Another residence permit problem

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Ravnheart
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Another residence permit problem

Post by Ravnheart » Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:16 am

I have a few questions that hopefully someone will be able to help me with.
First I will give you the background:) I am sorry if this is going to be long.

I came to Finland from the US in May. I had spent the last 2 years talking on the net and getting to know my now husband. When I got here he was everything I had always wanted and thought he would be. The plan was I was going to come here for a month and see how things worked out. Well the time pasted all too quickly and I changed my flight to stay another month with him. During that time I had injured my back and went to the local heath care center. They advised me to see a specialist. So I made an appointment. So I go to see the doctor and he tells me that I have a nerve being compressed by a disc and I can not travel. At this point time is running out for me to leave. So we contact the local police and talk to them about me getting my residence permit. We had already decided to get married and started looking into getting all the paperwork.
Well they tell us we can not apply from here for my permit except for certain cases. One being that it would be unreasonable. I had the doctors statement saying I can not fly for a few months. He lso wanted me to have a MRI to determine if it can be treated without surgey or not. So they allowed us to apply from here.
We stated in the paperwork we was planning on getting married within a month and that I have a job lined up already. Well durning that time we had been sent in circles trying to get the paperwork done so we could get married. One place totally forgot about us for 3 weeks. We got a ruling in 2 months instead of 3 and before we could get the papwerwok to get married. So of course they denied my permit and told me that I had 30 days if I wanted to appeal. I was still under the doctors care, and he still did not want me to travel. The guy at the police station was really nice about it and advised us to get a lawyer if was wanted to appeal. So we got a lawer and more paperwork. During which we got married. If it had been 3 months we would have been married and given them the marriage certificate before they ruled. But it never works out like you would want it to :(
So now we have another doctors note and the marriage certificate and the statement saying that I have work as soon as I have the residence permit.
Well 2 days ago we got a letter from the court saying they want more information. That we havent given them enough grounds to grant me a permit. They have given us 30 days to submit it. Which was dated Dec 22 and the lawyer didnt get it till after the holidays. So we lost more time. The doctors statement expired Dec 31, at this point I have to go ahead and have the MRI before he can write another one. Which I am unsure of what to do. I can have the MRI done on the 16th but I cant see the doctor till the 28th. This will be after the time allowed for me to return the paperwork.

They said that the doctors statement was submitted on the appeal but the first one was submitted with the appication as well. Also they was not happy that we got married after we was denied, but we had started this way before and have all the emails showing that we started it way before. After the Maistraatti screwed around for a month we finally got angry with them they got things together and we was married in 3 days.
We did notice one thing in the documents from Immigration that was submitted to the court They stated that I came over to get married and it was not a short term visit. Which is false information.
At this point I am not really sure what to do. Should I submit more information to the court? Or should I take my chance with my back and go back to the US and submit from there. When I had to fly to Helsinki to get the affidavid so we can get married the flight was only 1 hour and I was really messed up for 3 days at which point we had to fly back. So even that short flight was no fun and very painful.
But I really do not want to tick them off and them deny me from being allowed to apply for my residence permit again. At this point I am still allowed to apply again.
Also I know that if I apply from the states and as for my Passport back I would be able to come for short visits. But after me being here this long would the let me in or would I have to wait awhile?

Also since we are married will I have to have at least $5000 in my back account? Would it have to be in the US or would the account I have here in Finland be ok?

I dont know if anyone has had any issues like this or not, but any information would be very welcomed at this point.

Thank you so very much for your time,
Gina



Another residence permit problem

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:58 am

Wow - what can I say. Welcome to Kafkaland. The incompetence of the officials is overwhelming (as is the incompetence of the post office). I'd say stay here, get the MRI and tell the lawyer to loose barabbas. He can ask for a postponement from court. No use playing around with your health. If they make a decision or whatever you can always appeal to higher echelons. No use going to the USA with a sore back *and* trouble with papers. They won't understand anything at the Embassy, they'll send the papers to here, loose them again...

