Where and how to apply for a visa?
If your country of destination is Finland, you must apply for a visa at the Visa Application Centre indicated by the nearest Finnish mission. Honorary consuls and honorary consulates do not grant visas.
How to apply for a visa
- Fill in the visa application form at the website finlandvisa.fi(layout.types.url.description). At the website, you will find information about the documents, appendices and passport photo you need to submit an application. You can check the required visa application documents without logging in on the website finlandvisa.fi.
- You can even fill in an application in pdf format(layout.types.url.description) either by hand or with computer. Even when filling in a pdf application, you should check the required visa application documents at the website finlandvisa.fi(layout.types.url.description).
- Book an appointment for submitting your application at the VFS Global Visa Application Centre(layout.types.url.description) in your country of residence.
- All visa applications must be submitted in person. Your biometric identifiers will be collected at the same time. A visa fee will be charged for processing visa applications (see the list of prices at the website finlandabroad.fi). The Visa Application Centre may charge an additional service fee for processing the application (see the website of VFS Global Visa Application Centre(layout.types.url.description)).
- Family members of EU citizens who are covered by the EU Free Movement Directive(layout.types.url.description) may submit their application for visa either at a visa application centre or at Finland’s mission abroad.
- The mission may invite you to a personal interview to find out about the purpose of your visit.
Processing times of visa applications
You must submit your application for a visa at Finland’s Visa Application Centre well in advance. The processing time of a visa application is 15 days. You may submit an application no more than six (6) months before the start of the intended visit.
The processing time may be longer if a more detailed examination of the application is required. For example, the central authorities of other Schengen countries may need to be consulted.
Required attachments to the application for a visa
In South Africa please see the website of VFS Global (layout.types.url.description)for more detailed information on required documents.