Finland Dishes Out New Visa Rules

Finland Dishes Out New Visa Rules

Published: November 9, 2011 (Issue # 1682)

Owners of real estate in Finland will face a more complicated process when it comes to getting Finnish visas, Fontanka reported.

In October, Finland introduced new rules stating that owners of houses in Finland will need to not only supply the standard visa documents required, but also submit a document showing payment of real estate taxes.

Previously, the owners of houses needed only to provide a copy of the act of purchase and sale of property in Finland.

“We need to see that real estate in Finland still belongs to an owner,” the Consulate General of Finland said in a statement.

The consulate pointed out that ownership of real estate in Finland allows people to apply for a two-year long visa.

The Finnish Border Service also plans to cancel the visas of tourists who enter Finland without medical insurance, Interfax reported.

“Until recently we asked such clients to provide proof of medical insurance on the spot, but we are considering more serious measures, including annulling visas right at border checkpoints,” said Juha Saari, a Finnish border service representative.

Saari said Finland’s border guards began doing selective medical insurance checks among Russian tourists and discovered that 10 percent of Russian citizens crossing the border did not have medical insurance.

The number of Russians crossing the Finnish border is increasing every year, said Saari. This year the border service registered 40 percent more crossings. At least 90 percent of all foreigners entering Finland were Russian citizens.

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