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Finland Immigration Information Entry Visa

Foreign Nationals not requiring a Visa

Exemption from visa covers a number of certain countries, and their citizens can enter the Schengen area presuming that they are in possession of valid and approved passport or travel document and valid travel insurance.

When arriving to the country they must also fulfil other requirements concerning public order, public health and Finland's relations with other countries. Foreign nationals free of visa obligations may reside in the Schengen countries for 3 months starting from the day when they first cross the border of the Schengen area.

These non-visa nationals include those from:

EU-member countries, USA, Australia, Japan, Iceland, Norway, Andorra, Argentina, Bermuda (provided holding a British Dependent Territories passport), Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR), Israel, Korea (Rep), Liechtenstein, Macau (SAR), Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela.

Note: EU-member countries include: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Nationals of Non-Visa Countries requiring a Visa

After residing the Schengen area for 3 months within half a year or in the event that not all the Schengen countries recognise an individual's travel document, he or she will need to apply for a visa. The visa application must be handed over to an embassy or consulate of the applicant's legal country of residence.

Foreign Nationals requiring a Visa

The Schengen countries have agreed on what countries are free of visa requirements and what countries are under visa obligations, If you are not from any of the countries stated above, a visa is required.

If you are a foreign national requiring a visa, you must always have one when entering the Schengen area. If you would ordinarily need a visa but have a residence permit valid in one of Schengen countries, you do not need a visa to enter another Schengen country if the intended duration of your stay is less than three months.

Applying for a Visa

A Schengen visa is applied for from the embassy or consulate of the destination country. If the country from where you are applying for a visa does not have a Finnish embassy or consulate, you must apply for it from a Finnish mission in the nearest country to your own. For example, if the country of destination is Finland, you must apply for a visa from a Finnish mission. In certain cases Finland may be represented by another Schengen country, from which a Finnish visa may be applied.

Documentations needed:

1. A completed and signed visa application form and a passport-size photograph of yourself.

2. A passport valid for at least 3 months following your journey.

3. Travel insurance covering the duration of the visa and the Schengen area. The insurance indemnity should be at least EUR 30,000 and should insure you in case of sudden illness or accident (including travel home) and include transportation home in the event of your death.

4. The application form should be accompanied by other documents indicating the purpose, conditions and duration of your visit. These can include tickets, confirmed hotel reservations and a private or official letter of invitation. The invitation may be written in free-form but must include details of the host organisation or individual, and the your date of birth, address, passport number, and purpose and length of visit. If the visit is a private one, it is worth mentioning the relationship between the host and the guest, for example whether she/he is a friend, spouse or relative. Please note that an invitation is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued. You may need to supply further details in addition to those mentioned above, such as the route of your journey, means of transport, details of your return journey, income, property and details of your employment. You must have sufficient funds to cover your stay – at least EUR 30 a day.

5. Underage children require parental consent if they intend to travel unaccompanied by a parent or guardian.

6. The embassy or consulate may also want to interview you to ask about the purpose of your visit.

7. You must sign the form personally. If the form is unsigned or someone else has signed it for you, the application will be denied.

Types of Visa

1. A single-entry visa is issued for one journey during which you can stay in the Schengen area for 90 days within a 6-month period.

2. A double-entry visa allows a person to enter the Schengen area twice for 90 days within a 6-month period.

3. 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, at most 90 days within a 6- month period. The period of 6 months starts on the day of entry into Schengen area. The visa is valid for a maximum of 1 year.

4. A transit visa is only granted when a citizen of a country requiring visas travels through the Schengen area to a country that is not party to the Schengen agreement. To receive a transit visa you should have a visa to the country of final destination or should otherwise be able to enter that country. A transit visa allows you the right to transit entry on one or more occasions through the Schengen area. The duration of transit duration is no more than 5 days on one occasion.

5. Airport transit visas are needed by citizens of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (former Zaire). 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.

Validity of a 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 6 months and a transit visa for 3 months.

Processing of Visa

A visa is issued by a diplomat or consul representative of a Schengen country. You should leave your application at least 7 days before starting on your journey, but it is advisable to do so earlier. 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.

The processing charge must be paid in cash when you leave your application, except in the case of bank transfers at Finland's missions abroad.

Refusal of a Visa

If the conditions for granting a visa are not fulfilled, your application will be refused. Should this happen you will receive a written notification of refusal. A refusal cannot be appealed.

A negative decision may be due to your not fulfilling the prerequisites. A visa may be refused if an applicant does not possess a valid travel document, does not have documents to prove the purpose and the conditions of his or her stay, does not have sufficient funds to cover his or her stay, or does not have the right of return to the country of departure or to continue to a third country. An applicant might also be prohibited from entering Finland or another Schengen country or might be considered a threat to the public order, national security or international relations of the country of destination.

Entry to Finland

Although a visa may be granted, the conditions of entry to Finland are re-evaluated on arriving in the country. If you require a visa you may also be expected to show, in addition to your visa, a valid travel document, insurance document for the duration of your stay and other documents related to your visa application. You must prove that you have sufficient funds (EUR 30 per day) for your stay and for your return journey or further travel. If you have a valid return ticket the amount of funds you are required to have with you will be less. You must not be under prohibition from entry to the country.

Other obstacles to entry would be if you were to constitute a threat to public order and security, public health, or Finland's relations with other countries. You can be refused entry if there is good reason to suspect that you intend to earn money dishonestly or to sell sexual services. These are the same conditions that apply concerning the approval or denial of a visa.

Extending a Visa

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 3 months within half year. In addition an applicant's travel insurance must be sufficient to cover the extended time.





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