Finnish Consulate Houston – 5 Easy Steps to Apply for Finland Schengen Visa
Known locally as the land of a thousand lakes, Finland is a Schengen country has over 180,000 beautiful lakes. Not only is the countryside a great place to explore, Finland’s cities and towns are also interesting places to visit. You’ll find medieval castles and other impressive buildings, a great art and music scene, and some delicious food and drinks to enjoy at the end of a fabulous day of sightseeing. In this article learn more about how to apply for Finland visa at the Finnish consulate in Houston, Texas, 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 Houston embassy.
Finland Schengen Visas
827,520 Finland Schengen visa applications were received during 2017 and 9,337 (1.13%) were rejected. There was no data about how many applications were received by VFS Global in Houston.
Applying for a Finland Schengen Visa from the United States
If you are a US citizen and you are planning on going to Finland, you do NOT need a visa to be able to enter the country as long as your stay is up to 90 days. If you were not born in the US, but you live there permanently, you DO need a visa for Finland.
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
You have to make sure you apply at the right Finnish embassy and consulate. There is no consulate in Houston, but you can still apply if you reside in Houston. Visa applications have been outsourced to VFS Global, so you may submit your application through their Houston office.
There are several VFS Global offices located in the US, so you can check their website for details if you live in any other area. Click on: “United States”, scroll down and choose the city you are located in or near:
Although it will be VFS Global who receives your application, it is processed by the consulate of Finland who will decide whether to grant your visa or not.
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at VFS Global in Houston
There are 3 types of visas that you may apply for and the one you need will be determined by the duration of your trip and why you wish to visit Finland:
- Schengen visa – up to 90 days for tourist, business, study, family reasons etc.
- Airport Transit visa – for transiting through the international zone of the airport. Please note, if you hold a B1/B2 visa, you can ONLY apply for this type of visa
- National visa – over 90 days for work, study, residence etc. If you wish to apply for this type of visa, you will also need a residence permit. Check the website of the Embassy of Finland for further information. Study and employment-based national visas have been outsourced to VFS Global, so you should check their website for more information. If you are applying for a National visa for any other reason, you should contact the Finnish Immigration Service
When you apply for your visa, you can choose the number of times it is possible to enter the country. For example:
- Single entry – you can enter once
- Double entry – you can enter twice
- Multiple entry – you can enter as many times as you like (within the dates of the visa)
Schengen Visa Application Process at VFS Global in Houston
Visa applications are processed in 10-15 days, although it could take longer depending on the type of visa you are applying for and your nationality. In addition, it takes an extra 2-3 days for your application to be sent to and from the consulate, so take account of this too.
There is no rush processing available, so you should apply at least 15 days ahead of your trip. You can apply up to 90 days before, so don’t leave it too late.
Here are a few steps to help you apply for your Finland visa:
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 following the below steps:
- Go to VFS Global’s website, and click on: “Schedule an appointment”:
- On the next page, click on the link:
- You will need to register as a new user if this is your first time using the system:
- Then, you can log in:
You’ll then be able to make an appointment at VFS Global in Houston in order to submit your application.
Step 2: Complete your application online
The next step is to complete your application form. Go to VFS’s website and click on: “Online application form”:
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
Before you begin to get your documents ready, take a look at VFS Global’s website as there are useful document checklists which tell you what you need for your type of visa. It’s your responsibility to get this part of the procedure right. Incomplete applications will be 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
- Color photo – taken no longer than 6 months ago. See the full guidelines for acceptable photos
- Passport or other travel documents valid for at least 3 months beyond your trip. Issued within the last 10 years and 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 trip
- Schengen Travel Insurance – at least €30,000 for medical expenses, hospitalization and repatriation
- Employer’s letter stating your name, role, length of employment, approval of leave/tax returns
- Confirmation of your student status – I-20 etc., confirming your name, how long you have been studying and approval of absence
- Hotel booking and/or invitation letter including ID of host
- Full itinerary as proof of travel plans
- Flight reservation
- 3 x bank statements or other proof of sufficient funds
- Birth certificate with Apostille verification and parent’s passports (for minors)
- Reference letter from your employer and/or letter of invitation 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 early – if you are late, you will have to make a new appointment and this could delay your travel plans
- Remember to take ALL your documents – if you forget to submit anything, your application cannot be processed and you may have to make a new appointment
- Dress smartly – if you dress too casually this will not make a good impression
You may be questioned further about your application. If this happens, simply answer politely and truthfully.
- Why are you traveling to Finland?
- What do you know about the country or the European Union?
- What is your job in the US?
- Are you meeting anyone in Finland?
- How will you pay for your trip?
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 regardless of the outcome of your application.
Finland visa fee
|Type of Visa||Fee in USD|
|Children, 6 to 11 years old||$40|
|Children, 0 to 5 years old||$0|
|Visa for citizens of Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, and Russia||$40|
There may be other applicants who do not have to pay the fee. Check VFS Global’s website for further information.
If you submit your application in Houston, your application will be dispatched the following Wednesday to the consulate for processing without having to pay any additional courier fee. However, if you need your application to be dispatched on the same day that you submit it, you will be required to pay an additional courier fee of $30.
After the consulate has processed the application, your passport will be returned to VFS in Houston the following Wednesday. If you need the consulate to dispatch it on the same day it has been processed, you will be required to pay an additional fee for the courier of $30. Therefore, the total courier fees would be $60.
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
After your application has been submitted, you have the opportunity of tracking your application. Go to VFS Global’s website and click on: “Track your application”:
Enter your reference number and date of birth and click on: “Submit”:
When a decision has been reached regarding your visa application, you can collect your passport from VFS Global in Houston or you can arrange for it to be sent back to you via courier.
The decision will be either:
- Approved – you will find your visa inside your passport
- Rejected – your visa application was refused for a reason
- No letter of invitation – if you are being invited to go to Finland by a person or a company, you need to provide a letter of invitation
- You already have a valid Schengen visa – if you have a previous Schengen visa, i.e. it is still valid for up to 90 days, you do not need to apply for a new one
- Passport is damaged – if your passport is damaged in any way, e.g. it has missing or loose pages, you need to obtain a new one before applying for your visa
- Purpose of your trip is not clear – the reason why you wish to go to Finland must be clear and you can prove this by providing documents such as a travel itinerary or proof of registration on a course etc
Contact details for VFS Global in Houston
Address: 2425 West Loop S, Suite 330, Houston, TX 77002
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
Visa appointments – Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 3.00 pm
Passport collection – Monday to Friday, 4.00 pm – 5.00 pm
All you need to do to apply for your Finland visa is:
- Make an appointment online
- Complete your application online
- Get your documents ready
- Attend your appointment at VFS Global
- Receive your visa
Then, you’ll be able to start the countdown to your epic trip to 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.
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