Finnish Schengen visa
South African passport holders require a visa for Schengen countries i.e. Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
When travelling to several Schengen countries, the visa must be applied at the Consulate or Embassy of the main destination of the journey. If the passenger intends to visit several Schengen countries but does not have a main destination he/she should apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of first point of entry.
A Schengen visa grants in general free mobility within the Schengen area for stays maximum of 90 days per 180 days of the year. For longer periods of stay a national long stay permit must be applied (more information can be found from Finnish Immigration Services).
Only applicants who are citizens of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar or Mauritius OR have a valid residence permit can apply Schengen visa via the Finnish Embassy in South Africa.
Processing time of the applications
- South African passport holders 5 working days (for big groups, please make arrangements well in advance)
- Non-RSA passport holders 10 - 21 working days, in most cases interview required!
Visa application forms are available at the embassy or from this website (PDF-format). Applications should preferably be submitted to the Embassy in person, appointment is not needed. Applications sent by e-mail or telefax will not be processed. The application form must be signed, and all questions on the application form must be answered. Also one recent passport-size colour photograph must be attached.
Please make sure that Your passport is valid three months after the end of the journey and that there is at least two unused pages left in the passport. The following documentation must be attached to support Your application:
- proof of the travel insurance for the entire journey. The insurance must be valid in all Schengen countries and cover possible medical costs up to 30 000 EUR. One page insurance policy must show the following details: policy number, name of insured person, dates of cover, and full details of medical coverage.
- Proof of sufficient funds (EUR 50/day) for duration of the stay should be ONE of the following:
• 3 month bank statement
• tax receipt of foreign exchange purchased bearing applicant’s name
• a recent credit card statement
• in case of a business trip the proof of sufficient funds can also be mentioned on the employment letter or in the invitation letter depending who will be taking care of the costs
- flight itinerary. In order to decide which country is responsible for the issuance of visa, the itinerary must show the duration of each stay in each of the Schengen countries as well as the return date to South Africa.
- a proof of an accommodation. If private accommodation is used, it must be confirmed in the invitation letter.
- signed invitation letter from Finland (if applicable). If private, hosts passport copy must be included.
- supporting letter from employer (if the applicant is employed). In the case of students a letter from the school / university is needed.
- If the applicant is under 18: certified parental consent and unabridged birth certificate are needed. If the child travels with only one parent, the other parent must produce the notarized consent. If only one parent has guardianship of the minor, the court documents stating so must be presented. Death certificate should accompany application if one of the parents has died.
Cost of the visa
The cost of the visa is 60 Euros and for children between 6-12 years old 35 Euros. The visa must be paid to the embassy’s bank account (details below, note that payments from Finland must be paid to our Finnish bank account!). It is also possible to make the payment in cash when handing in the application. Visa processing fees are not reimbursable! See current fees from Service fees.
The following categories are exempt from visa fees:
- Diplomatic and Official passport holders when travelling on duty trips
- Spouses of EU/EEA citizens and their children under 21 years (if following the EU family member)
- Children under 6 years
- School pupils, students, post graduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake trips for the purpose of study or educational training
- Students and non-profit organization representatives under 25 years who participate in non-profit-organization seminars, trainings, conferences, sport competitions or cultural events
- Researchers travelling for the purpose of scientific research
- An applicant who is invited by the Finnish Government, the United Nations or the European Union
Also please note that
- multiple entry visas can be issued if both invitation from Finland and employment letter explain the need and period needed in detail.
- the possession of a visa is only one of the prerequisites for entry into the territory of the Schengen state. Should the Schengen State’s border authority refuse entry, no claim for reimbursement of the visa can be submitted.
- the border police at your arrival in the Schengen area may request the presentation of sufficient funds, a letter of invitation, hotel reservation and proof of medical insurance. Failure to present said funds / documents may result in entry being refused!
- there is no guarantee that a visa will be issued and no rights can be derived from the information obtained in the general Schengen visa requirements.
Any incorrect statement or false information will lead to the refusal of visa or to the annulment of a visa already granted and may also render the passenger liable to prosecution under the national law of the respective Schengen State.
- Embassy of Finland in Pretoria: Mon-Thu 8.30 - 12.00
- Please note that the applications from Cape Town area must be submitted via MDS Visa Pak courier company OR in person to the Embassy in Pretoria
Application form and payment details
Application form (PDF, 76kb)