...me being optimistic here :wink:

But don't play around with your health.
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


Ravnheart
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Post by Ravnheart » Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:09 am

Thank you Hank. That really helps alot. :D I will contact my lawyer and ask him if he can get an extention for the time period.
I was getting really worried about it and I really dont understand why its so hard for them to grant the permits from here.
I am finacially stable and earn my income right now from the States as a free lance artists. So I am really not a risk.
If I didnt love Finland so much and wanted to stay here we would live in the US. Its easier to get a Green card there then it is a residence permit here :shock:


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boO_fi
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Post by boO_fi » Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:20 am

hello

first, congratulations on your marriage!

it's unfortunate about your injuries, i hope that things get better for you regarding it. saying that, even though your doctor's statement has expired, think about your health first. personally, i don't think you should fly back to the US to apply from there - if flying is painful for you and could possibly risk making your back situation even worse...i'd try and avoid that.

otherwise, i do think you should give more information to the courts. i could see why the Immigration Services had stated that you came over to Finland to get married - by an outsider's point of view it looks that way. hence, why you should try and appeal saying that what they stated isn't true.

in my particular case, i'm also an American living here in Finland under a "special" permit...due to the intent of getting married this year. i'm actually undergoing renewal of my permit...and there are certain things which i had included in my permit renewal application - maybe if you include the same things it can help you with the situation you're in?

with my original permit application i submitted a "further information" document. in there, i explained the situation of how we both met, our plans of getting married, why it's important that we remain together (due to the fact that we live many miles apart), proof of guaranteed means of support, what i plan on doing in Finland and references.

possibly if you explain the situation of how you both met, it will nullify the Immigration Services thinking that you were only here to get married. this may sound odd but might work (i don't know - it's best to get the opinion of others after they read this), would it be possible for you to include some short logs of your chatting which lead you to come here to Finland?

also, the guaranteed means of support bit is important...you mentioned how you were wondering if 5k should be in your US or Finnish account...from my point of view and also answering from my personal situation, it doesn't matter what account it's in, just as long as you can have proof that you have the money in the account (bank statement). It's also good to possibly have a letter written by your bank manager telling the Immigration Services that you have a good standing with the bank and that you have a sufficient amount of money to live here unemployed. if your husband makes enough money to support the both of you, maybe you should include his tax statement into the application as well. i think the guaranteed means of support bit is really really important...it looks as if they want to make sure that you're not just moving here to scrounge off the govt. you said that you have a job lined up waiting for you...get the proof of that in written form and submit it with your application.

i also think references are a good idea as well. what i mean by references is those people who can give proof to the Immigration Services that you two are and were in fact a couple for 2 years. in my situation, i had put my mom's name, my friend's name, my fiancee's mom's name and his friend's name. though it's extra things to put in the application...the more proof the better.

i would suggest also putting pictures of you two looking like a happy couple, but as you said, you just got married recently. if there are any pictures of you two taken before you were married, include them, and put a caption saying this is how your relationship progressed, etc.

i hope this helps! good luck
b0 selecta!


Ravnheart
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Post by Ravnheart » Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:35 am

Hey boO_fi, thank you so much, and thank you for this info! This really gives me alot to go on. I agree the more information the better.

I do still have my original tickets and the ones where I changed the date as well. We do have pictures of us taken together the first month I was here. We also have pictures taken by his parents as well.

Well he makes enough to support both of us and I also have my income as well. Getting the bank statement wont be a problem at all. They know us very well since I have checks coming from the states all the time and they are not used to that :)

Again thank you so very much for the info :) This really gives me a renewed hope after many months of struggeling and no's.


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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:42 am

Ravnheart wrote:Its easier to get a Green card there then it is a residence permit here


No it's not :mrgreen:
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


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boO_fi
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Post by boO_fi » Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:43 am

hehe no problem...

i'm actually going through my immigration applications and papers right now making a check list of what i need to renew this thing...ugh what a pain! i hope i get it renewed before our scheduled trip back home to California for Easter or else we'll be stuck here! :( i want to see my family too :(

i say include the original ticket stubs as well...and since your husband makes enough for the both of you...by all means use that...i think the name of the doc is... Ansiolaskelma...a monthly statement of income so i think...
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Ravnheart
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Post by Ravnheart » Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:55 am

Yea I know what you mean. We have been doing this for several months and sometimes I wonder if its ever going to end.
But I know it will get worked out in time :)

Hey what part of Cali? I live in the Bay area for almost 2 years. :D


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boO_fi
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Post by boO_fi » Fri Jan 09, 2004 3:26 pm

southern california...san fernandy valley :)
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Caroline
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Post by Caroline » Fri Jan 09, 2004 4:49 pm

Welcome to the forum Ravnheart.

They will eventually give you residency permission. Whether or not you'll be able to get it here or if you'll have to return to the States to get it after your injury has healed, I don't know.

