How to apply for a visa?

Submit your visa application at a mission or visa centre in person. An application cannot be sent by e-mail or telefax.

Visa application form

To apply for a visa you need the following

  1. The visa application form completed and signed
  2. One photograph
    Include a colour photograph from which you are recognizable. Please visit the Police website for guidance.
  3. A passport
    Make sure your passport is valid for at least three (3) months after the end of your intended travel and that it has been issued no later than ten (10) years ago.
  4. Travel insurance
    Your travel insurance must be in force for the period of the validity of the applied visa and cover the entire Schengen area. The minimum coverage of the policy must be EUR 30,000 and the insurance must cover expenses arising from a sudden illness and accident (also the patient's repatriation) and repatriation expenses in case of death.
  5. Supporting documents
    As the required appendices vary by country, contact the mission to make sure which ones you need. The mission may request that you append certain documents to the application to show the purpose, conditions and duration of the visit. Examples of such documents are tickets, a confirmation of hotel reservation, a private invitation letter and an official invitation.

    The invitation is a free-form letter indicating the host organisation’s or private host’s contact details and the invited person's details, such as name, date of birth, address, passport number, and purpose and length of visit.

    In case of a private visit, it is advisable to mention if your host is a friend or your spouse or relative. Please note that an invitation does not guarantee that a visa will be issued. The host’s wealth is not taken into account when the applicant’s economic situation in the home country is assessed (a business visit, for example, is an exception to this, because the applicant is not responsible for the travel costs).

    In addition to the above, you may be asked to provide information concerning the itinerary, means of transport, return trip, financial means of support and assets and employment.

    The applicant must have proof of sufficient financial means to cover the duration and purpose of the stay and the cost of living in the country.  In Finland a minimum of EUR 30 a day is required.
  6. Parental consent is required for minors
    Unaccompanied minor children need a parental consent for their travel.
  7. Interview
    The mission may also ask you for a personal interview to find out about the purpose of your visit.

Processing time of the application

Submit your visa application at a mission of Finland or a visa centre no later than 15 days before travel. The application can be submitted at the earliest three months before the intended visit. In case Finland is represented in the country by another Schengen state, the processing time is usually longer.

Required supporting documents in China:

Tourist trip:

  • Travel plan including also the destinations outside of Schengen area (including third country visa if required)
  • Airline reservation/itinerary (roundtrip) including possible third countries. Please note that it is not recommended to purchase the tickets before receiving a visa decision.
  • Hotel reservation for all Schengen countries must be presented accordingly. The reservation shall include:
    • Name of the hotel, contact information (address and telephone) and reservation number
  • Proof of employment or studies, or retirement, or unemployment
    • Employment: official letter on the company logo paper containing: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the countersigning officer. The letter must state the name and position of the applicant, salary, years of employment and the approval of absence
    • Studies: official letter on the school logo paper containing: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the countersigning officer . The letter must state the name of the applicant, years of studies and the approval of absence.
    • Retirement: Proof of pension or other regular income
    • Unemployment: Unemployment certificate and proof of income, if any
      • Married: employment certificate of the spouse, document of the income of the spouse and legalized marriage certificate
      • Single/widow/divorced: proof of income
  • Bank statement (previous 3 months) or other proof of sufficient means of subsistence.
    Bank statements must be submitted in A4 format.

    From an entrepreneur: documents regarding the business activity and taxation
  • Hukou
  • Minors (under 18) must present:
    • Proof of family relations or guardianship:
      • Identification document (e.g. passport) copy of custodian(s)
      • Legalized birth certificate
      • Legalized decision of custody if the parents are divorced
    • If travelling alone or with one guardian only
      • Legalized approval for the journey by the non-travelling guardian
    • Student card
    • Letter from school
    • Official letter on the school logo paper containing: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the countersigning officer . The letter must state the name of the applicant, years of studies and the approval of absence.

For the legalizations, the legalization of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in China is sufficient and legalization at the Finnish mission is not required. If the custodians do not reside in China, the documents must be legalized according to the laws of the custodians’ home country.

