Do Russians need a visa to Finland?
Travels to Finland are very popular among Russians, especially among residents of St. Petersburg. This Scandinavian country attracts tourists not only by its close proximity to Russia, but also by the opportunity to travel from there to Europe without obtaining additional visas. Until September 2019 there was a simplified procedure for Russians to obtain an entry document. But even after its abolition, obtaining a visa to Finland will not be difficult, even if you do it yourself.
Finland – is Schengen or not
In 2001, Finland joined the Schengen Agreement. Therefore, the Russians must have a visa to enter the country. It not only allows you to stay in Finland, but also to visit other countries belonging to the Schengen zone during the period for which the document was issued.
What kind of visa is needed in Finland
Russian citizens entering Finland must have a valid visa for any Schengen country. But it is important to remember: the entry document is issued in the country where you plan to spend more time than in any other.
How much does the Finnish visa cost in St. Petersburg – the price in the consulate and the visa center
No matter where the visa is issued, you have to pay the fee. For citizens of the Russian Federation and children older than 6 years it is 35 €. Urgent visa will cost twice as much – 70 €.
Some categories of citizens are exempt from the visa fee:
- children, if they are under 6 years old,
- close relatives of an EU citizen,
- pupils and accompanying teachers if the purpose of the trip is study,
- scientists, who come to the country for scientific research and participation in seminars and conferences,
- young participants of sports, cultural and educational events organized by non-commercial organizations.
If the visa is issued through a visa center a service charge of 27,20 € is also paid. This fee is waived for children under 6 years.
Schengen visa to Finland on your own in St. Petersburg in 2022 – step by step instructions
Residents of St Petersburg and the North-West Federal District (except for Kaliningrad and Murmansk regions and the Republic of Karelia) can apply for a Finnish visa by themselves at the Consulate General or the Visa Application Centre in St Petersburg.
The Consulate General of Finland in St. Petersburg issues visas to Scandinavian countries. It is located at Preobrazhenskaya Square, 4. The entrance is located on the side of Radishchev Lane. To get an entry document must apply to the visa department. On weekdays they accept clients from 9.00 to 12.00 and in the afternoon from 13.00 to 16.00.
To apply for a visa:
- Fill in the application form. All data are filled in online form, which can be found at the official site of Finnish visa application center in St. Petersburg. You have to register there in advance.
- Make an appointment at the consulate to submit documents. You can do this on the same website. On the main page, select “Make an appointment”. After filling in the necessary data, it will be possible to select the date and time of the appointment. If the operation is successful, you will receive an email with confirmation of the appointment. It must be printed out.
- Gathering and submitting documents. At the appointed time, you should come with all the necessary documents and a printed letter confirming your appointment at the consulate. If necessary, biometric data is submitted. The procedure is free of charge and can be done at the consulate. The officer accepting the documents will check that they are filled out correctly and may ask a number of questions regarding the purpose of the trip and visits to other Schengen countries. After this he will give you a receipt for the visa fee and appoint a date to collect your document.
- Visa fee payment. It will be necessary to pay the fee according to the issued receipt. There is no need to go somewhere: there is a terminal at the exit from the hall of documents’ acceptance. It does not work with cash. You can pay by bank card. Any card will do, but only Visa or Mastercard.
- To get a document ready. At the appointed time it is necessary to come to the consulate again to take the visa. It is obligatory to have the receipt and the check, confirming payment of the fee.
Via the visa center
You can apply for a visa through the Finnish Visa Center in St. Petersburg. It is located on Stremyannaya Street, 21/5. You can apply any day except Saturday and Sunday from 9.00 to 16.00. To get a visa is necessary:
- Register on the official website of the Finnish visa center, determine the purpose of the trip and type of visa. On this will depend on the package of documents you need to prepare.
- Fill in an application form. This can be done on the same website.
- Prepare the documents.
- Submit the documents. To do this you need to come to the visa application center. You do not need to make an appointment in advance, but you may have to stand in line.
- Pay the visa and service fee. You can pay it on site. Both cash and bank cards are accepted.
