Foreign nationals need to look for a visa agency in their country to determine the requirements of the Finnish government for visa applications. Below is a list of entry requirements for the following nationalities.
Finnish Passport and Visa
A visa is required of aliens when seeking entry into Finland, unless there has been a prior agreement as to the abolition of visas between countries.
Americans: US citizens need only an official passport to stay in Finland. The maximum allowable duration of US citizens in Finland without a visa is 3 months within a 6-month period.
United Kingdom Nationals: Passport holders of British origin need an official passport to stay in Finland for a maximum of 3 months within a 6-month period. UK citizens, overseas British Nationals, and British overseas territories citizens with residency rights in the UK do not need a visa.
Canadians: Canadian passport holders, similar to UK nationals and Americans, need only passports to enter or stay in Finland. The Finnish government does not require a visa for stays up to 3 months within a 6-month period.
Australians: Like any other nationality trying to enter Finland, Australian passport holders are not required a visa. The allowable stay without a visa is 3 months within a 6-month period.
South Africans: Citizens of South Africa need a Schengen visa and an official passport to enter and stay in Finland.
New Zealanders: The Finnish Immigration requires only a valid passport when entering Finland territory within a 3-month period. They are allowed to enter without applying for a visa.
Irish Nationals: The Finnish immigration allows Irish nationals to enter Finland without a visa, but they must present a valid passport. The duration of stay is the same as other nationalities mentioned above.
All travelers require the following:
• onward or return tickets;
• proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay;
• documents for the next destination; and
• passports valid for at least the duration or period of the intended stay.
Foreign nationals exempted from this rule are EEA citizens and residents of EU member states. The Schengen region, otherwise known as the “borderless region”, is composed of:
• Czech Republic;
• The Netherlands;
• Sweden; and
Nationals of all countries above are require by the Finnish government to have a standard “Schengen visa” when entering Finland. This visa may come with a multiple entry status. This also allows the visa holder to take a trip within the Schengen borders.
Working Holiday Visa
The Finnish Department of Foreign Affairs has working holiday agreements with New Zealand and Australia. This working holiday visa is valid for a year. To apply for the said visa, applicants:
• Must primarily go to the country for the purpose of a holiday;
• Should be between 18 to 30 years (inclusive of the age at the time of application);
• Must not be accompanied by dependent children or dependent relatives;
• Must not have been granted with a permission for a working holiday visa before the application;
• must have a valid passport;
• must present an onward or return ticket or proof of sufficient funds that can be used to purchase a return ticket;
• should hold a reasonable amount of funding for their protection or maintenance throughout their period of stay in Finland; and
• must be in good health without any communicable disease (the Finnish government will conduct a series of medical tests to determine the health of applicants).
As for working visas, residence permits would be needed by aliens seeking to have gainful employment in the country.
Visa Requirements for US Citizens
US citizens do not need to apply for a visa when they go to Finland for personal and business travels. Staying in this Schengen area should not exceed 90 days in a 6-month period. American visitors will need to tender a national passport valid for 3 months. US citizens must also present proof of sufficient funds for the whole duration of the stay as well as a return or onward airline ticket.
This visa is issued to nationals of the 24 member countries of the European Union. Issuance of a Schengen visa depends on the Consolate or Embassy of these countries. Holders of this visa are allowed to travel within all member countries while strictly following all rules and regulations of each destination country. Some rules and regulations vary with each country.
Visas issued on or before 20 December 2007 by new Schengen member states are only valid for new Schengen member countries and not for the entire Schengen region. The new Schengen countries are composed of:
• Czech Republic; and; and
The American Department of State facilitates the registration of US citizen travelers with the US Consulate or Embassy upon arrival in a foreign land. The purpose of registration helps the US Embassy to give main services for US citizens traveling or residing abroad. Some of the services provided by the US Embassy are:
• important safety and travel data about the region;
• arranging transportation services for evacuation whenever cases of civil unrest or natural disaster occurs;
• locating persons in cases of personal or family emergencies;
• a wide array of administrative services concerning documentation of personal files; and
• the issuance of replacement or new passports in cases of lost originals.
The US Embassy will not be able to provide these services without registration aid. Some of these services include situations involving time constraints and emergencies. Failure to comply with the registration will lead to such delays during tough times.
Visa Requirements for Non-US Citizens
• 2 passport-sized pictures
• 2 signed and fully completed visa application forms
• Completed credit card and cover page authorization forms
• A valid passport with at least three months validity beyond the intended stay
• Photocopy of itinerary or airline tickets
• Copy of the Resident Alien Card or Green Card notarized by a lawyer or any valid visa to the US
• Proof of a travel, accident or health insurance coverage
• The accident, health and travel insurance must be valid in Finland (the coverage should also be at least 25000 US dollars)
• Invitation letter with the name and address of the host
• If there is no invitation letter, be able to present the address as well as the name of your host or data of the reservation you made from a hotel in Finland
Notice for Visas Under Schengen States
Travelers to Europe on tourism and business purposes may get a short-stay visa with the duration of 1 up to 90 days. This type of visa is valid in all 24 Schengen countries. The Embassy or Consulate of one of the Schengen countries grants holders the right to travel within the borderless region. Nevertheless, the French Consulate or Embassy may only issue visas for French overseas departments or its territories and Monaco.
Immigration Rules and Regulations
Two acts are the main sources of the Finnish immigration law. These acts are the Nationality act and the Aliens Act.
Nationality Act – The new version of this act came into power on 1 June 2003. This new act replaced the Nationality Act of 1968 along with its amendments. The applied laws are in combination and accordance with the Administrative Judicial Procedure Act, Territorial Surveillance Act, and the Police Act.
The subordinate to the Interior Ministry or the Directorate of the Immigration issues instructions and decrees to give further information on how major immigration laws should be enforced and applied.
The right for a free movement outside the Schengen Area border is restricted for causes of public security, public health, or public order.
Business visits are subject to Schengen visa rules and regulations. Non-Schengen business visitors must have a valid passport, while Schengen Area nationals are only required to present documents providing personal information used to identify them. These documents are officially recognized as valid travel papers.
The Finnish government is very lenient among fellow European Union member states. Many EU countries share the same laws in terms of immigration. This also applies in Schengen Area countries. This may also be good news for visitors since they only have to apply for a Schengen visa to travel throughout 24 countries.
The citizens of Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Denmark (collectively known as the Nordic Pass countries) are not required to have a passport when entering Finland. Individuals for business meetings, conferences or any business agenda may enter Finland provided their intended duration of stay does not go beyond 90 days. This is cumulative in a 6-month period.