One of the main concerns when preparing for any trip is related to the documents that are necessary to access the country to which you want to travel. The case of Finland is the same as the rest and, depending on your place of origin, you will need different documents to travel and enter the country.
Do I need a visa to go to Finland?
Citizens from member countries of the European Union and those belonging to the Schengen area do not need to apply for a visa to enter Finland.
Currently, a total of 26 countries are part of the Schengen area. These are Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland.
Even if you belong to one of these countries and, therefore, do not need a visa to travel to Finland, you will still need a passport or some other type of identification document that is accepted by the country’s authorities.
This travel document must be valid for at least 90 days after the planned date of departure from the Schengen area. In addition, it must be less than 10 years old.
If you do not need a visa, you can stay in the country for 90 days in any 180-day period. This applies to all countries that have signed the Schengen agreement.
Where and how do I apply for a visa to enter Finland?
You will need a visa if your country of origin does not belong to the Schengen area or does not have an agreement with Finland. In that case, you will have to go to the nearest Finnish embassy or to the visa centre indicated by it to apply.
The request must be made in person in all cases and those sent by email or fax are not accepted. Also, it is important to note that consulates cannot grant visas.
What documents do I need to apply for a visa?
In case you need a visa to enter the country, the documents you will need to attach to request it are the following:
- The visa application form completed and signed
- A color photograph in which you can be recognized.
- A valid passport for at least 3 months after the end of the trip.
- Travel insurance in force during the period of the validity of the requested visa.
- Supporting documents. These vary depending on the country of origin. Some examples of these documents are airline tickets, a hotel reservation confirmation, a private invitation letter, or an official invitation.
- Parental consent, in the event that the person travelling is a minor.
- An interview to find out the reason for the trip. This will be requested by the embassy only in cases where it is necessary.
What types of visa are there and which one do I have to apply for?
There are a total of five different visas that are valid in different situations, so you will have to choose the one that best suits your needs:
- Single entry visa: allows the holder to enter Finland once and stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
- Double-entry visa: allows entry to the country twice, it is valid within the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period.
- Multiple-entry visa: granted for several consecutive visits. This will be valid for a maximum of 5 years.
- Airport transit visa: allows the visa holder to transit through the international area of the airport during a stopover or change between two flights. This type of visa does not allow access to the national territory.
- Seasonal workers’ visa: although you normally need a residence permit to live in Finland, to do seasonal work you only need to obtain a visa. This can be obtained for a maximum of 90 days.
Documents needed to travel to Finland from a European country
So far we have seen the requirements to travel in general. However, each country has different conditions and the accepted identity documents may vary, so we are going to review some particular cases.
The citizens of those countries that are members of the European Union and adhere to the Schengen Agreement will not need to apply for any type of visa to enter Finland. However, there may be doubts about the documents accepted to travel to the country, so we are going to solve these questions.
Can I travel to Finland with my National ID card or do I need a passport?
Thanks to the Schengen area, European citizens do not need a visa to enter Finland, but they must have a valid identification document when arriving in the country. In the case of these countries, the Finnish government allows access with “an official identification card issued by the country to its own citizens”, that is, the national identity document is a valid and accepted form of identification if you travel to Finland.
The passport, both the ordinary and the diplomatic one, is also an accepted document at the border, so you will not have any problem if you travel with it. In fact, it is advisable to have both when travelling since it is a more standardized international document.
Finally, we share here the official and updated information offered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland related to visas and other permits necessary to access the country.
Do you have any questions about the documentation you need to travel to Finland? You can ask us in the comments. In addition, we encourage you to share this article on social networks using the icons that you will find just below if it has helped you.