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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?
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: http://www.migri.fi
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. The waiting time for a visa interview is typically 4 weeks. 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 at the visa department via telephone +254 20 375 07214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Customer service hours are from Tuesday till Thursday from 9 till 12 o’clock.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For further information contact the visa section at email@example.com.