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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions - Embassy of Finland, London : Frequently asked questions

EMBASSY OF FINLAND, London

38 Chesham Place
London SW1X 8HW
Tel. +44-20-7838 6200
E-mail: sanomat.lon@formin.fi
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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Traveling to Finland

I want to get married in Finland. What paperwork do I need?
Firstly, decide where you wish to get married. Then contact reverend of that church or, if getting married in a civil ceremony, the local registry office (=maistraatti). The authorities will advise you what you need in order to marry. All the required documents have to be legalised (=apostilla) by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Legalisation Department.

I want to take my cat/dog to Finland - what do I need to do?
Your pet has to be micro chipped, vaccinated and wormed. You also need to obtain a pet passport from your vet. Detailed information is available from the Finnish Food Safety Authority.

ls my UK driving licence valid in Finland?
Yes it is. The best option is the EU-licence with a photograph, but if you still have the 'old' paper licence, make sure you take the counterpart with you as well. You also may need to show an additional photograph ID (e.g. passport), especially if hiring a car.

Do I need vaccinations?
Vaccinations are not required.

How can I book a trip to Finland?
Please contact Guild Travel, a London-based specialist tour operator and travel agency organising travel to Finland.

What about a travel insurance?
It is recommended that you buy travel Insurance that covers every eventuality. EU nationals are allowed to use basic Finnish health care, you will need to show your ID or carry a form E111 with you (available from UK post offices). There is a small fee for each visit to a hospital or doctor.

What's the emergency number in Finland?
112.

Can I use British electric appliances in Finland?
Yes you can, but you will need an adaptor. Finnish sockets are all two-pin sockets (bigger than the American). The electric current is 220 V (230 V), 50 HZ.

What's the weather like?
In winter it can get very cold, especially the further north you go. It is advisable to wear lots of layers rather than just one thick jumper. Warm footwear is quite essential. Summer is generally warm.

Where can I see the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis are a light phenomenon that can be seen in the sky in the Arctic regions on clear, dark nights. In Finland, most Northern Lights are observed in Kilpisjärvi region in Lapland. There, Northern Lights can be seen three out of four nights on average. In the southern part of Finland, statistically the auroras are seen only once a month.

I wish to go hunting and take my own firearm with me. Do I need a special licence?
Any foreigner entering Finland must leave his/her gun and ammunition at the Customs House until an import permit has been obtained from the local police, usually the airport or harbour police. The number, calibre and manufacturer of the weapon and the number of the applicant's licence in his/her native country must accompany the application for a permit. A Finnish hunting licence will only be issued to a person who can prove that he/she has a corresponding licence in his/her own country. When applying for a Finnish hunting licence for the first time, a foreign visitor without a licence of his/her own has to pass a hunter's test. A person with a hunting licence has to have a valid insurance policy that covers any injury by a gun to a second person or to the hunter while actually hunting. More information can be obtained from the Finnish Hunters' Central Organisation Tel +358 9 877 7677 or the Ministry of Interior, Police Department Tel +358 9 160 4672.

What are the smoking regulations?
Smoking is not allowed indoors in public buildings, restaurants and bars and other places open to the public. In Finland you have to be 18 years old to buy cigarettes or other smoking products.

Is Finland part of Scandinavia or is it a Nordic country?
Finland is part of the Nordic countries together with Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark. Scandinavia comprises Sweden and Norway only.

Visa

How can I apply for a Schengen visa to Finland?
All the instructions, requirements, fees and processing times can be found on our website Visas and residence permits > Schengen visa.

I hold a British passport, do I need a visa to go to Finland?
No visa is required for European Union (inc. British Passport) holders. The passport has to be valid on the day of return, i.e. no minimum validity is required.

I hold a valid UK residence permit, do I still need  visa to Finland?

You might still require a visa to Finland and Schengen area. Because the UK is not part of the Schengen aggreement your UK visa does not allow you to travel to Finland. For more information visit our Schengen visa website.

Do I have to make an appointment to apply for a visa?
Yes. Visa section is open Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri 10.00 - 12.00 by appointment only. You must book an appointment by email appointment.lon(a)formin.fi

Can I send the visa application by post?
No. Each applicant has to apply in person but the visa can be sent to you by post when ready. Please provide a prepaid Special Delivery Envelope with your address details and paid up to 500 grams.

Do I have to take photocopies of my documents and passport?
Yes. The Embassy does not take photocopies.

Do I need to have a valid residence permit in the UK when applying for a visa?
Yes. Your UK residence permit has to be valid at least three months after your return.

How long is the processing time for Schengen visas?
The prosessing time for Schengen visas is normally max. two weeks or sometimes less depending on the travel document.

Can somebody else collect my visa?
Yes. The person has to have an authorisation letter and an ID, eg. passport.

How much is the visa fee?
The Schengen visa costs £50. Schengen visa fee is £30 for applicants with the Visa Facilitation Agreement with EU (Russia,Ukraine, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, Serbia and Moldova).

Schengen visa is issued free of charge to a spouse and dependants of EU/EEA-citizens when travelling together or to join the family member. The spouse's original passport and marriage certificate/childrens's full birth certicate/parents passport should be presented.

There is no fee for Diplomatic or Service passport holders providing they are travelling on official duty. A verbal note from the Embassy should be presented.

When and how can I pay for the visa?
The fee must be paid at the time of application in pounds (Sterling) by cash or card. 

Passport

How can I renew my Finnish passport?

Passport should always be applied in person in the consulate or if possible in a police station in Finland. Passport or ID card and one passport photo should be presented when submitting the application. If a child is applying also parents' consent and passports are required. Passport fee must be paid at the same time.

Can I renew my passport by post?

No. Passport must always be applied in person. Applicant will complete and sign the form and the officer will take fingerprints. Also children must be present when applying.

Where can I get the passport application form?

Form is printed at the Embassy when the applicant is present.

Should I collect my new passport in person?

It is also possible to send your passport back to you using Royal Mail Special Delivery or someone else can collect it on behalf of you with an authorisation letter and photo ID. Please note that if your previous passport is still valid at this time it must be annulled before the delivery or collection.

Can I take a passport photo at the Embassy?

No, the Embassy does not have a photo service. Please take photo in advance.

When can I apply for a passport? Do I need an appointment?

Passport can be applied Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 14.00 - 16.00, Wednesday 9.00 -12.00 and Friday 15.00 - 16.00. No appointment is required.

Other matters

I am a Finnish citizen living in the United Kingdom and I need a certificate to the Finnish authories (estate inventory etc.) to prove that I am alive. Where can obtain this certificate?

You can get the certificate (elossaolotodistus/Affidavit certificate) either from the Finnish Embassy, Finnish Honorary Consul or any local Notary Public. A personal visit with proof of identity (passport) and address (i.e. utility bill) is required. Fees apply.

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This document

Updated 25/03/2014


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