Residency permit for spouses

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Linda Tyrol
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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:46 pm

Residency permit for spouses

Post by Linda Tyrol » Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:28 pm

Greetings, all!

I'm a new member and this is my first post. I'm really looking for help regarding residency permits.

I'm an American who recently applied for a permit in order to live with my Finnish boyfriend here in Helsinki but was declined based on the fact that we don't have an "established relationship history." The two-year rule and living together outside of Finland thing. (We are both in our mid-40's and not interested in living together for along period nor having a commuter relationship). Anyway, we are now discussing a Christmas wedding in the States and are very excited about this. However, when I called the Immigration office here in Helsinki re. reapplying with a change in status and explained this to the officer, she was wary of the fact that we still will not have known each other for 2 years. Then, she later said that I would "probably get it" if I don't have a criminal record(!).

I know that this is the law and am not happy about the prospect of getting married and then having to wait outside of Finland to get my residency permit, but it's bearable. However, the prospect of getting married and then being denied the permit because we still haven't lived together for two years seems highly unreasonable.

Is there anyone out there who has had a similar experience or has heard of a similar situation? I really want to be happy about my upcoming marriage and optimistic about a future life in Finland.

I should also add that I'm not working here at the moment as I'm more eager to get this settled before I look for work.

Thank you very much.

Residency permit for spouses

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:59 pm

Hi, Linda and welcome to the group.



AFAIK the marriage will suffice, but on the other hand it requires some "proof", as they do not want a "paper marriage" system to evolve. It is however less draconian as the US system, well atleast we don't have movies made out of the Finnish system (yet).

The appropriate legalese is found at the uvi (directorate of immigration) website.

http://www.uvi.fi/pdf/olelupaperheside_eng.pdf
"Spouse and cohabitant

If your spouse is applying for a residence permit on
the basis of marriage, you will have to present your
marriage certificate. The marriage must have been
registered in Finland and as a rule also in the home
country of the foreign spouse. Persons of the same
sex who have registered their relationship are
considered spouses.

Your cohabitant may be granted a permit if you have
been living together for at least two years. If you have
a child together, a shorter period will suffice. You will
have to produce reliable evidence of the time you have
been living together, such as an extract from the
register of occupants of the house where you live, or
an extract from the population register, or some other
certificate issued by the authorities. If you have been
living together on a temporary basis, turn and turn
about in each other's country, for example, on holiday
or while travelling, this does not provide sufficient
grounds for a residence permit. A cohabitant cannot
obtain a permit if one of the partners is already married
to another person.

Multiple marriage is not recognised by Finnish
legislation. For this reason, a residence permit can be
granted to one partner only."


There are a few topics on this in the 'Moving to Finland' section and on the times how long the application takes.

Hope everything turns out well.
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


Penny
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Location: Western Australia

Post by Penny » Wed Nov 05, 2003 2:20 pm

Hi Linda, I'm a newbie too. I married my Finnish boyfriend in Australia in January 2001 and then we moved to Finland in Novembr 2002. We hadn't been living together for quite two years either, but we did have a 3 month old baby, so I think maybe she made the difference. We got all the papers we needed to get, but it took a long time. We were told to apply 3 months before we wanted to go to Finland, but it took closer to 6 months before we got our passports and visas back. I took two older kids as well from a previous marriage, so there was a bit of organising to do. We had our tickets booked and paid for not long after we applied, and because it took so long to get our applications proccessed, we got everything back the night before we left Australia. The Finnish embassy here in Canberra had them couriered over to Perth for us. :shock: It was a really stressful time. We had to put the stickers on our passports ourselves (but don't tell anyone because I don't think you are allowed too) :twisted: Everything worked out in the end though, and we got there. We ended up only staying for 5 months :cry: because my Finnish husband wanted to come back to Australia. I would have been quite happy to stay in Finland. But, nevermind, that's just the way it goes :roll: We will definitely be going back there for holidays. My little girl needs to see her Mummi and Vaari.

The only advice I can give you is, don't wait too long to get it sorted out because the wheels move really slowly.
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Caroline
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Re: Residency permit for spouses

Post by Caroline » Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:27 pm

Linda Tyrol wrote:Greetings, all!

