Canadians travelling to Finland and other European countries in the Schengen area will soon need to register for a new electronic visa waiver program, called ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization Service). This new measure is set to take effect starting in 2021.
This new system is being introduced to enhance the safety of the region by pre-screening individuals for potential security issues before their arrival in the EU. It is also going to help ease the process of passing through Schengen’s borders for world travellers.
How can Canadians apply for an ETIAS to visit Finland
In order to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver, Canadian citizens will need to fill out an application form on the ETIAS Canada online platform. On average, travellers can fill out this application within 10-20 minutes.
This application asks passengers to Europe to list the following information:
- Date of birth
- Country of citizenship
- Passport information
- Health and security information
Applicants should note that the health and security section of the application will ask the applicants to provide information about their medical history and criminal records. The ETIAS form will also ask the applicant to provide details regarding their previous travels and/or immigration history.
Visitors to Finland will also need to pay an application/processing fee online using a valid debit/credit card in order to complete the application process. Before submitting the application, Canadian citizens will have an opportunity to review the ETIAS application and correct any mistakes that might have been made while filling out the online form.
Applicants are advised to use the same passport to complete the online ETIAS visa waiver application as the one they will use to travel to the EU, as ETIAS visa waivers are attached to individual passports and cannot be transferred.
Canadian passport and document requirements for Finland
Canadian travellers to Finland will need to meet certain requirements to ensure a successful ETIAS visa waiver application. Firstly, they will need to ensure that their passport has the required validity for their trip to Finland, as the ETIAS is only valid while the applicant’s passport is still valid.
This means that if the applicant’s passport expires they will have to reapply for the ETIAS visa waiver again. In order to avoid this situation, Canadian tourists should consider renewing their passport before travelling to Finland.
Additionally, all Canadian applicants must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of their planned arrival in the EU country. It must also have two blank pages where entry and exit stamps can be placed.
Finally, the ETIAS visa waiver allows Canadian visitors a stay of 90 days within a 180-day period in the EU member state and to travel within the EU Schengen area. The ETIAS document is valid for up to 3 years and allows Canadian citizens multiple short-term entries into the EU.
Travelling to Finland from Canada with ETIAS travel authorization
If the traveller’s application has not been flagged by any of the security databases, an ETIAS visa waiver can usually granted within a matter of hours. However, if there is additional processing then it may take longer for the applicant to get their ETIAS visa waiver.
Tourists are encouraged to apply for their ETIAS visa waiver for Finland ahead of time in order to account for any application processing delays that might occur. Once the visa waiver has been approved, the traveller receives their ETIAS visa waiver via email.
The applicant’s passport registered with the system will need to be presented to Finnish Border officials/immigration authorities upon arrival in the country. It is also recommended to carry a paper or digital copy of your approved visa waiver during your trip.
Basic Information About Finland
Finland is a country in Northern Europe which borders Sweden, Norway, and Russia. Nearly two-thirds of the country is covered in dense forests. Its capital is Helsinki and the two official languages in the country are Finnish and Swedish.
Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe. It was first inhabited by the Sami (Lapp) people before other inhabitants who spoke Finnish moved in. The Lapp then moved north into the region now known as Lapland.
Tourist Information for Finland
A quarter of Finland is in the Arctic Circle, making it the perfect place to visit in order to experience Aurora Borealis; also known as the Northern Lights. Northern areas of Finland, including Lapland, are known as the “Land of the Midnight Sun” as the sun does not set there for 73 consecutive days during the summer and it also does not rise for 51 consecutive days during winter.
The Finns believe that Lapland is the home of Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas who lives in the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi.
There are 179,584 islands around Finland, more than any other country in the world. Similarly, there are 187,888 lakes in Finland, the largest of which is called Saimaa. It is also Europe’s fourth-largest lake.
Health Information for Travelers to Finland
Finland has a great health care system in place for Finnish citizens, permanent residents, and international students living and studying in the country. Citizens of EU countries are also entitled to free healthcare coverage thanks to the agreements that the Finnish government has in place with other European lawmakers.
However, this coverage may not extend to travellers and short-term visitors to the country. Therefore, Canadian visitors to Finland should consider investing in a travel healthcare insurance plan that can provide relief in case of potential illnesses or accidents during their trip.
Canadian Embassies and Consulates in Finland
The Embassy of Canada – Helsinki
Address: Pohjoisesplanadi 25B, 00100 Helsinki, Finland. P.O. Box 779, Helsinki, 00101
Telephone: 358 (9) 228-530
Fax: 358 (9) 601-060