Finland Visas, Permits and Immigration

by Jose Marc Castro on August 11, 2009

VISAfinland200Foreign 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:

•    Belgium;
•    Austria;
•    Denmark;
•    Finland;
•    Czech Republic;
•    Estonia;
•    France;
•    Greece;
•    Iceland;
•    Italy;
•    Germany;
•    Hungary;
•    Latvia;
•    Malta;
•    Luxembourg;
•    Lithuania;
•    Poland;
•    Norway;
•    The Netherlands;
•    Slovenia;
•    Spain;
•    Slovakia;
•    Sweden; and
•    Portugal.

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.

Schengen Visa

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:

•    Lithuania;
•    Estonia;
•    Poland;
•    Latvia;
•    Hungary;
•    Slovakia;
•    Malta;
•    Czech Republic; and; and
•    Slovenia.


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.

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

simon ringia December 1, 2009 at 3:27 pm

i would like to ask if is possible for non citezen to change the visa from tourist visa to a student visa within finland after getting admision latter


MUSSA S ABDALLAH December 17, 2009 at 8:43 am



rajbi June 14, 2010 at 5:33 am

hi m.s. abdallah, assalamualiekum , how are u,why are u interested in polland


samer basta January 26, 2010 at 10:10 am

I want to live and work in FINLAND . I am Egyptian physiotherapist.what can i do? thanks


B trivedi February 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I want to check the possibilities for migrating to Finland………or any other european country……… a special catagory under sexual freedom…….like gay……………


Atoh Samuel Tayong March 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I am a Cameroonian who has already applied for an MA degree program in Creative Business Management in the Helsinki School of Arts and Design. I am still waiting for my invitation letters. What else am I to add to that to present at the embassy. Please tell me where I can apply for the visa when time comes because I know you donot have an embassy in Cameroon.


athilt18 December 3, 2012 at 5:22 am

you cannot apply for a visa until you have all the papers from the university you need to show to the offices. and if there is not embassy in your area, you have to find one in your neighbour areas of even countries. My husband had to go to India to apply for his visa since there is not a finnish embassy in my country.


harpreet singh March 12, 2010 at 6:54 am

i m doing advanc diploma of hospitailty management in austrailia i m doing volaniteir job in this filed from 1 year i m indian i want live and work in finland . how can i apply to work or migrate my self to finland . thanx


gursewak singh May 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm

i m from india and working as govt school teacher as social studies master. how can apply for finland what are chances for me .


Deepak Kumar Jaiswal May 8, 2010 at 10:05 am

i m from Nepal and working as a science teacher. how can i apply for Finland. what r the chances for me


indubar khanal May 26, 2010 at 8:33 am

i m from Nepal and I want to a Migrate finland for only work .. Now I am working as testing my personal medicine shop . I hve been experience for 4 year . I had studied in 1 year voccaasional traning in medicin(community medical asistant in CTEVT). I am hearing impaired who want to work in finland .. How to steps for Migrate finland ? Is Migrate finland find out a good job for me ? Is migrate finland sponsor me Residence house ? I have not money for Residence infinland ? How ? please help me .. how can i apply for Finland.


shehryar iqbal August 9, 2010 at 4:29 am

hi, i am a pakistani doctor mbbs, wants to be in finland, on settlement or work permit of any kind. plz help…..


Asif Bhatti February 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm

For the doctors Finnish language would be the primary requirement to get in to the job market. Most suitable way according to my knowledge would be to apply for some relevant course in Finland. Once you are here it would be lot more easier to settle.


athilt18 December 3, 2012 at 5:25 am

As the other responder have said that the language is a barrier. You cannot apply to jobs in finland, you have to apply to certain programs such as PHD or MSCs and after you are done with that course, they will automatically offer you jobs and by that time, you can apply for your residence permit and it takes around a year to have it all done. let me know if you need any information regarding this.


rami August 18, 2010 at 10:08 am

Hi,I am a palestinian pharmacist,want to stay and live in finland what should i do?



Asif Bhatti February 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Apply for a suitable course, Admission are open now a days.


aamir November 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm

i have a work perment in spain .But i like to live in finland and i like to work perment in findland .What should i do?


Thisara November 25, 2010 at 7:49 am

I am a sri lanken. 32 yers of age and i like to live and work in finland. what are the possibilities availabele. I am a management graduate and have work experience about more that five years.


A K Sharma March 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

i have came to finland on 5th march our visa no 009246013 valid for 90 days from05.03.11 to programme is as under:__arrived at helsinki at 15.00 hrs by AY 22,Departure on 28th my by AY 5 at 14.10 hrs,Arrival on 28th August 2011,Deprture from Helsinki byAY 21 at 20.10 hrs on 28th itself.__Now I want to stay upto 31st August and leave helsinki on 31st by AY 21 at 20.10 hrs.I DO NOT THINK THERE SHOULD BE ANY PROBLEM since my visa is a multiple entry visa for 90 days upto 31.08.2011.In this case also my total stay in finland remains 89 days i.e 27 days in march,30 days in april,27 days in may and 04 days in August 2011.__ kindly confirm so that I can modify my air ticket of finair from 28 to 31st august.__


