Finnish Embassy Washington DC – 5 Easy Steps to Apply for Finland Schengen Visa
Sharing borders with Russia, Norway, and Sweden, Finland is full of wonderful things – small charming towns, located on beautiful lakes, and hundreds of islands just offshore. There’s music, arts, and museums, not forgetting the impressive castles and cathedrals. There’s a huge area of pristine countryside including the infamous Lapland where you can spot reindeer or visit Santa in his home! It really is an extraordinary Schengen country! In this article learn more about how to apply for Finland visa at the Finnish embassy in Washington DC, Finland visa appointment booking, Processing time at the Finnish 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 Washington DC embassy.
Applying for Finland Schengen Visa from the United States
If you are a US citizen by birth, you do NOT need a visa to go to Finland. However, if you are a non-US citizen, currently living in the US on a permanent basis, you DO need a visa for Finland.
Applying from the United States is simple, all you need to do is apply at the Finnish Embassy or one of the consulates located in the US.
If you live in the states of Washington, Maryland or Virginia you can apply at the Embassy of Finland in Washington DC.
If you live in any other area, you need to apply at the consulate in Los Angeles or New York. Check the jurisdiction map on the Embassy’s website for more information:
Just click on your area and the system will redirect you to the correct office where you can apply.
Finland Schengen Visa
827,520 Finland Schengen visa applications were received during 2017 and 1.13% were rejected. The embassy in Washington DC did not process any applications during 2017. It was the consulate in New York that received 548 applications and rejected just 57.
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at the Embassy of Finland in Washington DC
Depending on how many days you plan to go to Finland for will determine which type of visa you apply for:
- Schengen visa – for stays up to a maximum of 90 days for tourist, business, study, family reasons etc.
- National visa – for stays over 90 days for work, student, residence etc. (Please note, you will probably need a residence permit for longer stays, so go to http://residencepermits.finland.fi/ for further information)
- Airport Transit visa – if you are transiting through a Schengen country airport
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 the Finnish Embassy in Washington DC
The processing of Schengen visa applications for Finland has been outsourced to VFS Global, so you can submit your application to their office in Washington. Although VFS Global will receive your application, the decision lies with the Consulate General of Finland in New York.
The embassy takes around 10 to 15 days to process Schengen visa applications, although this could increase to 30 or as many as 60 days depending on the circumstances of the application. There is no rush processing available, so it’s best to apply at least 15 days ahead of your trip. You can apply up to 90 days ahead, so don’t leave it too late
Before you apply, spend some time on the Embassy of Finland’s website to understand what you need to do and what documents are required to be submitted along with your visa application. It is not up to the embassy to tell you, it’s down to you to get everything right.
Alternatively, you can check the pages of VFS Global’s website which has comprehensive information on applying for a Schengen visa. Click on the country you wish to apply from and scroll down and choose: “Washington”:
Then click on: “How to apply” and you will find a step-by-step guide:
- Step 1 – Prepare your application and supporting documents
- Step 2 – Book an appointment to visit the Visa Application Center
- Step 3 – Submit your application and submit biometric data
- Step 4 – Make a payment at the Visa Application Center
To help you apply for your Finland visa, follow these steps, albeit in a slightly different order from the above guide, to make the process easier than ever.
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 appointments 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 in order to submit your application.
Step 2: Complete your application online
You’ll need to complete an application form and VFS Global has one you can complete online. Go to their 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. In the end, print it off and take it with you when you visit VFS Global.
Step 3: Get your documents ready
Before you get your documents ready, you should really have a look at VFS Global’s website for the requirements for your type of visa. You can also check the website of the Embassy of Finland in Washington DC for the same information.
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:
If you submit your application with missing documents, the embassy will not be able to process it and it will be handed back to you. Also, it’s important to be able that you have to provide originals AND photocopies.