- Pick up your document. Have your internal passport, contract and receipt confirming the payment of the visa fee. If the documents are submitted through the Visa Application Center, the passport can be delivered by courier, if there is no time for a personal visit.
If the applicant has not submitted biometric data before, he/she can undergo dactylography at the Visa Center. Children under 12 years old are exempt from it.
Documents and Requirements
Together with the application, you will need to prepare a package of documents. Their list will differ depending on the type of visa. For a tourist visa, the obligatory ones are:
- The questionnaire . It can be found on a site of the Finnish visa application center in St.-Petersburg. It is to be filled in there as well. If you want, you can download the form to your computer, fill it in and print it out. The visa application staff will even accept a handwritten form in block letters, but it is not recommended.
- Photo . It must be in color. It is recommended to use gray background or any other light background. The size of the photo is 3.6×4.7 cm, with a head height of 2.5-3.5 cm. There must not be any extraneous objects on it. Photo must not be retouched.
- Valid passport .
- Old passport (if any).
- A copy of your internal passport.
- Medical insurance . A separate policy is issued for each participant of the trip. It must be valid in all Schengen countries and for the entire period of the planned trip. The sum insured must be at least €30,000. Excess is not allowed.
- Receipt confirming payment of visa fee.
- Financial guarantees . More often as a proof of financial assets present a certificate of a 2-NDFL form, certificate from work, where the salary size is specified, or a bank account statement.
- Plan of your trip. This can be a hotel reservation, an invitation from Finnish citizens, return tickets.
Under EU law, a separate visa is issued for a child, regardless of his age. To obtain it you will need:
- birth certificate (original as well as a copy of the document),
- visa application form,
- Copies of parents’ Schengen visas (if any).
It is acceptable for a minor child to be entered in the parents’ passport. In this case, remember that more blank pages are needed for the visa stamp – for the parent and child.
If the child travels with only his mother, only with his father or without them, you must issue a consent of the absent parent to travel. It must be notarized. It may be executed in advance, but you must remember that it is valid for one year. It should apply to all Schengen countries. You can do without exit consent. But in this case, both parents should come to the consulate when the documents are submitted, and sign the form in the presence of an employee. They should have a copy of the first pages of their domestic passports.
Application form for a visa to Finland – sample completion and form
The application form is to be completed electronically. It must be printed out and signed by the applicant. If the visa is issued to a minor, the form must be signed for him/her by his/her parents or guardians.
There are a number of requirements for a passport:
- at the time of completion of the trip its validity must expire in at least 3 months,
- it must have at least two blank pages (not less than two) to be stamped for visas,
- it must have been issued no later than 10 years ago.
You will also need to make a copy of the first page of the passport, which contains personal data.
Proof of employment for a visa to Finland
Help from work at the Finnish Consulate does not make special requirements for the certificate of employment. There is no uniform standard for its processing. The most important thing is that the work certificate must indicate
- Coordinates of the employer (name, address, contact phone number),
- surname, first name, patronymic and the position held by the applicant,
- Signature of chief accountant and director, company seal.
The size of the salary does not matter much. Russians often go to Finland for 1-2 days, such trips do not require a lot of money.
Statement from the bank – how much money must be in the account
In addition to a certificate of employment, as a financial guarantee you can present a certificate from the bank. This statement should not just indicate the amount in the account, but indicate the movement of funds over the past three months. There is no need for a bank statement on a special stamped form. A simple statement, which can be obtained at any ATM, will be enough.
You can just put the money into the account and show the statement. But in this case, especially if the trip to Finland is planned for the first time, the consular officers may request additional documents to confirm the financial solvency.
There is no minimum amount for a trip to Finland as such. The number of days and the purpose of the trip, the availability of accommodation during the trip to Finland, whether there is an invitation and a guarantee that the inviting party will pay the expenses.