A K Sharma March 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm

My finland's multy e fin air.regards.ntry 90 days visa no.009246013 valid from 05.03.2011 to 31.08.2011.ireached on 5th will leave on 27 may again reach on 28th august and leave on 28th itself total stay of 86 only modificatio i want is change of my depature from 28th to 31st with a total stay of 89 days.i do not think there is any problem.kindly confirm so that ican revise my reservation by


Anna July 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Hi,I;m from Philippines.I would like to work and live in Finland even temporarily but I don't know how to do it..I have a sister who married a Suomi and learned that Finland is a very clean and honest citizen society..I studied a bit of the language but didn't succeed yet.I worked as a carer abroad before..Anybody from Finland can help me to work in one of your nursing homes?I'm female,47 years old single..please advice!


tahar September 12, 2011 at 11:13 am

Hi i am an algerian student in the departement of english what are my chances to travel to finland and continuie my studies there thankyou.


Jesus Martinez January 31, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Hola , I'm from Honduras and I will love to learn finnish , I been there twice in Helsinki , and I want to know if I can get the student visa just to learn the language! Kitos


Muna girl March 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Presently am in italy,i studied nursing in my country nigeria.I have acknowledged my certificate with italian minister of health i am now registered as a nurse here,but presently am not working.I will like to know how nursing job function in finland,whether i still need to acknowledge my certificate before i could start working as a nurse because i wish to work in an english speaking country .thanks for your response.


sam April 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I am 40 and having 18 years of accounting and finance experience having MBA from US university want to settle in Finland. kindly Guide how I will go their and settle


Kayode Oluwaojebi July 3, 2012 at 10:42 am

I am a Nigerian (Accountant by Profession) and I want to live and have my Masters Degree course in Finland. I am married with two girls of ages 3+ and 4 months+. I specifically wanted to live in Finland because i want a very good education for my kids which I know is readily available in Finland. How can you please be of help?


Jeri July 9, 2012 at 1:56 am

I am 40 and I already finished my studies here in New Zealand which is Diploma in Professional Cookery Level 5 (NZQA Recognized), The City and Guilds of London Institute (Level 2 IVQ Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking – Culinary Arts) and Food Safety Hygiene. I have work experiences here in New Zealand working in bars, bistros and restaurants as a chef. I wish to work there in Finland and migrate in the near future. Could you kindly enlighten me on how will I pursue this. Thank you very much and have a lovely day.


HIMANSHU September 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

i am from india and i have done higher secondary from science and i want a job in finland can i get work visa and what will be the charges of that per month?


JOSEPH October 15, 2012 at 12:07 am

i a registered nurse from nigeria. Is there job opportunity for me in finland?


Jaime November 1, 2012 at 6:27 am

Hi I'm from the phil .my girlfriend is from Helsinki ,how can I get visa so that I stay in Finland with her,thanks for the advice


A.I.K. May 31, 2013 at 9:25 am

I am permanent (Large-duration) (non-euu citizen) resident of Spain. What kind of are fixed to me? Can I have temporary short-term (3 months) work permission?, etc……Please let me inform accurate information….Thanks.


Nambatya Betty June 16, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Am Betty , A Ugandan with a Bachelor in Arts but i would like to master in MBA and work in Fin land, please any opportunity that can be offered to me?


Muhammad Kashif June 19, 2014 at 8:14 am

hello. i am working at public sector university as a Accountant. i want to live Finland. kindly guide me for settle in finland


asghar mehmoof October 7, 2014 at 10:43 am

Hi I am general physician with 10 yrs experience in general mdicine and my wife wd same qualufication with an additionl MRCOG 1 exemption certificate from u.k n 2 yrs postgraduate training in gynae and obs and she is with more than 7 yrs experience in gynae field.can we both apply for visa to finland and work there as doctors in our respective fields??please guide us accordingly


asghar mehmoof October 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

Right now we both working in pakistan with MBBS degree from pakistan and having nationality of the same country,Pakistan.


asghar mehmood October 7, 2014 at 10:50 am

Hi I am general physician with 10 yrs experience in general mdicine and my wife wd same qualufication with an additionl MRCOG 1 exemption certificate from u.k n 2 yrs postgraduate training in gynae and obs and she is with more than 7 yrs experience in gynae field.can we both apply for visa to finland and work there as doctors in our respective fields??please guide us accordingly.dr asghar pakistan


Arjun January 6, 2015 at 10:53 am

i am a international student, so what should i need to do, to apply in depended visa for my partner?


njualem January 16, 2015 at 4:00 am

hi to u al i am a teacher in cameroon looking to finland but i don’t no how to go about it plis help me


Mirza Sarfaraz March 31, 2015 at 10:11 am


I am Indian & mechanical engineer want to migrate finland.

If it possible please reply me by email thank you.


Sajjad ahmed August 26, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Hi,I am MPhil in mathematics and teaching mathematics since last ten years I want to live and work in Finland, anybody there to guide me to go Finland from Pakistan


RAHEEL AKRAM January 30, 2018 at 2:15 am

I’m PhD. holder “Chemist” from Beijing university of chemical technology, China, in addition, Currently i am doing work as post doctorate fellow in China, I’m 32 old, married with 1 baby and have 5 years experience as academic lecture within higher education institutions. Now, i am looking a post as doctorate fellow in Finland, how can I immigrate to Finland?


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