I'm a new member and this is my first post. I'm really looking for help regarding residency permits.

I'm an American who recently applied for a permit in order to live with my Finnish boyfriend here in Helsinki but was declined based on the fact that we don't have an "established relationship history." The two-year rule and living together outside of Finland thing. (We are both in our mid-40's and not interested in living together for along period nor having a commuter relationship). Anyway, we are now discussing a Christmas wedding in the States and are very excited about this. However, when I called the Immigration office here in Helsinki re. reapplying with a change in status and explained this to the officer, she was wary of the fact that we still will not have known each other for 2 years. Then, she later said that I would "probably get it" if I don't have a criminal record(!).

I know that this is the law and am not happy about the prospect of getting married and then having to wait outside of Finland to get my residency permit, but it's bearable. However, the prospect of getting married and then being denied the permit because we still haven't lived together for two years seems highly unreasonable.

Is there anyone out there who has had a similar experience or has heard of a similar situation? I really want to be happy about my upcoming marriage and optimistic about a future life in Finland.

I should also add that I'm not working here at the moment as I'm more eager to get this settled before I look for work.

Thank you very much.



Getting married is the easiest and only guaranteed way to do it. If you're married, it's an automatic "yes" decision (of course, provided that you don't have a criminal record), but you probably have to leave Finland to apply for your permit, the processing time will take about 3 months, and you have to enter Finland or the Schengen region AFTER the permit is validated. There was supposed to be a law passed in 2001 allowing foreign spouses of Finnish citizens to get their permits while living in Finland, but to my understanding people are still being told they have to leave the country and re-enter in order for the documents to be valid. It is not fair to have to turn a committed relationship into legal marriage just for the sake of immigration, but there is no way to get around the beaurocracy :x
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!


Caroline
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Post by Caroline » Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:59 pm

P.S. If you are planning to get married in the States, be sure to check the local laws. Some states require that both partners be legal residents in order to have even a magistrate wedding. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the marriage has to be registered in Finland before they can process the application.

I hope you are able to do things according to your plan. But if not, you might have to do a split ceremony: magistrate wedding in Finland to take care of the legal aspect of it and then have a church ceremony at your convenience at a later date in the USA. A distant relative of mine, who is a dual Finnish-American citizen and lives in Helsinki, did that. He and his fiancee had a rushed civil ceremony to legalize the union so that she could qualify for better maternity benefits, and then they later had a blessing at her family's church.
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!


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eashton
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Re: Residency permit for spouses

Post by eashton » Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:02 pm

Caroline wrote:Getting married is the easiest and only guaranteed way to do it. If you're married, it's an automatic "yes" decision (of course, provided that you don't have a criminal record), but you probably have to leave Finland to apply for your permit, the processing time will take about 3 months, and you have to enter Finland or the Schengen region AFTER the permit is validated. There was supposed to be a law passed in 2001 allowing foreign spouses of Finnish citizens to get their permits while living in Finland, but to my understanding people are still being told they have to leave the country and re-enter in order for the documents to be valid. It is not fair to have to turn a committed relationship into legal marriage just for the sake of immigration, but there is no way to get around the beaurocracy :x


I don't think this is technically true in all cases as a friend of my husband married a Chinese girl who was denied residency. I'm not sure what the reason was, but it wasn't due to a criminal record. It was a rather sad story.


Caroline
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Re: Residency permit for spouses

Post by Caroline » Wed Nov 05, 2003 5:12 pm

eashton wrote:
Caroline wrote:Getting married is the easiest and only guaranteed way to do it. If you're married, it's an automatic "yes" decision (of course, provided that you don't have a criminal record), but you probably have to leave Finland to apply for your permit, the processing time will take about 3 months, and you have to enter Finland or the Schengen region AFTER the permit is validated. There was supposed to be a law passed in 2001 allowing foreign spouses of Finnish citizens to get their permits while living in Finland, but to my understanding people are still being told they have to leave the country and re-enter in order for the documents to be valid. It is not fair to have to turn a committed relationship into legal marriage just for the sake of immigration, but there is no way to get around the beaurocracy :x


I don't think this is technically true in all cases as a friend of my husband married a Chinese girl who was denied residency. I'm not sure what the reason was, but it wasn't due to a criminal record. It was a rather sad story.