If the applicant is unemployed and has no other source of income, he can present a letter of sponsorship as proof of ability to pay. There are no special requirements for this document. There is no set model for how to write it. The letter says that the sponsor takes care of all expenses, indicating the country and dates of travel. It is also obligatory to specify his data: Full name, date of birth, civil passport number, and registration address. Your letter should be accompanied by documents that show the sponsor’s ability to pay. This can be the same certificate of employment, or a bank account statement. You will also need a copy of the sponsor’s internal passport, or rather a page with personal data, and proof of kinship with the visa applicant.
Period of processing Schengen visa to Finland
On the average it takes 10-14 days to issue a visa. The exact period depends on the number of applications, which are under consideration at the Consulate. Before holidays, when the number of those wishing to issue an entry document increases, it may take longer. The maximum time for the Consulate to process an application is 60 days. Therefore, do not delay with the filing of documents, it is better to do it in advance, but not earlier than 15 days before the planned trip.
How long will they grant the Finnish visa?
One reason for Russians eagerly apply for a Finnish visa is the ability to immediately get a multi-visa. Even in the absence of other Schengen visas you can count on getting an entry document for six months. If you have already traveled to Schengen countries before you can easily get a Finnish visa for a year or 2.
Count on 5-year Schengen visa applicants who have the past three years has already had a two-year visa – provided that they used it correctly, ie, Finland was the main country of residence.
Visa for Finland
Whether you need a visa to Finland, what documents you need for a visa to Finland, where to get a visa to Finland and other visa nuances – in our article.
To travel to Finland, which is one of the countries that signed the Schengen agreements, Russian citizens need a Schengen visa, which allows you to stay in the Schengen countries not more than 90 days within six months.
Finnish visas can be applied for at the Finnish Embassy in Moscow, the Consulate General in St. Petersburg and the consulates in Murmansk and Petrozavodsk. You can also get Finnish visas at the visa center in Kazan, through the consulate of Hungary in Yekaterinburg, the Lithuanian consulate in Kaliningrad and in the Pskov region through the Pskov office of the Consulate General of Estonia in St. Petersburg.
Applicants in person or their family members may apply for a visa to Finland for their close relatives with proof of kinship, as well as travel agencies and firms accredited at the Finnish Consulate for their employees with a job card.
Since March 1, 2012 on tourist cruises entering the ports of several Scandinavian states, it is required to have multiple entry visas to leave the ship in several cities of the route. Each city departure and liner boarding is now considered an entry and exit from the Schengen area.
A visa to Finland is easy enough to arrange on your own, the role of the travel agency is reduced to providing your documents to the visa center, everything else you do yourself. In principle, obtaining a visa to Finland is not such a difficult process, below we explain what documents for a visa to Finland you will need, as well as other nuances, which requires registration of a visa to Finland.
Schengen visa for Finland
Finnish tourist visa
Applicants must submit the following documents for a tourist visa to Finland:
Health travel insurance for a visa to Finland: a price comparison service for health insurance from leading insurance companies in Russia. Specify the country and dates of travel, and then select the appropriate option and take out a policy.
- Printed out hotel or hostel reservation confirmation (or fax) or travel voucher; free travel plan;
- Ticket booking or copies of original train or air tickets;
- Certificate of employment with a pay slip / bank statement for the last 3 months (not older than 1 month) / documents for property in the Russian Federation.
Invitation visa to Finland
If the purpose of the trip is an invitation or a private visit, you need (in addition to the documents listed above for a visa to Finland):
- Invitation from an organization or a private person, which should indicate the personal data of the inviting party and the invited party (first and last names, dates of birth, passport number of the invited party and details of the inviting party, as well as the purpose and terms of the trip). For visits to relatives it is necessary to indicate the degree of kinship. A fax copy of invitation or electronic version by e-mail can be sent.
Trip with children
If the trip is with children, a number of other documents must be submitted:
- Original and copy of birth certificate;
- Insurance policy (accredited insurance companies can be found here);
- If you travel without one parent or with a third party – a written notarized consent for a trip or documents confirming the inability to obtain consent (certificate of a single parent, certificate of death, divorce, etc.).
For each child, inscribed in the passport of the parent, you must fill out a visa application form and request a separate visa. The visa is stitched into the passport of the parent in which the child is inscribed.
