The coronavirus crisis also affects those who aspire to emigrate to Finland.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs reported on Thursday that, due to the coronavirus epidemic, "Finland, like other Schengen countries, will suspend the normal reception of visa applications at Finnish missions immediately from 19 March until further notice."
Koronavirusepidemian takia Suomi keskeyttää muiden Schengen-maiden tavoin tavanomaisen viisumihakemusten vastaanoton Suomen edustustoissa välittömästi 19. maaliskuuta alkaen toistaiseksi. https://t.co/lM2eqTAn0f— Ulkoministeriö (@Ulkoministerio) March 19, 2020
According to Government information, Finnish missions (embassies and consulates) will maintain the discretion to receive and process some individual visa applications "in exceptional cases," such as those submitted by family members of Finnish citizens. But, as a general rule, passports related to current visa applications will be returned.
Government says this does not apply to Russia, where all applications already received are processed. "Processing fees are non-refundable," the Ministry says.
Applications for residence permits will also be suspended immediately. Applications for residence permits that have already been received will normally be initiated and forwarded to the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) for processing. Interviews related to residence permit applications will also be suspended until further notice.
Delegations will provide more information on possible country arrangements when it is available.
Suomen edustustot @ulkoministerio ovat keskeyttäneet oleskelulupahakemusten vastaanoton. Selvitämme tilanteen vaikutuksia oleskelulupien käsittelyyn. Tiedotamme asiasta mahdollisimman pian asiakkaillemme. #koronavirus #maahanmuutto https://t.co/OSOvLv1ZsL— Maahanmuuttovirasto (@Maahanmuuttovir) March 19, 2020
The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) said in Twitter they will "investigate the impact of this situation in the processing of the residence permits." Clients will be informed "as soon as possible," Migri emphasized.