Embassy of Finland
38 Chesham Place
Telephone: (0)20 7838 6200 (Monday-Thursday 2-4pm; Friday 2-3pm)
Fax: (0)20 7838 9703
Online: Embassy website
Email for visa enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I need a visa to visit Finland?
Some countries have special relationships with other countries which enables their residents to travel freely between the two without a visa. Check if you definitely need a visa to travel by checking Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs page.
How can I apply?
Unfortunately, you can only apply for a Schengen visa to Finland by visiting the Embassy in person. Instructions on how to do this are outlined below.
How do I book an appointment?
You must pre-book a visa appointment with the Embassy by email. The Finnish Embassy appointment hours are: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10.00 – 12.00. However the Embassy will be closed on Finnish and English national holidays: the list of national holidays is available here.
Please send an e-mail to email@example.com with a requested time of visit. You will receive a reply within 48 hours with your confirmed appointment time. During high tourist season you might have to wait longer to get an appointment. The Embassy has limited number of appointments reserved for the visa applicants. Please book your appointment and apply well in advance.
Your e-mail must include the following information:
◾Your contact details
◾Scheduled date for travelling
◾Purpose of travel (tourism, business, private visit or other)
Before booking an appointment, please make sure that:
◾Your passport is valid for another three months after your planned trip and contains two blank pages
◾Your UK residence permit is valid for another three months after your planned trip
Make sure that you have all your required documentation with you including a completed application form which you can download from the Embassy web page.
Submit your visa application no later than 15 days before travel in order to receive your travel documents back before your planned trip. The application can be submitted a max. three (3) months before the planned travel date.
Please note: It may take you several weeks to get an appointment at an Embassy, especially before the Christmas, Easter and summer vacations. Therefore, you should be making your application at least 8-12 weeks before you intend to travel.
What documents do I need?
For a full list of documentation required, you should check the Finnish Embassy website as requirements may change.
As a guideline you should expect to provide:
- Completed application form x 1. You will be able to download and complete the application form online when booking your appointment.
- Your passport or travel document which must be valid and in date. This must contain your student visa (which must be valid for at least 3 months longer than the validity of the Schengen visa applied for) and your passport must have a blank page to affix the Schengen visa sticker.
- 1 x passport photo: check the Embassy website for specifications.
- Schengen letter available from your faculty.
- Health insurance to cover the duration of the visit. Insurance is available from the Post Office, large supermarkets or various providers online. The insurance company will provide you with a letter of certificate to include with your application.
- Proof of travel plans: this will be the flight / ferry / train booking for your trip. This country may insist that you pre-book your travel before application so check before application.
- Proof of accommodation: this will be the booking for the hotel or other accommodation you will be staying at. It is easy to find hotels that make bookings either with a small deposit or no fee at all, so book with one of these. See our tips in our travel pages.
- Letter of invitation. If you are visiting friends or family, they will need to write you a letter inviting you to come and visit. This should either be in English or in the language of the country you are visiting. If they are providing you with food and/or accommodation, the letter should state this as well.
- Proof of financial means. You should have approx. £40 per day available to you for the duration of your visit. You should provide bank statements covering the last 3 months or travellers cheques for the relevant amount to prove this.
- Schengen visa fee. This varies from country to country so check the website for updates for charges and method of payment. It is nomally around €60 (£50).
- Self addressed special delivery envelope. This is so that the Embassy can post your passport and / or documents back to you when a decision has been made and is available from all post offices.
- Copies of all documents provided. Generally, you will be expected to take both originals and copies of all your documents to your appointment with you.
How do I get to the Embassy?
Here’s a link to a map to get to the Finnish Embassy.
The nearest underground stations are Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner. If you have a morning appointment, you will probably have to book overnight accommodation in London to ensure that you arrive in time. Make sure you plan your route across London on a map before you go. If your appointment is early in the morning, try and have a practice walk of the route the day before your appointment. You will not be seen or offered a later appointment if you miss your slot.
A map of the London Underground is available.
See www.megabus.com for cheap bus travel between Cardiff and London, www.nationalexpress.com/coach/index.cfm for National Express coaches to all destinations and www.thetrainline.com for trains between all stations.
See www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-hotels or www.hostelworld.com for cheap hotels and hostels. In London, you may also be able stay at The International Students House www.ish.org.uk/accommodation/. Contact them direct for details.
How long will it take?
The visa process at the Finnish Embassy takes normally 5-10 working days. When you have had your documents checked at your appointment, the Embassy official will retain your passport (and the copies of your documents) for a decision to be made. Your passport will then be posted back to you. The Embassy suggests that this will take a minimum of 2 weeks.
How can the Immigration & International Student Advice team help me with my Schengen visa?
The IISA team does not offer a service whereby they make your Schengen visa application or appointment for you. This is because generally travelling outside of the UK during your studies is for your personal pleasure. They can however check through your documents before sending/your appointment.
If you would like an adviser to check your documents for you, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org stating which country you are applying to and the date you intend to go to London to submit your application. Please note that this service is not guaranteed and is subject to staff availability and IISA commitments.
You should start making your Schengen visa application at least 8-12 weeks before your proposed travel date.