Finland is a part of the Schengen area. Countries belonging to the Schengen area have analogous visa requirements. Foreigners who want to travel to Finland for a short period of time, for example, to take a holiday, make a business trip or visit their relatives, will need a visa unless they are citizens of a visa-exempt country. A visa is an entry permit for a short-term and temporary stay, lasting no more than three months.
You can visit the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland or a Finnish Diplomatic Mission nearest to you, to find out whether you need a visa to travel to Finland or another country in the Schengen area.
Ministry for Foreign AffairsVisa requirement in the Schengen area and travel documents accepted by FinlandLink redirects to another website
The Finnish Border GuardInstructions for border crossingLink redirects to another website
Information for persons who are exempt from the visa requirement
You can travel to Finland or another Schengen country if you have a valid passport or another travel document approved by the Finnish authorities. You can stay in Finland or another country in the Schengen area for no longer than three months within a six month period, beginning from the day you arrive in the Schengen area.
Information for persons who are required to carry a visa
You must always have a visa when arriving in Finland or another country in the Schengen area. You can stay in Finland or another country in the Schengen area without a residence permit for the length of your visa’s validity. If you have a visa or residence permit for a Schengen country, you can travel within the Schengen area without a separate visa for the other countries in the area.
How to apply for a Schengen visa
Apply for a visa at the nearest Finnish Diplomatic Mission or visa application centre. You must be legally residing in the country in which you are applying for a visa. In countries that do not have a Finnish Diplomatic Mission, another country can represent Finland in matters regarding visas. In this case, you can apply for a visa at a Diplomatic Mission of this country. The website of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts a list of the countries in which another country represents Finland in matters regarding visas.
The visa must be applied for using the visa application form. These forms are available on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Diplomatic Missions of Schengen countries.
The number of enclosures required for the visa application may vary depending on the country of application. You can ask what enclosures are required for your visa application at a Diplomatic Mission.
The application must be submitted to the Finnish Diplomatic Mission or visa application centre at which you apply for the visa. The visa application cannot be submitted by e-mail or fax.
Ministry for Foreign AffairsApplying for a Schengen VisaLink redirects to another website
Ministry for Foreign AffairsCountries where another Schengen member state represents FinlandLink redirects to another website
Extending a visa in Finland
The police may extend the residence time marked in your visa or the visa’s validity, if you are unable to leave Finland for a justifiable reason when your visa expires. Justifiable reasons for a visa extension include, for example:
- unexpected serious illness that prevents travelling
- the unexpected serious illness or death of a relative living in Finland
- cancellation of a flight due to a strike or bad weather
- the continuation of important business negotiations for a longer period than expected
Help in case of an emergency
Diplomatic missions aid the citizens of their countries who encounter emergencies in Finland. They can assist you if you are involved in an accident, succumb to an illness or fall victim to an offence, for example. A mission can provide you with a new passport if you have lost your passport or if it has been stolen. If you are in Finland as a tourist and you encounter a difficult situation, contact your country’s diplomatic mission.