apply for a visa.

This cover letter should have:

·         Header with your name, contact details and if available, your visa application reference number

·         Reason for travel

·         Duration of stay

·         Mention of other countries you have visited

·         How you will fund your trip

·         Day by day travel itinerary as an attachment

5. Make your travel agent your travel buddy

Find a travel agent you can trust and make him or her your travel buddy. She can act as a semi-one-stop shop and help you book tickets and hotels that you won't have to pay for yet (you will want to wait till you get the visa before paying for a ticket or hotel), and facilitate travel insurance.

 

Hope this post was useful

 

Question tags

How to apply for a Finland visa

Requirements to apply for Finland visa

Cost of a Finland visa

Duration to process a Finland visa

Finland visa interview tips

 

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