As of 1 September 2019, the Embassy of Finland in Moscow, Finland’s Consulate General in St Petersburg and the offices in Petrozavodsk and Murmansk will change the rules regarding supporting documents to visa applications. These changes mean that in the future Finland will follow the common EU visa policy concerning such documents.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs explained in a press release that Finland has, even before, requested more detailed documents in support of visa applications, whenever necessary. Starting from September 2019, however, Finland will systematically request the same supporting documents as the other Schengen countries.
Key changes to requirements for different applicants
As for tourists and other private visitors, the most essential change concerns envisaged travel plans and proof of financial means. The application should be accompanied with proof of accommodation during the trip and the travel tickets; if not available, a written description of the itinerary by the applicant.
Proof of financial means can take the form of an employment certificate with salary information; a bank statement covering at least three preceding months; or a certificate of ownership of real estate property in Russia.
Property owners in the Schengen area must present proof of financial means in the same way as tourists. Applications submitted by close relatives of property owners must be accompanied with proof of the relationship.
For visas applied for the purpose of visiting family members living in the Schengen, proof of means of subsistence of the applicant is also required.
Changes will apply to all applications
These changes will apply, as of 1 September 2019, to all applications submitted in Finland’s diplomatic missions and at Finland Visa Application Centres across Russia.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs said will publish in August the updated requirements on supporting documents both in English and in Russian on the websites of the Finland Visa Application Centres located in Russia:
The requirements on supporting documents are based on the ‘Harmonised list of supporting documents to be submitted by applicants for a Schengen visa in the Russian Federation’, published by the European Union and available online in its entirety HERE