They were supposed to have changed the immigration law for foreign spouses of Finnish citizens so that you can get married on a visitor's visa and apply for and get your residency papers while you are in Finland, but they still seem to be telling people they have to go back to their home country to get it. I've personally only heard of one case where the residency permission was granted while the spouse was still in Finland, and that was after the couple had the permit rejected like 3 times, and then sued the government. By the time the permit was actually granted, the foreign spouse (the wife of the couple) was pregnant anyway, so I'm sure that influenced the decision.

But, it's extremely frustrating I know. I'm from the USA too (Massachusetts), and I met my hubbie on the internet as well. I had my residency application rejected twice before getting approval (3rd time is the charm), and we spent the first 4 months as newlyweds apart while I was in the States waiting for my residency visa. I thought things would never be settled. But now I've been here a total of 3 1/2 years and planning to apply for citizenship next year.

It's so exciting to see another artisan here from the USA! We have a lot in common. When things settle down, please contact me. Where are you located? I'm in Oulu (as you can see from my member I.D.) PM me or e-mail sometime.

[email protected]
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Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

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Ravnheart
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Post by Ravnheart » Fri Jan 09, 2004 5:14 pm

Hi Caroline :D
Thank you for your help in this! Its really nice and uplifting to have so much help and suport in this. Its great to meet another artist as well :)
I am mainly a graphics artist but I do hand paintings as well just not as much lately. I will contact you for sure! :) I am in Lieska and love it here!

Do you know if the law was changed for sure? If I can find that information then I will point that out to them. Then they really cant say anything about it.
I will also have my lawyer look for it as well. I really dont understand why you have to return back to submit it. But there is so much of this I really dont understand why. They stated in the papers they sent us that heath issues would be considered unreasonable. LOL sometimes I feel like a rat on a wheel running in circles.

Hank sometimes I wonder if its harder :D


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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Fri Jan 09, 2004 5:18 pm

Well, go to the "tribal questions" at the US embassy website. Like my previous 5 employers - how the heck do I am supposed to knoe their whereabouts?
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Fri Jan 09, 2004 5:22 pm

There was a new "Nationality Act" that was passed regarding dual citizenships etc. etc.; but the new "Aliens Act" is still in the making. Maybe March maybe not. I suppose they'll try to get it passed before the magic date the new EU countries join in.

The current act is still this one: http://www.uvi.fi/englanti/doc/laki/aliensact.pdf
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


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Nathan Lillie
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Post by Nathan Lillie » Sun Jan 11, 2004 11:19 pm

I just waited for my permit here in Finland, and went back to the US once it was approved to get it (fly in to NYC, run to embassy, and out again - that's the way to earn frequent flyer miles). It was really the only way to do it if I didn't want to disrupt my life completely.

If it takes more than 3 months, though, you go beyond your tourist visa time. However, that is not necessarily an insurmountable problem...
fortunately mine was approved 4 days before my tourist visa expired, but there was consideration given to a Plan B.

Finland stamps your passport when you arrive and when you leave, but not when you leave to an EU country like Sweden. If you leave back to the US to get your permit via, say, Sweden, there is no way for them to know if you spent 3 months in Finland and 3 months in Sweden (legally), or 5 months and 29 days in Finland, and 1 day in Sweden. Not that I would suggest anything so sneaky... it would be immoral to undermine Finland's extremely fair and sensible immigration policy :roll:
(which is not to imply that the US has a better policy, just that it's finland's policy which is the issue here)


Wombat

Post by Wombat » Mon Jan 12, 2004 12:27 am

Nathan Lillie wrote:Finland stamps your passport when you arrive and when you leave, but not when you leave to an EU country like Sweden. If you leave back to the US to get your permit via, say, Sweden, there is no way for them to know if you spent 3 months in Finland and 3 months in Sweden (legally), or 5 months and 29 days in Finland, and 1 day in Sweden.

That's actually not allowed, according to Section 13 of The Finnish Aliens Decree:

When counting the period, when the alien is not required to have a visa, the time spend in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden during the last six months shall be deducted.

If you enter for three months, it's three months in total for all of the countries mentioned above. I saw in another post Nathan that you said that you had lived with a Finn for 5 years. Under Section 20 of The Finnish Aliens Act, your permit could have been issued here in Finland:

An alien who enters Finland without a residence permit may be issued a fixed-term residence permit in Finland if:

1) he has held Finnish citizenship or has at least one parent who is or has been a Finnish citizen by birth;

2) prior to entering Finland, he has lived with a spouse currently residing in Finland or continuously shared a household and cohabited without marriage with a person currently residing in Finland; or if

3) refusing a residence permit would be clearly unreasonable.


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