Documents to get ready include:
- Visa application form fully completed, dated and signed in sections 37 and on the past page
- Color photo – maximum 6 months old, light background, and neutral expression. See the full guidelines for acceptable photos
- Valid passport or document with at least 3 months remaining after the journey, issued within the last 10 years, and 2 free pages
- Copy of the passport ID page
- Green Card, US visa, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) valid for at least 3 months past trip
- Schengen Travel Insurance to cover €30,000 for medical expenses, hospitalization, and repatriation. Valid for entire duration of the trip and in Schengen/EU/worldwide area
- Proof of employment – an official letter stating name, job role, length of employment, approval of leave/tax returns
- Proof of studies – I-20 or official document stating name, years of studies, and approval of absence
- Hotel reservation or invitation letter with the host’s ID
- Written clarification of travel plan
- Airline reservation
- Proof of funds – 3 x bank statements or other proof of funds
- Birth certificate with Apostille verification and parent’s passports (for minors)
- Reference letter from 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
On the day of your appointment, arrive early to the VFS Global office in Washington DC. If you are late, it could mean that you may have to reschedule your appointment. Dress the part too, it always helps to make a statement to the visa staff that you are serious about wanting to get a visa for Finland. More importantly, remember to take ALL your documents, including photocopies.
The visa staff will take a look at your application and they may ask you for more information if they feel this is necessary. They could ask you visa interview questions like:
- What is your salary?
- Are you going to Finland for the first time?
- What are your plans in Finland?
- Do you know anyone in any of the Schengen countries?
- What does your spouse do?
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 make an additional charge of $37 for providing their service. 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|
|Reduced fee for applicants of the following nationalities: Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania, Moldova, and Macedonia||$40|
You may also have to provide biometric data as part of your application which involves a scan of your 10 fingerprints and a digital photograph.
Step 5: Receive your visa
Once you have submitted your application, you have the option of tracking it and you can do this by going to VFS Global’s website and clicking on: “After submission”:
Scroll down and click on the link to track your application:
Enter your reference number and date of birth and click on: “Submit”:
When a decision about your visa has been made, the Consulate General of Finland will return your passport to VFS Global and you can collect it from the VFS office. You have 30 days to collect your passport from VFS. If you don’t do so within this time, your passport will be returned to the consulate and you have an additional 30 days to collect it from them.
When you collect your documents from VFS Global, you need to take the original receipt (ICR) and a copy of the ID page of your passport (stapled to the receipt).
If you don’t want to collect your passport or are unable to do so, you can arrange for your passport to be mailed back to you, but you’ll need to pay a courier fee of $30 when you submit your file.
If your visa application has been approved, you’ll find it attached to one of your passport pages. If it has been rejected, it would have been for a specific reason. Applications get rejected for all sorts of reasons, including:
- You have been involved in criminal actions in the past
- Your employment and income does not match
- Passport is older than 10 years
- Flight booking missing
- Unacceptable birth/marriage certificate
If the embassy feels that you could be a threat to the public due to anything you have been involved with in the past, they will deny your application. Your employment status and income must match and your documents should prove this. If your passport is older than 10 years, you must get a new one before applying for your visa. All documents must be submitted, including flight bookings and if you need to provide a birth/marriage certificate, they should be endorsed by the relevant authorities and/or translated into English, if applicable.
Contact details for VFS Global in Washington DC
Address: 1025 Vermont Avenue NW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20005
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)
Contact details for the Finnish Embassy in Washington DC
Address: 3301 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Tel: +1 202 298 5800
Fax: +1 202 298 6030
Monday to Friday, 9.00 am – 12.00 pm and 1.00 pm – 4.15 pm (Office hours)
Monday and Wednesday, 1.00 pm – 3.00 pm (Telephone inquiries)
As VFS Global will receive your visa application, it’s best to contact them for inquiries regarding your visa application
When you apply for your Finland Schengen visa, just follow these steps for a stress-free experience:
- Make an appointment online
- Complete your application online
- Get your documents ready
- Attend your appointment at VFS Global
- Receive your visa
Once you receive your visa and passport, you can turn your attention to preparing for your trip to Finland – let the adventure begin!
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.