Visas

Status of Non-Immigrant Visa Services

Overview

Most non-immigrant travel to the United States by residents and citizens of Finland is prohibited through Presidential Proclamations 10052, 10014 and/or 9993. As such, routine non-immigrant visa services are currently suspended. These Presidential Proclamations also apply to holders of valid visas and those who intend to travel under the Visa Waiver Program, or ESTA.

Valid Visa and Travel Document Holders

Students with valid F or M visas and a valid I-20 form may travel to the United States without notifying the embassy to request an exception. However, all other travelers that already have valid visas or ESTA approval must also receive approval for a national interest exception prior to travel.  Please note that without such approval, you are likely to be denied boarding or entry to the United States.

Excepted Travel

The U.S. Embassy in Helsinki continues to provide emergency and mission critical visa services to applicants exempted from COVID-19-related Presidential Proclamations. Exceptions may be available for travelers in the following categories: students, investors, academics, public health professionals, government officials, crew members, family members of U.S. citizens and residents, those needing medical treatment, humanitarian situations, and others whose travel is in the U.S. national interest for economic or national security reasons.

How to Request an Exception

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Travel to the United States on a temporary basis, including tourism, temporary employment, study and exchange.

Immigrant Visas

For foreign citizens who want to live permanently in the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:

E-mail

Call center

  • In Finland: +358 942 451 555 (11am-3pm, Mon-Fri)
  • In the U.S.: +1 703-520-2571

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on http://travel.state.gov.
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.