Message for U.S. Citizens: Frequently Asked Questions

United States Embassy in Helsinki, Finland
Message for U.S. Citizens: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
March 18, 2021 (Updated May 18, 2021)

ROUTINE SERVICES  

Q: When can I schedule a passport appointment? 

We are open for routine U.S. citizen services. To schedule an appointment for passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad services, please visit our website. Notarial services can also be scheduled via our website.

Q: What safety measures should I expect at the embassy? 

To help keep customers safe, we’re carefully controlling waiting room numbers to ensure social distancing. This may result in a longer than usual wait outside. Masks or face coverings are required, and hand sanitizer is available. 

Q: How will I receive my new passport? 

Please bring a self-addressed envelope with adequate Finnish postage to your interview. Local mail delivery options include: regular mail with Finnish postage stamps, All-in-one pre-paid envelopes, express pre-paid envelopes, and registered letters (kirjattu kirje in Finnish). You can request a tracking number from the postal service in order to track Express envelopes and registered letters. Tracking numbers are recommended. Your mailing option should include an envelope large enough to fit two passports, contain postage to cover 250g, and contain your mailing address as the recipient. The envelope will be mailed from the Embassy in Helsinki to your address in Finland. Your passport will be delivered via this envelope. In some circumstances, pick-up at the embassy may be possible. Most customers receive their new passport within 4-6 weeks.

TRAVEL TO THE U.S. 

Q: Are U.S. citizens allowed into the United States? 

Yes, provided you follow the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention requirements for all travelers entering the United States. 

Q: Are U.S. citizens subject to the negative COVID-19 test requirement? 

Yes. All travelers two years of age and older require a negative COVID-19 test result three days before travel (or documentation of recent COVID-19 recovery) to enter the United States. The CDC website has more details. 

Q: Can my Finnish friend or significant other travel with me to the United States? 

Not necessarily. They would need to be granted a National Interest Exception. See our website for criteria and how they can apply. 

Q: Can my Finnish immediate family member travel with me to the United States? 

Probably, provided they have a valid travel document (such as ESTA authorization or a visa) and follow the CDC negative COVID-19 test result requirement. The spouses, parents, and children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are not subject to current restrictions of travelers from the Schengen area

Q: I would like my Finnish fiancé to join me in the United States. When will K-1 processing resume? 

Any updates to K-1 or other visa processing will be announced on the “Consular Operations” section of our website.  

TRAVEL FROM THE U.S. 

Q: If I visit the U.S., will I be allowed to return to Finland? 

This is the decision of the Finnish Border Guard, and we cannot issue travel letters or advocate for the entry of U.S. citizens.  

While travel from the U.S. is currently restricted, some exceptions exist for essential travel, transit, work-related travel, those with Finnish residence permits, and family members of Finnish nationals. Entry is determined upon arrival and permission is not granted in advance. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Finland should prepare for the possibility that entry may be denied.  

Please direct any questions directly to the Finnish Border Guard.  

Q: Can my friends and family members from the United States visit me in Finland?  

At this time, probably not. Tourist travel from the United States is currently restricted, although some exceptions exist for close family members. Please direct any questions to the Finnish Border Guard.  

VACCINES 

Q: How can I receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Finland?  

The U.S. Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow local developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination. You should consult with medical providers you trust and review information published by relevant public health authorities as you consider your options for accessing a COVID-19 vaccine. 

ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS 

Q: How can I request my COVID-19 economic impact payment? 

The Internal Revenue Service is the U.S. government agency responsible for economic impact payments. You can request your payment at their website

Q: I’m having trouble cashing my economic impact payment in Finland. Please help. 

Many U.S. citizens who have bank accounts in the United States have been able to cash their check via that account, either remotely or in person. If you don’t have a U.S. bank account, you may want to consider opening one.  Some banks in the United States will allow you to open an account remotely. Some U.S. citizens have reported success reaching out to banks in the location of their last U.S. residence and opening accounts remotely, either online or through a mobile app.  You may also consider looking at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website, which has information about banks offering accounts that can be opened online. Alternatively, the IRS may be able to issue your payment via an EIP debit card. You can find more information on their website

TAXES 

 Q: How do I get started, and who can answer my questions? 

The Internal Revenue Service provides information for international taxpayers. Visit the IRS website for guidance and resources. 

 More questions? Contact us at HelsinkiACS@state.gov 

Follow the U.S. Embassy on social media:

 @usembfinland @usembfinland @finland.usembassy