If you are not eligible for visa free travel to Finland, you will need a visa, and to get one, you will need to book a Finland Schengen visa appointment with the embassy in your country. The process may seem cumbersome, but your experience will not be as stressful as you think if you have all the right information. Finland is one of the 27 countries in the Schengen zone that can issue this visa, but the applicant must meet the requirements before qualifying for it.
Finland is a Nordic country in Northern Europe with close historic ties to Sweden, Norway, and Greenland. Finnish citizens are among the happiest people on earth, taking the top spot for most of the last decade. The country is quite big and sparsely populated, with just over five million people. You will find thick forests and lakes in the east, and there are mountains for hiking and skiing ranges for lovers of outdoor sports. Summer months are few and far between, but people come out to enjoy the beaches as much as possible while they can. The country borders Sweden, Norway, and Russia and is rich in minerals and energy resources.
Who Needs A Visa?
Foreigners from nations not on the visa free list will need visas to enter Finland. This visa cannot be obtained in Finland, but outside Finland, so travelers must approach the Finnish embassy in their countries to get it before boarding a flight to Helsinki. Once they arrive at the airport, the immigration officials will request and examine the visa before they are allowed into the country.
Is The Visa Easy To Get?
A visa to Finland is easy to get. In fact, it is one of the top ten easiest visas one can apply for, as the country has a relatively low rejection rate of less than 5%. However, Finnish embassies receive a relatively low application rate compared to other countries in the zone.
Finland Schengen Visa Appointment
So you have decided to visit Finland for your holidays and need a visa; do you need an appointment, and how do you get one?
For starters, not everyone needs an appointment to get a visa to Finland. While an appointment is required for most countries, some embassies waive appointments. Secondly, some applicants can skip visa interviews because they are frequent visitors to Finland or government officials. But for most applicants, a Finland visa appointment is required, so what steps must be taken?
Locate The Embassy or Consulate: The first step is to locate the Finnish embassy or consulate in your country; once you know where the mission is, you will know where to visit once the appointment is approved.
Know The Process: Embassies operate differently, so you must know the process in your country. Do you book appointments by calling the embassy, sending them a mail, visiting in person, or booking through an agent? This is something you should know in advance.
Book The Appointment: Once you are sure of the process, you should book the appointment through the approved medium. A date will be scheduled for you, so set a reminder and prepare for it.
Prepare Your Documents: Prepare all the documents you need to comply with the visa requirements.
Attend The Visa Interview: Head to the embassy on the interview day as early as possible and wait your turn until you are called in to see the visa officer. The officer will collect your documents and examine each one. They will also ask you questions about your trip, such as why you want to go to Finland, the places you will visit and stay, your arrival and departure dates, including any vital information—endeavor to answer the questions as honestly as possible.
When Should I Expect The Visa?
The visa takes about 15 calendar days to process after the interview but may take longer, depending on several factors. Once the visa is ready, you will be asked to return to the embassy to pick up your visa.
The Documents You Will Need
Completed application form
Two recent passport photographs
Travel medical insurance
Proof of funds
Travel Itinerary and two way flight tickets
Civil status certificate
Proof of Accommodation
Visa fee receipt
Invitation letter, where applicable
Understand that these are standard documents, but additional documents may be requested. Do well to consult your country's Finnish embassy or consulate to know more.
Also, ensure you only submit valid documents, as fake or invalid documents will lead to rejections.
The same will be the case if you provide incomplete or inaccurate information.
The best time to book a Finland Schengen visa appointment is at least 3-4 weeks before the day you plan to travel.