Finnish Consulate Chicago – 5 Easy Steps to Apply for Finland Schengen Visa
Finland has a lot to offer its visitors. Picturesque villages and towns, stunning rivers and lake, not forgetting its islands which are great for getting out into nature. Then, there are the cities full of culture, art, historic monuments, and awe-inspiring architecture – it’s such a pleasure wandering around and seeing what you can discover next in this beautiful Schengen country! In this article learn more about how to apply for Finland visa at the Finnish consulate in Chicago, Illinois, Finland visa appointment booking, Processing time at the Finland visa application center, flight itinerary for Finland visa, hotel bookings for Finland visa, Schengen travel insurance for Finland visa application, and Finland Visa Application Process at the Chicago consulate.
Finland Schengen Visa
827,520 Finland Schengen visa applications were received during 2017 and 1.13% were rejected. There is no consulate of Finland in Chicago that deals with visa applications, and there is no data about the number of applications received through VFS Global.
Applying for Finland Schengen Visa from the United States
If you are living in the United States on a permanent basis, but you were not born in the country, you can still apply for a visa to travel to Finland. If you were born in the US, you do NOT need a Finland visa, as long as the duration is for a maximum of 90 days.
You have to make sure you apply at the right Finnish embassy and consulate. You can easily apply for a Finland visa from the United States is simple, but you need to know where to apply.
There are 3 Finnish visa missions in the US:
- The Embassy of Finland in Washington
- The Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles
- The Consulate General of Finland in New York
Plus, an Honorary Consulate in Chicago as well as other locations across the United States. These honorary consulates do NOT issue visas.
However, Finland visa applications are now dealt with by VFS Global, so you will submit your application through them.
If you go to VFS Global’s website, click on the country you are applying from – the United States – scroll down and choose the city you are located in or near. Choose Chicago if this is the area you are living in:
Although it will be VFS Global who receives your application, it is the consulate of Finland who processes your case and makes the decision as to whether to grant your visa or not.
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at VFS Global in Chicago
You can apply for 1 of 3 types of visa. The one you choose will depend on the duration of your trip to Finland:
- Schengen visa – up to 90 days for tourist, business, study, family reasons etc.
- National visa – over 90 days for work, student, residence etc. If you wish to apply for this type of visa, you will also need a residence permit. Check: http://residencepermits.finland.fi/ for further information
- Airport Transit visa – if you are transiting through a Schengen country airport. Please note, if you hold a B1/B2 visa, you can ONLY apply for this type of visa
Visas are issued as single, double, or multiple entry which means you are permitted to enter the country once, twice, or unlimited times respectively within the validity of the visa.
Schengen Visa Application Process at VFS Global in Chicago
The consulate usually takes 10 to 15 days to process visa applications. However, in some cases, it could take up to 30 days, and 60 days in exceptional circumstances. You should also allow an extra 2-3 days for your application to be sent to and from the consulate from VFS.
If you apply too late, VFS and/or the consulate will not rush your application through, so it’s best to apply well in advance of your trip – you can apply up to 90 days beforehand! If for some reason, you can’t apply that far ahead, you should aim to do so AT LEAST 15 days before your trip.
Before you apply, spend some time on VFS Global’s website for information regarding how to apply for your visa, the documents required, and the procedure. This will really help if you get stuck along the way, plus, it will save you time!
To help you apply for your Finland visa, here are a few more steps to help you:
Step 1: Make your appointment online
Making appointments with the embassy or visa application center is generally free and can be done yourself. However, If you are running short of time or not sure which consulate to apply to or have no idea on how to get this done yourself then not to worry, we will make the appointment for you for a small service fee!
Booking a visa appointment using our services is pretty simple! All you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the link to schedule the visa appointment
- Submit the appointment details, visa you are applying for, consulate you need the appointment for, the country you need the appointment IN and make the payment
- Receive appointment confirmation in email
You can also make an appointment by yourself. Go to VFS Global’s website, and click on: “Schedule an appointment”:
On the next page, click on the link:
And you will have to log in:
Or register as a new user:
You’ll then be able to make an appointment at VFS Global in Chicago in order to submit your application.
Step 2: Complete your application online
The next step is to complete an application form. Go to VFS’s website and click on: “Online application form” tab:
Click on the link:
Next, you’ll have to log on:
Or create a new account:
You’ll then be able to complete your application form. Remember to print it off at the end, because you’ll need to take it with you when you go to VFS Global to submit your application.
Step 3: Get your documents ready
There are useful document checklists that you can find on VFS Global’s website.
Just click on: “Schengen visas” and choose the visa you are applying for. It’s a good idea to take a look at the checklist for your type of visa before you begin step 3.
- Tourism checklist
- Business checklist
- Visiting family and friends checklist
- Sports, Culture, Conference and professional training checklist
- EU citizen’s family member checklist
- Family member of Finnish citizen checklist
- Transit checklist
You must submit everything required for the visa you are applying for. Some types of visas require more documentation, so this is why it’s really important to check before you start. Plus, having too much information is better than not having enough! Missing paperwork will result in your application being rejected.
