Processing of personal data when applying for a visa to Finland

Our statutory duties include the processing of visa applications and related decision-making. If your country of destination is Finland, you can apply for a visa from the nearest Finnish mission or the Visa Application Centre that the mission advises you to contact. Honorary consuls and honorary consulates do not grant visas. As a rule, you must submit your visa application in person at the mission or the visa centre. An application cannot be sent by email or telefax.

Following the provisions of the Visa Code, we have outsourced the reception of visa applications and the transfer of completed decisions in several countries to VFS Global (More information about the countries).

We process the data submitted in connection with visa applications in our national visa system. The system is linked to the Visa Information System (VIS), where VIS application data, photographs and fingerprints are stored.

Information we collect about you in connection with visa applications

When you apply for a Schengen visa to Finland, we process the personal data you have submitted to us, including your name, date of birth, phone number, postal address, email address, work details, photo, fingerprints, and any other information you have submitted to us in possible appendices. In addition, we may process information about your family members, people living in the same household with you, and recipients in Finland when this is necessary for resolving the matter at hand.

The retention period for the data in the visa system is five years from the last entry of the data, if the visa has expired. 

Why we process your data

We process your personal data in order to carry out the statutory duties pertaining to the Foreign Service based on Article 6, paragraph 1, point c of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679.

Provisions on the tasks of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finland's missions abroad are laid down, for example in:  

  1. The Act on the Foreign Service
  2. The Government Decree on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
  3. The Visa Code
  4. The VIS Regulation
  5. The Act on the Register of Aliens

Transfer of personal data

We are entitled to disclose your information to the Finnish Defence Forces, the criminal investigation authorities, ministries, the Population Register Centre, Local Register Offices, the Pension Security Centre, the Social Insurance Institution, municipal social service authorities, occupational safety and health authorities and the Emergency Response Centre.

Your data may also be disclosed on the basis of a request for information based on the law of another Schengen State authority or authorities supervising national security.

We do not disclose your personal data to other parties unless otherwise provided in Finnish law or local legislation or subject to international agreements binding on Finland.

Your rights

Remember that under the GDPR you also have rights relating to the processing of your personal data. More information about your right to data protection is available here.

For more information

If you have any questions concerning the processing of your personal data in the Foreign Service, contact the Ministry’s Data Protection Officer by email at tietosuoja(at)formin.fi.