When applying for a Finnish visa, remember that there are certain photo requirements:
- The photo must be in color;
- Photo size – 36 mm by 47 mm
- The height of the head – 25-35 mm
- There must be a light, but not white one-color background (gray is best)
- The photo must not be retouched.
How to apply for a visa in Finland
The procedure of applying to the Finnish visa centers may at first seem quite confusing, although in principle it is not too difficult to figure it out.
The first step is making an appointment, that is, directly to the submission of an application at the visa center or embassy. You can make an appointment online at a site dedicated to the Finnish visa, and you need to select your point of application.
In St. Petersburg there is a visa application center on Stremyannaya St. 21/5 (at the corner of Marata St., 5) through which the vast majority of Finnish Schengen visa for the residents of St. Petersburg and Northwestern Federal District is issued.
At the visa center in Kazan documents can be submitted without an appointment.
You can apply for Finnish visa at the Consulate in Yekaterinburg by prior arrangement by phone +7 (499) 703-49-71, +7 (499) 704-55-92. Applications are accepted and issued from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 16:00 (Yekaterinburg time).
The second step is to complete the visa application form online. In principle, you can do this in the visa center, but this will slow down
and complicate the process of application review. The application form must be printed and signed, and then with all related documents including the visa fee payment receipt must be submitted to the visa application center within 14 days of completion. It is also necessary to print the barcode which is created when filling out the visa application form. In this case, the application sent by e-mail or fax will not be considered.
All corrections to the application form are made online. Back in the system under your user name and making corrections, you will need to print out a new questionnaire with a barcode and sign it.
The Finnish Consulate in Murmansk only accepts paper applications, which can be downloaded here.
Beginning September 14, 2015 there is a mandatory fingerprinting procedure. When submitting documents for the first time, personal presence at the consulate or visa center is required. Data on the applicant will be stored in a single database for 5 years, after which you will need to go through the procedure again.
Beginning in September 2015, fingerprinting (dactyloscopy) has become mandatory. Only children up to 12 years of age are exempt, all others have to come to the consulate or visa center in person. The procedure is performed as soon as possible, simultaneously with the filing of the main package of documents. “Validity period” of fingerprints is 5 years, after that it will be necessary to go through the procedure again.
Cost of visa to Finland and terms of registration
Russian citizens are charged a consular fee of 35 euros. If you apply at the Visa Application Centre, you have to pay the fee directly at the Centre. If you apply at the Visa Centre of the Embassy, you will have to pay in the bank. The Visa Center in Moscow also charges an additional service fee of 28,90 Euros, payable at the cash desk of the center. Visa applicants at the Embassy Visa Center in Moscow must pay the consular fee at the Nordea Bank branch in 38 Stremyanniy pereulok (Serpukhovskaya/Dobryninskaya metro station) or by Visa and MasterCard at ATMs of this bank (5% commission).
Bank branches in St. Petersburg:
- PO “Tavrichesky”, ul. Kirochnaya 12, working hours: Mon-Fri 9.15 – 19.00
- Branches “Saint-Petersburg” located at 19 Promyshlennaya St. Working hours: Mon-Fri 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- PO “Lakhtinskiy”, Torfyanaya doroga 7, Gulliver shopping center, 2nd floor, above Ramstore hypermarket Operating hours: Mon-Fri 10.30 – 21.30
- PO “Matritsa”, Torfyanaya doroga 7, 2nd floor Shop “Matritsa” working hours Mon-Sun 10.30-21.30
- South-West Department 95, Leninsky Ave. Store “Technics World” working hours Mon-Sat 10.30 – 21.30
- Store “Severniy” Prosveshchenie prospect, 35, Bldg. A, 8N, A store “Mir Tehnika” working hours: Mon-Fri 10.20 – 20.40 Sat-Sun 10.20 – 20.00
No consular fee:
- Children under 5 years old who have their own passport;
- School and university students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who come to Finland for studies;
- Close relatives of citizens of EU Member States;
- close relatives of citizens of the Russian Federation legally residing in Finland.
The consular fee for an urgent visa application is 70 euros. The application takes 3-10 days to be processed.