Integration Assistance and The European Union Card

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skeptos
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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 2:12 am
Location: San Jose now, Vihti soon, Helsinki later

Integration Assistance and The European Union Card

Post by skeptos » Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:28 am

Hello All,

I’m an U.S. citizen, living in San Jose, CA with my Finnish wife. We have been seriously considering going to Finland next year and I’ve been trying to find out all my options as an immigrant. I’ve read thru many of the message threads posted here and found them useful and comforting but I still have a few questions:

1. Can anyone tell me about the Integration Assistance available for immigrants that KELA provides?

2. Has anyone ever heard of an European Union Card which grants immigrants, married to Finnish citizens, the same rights as residency? I heard from the Registrar Office that it’s a new thing and obtainable within 6 weeks.

3. Is there any aid for unemployed immigrants/residents who are not eligible for the unemployment allowance? (since I’m not from a EU/EEA country, I cannot receive unemployment allowance, right?)

4. Does studying in Finland affect aid that immigrants may receive?

If you can answer one or all of these questions or point me to the appropriate resource, then I’d really be grateful. Also, if any of these questions are answered in previous postings, please make me aware of them.

Kiitos, (the full extent of my Finnish.... okay, I cheated and asked my wife for that...)

Nik Skeptos



Integration Assistance and The European Union Card

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Ace

Post by Ace » Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:33 am

http://www.mol.fi/migration/engopas.pdf

http://www.mol.fi/english/index.html

skeptos wrote:1. Can anyone tell me about the Integration Assistance available for immigrants that KELA provides?


http://193.209.217.5/in/internet/englis ... enDocument

skeptos wrote:2. Has anyone ever heard of an European Union Card which grants immigrants, married to Finnish citizens, the same rights as residency? I heard from the Registrar Office that it’s a new thing and obtainable within 6 weeks.


Not heard about that sorry.

skeptos wrote:3. Is there any aid for unemployed immigrants/residents who are not eligible for the unemployment allowance? (since I’m not from a EU/EEA country, I cannot receive unemployment allowance, right?)


I think you can depending on your circumstances. (I think because your married to a Finn you can).

skeptos wrote:4. Does studying in Finland affect aid that immigrants may receive?


Yep you have to be here for two years either working or unemployed, but not in higher education, in order to be eligible for student financial aid. If you come here and go to polytechnic/university straight away you won't get any benefits, and I think you have to be able to prove you can support yourself during your studies if your not from the EU (that may not apply to you as your married to a Finn though).

http://193.209.217.5/in/internet/englis ... 01131300IL
Last edited by Ace on Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:46 am, edited 5 times in total.


Dara
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Post by Dara » Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:39 am

Hello and welcome to the board!

I am sure there will be much more 'proffesional' answers here later on. I will just share a story with you and I am not sure what legal grounds it actually has...
I had two friends in Finland whose situation was the same (more-less) as yours. The boy was a Finnish citizen the girl was Bulgarian (and mind you Bulgaria is NOT a EU/EEA country!). When they married they both stayed in Finland. The girl got a finnish residence permit and could apply for a citizenship in 5 years or something. He was still a student and she was unemployed. Not only she was receiving unemployment allowance but also went to all kind of courses for qualification (first of course she took the Finnish language course) at the unemployment office.

Hope this helps some...

Dara


Geri Bush
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Post by Geri Bush » Wed Nov 19, 2003 3:32 pm

Some thoughts from my experience...

Because you/I have not paid taxes in the EU, the amount of unemployment we can recieve is based on the income of the spouse. From memory, if your spouse make under 860EUr/month, you can collect full. A percentage is deducted if the spouse's income is more, up to ?1500/month. Over ?1500/month = donnut.

BUT if you take a employment office provided courses or immigrate adaptation courses (finnish language) you will recieve benefits. Current rate 30eur/day.


skeptos
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 2:12 am
Location: San Jose now, Vihti soon, Helsinki later

Any personal experience w/receiving Integration Assistance?

Post by skeptos » Wed Nov 19, 2003 8:37 pm

Hello again,

Thanks Ace, Dara & Geri for welcoming me to this forum and for replying so quickly. I REALLY appreciate the personal experiences that you've shared with me, it's all very enlightening.

I'd like to ask if anyone can share with me their experience with receiving Integration Assistance. As you may know, the info I get from the Kela site is very limited, so any details from your personal experience would be appreciated.

I'm off to read more of the existing posts. People's experience with moving to Finland has been invaluable to me. I know that until we actually move there, we'll never know for certain what is instore for us, but getting second hand accounts is the next best thing.

thanx again,

nik


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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Wed Nov 19, 2003 9:21 pm

Try PM:ing 'Phil'. He came from the USA with a similar mental prob... err want to move to Finland and got the KELA sorted out so he should know the 'what when where' of the red tape involved.
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


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