You're right. Come to think of it, I've heard rumblings that legal marriage to a Finnish citizen doesn't necessarily mean guaranteed residency approval.


Linda: if you were to get married and then for some reason not get residency permission for Finland, an alternative might be to live elsewhere in the EU or in the USA. I don't know how likely that is according to your needs and mutual wishes, but it could be another possibility...
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!


Linda Tyrol
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:46 pm

Residency Permit for Spouses

Post by Linda Tyrol » Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:34 pm

Hello, everyone,

Many thanks for your input -- much appreciated!

I spoke this morning with someone at Immigration re. work permits thinking that if I can line up a teaching job for January, this might be one way around waiting outside of Finland for 3 months while my residency permit is processed. Any thoughts on this? Is this just opening another can of worms or do you think it might come through quicker if I found a willing employer? The officer seemed to think that that application could be in the works and then when the marriage certificate is submitted later, I would qualify for the permanent visa.

Another question -- after our marriage, my husband and I will fly back to Finland, where he will apply at our local police station (which is in Helsinki). Do you think it makes more sense for him to do this here or for me to apply in New York City just after the wedding. It's much more of a hassle for us to do this but I'm wondering if you think the waiting period would be less...

Also -- I've read on a number of posts something about the Immigration office taking your passport!?! So, how can I travel back here to visit my husband (I will still have some days left to visit her) without it?

Any help would be appreciated.

Many thanks, again.

Linda


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eashton
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Re: Residency Permit for Spouses

Post by eashton » Thu Nov 06, 2003 2:22 pm

Linda Tyrol wrote:I spoke this morning with someone at Immigration re. work permits thinking that if I can line up a teaching job for January, this might be one way around waiting outside of Finland for 3 months while my residency permit is processed. Any thoughts on this? Is this just opening another can of worms or do you think it might come through quicker if I found a willing employer? The officer seemed to think that that application could be in the works and then when the marriage certificate is submitted later, I would qualify for the permanent visa.

Another question -- after our marriage, my husband and I will fly back to Finland, where he will apply at our local police station (which is in Helsinki). Do you think it makes more sense for him to do this here or for me to apply in New York City just after the wedding. It's much more of a hassle for us to do this but I'm wondering if you think the waiting period would be less...

Also -- I've read on a number of posts something about the Immigration office taking your passport!?! So, how can I travel back here to visit my husband (I will still have some days left to visit her) without it?

Any help would be appreciated.

Many thanks, again.

Linda


Well...you might get a permit faster than you can get a job here unless, of course, you're fluent in Finnish.

The thing they like to see is some sort of history between the native and foreign spouse. It is fairly common, I am told, that Finns have a rather protracted courtship and a 2 week romance followed by a trip to vegas would be considered exceedingly rare here. If you have any way of supporting the picture of the relationship to the Immigration office as being somewhat longer than a few months, it will help a great deal.

As far as when/where to do the application, it's hard to say but if you don't have a job nor a visa by the time you enter Finland with your new husband things could get dodgy if you plan to stay longer than 3 months. Yes, they do want your passport but you can retain it since they only require the passport at the end of the decision process and only if it's a positive decision.

I wouldn't suggest that you enter Finland after you are married if you are planning to stay. Stay in the US and have your husband get the marriage registered and get your paperwork started. It shouldn't take that long and it's the path of least hassle.


Caroline
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Re: Residency Permit for Spouses

Post by Caroline » Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:22 am

Linda Tyrol wrote:Hello, everyone,

Many thanks for your input -- much appreciated!

