Growing number of visas applied for at Finnish missions abroad

The highest number of visas to Finland are applied for in Russia. Tourism from China and United Arab Emirates is also on the increase.

In 2019, Finland processed a total of 895,679 visa applications. This is about 14% more than the number of visas processed in 2018 (768,978). Furthermore, 5,854 visa applications to Finland were processed by the missions of other Schengen countries representing Finland.

By far the highest number of visas to Finland are applied for in Russia. In 2019, Russians submitted 786,407 visa applications, of which only 0.7% on average were refused. A total of 109,272 visas were applied for and issued in other countries.

People in Russia continue to be interested in travelling to do shopping in Finland. The processing of applications remained on schedule during the busy Christmas season. This was largely due to the fact that many tourists had submitted their applications earlier, at the end of the summer.

In Russia, St Petersburg remains the busiest place for visa application with 644,844 applications. This was 19% more than in the previous year.

The Embassy in Moscow was the second busiest place with 75,716 applications. The increase was 4%.

Petrozavodsk came third with 39,849 applications (23% increase) followed by Murmansk with 25,998 applications (15% increase). The Petrozavodsk Office of the Consulate General in St Petersburg handles visa matters in the Republic of Karelia, representing also Sweden and the Netherlands. The Murmansk Office represents Iceland in visa matters.

Tourism from China is also on the increase. In Beijing, the number of visa applications to Finland increased by 15% and in Shanghai slightly more, by 18%.

In the United Arab Emirates, the growth of visa applications was 45% compared with corresponding figures in 2018.

The number of visas issued in Kiev has decreased by 43% mainly because the majority of Ukrainians have biometric passports with visa-free travel to the Schengen area.

In the United States, the reception of visa applications to Finland was outsourced in 2019. Applications are now received in six different cities. Now that 17 new visa application centres were opened in Russia, the number of visa centres has increased to 40.

Inquiries: Virpi Kankare, Head of the Visa Unit, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 772

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