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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Visa - Embassy of Finland, Pretoria : Immigration and Visa Services : Visa


P.O.Box 443, Pretoria 0001, Republic of South Africa
Tel. +27-12-343 0275, E-mail:
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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, Liechtenstein, 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 for at the Consulate or Embassy of the country 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 of a maximum of 90 days per 180 days in a year. For longer periods of stay a national long stay permit must be applied for (more information can be obtained from Finnish Immigration Services).

Only applicants who are citizens of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Madagascar OR have a valid residence permit can apply Schengen visa via the Finnish Embassy in South Africa.

NB: Please note that dual citizens with an EU, EFTA or Swiss passport cannot apply for a Schengen visa in their South African passports (or respective passports).  They will have to use their valid EU, EFTA or Swiss passport to travel to the Schengen member states area.

It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that they have applied for and acquired a valid EU, EFTA or Swiss passport prior to travelling to the Schengen member states area. The Embassy of Finland does not issue Schengen visas to dual citizens who are entitled to acquire an EU, EFTA or Swiss citizenship but have not undergone the process of applying for it. Applicants must take the necessary steps to apply for and acquire dual citizenship and the linked passport before travelling to the Schengen member states area.

Processing time of the applications

  • South African passport holders have to allow the Embassy of Finland 10 working days' time to process a complete visa application. 10 working days' processing time starts from the day a complete application set has successfully been submitted at the visa reception. Any outstanding compulsory documents can cause delays to the processing time. Kindly make an appointment early enough because the availability of immediate appointments vary from time to time. Please note that the Embassy of Finland is not liable for applications that are submitted later than 10 working days prior to intended departure. (However, if you have less than 10 working days left and you would need to travel urgently, please contact the Embassy telephonically during the visa phone hour, Mon-Thu from 2 PM to 3 PM).
  • For groups of more than 5 people, please submit the applications well in advance.
  • Non-South African passport holders must submit their Schengen visa applications at least 21 days before the intended date of departure to the Schengen member states area. In most cases an interview is required. Please note that the Embassy of Finland is not liable for applications that are submitted later than 21 days prior to their intended departure.
  • A Schengen visa application can be submitted, at the earliest, 90 days prior to the intended arrival to the Schengen member states area.
  • Submissions by appointment only, please. Thank you for the co-operation.

Application procedure

Visa application forms are available at the embassy or from this website (PDF-format).

It is important to note that as from 6 June 2013 all visa applicants will have to appear in person when lodging an application for the first time, in order to provide their fingerprints. Once the biometric data is entered in the VIS, it can be copied from the previous application file in the VIS for the next five (5) years and a personal visit to the Finnish Embassy may be waived. Please note that Schengen member states' embassies and consulates have various practice on this, so for the time being waiving personal visits only applies to the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria.

When applying for a second Schengen visa, contact the Embassy to enquire whether the fingerprints were successfully saved on the VIS system - please send an e-mail to

with the following information:

Your surname as it appears in your passport

Your given names as they appear in your passport

Your date of birth as recorded in your passport.

Please note that only applicants whose fingerprints have been previously captured for a Schengen visa can submit an application through a courier company, a family member or a friend.

When handing in the first Schengen visa application an appointment is required. Please note that if a customer comes to the Embassy of Finland without an appointment, the Embassy of Finland will not be liable if it is unable to attend to the customer due to being fully booked.

Kindly send an e-mail to  Please provide two or three alternative dates/slots for your appointment. Appointments are scheduled from 08:30 to 12:00 Mondays to Thursdays. Your appointment will be confirmed via e-mail.

NB! Dear Customer! If you wish to make an appointment urgently, please phone +27 12 343 0275 Mondays to Thursdays between 2PM to 3 PM only. Thank you.

Applications sent by e-mail or telefax will not be processed. Only completed and signed applications will be accepted. Attach one recent passport-size colour photograph. All the facial features must be clearly visible and the photo must be sharp in quality. The background of the photo has to be light-coloured.

Ensure that your passport will be valid for three months after completion of your journey and that there are at least two unused pages 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. OThe cover page of the policy must have the following: policy number, name of insured person, dates of cover and full details of medical cover.
  •  Proof of sufficient funds (EUR 50/day) for duration of the stay should be ONE of the following:
    - 3 months bank statement
    - a recent credit card statement
    - in the case of a business trip the proof of sufficient funds can be mentioned in the employment letter or the letter of invitation depending who will be taking care of the costs
  • flight itinerary. In order to decide which country is responsible for the issuance of a visa, the itinerary must show the duration of stay in each of the Schengen countries, as well as the return date to South Africa.
  •  Proof of an accommodation. If private accommodation is used, this must be confirmed in the invitation letter.
  • Signed invitation letter from Finland (if applicable). If private, a copy of the host's passportmust 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 an unabridged birth certificate are needed. If the child is travelling with only one parent, the other parent must produce a sworn affidavit signed in front of the South African Police Service or a Commissioner of Oaths. If only one parent has guardianship of the minor, the court documents stating so must be presented. A death certificate should accompany an application if one of the parents is deceased.

Kindly bring your supporting documents, the Embassy of Finland will not retain copies. The Embassy will not give back any documents to an applicant.

Cost of the visa

The cost of the visa is 60 Euros (adults) and 35 Euros (children from 6-12 years old). The visa fee must be paid into the Embassy’s bank account, details below. Visa processing fees are not reimbursable. The current fees in Rands can be found in 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 the invitation from Finland and the employment letter explain the need and period needed in detail (business travelers, passengers travelling on official visits or similar purposes).
  • the possession of a visa is only one of the prerequisites for entry into the territory of the Schengen states. Should the Schengen State’s border authority refuse entry, no claim for reimbursement of the visa can be submitted.
  • On your arrival in the Schengen area the border police 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.

Visa Hours

  • The Visa Department is open for visa application submissions (by appointment) from 08:30 to 12:h00, Monday to Thursday.

  • Telephonic visa enquiries will ONLY be answered from 14:00 to 15:00 Monday to Thursday.

Application form and payment details

pdfApplication form  (PDF, 76kb)

pdfPayment details

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Updated 8/17/2017

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