You also need to prepare photocopies of everything, so don’t forget to do that.
Required documents include:
- Visa application form fully completed, dated and signed in relevant places
- Color photo – no older than 6 months. See the full guidelines for acceptable photos
- Valid passport or document with at least 3 months remaining after your trip, issued no longer than 10 years ago, with 2 free pages
- Copy of the ID page of your passport
- Green Card, US visa, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) valid for at least 3 months beyond your return to the US
- Schengen Travel Insurance – at least €30,000 for medical expenses, hospitalization and repatriation
- Proof of employment – letter from employer stating your name, role, length of employment, approval of leave/tax returns
- Proof of studies – I-20 etc., stating name, years of studies, and approval of absence
- Hotel booking and/or letter of invitation including the ID of the host
- Proof of travel plans – full itinerary etc.
- Flight booking
- Proof of financial means – 3 x bank statements or other proof of financial means
- Birth certificate with Apostille verification and parent’s passports (for minors)
- Letter of reference from your employer and/or invitation letter from the Finnish company
- Marriage certificate
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
Step 4: Attend your appointment at VFS Global
When the day of your appointment arrives, remember the following things:
- Arrive ahead of your scheduled appointment time at VFS Global – you won’t be the only one with a visa appointment that day, so if you arrive late, you will, more than likely, have to make a new appointment
- Remember to take ALL your documents – if you submit an incomplete application, including missing documents, your application will not be processed and/or it will be rejected
- Dress smartly – don’t dress too casually. Your aim should be to make a good impression
If VFS wish to know any further information, they may ask you interview questions like:
- What is the purpose of your visit?
- What education do you have?
- Are you married?
- How much pension do you get?
- How much will this trip to the Schengen zone cost?
Answer any questions put to you honestly and politely. Sometimes a simple yes or no will be enough. VFS need all the facts to be able to submit your application to the consulate for processing.
Don’t jeopardize your Schengen visa interview at the last minute. Use this comprehensive and thorough visa interview guide to crack the visa interview!
The fee for your visa can be paid in cash or by credit/debit card. VFS Global also charge a service fee of $37. The fees are non-refundable even if your application gets refused.
Finland visa fee
|Short-stay visas (categories A and C)||$70|
|Short-stay visas (categories A and C); age 6-12|
|Applicants of the following nationalities: Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania, Moldova, and Macedonia||$40|
If you submit your application in Chicago, there are no additional courier fees as long as you don’t want your application to be dispatched to the consulate on the same day as you submit it. However, if you do want this to happen, then you will pay a courier fee of $30. Likewise, once the consulate has processed your application, there will be an additional $30 if you wish them to return your passport to VFS on the same day. Hence, a total of $60, on top of the visa fee and VFS service fee.
You may also have to provide biometric data which involves a scan of your 10 fingerprints and a digital photograph.
Step 5: Receive your visa
You can track your application to find out whether there has been a decision. Go to VFS Global’s website and click on the “After submission” tab:
Enter your reference number and date of birth and click on: “Submit”:
When the consulate of Finland and reached a decision about your visa, they will return your passport to VFS Global in Chicago. You can:
- Collect your passport from VFS Global’s office in Chicago. You need to take the original receipt and a copy of your passport’s ID page
- Have your passport returned by courier service
The decision will be either:
- Approved – you will find your visa inside your passport
- Rejected – your visa application was refused for a reason
Typical rejection reasons include:
- You did not submit an invitation letter
- Your passport is damaged
- You applied for the wrong category of visa
- You did not include proof of accommodation
- Your photograph did not meet the required specifications
You must apply for the correct category of visa. For example, if you are planning on visiting family or friends, this is the category you should choose. If your passport is damaged in any way, such as missing pages etc., you must obtain a new one before applying for your visa. The photograph must meet international standards for acceptable photos for visa applications. You need to include ALL the relevant paperwork for your type of visa, including proof of accommodation and invitation letters.
Contact details for VFS Global in Chicago
Address: 142 E Ontario Street, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60611
Tel: +1 212 203 0023
Helpline Hours: 6:00am – 4:00pm PST/ 7:00am – 5:00pm MST / 8:00am – 6:00pm CST / 9:00am – 7:00pm EST
Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 3.00 pm (Visa appointments)
Monday to Friday, 4.00 pm to 5.00 pm (Passport collections)
Applying for your Finland visa is easy:
- Make an appointment online
- Complete your application online
- Get your documents ready
- Attend your appointment at VFS Global
- Receive your visa
Once you get to the end of these steps, you’ll have your visa and you can start to think about all the exciting things you are going to do in Finland!
At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa , Book Visa Appointment, Travel Guides, Visa Interview Guides and many more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.