What is a Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa is meant for short and temporary stays in or transit through the Schengen area of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period. A visa issued by one Schengen state is valid for travelling in any Schengen state, but you must apply for the visa from the country of your main destination. If you are travelling to several Schengen states, none of which will be your main destination, you need to apply for the visa from the country that you will enter first.

Schengen member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria*, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania*,  Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
*The membership of Romania and Bulgaria is exceptional – the removal of passport checks only applies to air and sea transport. Passport checks are still valid at land borders.

A visa is granted provided that you intend to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires. In addition, you must have sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of the stay and present the relevant supporting documents. A Schengen visa does not automatically permit its holder to enter the Schengen area.

The procedures and conditions for issuing visas are based on the EU Visa Code (810/2009)(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window), and on Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window), which is applicable from 2 February 2020 (amendments to the Visa Code).

Some Schengen States require that they be consulted on visa applications submitted to Finland by citizens of certain countries. Such consultation is required for nationals of the countries listed here(Link to another website.).