  • Visa fee (see service fees)

Private visit:

  • Invitation letter (max 6 months old). If another Schengen country is visited, an invitation or hotel reservation shall be presented accordingly.
    • Invitation must include: name of the invitee, name and contact information of the inviter (address, email, telephone number) , purpose and duration of the visit, signature and date.
    • If the inviter is a family member, a notarized document of kinship is required (birth- or marriage certificate).
  • Proof of employment or studies or retirement or unemployment
    • Employment: official letter on the company logo paper containing: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the countersigning officer. The letter must state the name and position of the applicant, salary, years of employment and approval of absence
    • Studies: official letter on the school logo paper containing: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the countersigning officer. The letter must state the name of the applicant, years of studies and approval of absence.
    • Retirement: Proof of pension or other regular income
    • Unemployment: Unemployment certificate and proof of income, if any
      • Married: employment certificate of the spouse, document of the income of the spouse and legalized marriage certificate
      • Single/widow/divorced: proof of income
  • Business license
  • Bank statement (previous 3 months) or other proof of sufficient means of subsistence.
    Bank statements must be submitted in A4 format.

    From an entrepreneur: documents regarding the business activity and taxation
  • Hukou
  • Minors (under 18) must present:
    • Proof of family relations or guardianship:
      • Identification document (e.g. passport) copy of custodian(s)
      • Legalized birth certificate
      • Legalized decision of custody if the parents are divorced
    • If travelling alone or with one guardian only
      • Legalized approval for the journey by the non-travelling guardian
    • Student card
    • Letter from school
      • Official letter on the school logo paper containing: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the countersigning officer. The letter must state the name of the applicant, years of studies and the approval of absence.

For the legalizations, the legalization of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in China is sufficient and legalization at the Finnish mission is not required. If the custodians do not reside in China, the documents must be legalized according to the laws of the custodians’ home country.

  • Visa fee (see service fees)

Business trip:

  • Invitation letter from the Finnish business partner:
    • Official letter on the company logo paper including: name, contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the inviter.
    • Explanation of the nature of the business relationship and the purpose, duration and programme of the visit.
    • Explanation of the person or entity who will bear the applicant´s travel and living costs.
  • Employment certificate
    • Employment: official letter on the company logo paper containing: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the countersigning officer. The letter must state the name and position of the applicant, purpose of the visit, salary, years of employment and approval of absence
    • Explanation of the person or entity who will bear the applicant´s travel and living costs.
  • Business license
  • Bank statement (previous 3 months) or other proof of sufficient means of subsistence.
    Bank statements must be submitted in A4 format.

From an entrepreneur: documents regarding the business activity and taxation. If the employer covers the costs of the trip, proof of solvency of the employer must be presented.

  • Visa fee (see service fees)

Culture and sports trip:

  • Invitation letter from the Finnish cultural or sports partner:
    • Official letter on the organization's logo paper including: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the inviter.
    • Explanation of the nature of culture or sports partnership and the purpose, duration, information of accommodation and programme of the visit.
    • Indication of the costs and entity that will pay for them.
  • Reference letter from the Chinese cultural or sports organization
    • Official letter on the company logo paper including: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the inviter.
    • The letter must state the name and position of the applicant, information of the journey. From professionals: salary and years of involvement in the activities
    • Organization which covers the costs of the trip
  • Business licence of organization
  • Minors (under 18) must present:
    • Proof of family relations or guardianship:
      • Identification document (e.g. passport) copy of custodian(s)
      • Legalized birth certificate
      • Legalized decision of custody if the parents are divorced
    • If travelling alone or with one guardian only
      • Legalized approval for the journey by the non-travelling guardian
    • Student card
    • Letter from school
    • Official letter on the school logo paper containing: contact information (address, email, telephone number); stamp; date; name, position and signature of the countersigning officer. The letter must state the name of the applicant, years of studies and the approval of absence.

For the legalizations, the legalization of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in China is sufficient and legalization at the Finnish mission is not required. If the custodians do not reside in China, the documents must be legalized according to the laws of the custodians’ home country.

  • Visa fee (see service fees)