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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

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


P.O. Box 30379
00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel. +254-(0)20-3750721-4
English | Suomi | Svenska |  | 


IMPORTANT: The Embassy has outsourced all visa applications to VFS Global. Kindly visit book an appointment. The VFS Global Office in Nairobi is for all applicants from Kenya and Uganda, Ugandan applicants can not apply from the VFS Office in Kampala.

VFS phone number: +254 205147 909

  • Visa applications only by appointment, book through email or phone with VFS Global.
  • Handling time of visa applications is 15 days.
  • You can book an appointment at the earliest 90 days (3 months) before your intended travel departure date.

Visa – basic information

A visa is an entry permit for a short, temporary stay that cannot exceed 90 days. A visa entitles a foreign national subject to the visa requirement to enter and stay in the Schengen area according to the validity of the visa. One may not, however, exceed a total of 90 days during the six months following one's first entry into the Schengen area.  (Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland).

Foreign nationals requiring a visa to Finland need to apply for one in their country of residence.  An applicant may apply for a visa at the Finnish Embassy only if Finland is the main destination or, in the case of multiple destinations, the first entry point into the Schengen Area.

Who needs a visa to Finland?

Visa or residence permit

A visa is intended for a short-term and temporary stay (for instance, a holiday trip, a family visit, etc.) in the countries of the Schengen Area. It can grant entry for staying at most 90 days during a 180-day period.

Stays longer in duration and for work require a residence permit. The application for the first residence permit must be submitted at a Finnish Embassy, before coming to Finland.

Visas are considered at the diplomatic mission of Finland. The family member of a Finnish citizen thus does not have the subjective right to obtain a visa. If the visa is refused in accordance with Article 32 of the Visa Code, the family member of a Finnish citizen can apply for a residence permit abroad under §50 of the Aliens Act.

Additional information about residence permits on the Finnish Immigration Service website:

Important information for visa applicants

The Embassy of Finland in Nairobi is the competent authority to process visa applications only from residents of the following countries: Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, the Seychelles and Somalia. Citizens of the Seychelles are not subject to the visa requirement for the Schengen area.

Please note that the Somali passport is not a valid travel document to Finland, and therefore, visas cannot be issued to Somali passports at the Finnish Embassy.

The processing time for a visa application is a minimum of 15 days, so it is advisable that applications are submitted well in advance. Please ensure you book an appointment at least 8 weeks before the intended travel date. You can submit your visa application 90 days before the planned departure date.

The Embassy of Finland in Nairobi requires a personal visit by all visa applicants. All applicants will be interviewed and their fingerprints are collected during their visit. In order to apply for a visa, the applicant must book an appointment through VFS Global:

Applications submitted by mail, fax or e-mail cannot be accepted. Visas cannot be applied at the Honorary Consulate of Finland in Mombasa or Kampala. After the processing, passports can be sent back to the applicant via courier service as long as the applicant makes necessary arrangements with the company.

Submitting a visa application

The visa applicant is required to bringall mandatory documents with him/her to the appointment at the embassy. Invitations or other documents should not be sent via email prior to the appointment. Please note that the embassy does not return original documents, so make sure to carry necessary copies with you. Kindly see the website of our partner for further details.

Mandatory Documents

  • pdfVisa application form– Duly completed and signed by the applicant.
  • Passport (including previous passports, if any) or travel document.  Valid for at least three months after expiry of visa.
  • A photocopy of the personal information page of the passport.
  • One colour photograph (47 x 36 mm) against a white background, max. 6 months old. You can refer to passport photo instructions of Finnish Police. The closest photography studios to the Embassy are at The Mall Westlands and Sarit Centre.
  • Travel Insurance. To cover any expenses which might arise in connection with urgent medical attention, emergency hospital treatment, and repatriation for medical reasons or in case of death. The minimum coverage shall be EURO 30 000 (or equivalent in Ksh).  The travel insurance must be valid throughout the Schengen territory and for the entire duration of your stay and must include the name and date of birth of the visa applicant.  The original insurance policy is to be presented at the Embassy at the time of submitting the application. The list of Schengen-agreed insurance companies can be found from this link: List of Schengen Approved Insurance Companies 
  • Flight booking. However, kindly note that  paying the flight at this stage is not recommended. Tentative flight booking is enough.
  • Invitation letter (not older than 3 months) or other proof on the purpose of travel. An invitation can be in a free-form but must state the purpose, itinerary and duration of your trip and contact details of the inviting side. Private invitations must also include the date of birth of the inviting person. Invitationsdo not have to be certified by a notary.

Additional Documents

  • Proof of sufficient funds. You will be asked to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds for your trip. The minimum amount of money required is  30 Euros per day (this is in addition to accommodation). The best way to prove your funds is with bank statements, pay slips and a letter from your employer stating your salary. Please note that we only look at the own funds of the applicant. The income of the inviter is not considered.
  • Evidence of accommodation available in Finland,  e.g. hotel reservations or assurance from the inviting side to cover the accommodation.
  • A spouse of an EU-national is required to present a marriage certificate and the legalisation of it, if necessary. Spouses of EU-nationals are exempt from the visa processing fee. Please note: If the purpose of travel is to permanenty move to Finland, you should apply for a residence permit, not a visa.
  • In case of minors travelling without their parents, consent of both parents and copies of parents'/guardians' passports/id are required. Children under six years old are exempt from the visa processing fee.
  • All documents must be submitted at the time of application; the Visa Section will not accept incomplete applications.

The Embassy of Finland may request additional documentation, such as bank statements, birth or marriage certificates, a letter from the applicant's employer etc.

More detailed information on visa applications with a specific purpose of travel is presented at the EU Delegation website.

Even if all the above mentioned documents are supplied, the Embassy of Finland may still refuse a visa. In case of refusal, the processing fee will not be returned. The embassy also takes no responsibility over expenses on flights or insurances, if visa is not granted. Please note that falsified documents will serve as grounds for a refusal of the visa application.

Visa decisions

If the decision is positive, make sure you have all the copies of the supporting documents of your visa application when you travel. They may be requested at the border.

The final decision for entering the country always rests with the border control officials. Upon arrival at the border of first Schengen country, the Border Guard Service has the right to check that all entry requirements have been met, and may refuse entry into the country.

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Updated 1/23/2019

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