Number of visa applications at Finnish missions on rise after pandemic
The number of visas applied for at Finnish missions abroad are on the rise again after the pandemic years. However, the number of visas granted was only about one fifth of the number of visas granted in 2019, the year before the pandemic started.
The greatest change on the previous years was the steep fall in visas granted to Russian nationals. As a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which started in February 2022, the Finnish Government issued a resolution in September 2022 restricting the entry of Russian nationals to safeguard Finland’s international relations. Finland cut down significantly tourism from Russia to Finland and the issuing of visas to Russian nationals, in accordance with the resolution.
In 2022, Finland processed altogether 166,001 visa applications and granted 147,369 visas. In addition, missions of other Schengen countries that represent Finland processed 3,698 visa applications to Finland. During the pandemic, the numbers of visas applied for and visas granted were low: 152,543 visa applications were processed in 2020 and only 59,141 in 2021. In 2019, Finland processed 895,679 visa applications.
Despite the restrictions on tourism based on the Government resolution, the highest number of visa applications to Finland were submitted in Russia. Russian nationals submitted 113,769 visa applications in 2022. Altogether 106,012 visas were granted to Russians, and only about four per cent of the applications were denied. The number of visas granted to Russians has dropped significantly (by about 86 per cent) since 2019. In 2019, altogether 786,407 visa applications were submitted and 783,444 visas were granted in Russia, while only 0.7 per cent of the applications were denied.
A total of 52,232 visa applications were submitted and 41,378 visas were granted in other countries. After Russia, the highest numbers of visa applications were submitted in Thailand (8,638), India (7,716) and Türkiye (3,848). The greatest increase in the number of visa applications was in India, where the applications increased by as much as 2,000 per cent on 2021. Other countries with a high number of visa applications to Finland were the United Kingdom (3,613), Kosovo (3,364), Tunisia (2,342), Indonesia (1,933) and the United Arab Emirates (1,847).
The busiest place for visa applications to Finland is still the Consulate General in St Petersburg with 82,247 applications, followed by the Embassy in Moscow with 11,476 applications and the Petrozavodsk Office with 9,712 applications. The Petrozavodsk Office of the Consulate General in St Petersburg handles visa matters in the Republic of Karelia, representing even Sweden and the Netherlands. The fourth busiest place for visa applications in 2022 was Bangkok with 8,638 applications, followed by New Delhi with 7,716 applications.
- Katja Luopajärvi, Deputy Director of the Visa Unit, tel. +358 295 350 687
- The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format email@example.com.