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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Frequently Asked Questions - Embassy of Finland, Washington - Consulate Generals of Finland, New York, Los Angeles : Services for Finns : FAQs


  • Embassy of Finland, Washington
    Tel. +1-202-298 5800,
  • Consulate General of Finland, New York
    Tel. +1-212-750 4400,
  • Consulate General of Finland, Los Angeles
    Tel. +1-310-203 9903,
  • Contacts
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Frequently Asked Questions


Can the passport application be submitted via mail or online?

No. According to Finnish passport act (671/2006) passport must be applied in person and fingerprints must be collected. In the United States passport can be applied from the Embassy of Finland in Washington DC and at the Consulate Generals of Finland in New York or Los Angeles.

What is needed when applying for a passport?

A Passport photo, a valid ID (a previous Finnish passport, recommended), a proof of Finnish citizenship eg. US visa/Green Card. Male applicants aged 17-30 shall present a document of military service status. An applicant under 18 years of age needs to submit their parents’ consent for the passport application.

How much is the passport fee?

Fee for passport/expedited passport can be checked from Service fees.

What is the processing time for passport? How about for expedited passport?

The processing time is approx. 2 weeks. Expedited passport with an extra fee can be obtained in shorter time, normally within one week.

Can the new passport be delivered by mail to my home address?

Yes. The passport can be mailed to the applicant’s home address inside USA by prepaid FedEx/DHL/UPS label/envelope provided by an applicant.

I have changed my name. How do I change the name to my passport?

The name can only be changed by renewing the passport. Changing of a name has to be first registered to the Finnish Population Information System before renewing the passport.

My passport got stolen/lost, how can I travel back to Finland?

For a stolen, lost or damaged passport, the applicant can apply for a temporary passport to travel home, however maximum validity of one year. A temporary passport is issued by a Finnish foreign mission. A local police report of the stolen or lost passport must be presented when applying for a temporary passport.

When is the portable passport system in the Honorary Consulates?

Portable passport system schedule will be published on the Embassy’s website before the trip.

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How do I register marriage solemnized in the United States to Finland?

The registration may be done directly to the Local Registration office in Finland or via a Finnish mission abroad. There is no registration fee in Finland. Registration takes 2-3 weeks. The following documents are required:

How do I register a birth of a Finnish citizen born in the United States to Finland?

The registration may be done directly to the Local Registration office in Finland or via a Finnish mission abroad. There is no registration fee in Finland. Registration takes 2-3 weeks. The following documents are required:

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How is the citizenship of a child defined?

The citizenship of a child will be defined by the effective Nationality Act at the time of birth.

  • The child of a Finnish mother always gains Finnish citizenship at birth (if the child is born September 1st, 1984 or after).
  • The child of a Finnish father gains Finnish citizenship if the parents are married (if the child is born September 1st, 1984 or after). If the parents are not married, the child of a Finnish father can acquire Finnish citizenship via the declaration process as long as paternity has been confirmed according to the Finnish law.
  • A child can gain dual nationality at birth if the parents are married but have different citizenships. In USA, a child gains US citizenship, even if neither of the parents has US citizenship.

How can I retain my Finnish citizenship after turning 22 years old?

A Finnish citizen who is also a citizen of another country may lose Finnish citizenship at the age of 22. Finnish citizenship can be retained on the basis of the sufficient ties which may be any of the following:

  • Person has born in Finland and is domiciled in Finland when turning 22
  • Person has lived in Finland or another Nordic country (Denmark, Iceland, Norway or Sweden) for a total of seven years before 22nd birthday
  • Between age of 18-21 person has
    • applied for or has been issued a Finnish passport
    • done a military or non-military service in Finland
    • gained Finnish citizenship by application or declaration
    • submitted a freeform declaration to a Finnish diplomatic mission abroad (excluding Honorary Consulates) or to Local Register Office in Finland that he/she wishes to retain Finnish citizenship

I have obtained US citizenship; do I have to register it to the Finnish authority?

Yes, US citizenship has to be registered to Finland according to the Population Information Act (661/2009) which obliges Finnish citizens to keep their population registers up-to-date. Registration can be made directly to Local Register Offices in Finland or via Finnish mission abroad. There is no registration fee in Finland. Registration takes about 2-3 weeks. The following document is needed:

1) Obtaining a Certified True Copy:

  • An appointment can be made with the office of Homeland Security via
  • “A Certified True Copy of the US Naturalization Document” can be requested by taking the original certificate of Naturalization with you. Please note,that a notarized copy does not qualify as a “certified true copy”.

2) Obtaining Apostille                                                                                                                    

Apostille authentication for a Certified True Copy is issued by the US Department of State Authentication Office in Washington D.C.:
Instruction. Mailing the documents is done in one's own responsibility.