I spoke this morning with someone at Immigration re. work permits thinking that if I can line up a teaching job for January, this might be one way around waiting outside of Finland for 3 months while my residency permit is processed. Any thoughts on this? Is this just opening another can of worms or do you think it might come through quicker if I found a willing employer?
Linda




I do NOT recommend that. I have been in a similar situation so I speak from experience. First of all, it will be difficult to get any legitimate employer to hire you based on your hopes to be approved for residency. The UVI office holds your passport for the entire decision time (so if you want to leave the country I guess it cancels the application), and by the time you get the decision, which would like 5-7 months and would most likely be negative, you would have overstayed the 3-month limit, which is grounds for deportation. With the Schengen Treaty in effect, the whole of Europe is now like a single country....so it doesn't help to cross the border to another EU state to renew your visa.

I wish I had more optimistic advice for you (most of those of us with Finnish spouses have gone through some aggravating beaurocracy), but if you do get married, you will most likely have to wait in the USA for your permits, whether or not your significant other can be with you during that time. For example, my husband and I were apart for 4 months right after our wedding.
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!


Dara
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My own experience

Post by Dara » Mon Nov 10, 2003 1:59 pm

Heyas!

I thought I would give as an example my own experience on this subject... I don't know if things have changed since 1998, but when I moved for 2 years in Finland in that year (to live with my then fiancé) I had a simple tourist visa at the beginning. When I was already in the country I enrolled to the University of Helsinki as a Visiting student (coz I had to take a leave from my own Uni at home for the time in Finland), then applied for a spouse residence. Basically what happened was that at first when I went to the Aliens Office I was told I have to leave the country before I apply for a residence permit. So I went again the next day to speak with another lady of the office and she proceeded my documents. My fiancé and I had not at that point lived together for two years at all (man, were we young and crazy! ;)) so the officers were more than happy to see my papers from the University. It appeared that as I am enrolled in the Uni there was no problem to receive a permit. I got a 5 years residence permit without any need to leave the country or anything. And I am not even a EU member state resident (my fiancé was)! Actually the guys at the Office were very nice and polite and helped me a lot (except for the lady that I talked to the very first time). I remember there was that gentleman who had a good laugh with me when asked me if my spouse and I were living together for at least two years and I answered that because of my age that would have been illegal! Hope this helps!

PM me if you need any additional info!

Dara


Sbruno
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residence permit

Post by Sbruno » Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:53 am

HI Linda. I hope you havent left? I'm afraid the last person is absolutely right. Enrolling at any Uninsersity or technical college and accepted by them is always a go. Another thing that people here havent mentioned is that as a native English speaker YOU CAN get a job as a teacher-try those language schools, specially the big ones. If you're hired, the employer will fill out the labor permit form and you should take it the police station as the basis for a resident permit. They cant deny it on the basis that the post should be given to someone from Finland since a Finnish person in principle cannot be a native speaker of English. you can also try to go to the police station with a bank statement showing at least 5000 EUR (borrowed or own) in your name and a certificate that you have enrolled in a Finnish language course because you want to learn the language-that "käsittely" time should take about 5-6 months in which you can work out a new startegy. I tried that with my sister on a tourist visa and it worked. Of course you cant get out of the country to get married during that time-or you could and come back with yet another tourist visa. Personally, if you dont want to get married dont do it for that-because there are plenty of ways and marriage is not UVI's favorite one. In addition, if the person at the police station gives you a negative reply, try with someone else because in principle the police does not handle change of status from tourist visa to residence permit, which means that they have to take the documents because you have presented them there and since UVI is the one that must make the decision, they just do the paperwork BUT are the ones that give you a written statement indicating the date until which you can stay, as I said 5-6 months.

Good Luck


xzor
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Re: Residency permit for spouses

Post by xzor » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:11 pm

I have type-A working visa I have applied for my wife first resident permit.I have 1400 euro net salary after tax deduction. since migri need 700 euro for my wife and 1000 euro from me. but clearly my salary is low i have only 1400 euro salary. Can i show my wife bank statement who live in pakistan and she has 8400 euro in her bank account in pakistan.


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Re: Residency permit for spouses

Post by Oombongo » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:25 pm

xzor wrote:I have type-A working visa I have applied for my wife first resident permit.I have 1400 euro net salary after tax deduction. since migri need 700 euro for my wife and 1000 euro from me. but clearly my salary is low i have only 1400 euro salary. Can i show my wife bank statement who live in pakistan and she has 8400 euro in her bank account in pakistan.
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