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Country Specific Info.

The United States State Department produces Consular Information Sheets with health, safety and other country information for every country in the world. They are one good source of information, though you should look at multiple sources of information and take your own personal situation into account when selecting a country to study in.

The latest Consular Information Sheet for Finland is below. We do not take responsibility for this information or edit it in any way. You can access the State Department travel site directly at: https://travel.state.gov/travel/

September 27, 2018

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Helsinki

Itäinen Puistotie 14B
00140 Helsinki
Finland
Telephone: +(358) 9-616-250
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(358) 9-616-250 and select 0
Fax: +(358) 9-174-681
Email: HelsinkiACS@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Finland for information on U.S.-Finland relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Finland is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Finland for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet. Visit the Embassy of Finland website for the most current visa information.

Students and prospective students must apply for a residence permit if you plan to study at a Finnish educational institution for more than 90 days. More detailed information is available on the Finnish Immigration Service website.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Finland.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.

Crime: Finland has a low crime rate. However, violent crimes such as sexual assaults do occasionally occur. Remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times.

Non-violent crimes, such as petty theft and pick-pocketing, are prevalent in Finland. Pay attention to your personal safety and avoid leaving personal possessions unattended.
Theft or skimming of ATM/debit/credit card PINs at both ATMs and in stores has increased significantly. Be aware of your environment when using debit/credit cards, and guard your PIN numbers.
Organized crime groups operating in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe are present in Finland. Remain vigilant with regard to your personal security and exercise caution.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112, and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (358) 9-616-250.

For information on shelters in Finland please see Shelters For Victims of Domestic Violence page published by the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

help you find appropriate medical care
assist you in reporting a crime to the police
contact relatives or friends with your written consent
explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
provide a list of local attorneys
provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
provide information on victim’s compensation programs in Finland
provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

Faith-Based Travel Information
International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
Human Rights Report – see country reports
Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Finland.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Laws mandating access to buildings for persons with disabilities are generally enforced, but many older buildings remain inaccessible. Some public transportation systems are less adapted to individuals with disabilities. You should check ahead with your hotel/destination to learn more about options to accommodate disabled traveler needs before visiting Finland.

Most forms of public transportation are accessible, but geographically-isolated areas can be especially problematic for travelers with disabilities.
Call ahead to restaurants, museums, and other facilities to find out if they are wheel-chair accessible.
Assistance for train travelers is available at most stations but must be requested in advance. For more information, visit the Finnish National Tourist Board’s website.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Medical facilities and staff are generally excellent and widely available for emergency services. English is commonly spoken by Finnish medical personnel. The public hospital system and many private hospitals honor foreign credit cards.

Local medical centers, clinics, or first-aid stations are located at hospitals and will provide a full range of services to tourist and temporary visitors.
Dial 112 for emergency medical services throughout Finland.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Finland to ensure the medication is legal in Finland. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

You may bring a 90-day supply of most personal prescription drugs with a formal doctor’s note.
Prescribed narcotics may only be brought into Finland for your personal use for a maximum of 14 days and must be accompanied by a medical certificate stating why you need them.
Finnish customs regulations prohibit you from receiving medication shipments from abroad. . Local physicians may be reluctant to prescribe equivalent quantities or dosages. For more detailed information, please visit the Finnish National Tourist Board website or contact the Embassy of Finland.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Finland has an extensive network of highways and excellent public transportation services throughout the country. Driving in Finland is on the right side.

A valid U.S. driver’s license may be used while visiting Finland, but drivers must be at least 18 years of age.
Traffic approaching from the right has priority, even if entering a primary roadway from a secondary one; as such, stop signs are rarely used in Finland.
It is common practice in Finland, including in large cities, to turn off traffic lights at certain intersections in the early morning hours.
Some roads in Helsinki designated as two-way are narrow, making passing difficult. Road signs use standard international symbols and Finnish text.
Many urban streets have traffic lanes reserved for public transportation only.

Winter driving in Finland can be hazardous. Daylight hours are very short and drivers should be comfortable driving in darkness.

Icy road conditions are common.
Your vehicle must have snow tires from December through February. Engine heaters are strongly recommended.
When driving at night, drivers must be alert to moose wandering onto major roadways. Striking a moose can severely damage a vehicle and even fatally injure its occupants.
If you are in a car accident, you must have your insurance paperwork with you.

Traffic Laws: Unless otherwise noted on traffic signs, the speed limit varies from 30 to 40 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on open roads, and 120 km/h on expressways during summer (100 km/h in winter).

Vehicles must use headlights at all times.
Use of seatbelts is mandatory for drivers and all passengers.
Children under 135 cm (approximately 53 inches) in height must be seated in approved child or booster seats or use appropriate safety equipment as stated on the Finnish Police website and the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications fact sheets.
Drunk driving laws are strict.
Police strictly enforce all traffic laws and institute random roadside breath-analyzer tests. Drivers who register a 0.05% or higher blood-alcohol content are subject to immediate arrest. For more information, please review the Finnish Police website.

Public Transportation: Public transportation in Finland is of good quality and is the recommended method of travel.

Passenger trains, intercity buses, and air flights provide regular service over longer distances.
Public transportation in urban centers includes buses, subways, trams, suburban trains, and taxis.
Taxis are more expensive than in major U.S. cities. Rates vary widely depending on the company providing the transportation service.
Most local residents use public transport in Helsinki as parking is expensive and can be hard to find. The bus, train, and subway systems are safe and easy to use.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the Finland National Tourist Board and the Finnish Road Safety Council.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Finland’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Finland’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Finland should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https://homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal (select “broadcast warnings”).

Presbyterian College Office of International Programs