  • Please fill out DS-4194 form on the website.
  •  A “Certified True Copy of US Naturalization Certificate” and payment must be sent to the US Department of State Authentication Office in Washington DC. Address and fees can be found on their website.

 3) A document with Apostille authentication shall be sent either to a Local Registration Office or a Finnish mission abroad.

More information concerning US citizenship:

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Do I need a visa to travel to the Schengen area or Finland?

Please check if you need a visa: Who needs a visa to Finland

Can I submit visa application by mail?

No. A Schengen visa application needs to be submitted in person to an Embassy, a Consulate General or a Consulate of the main destination in the country where the applicant lives or legally resides. Finland has outsourced the submission of Schengen visa applications to VFS Global.  Finnish honorary consulates do not receive visa applications.

How much does a visa application cost?

Please check the service fees.

How long does the visa processing take? Is there an expedited visa?

The processing time for a visa is usually 15 days and 10 days for the nationals from the visa facilitation agreement countries. Visa process cannot be expedited.

What supporting documents do I need with me when applying for visa, example for tourist or business trip?

Required supporting documents

What kind of travel insurance do I need for Schengen visa?

Please provide a letter which states that your travel insurance fulfills all the following requirements:

  • Insurance must be valid in the whole Schengen area
  • Insurance must be valid for the entire duration of the journey
  • The coverage of amount of USD 40,000 (EUR 30,000) non-deductible and must cover:
    • emergency medical expenses
    • emergency hospital treatment
    • repatriation for medical reasons or death

My travel plans have changed and I want to withdraw my application. Will the visa fee be refunded?

The visa fee will not be refunded.

My visa application was refused, can I complain about the decision? I have already bought a flight, what should I do with the tickets?

A visa applicant may request a rectification from the decision making authority. The rectification must be submitted in Finnish or Swedish within thirty (30) days from the date the decision was informed to the applicant. Google translations cannot be accepted. An applicant cannot submit a complaint against the visa decision to the administrative court. An exception is a family member of an EU citizen who has used their free movement and is entitled to lodge complaints with the Helsinki Administrative Court. It is not recommended to purchase airline tickets before receiving a visa decision.

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Residence permit

Can an honorary consul collect fingerprints and do the identification?

No. Honorary Consuls do not process or accept residence permit applications. In the U.S. the application can be submitted to the Embassy of Finland in Washington DC or to the Consulate Generals of Finland in New York and Los Angeles. The applications of study- and work based applicants and their family members can be submitted to VFS Global.

How long is the processing time of a residence permit application?

The average processing times for the previous year can be checked from the Finnish Immigration Service’s website.

Can the residence permit card be delivered to my home address by mail?

Yes. The residence permit card can be mailed to the applicant’s home address within the United States by a prepaid FedEx/DHL/UPS label/envelope provided by the applicant.

My spouse is a Finnish citizen; do I need a residence permit to move to Finland? Where can I apply for it?

Yes. The application can be submitted at a Finnish Mission aborad or at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Services in Finland.

My residence permit application is pending; can I travel to Finland without the permit?

No. If the application has been submitted to a Finnish Mission abroad, you must also wait for the decision abroad.

My residence permit is about to expire, can I renew it abroad?

No. You can only apply for an extended permit or a permanent residence permit in Finland. You need to submit your application before the validity of your current permit expires.

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How do I make an appointment?

Customer service is by appointment only.

Appointments to all missions must be reserved via online appointment reservation system.

Please note that the link works only with InternetExplorer and Safari. If you have technical issues related to online appointment reservation system please contact VFS Helpline:, +1 212 203 0023.

How do I find a sworn translator?

Translators and interpreters

How do I find a lawyer?


How do I get a certificate of living?

A local certificate of living pdf (="affidavit") can be obtained from a local Notary office in the U.S. Also Finnish foreign missions and Honorary Consuls may provide public notary actions including certificate of living if required. Notarial services carry a service fee. Appointment is required and a notarial act is not generally done while waiting.

How do I get a Finnish birth certificate?

There is no separate Finnish birth certificate. The Finnish Local Register Offices can provide an extract from a population register which also shows birth information. If the receiver of the extract requires for legalization (=Apostille certificate), it can be obtained from Finnish Local Register Office.

How do I get a copy of certificate of military service exemption or suspension order?

A certificate of military service exemption or suspension order can be asked from Regional Offices of the Finnish Defence Forces.

How can I visit the White House?

The White House website states that foreign nationals interested in touring the White House should contact their Embassy to arrange a tour. However, the Embassy has been advised by the US Department of State that, at present, access for foreign nationals to White House tours as part of an Embassy-sponsored public tour group is on hold. We are therefore unable to process any applications at this time.

You may wish to consider tours of the US Capitol Building, where visitors are able to arrive on the day and obtain a timed-entry tour pass.

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