The entry into and residence in Finland of foreign nationals is subject to the provisions of the Finnish Aliens Act and Aliens Decree and the Schengen Agreement and Convention. Entry documents refer to visa, residence permit and work permit. Nationals of some countries are required to present a visa, while others are granted access without a visa.
Some of the new Member States of the EU: Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania, do not yet apply the Schengen Convention, which is why the border controls will be kept between the borders of the new and old Member States for the time being.
As a rule, foreign nationals who require an entry visa are requested to apply it from either the Finnish Embassy or a embassy of a Schengen country that represents Finland in their home country. In exceptional cases, residence permits and work permits as well as extension of visas can also be applied in Finland.
The Schengen Agreement permits a visa that is valid in the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland , the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.
A Schengen Visa to Finland should be applied for in person at the Finnish Embassy.
If the intended length of stay in Finland and within the Schengen area exceeds 90 days within a period of six months, a residence permit is required; further information from the Finnish Immigration service.
Depending on the travel document, the visa process at the Finnish Embassy can take approximately from one to four weeks.
Common Schengen visas are issued for a short-term stay in the following categories:
File an application for a common Schengen visa at the Embassy of Finland, if:
There is a non-refundable fee of 60 €. The fee is collected in shekels, subject to exchange rate, and in cash. No additional fees will be charged.
The application must be filed in person, completely filled out and signed, and equipped with recent color photograph showing face (frontal view) and shoulders against a light background. Passport must be valid for an additional three months after the intended departure. If Israeli visa is required, it must be valid for at least 60 days after return. Submit also the following documents – in originals with authorization (name and signature of the issuing person and stamp of the issuing organization):
A preliminary round trip booking, if applicable. The ticket should be purchased only after the visa has been issued.
The VIS is a system for the exchange of visa data among Schengen Member States. These States share a common area of free movement without internal border controls. They have a common visa policy which includes exchanging information on visa applicants.
The specific objectives of the VIS are to facilitate visa procedures, to enhance the security of the visa application process and to facilitate visa checks at the external borders of the Schengen Area.
The VIS allows Schengen Member States to determine a visa applicant's reliability more easily. The VIS helps Schengen Member States to verify whether an applicant has used previous visas lawfully. These checks facilitate the visa issuance process, particularly for frequent travellers.
Thanks to the use of biometric data, a visa holder can easily be identified as the person who applied for the visa. Biometric technology facilitates the detection of travellers using another person's travel documents and protects travellers from identity theft.
When arriving at an external border of the Schengen Area, the visa holder's biometric data is checked to confirm his/her identity. This leads to more accurate processing and greater security.
The visa applicant's biometric data (10-digit finger scans and digital photograph) is collected. It is a simple and discreet procedure that only takes a few minutes. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the visa application form, is recorded in a secure central database.
10-digit finger scans are neither required from children under the age of 12 nor from people who cannot physically provide finger scans. Frequent travellers to the Schengen Area do not have to give new finger scans every time they apply for a new visa. Once finger scans are stored in the VIS, they can be re-used for further visa applications over a 5-year period. The visa holder's finger scans may be compared against those in the database at the Schengen Area's external borders. A mismatch does not mean that entry will be automatically refused - it will just lead to further checks on the traveller’s identity
Access to VIS data is limited to authorized staff working for visa, border, immigration and asylum authorities for the performance of their tasks.
Data is kept in the VIS for 5 years.
Any person has the right to be informed about his/her data in the VIS. Any person may request that inaccurate data about him- or herself be corrected, and that unlawfully recorded data be deleted.
Further information and FAQs can be found on the European Commission website.
Applications short of any of the necessary documents will not be processed. Additional documents may be requested on a case-by-case basis.