Finnish Consulate SFO, San Francisco – 5 Easy Steps to Apply for Finland Schengen Visa
Wherever you go in Finland, you won’t be disappointed – there is something for everyone in this beautiful Schengen country. Head to the south for its coastline and capital city or the west for the old city of Turku. In the east are stunning lakes and forests and in the north, you have beautiful expanses of snow and wilderness. The country is just waiting for you to explore it! In this article learn more about how to apply for Finland visa at the Finnish consulate in San Francisco, California, 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 SFO embassy.
Finland Schengen Visa
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 San Francisco.
Applying for a Schengen Visa from the United States
If you are planning to go to Finland you may need a visa. As a general rule, US citizens do not need a visa to be able to go to Finland for a maximum of 90 days. If you are not a US citizen, but you live in the United States on a permanent basis, you do need to arrange a visa for traveling to Finland.
In order to apply from the United States, you need to know where you can apply for your visa application. 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 San Francisco, but you can still apply if you reside in this region. Visa applications have been outsourced to VFS Global, so you may submit your application through their office in San Francisco.
If you live in any other area, you can check VFS Global’s website for information about where to apply. 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 the consulate of Finland who will review and ultimately decide whether to accept or reject your application.
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at VFS Global in San Francisco
The visa you will apply for will depend on how long you are planning on going to Finland for and your reason for traveling there. You have the option of applying for 1 of 3 types of visas:
- Schengen visa – up the purposes of tourism, business, study, family reasons etc., for stays of up to 90 days
- Airport Transit visa – if you are waiting for a connecting flight and you will not leave 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 – for the purposes of work, study, residence etc., for stays exceeding 90 days. If you wish to apply for a National visa, you will also need a residence permit. Check the website of the Embassy of Finland for further information. National visas for study and employment purposes 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 entries into Finland. 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 (during the dates of the visa)
Schengen Visa Application Process at VFS Global in San Francisco
It takes between 10-15 days for your visa application to be processed, however, certain cases could take longer. You should also take account of the fact that it will take an extra 2-3 days for your application to be sent to and from the consulate. You can apply up to 90 days before your departure date, so apply well in advance. There is no rush processing available, so you should apply at least 15 days ahead of time.
To help you apply for your Finland visa, follow these 5 simple steps:
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 on your own by following the steps below:
- Go to VFS Global’s website, and click on: “Schedule an appointment”:
- On the next page, click on the link:
- Next, register as a new user if you have never used this system before:
- Then, you can log in and choose a convenient day and time for your appointment:
Step 2: Complete your application online
Step 2 is to complete your application form. Go to VFS’s website and click on: “Online application form”:
Click on the link:
Or create a new account:
You’ll then be able to complete your application form. Once you’ve completed it, print it off and sign it. Don’t forget to take it with you for your appointment at VFS Global.
Step 3: Get your documents ready
It’s your responsibility to prepare all the required documents for your visa application. Different types of visas have different requirements, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what is needed for the type of visa you are applying for. VFS Global has document checklists available, so check these before you start this step:
You need to provide original documents and you also need to photocopy everything, so remember to do that before you submit your application.
Required documents include:
- Application form – completed in full, signed and dated
- Passport-sized photo – taken within the last 6 months. See the full guidelines for acceptable photos
- Passport or another travel document with at least 3 months remaining after your return to the US, issued within the last 10 years and it must have at least 2 free pages
- Copy of your passport’s ID page
- Old/expired passports with previous Schengen visas (if applicable)
- Green Card, US visa, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) valid for at least 3 months after your return to the US
- Schengen Travel Insurance – with cover for at least €30,000 for medical expenses, hospitalization and repatriation for the entire duration of your trip
- A short declaration of your travel plans
- Letter from your employer verifying your name, your job role, length of employment, approval of leave OR latest tax return and business license (if self-employed)
- Confirmation of student status – I-20 etc., verifying your name, duration of studies and approval of absence
- Hotel reservation and/or invitation letter including your host’s ID
- Full travel/tour itinerary
- Return flight reservation
- Proof of sufficient funds – last 3 bank statements
- Birth certificate with Apostille verification and parent’s passports (for minors)
- Letter of reference 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 you attend your appointment at VFS Global, arrive early, remember ALL of your paperwork and dress smartly. By doing these things, it will give you the best chance of a successful outcome. The last thing you want is to have your appointment rescheduled and/or your application rejected.
It shouldn’t take too long at VFS Global because you will simply be handing over your application to them and paying the fee. Once the consulate receives your application, they may ask you to attend an interview where they can question you further about your application. If this happens, comply with their requests politely and answer any questions honestly.
- Have you ever been to an EU country before?
- What are your plans in Finland?
- Do you know anyone there?
- What will you do when you return to the US?
- Do you have any children?
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. In addition, there is a service fee of $37 which you will pay to VFS Global along with the fee for your visa. These fees are non-refundable even if your application gets rejected.
|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 circumstances where you might not have to pay the fee. Check VFS Global’s website for further information.
If you submit your application in San Francisco, your application will be dispatched every Wednesday to the Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles without having to pay any additional courier fee. If you need your application to be dispatched on the same day of submission (excluding Wednesday), you will be required to pay an additional courier fee of $30.
After the Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles has processed the application, your passport will be returned to the VFS office the following Wednesday. If you need the consulate to dispatch it on the same day of processing (excluding Wednesday) you will be required to pay an additional fee for the courier of $30.
Therefore, if you choose the same day courier service both ways, the additional fee will 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 you have submitted your application, you can track it. 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 your visa application has been processed, you have the option of collecting your passport from VFS Global in San Francisco OR you can have it sent to your home address by courier.
There are 2 outcomes:
- Approved – you will find your visa inside your passport
- Rejected – your visa application was refused for a reason
Typical rejection reasons include:
- No birth certificate – birth certificates must be provided if the visa applicant is a minor (under 18 years of age)
- Lack of funds – the consulate have doubts as to whether you can afford your trip, so you must provide sufficient evidence that you can do so
- Hotel reservation has not been submitted – you must provide hotel reservation (s) with your visa application. There are no exceptions
- A written declaration of travel plans not included – you must provide a short, written statement of what you intend to do in Finland
Contact details for VFS Global in San Francisco
Address: 110 Sutter Street, Floor 5, San Francisco – 94104
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
Hours: Visa appointments – Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 3.00 pm; Passport collection – Monday to Friday, 4.00 pm – 5.00 pm
5 very easy steps to apply for your Finland visa:
- Make an appointment online
- Complete your application online
- Get your documents ready
- Attend your appointment at VFS Global in San Francisco
- Receive your visa
Once you have your visa, you can turn your attention to your fabulous Finnish adventure!
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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