Residence vs. Longer Visas

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khu
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Residence vs. Longer Visas

Post by khu » Wed Feb 18, 2004 2:27 pm

Hi, everyone. My girlfriend is Finnish, and I have been using tourist visas to stay with her in Joensuu for 3 months at a time, a couple times a year, for the past couple of years. (I'm an American citizen, so I've been hopping back and forth).

My question is, what possibilities, if any, exist for me to stay longer than a tourist (more than 3 months) but not apply for a residence permit, as it seems to be a major hassle and I only want to stay less than a year? The tentative plan is to stay until she finishes her schooling, which is only a year at most.

I'm referring, I think, to the 'multiple entry visa' which is described by UVI as:

"Multiple-entry visas are granted for two or several visits. The number of entries and the period of allowed residence is stated in the visa."

Of course, they don't state the allowed range of residence times to give a rough idea of such, even if it does vary on a case by case basis. Reading the horror stories, I am not anxious to gamble with applying for a residence permit. I only want to stay for, say, 6 months or so.

For what it's worth, I did apply for and receive a Finnish visa once. We had stayed in Germany for two months, and went to Finland. While my girlfriend had no problem, being a Finn, I needed an extended visa since Germany and Finland are both participants in the Schengen treaty, and thus without a visa I would have overstayed my 3 month tourist allowance. Is such an extended visa on tourist status available within Finland itself? I have plenty of savings, more than enough to get by for such a period without working.

So, any thoughts? Your suggestions are much appreciated.



Residence vs. Longer Visas

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nehia_qom
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Post by nehia_qom » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:04 pm

I would say go for the residence permit. If you have savings enough to support you there should be no problem. Especially if you are applying from the US. It's cheaper and faster. I recieved my permit in about 3 weeks.
Though I don't know anything about extending a tourist visa.

Jessica

When choosing between two evils, always choose the one you haven't tried yet.
- Mae West

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Kemars
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Post by Kemars » Wed Feb 18, 2004 9:44 pm

Depending on what part of the US you are from, you can contact the Finnish Consulate and ask from there what are the possibilites for staying longer than 3 months.
If there is a way to prove that you have both lived togehter for longer than 5 or 8 months together previously before she moved back to Finland, then you might be able to qualify for co-inhabitant (which is like being married, but not officially but rather living in the same home together), and might be able to qualify for a resident permit for 6 months or 8 months (which to me is what you are looking for) as long as you can prove you can support yourself without working.

Have you considered taking up schooling here in Finland? you can get a student visa much quicker... Higher education in Finland

or.. you can jump back and forth between Finland and (any other non-EU country that allows US citizens visits up to 90 days with out visa's) stay in a hostel for a week and then fly back to Finland for another 90 days..and go back and forth..but remember you have to out of Finland (and perhaps the EU) for at least 5 days continuous before re-entering Finland... thats the secret...

so you have a few options..Best of luck..
How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?


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khu
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Post by khu » Thu Feb 26, 2004 2:03 pm

Thanks for the responses, guys!

Kemars: School's not a great option for me right now, so I have to discard that. But my understanding from speaking with the LA Finnish consulate was that the requirement is you stay only 90 days for every 6 months, but that is a running count. Every day you must look back 6 months and you cannot have stayed in Finland over a sum of 90 days, regardless of consecutiveness (if that's a word :) ) Am I wrong? We have not resided for 5 to 8 months outstide of Finland, and the situations were such that no documentation exists anyway for cohabitation.

I suppose that means a real residence permit is the only option here.

Jessica: do you think there's any difference applying inside and outside Finland? I'm due to go back to the States for probably 5 months (my girlfriend is visiting over the summer). I hope that's then enough time to get through the system before I go back to finland at the end of summer! Anyone have experience with a straightforward application like this? Any further tips would help!

Thanks again!

- KH


Wombat

Post by Wombat » Thu Feb 26, 2004 2:40 pm

No it's a maximum of three months total in a six month period starting from the date of arrival entered in the passport.

A re-entry visa shall be issued for a stay not exceeding three months at a time. The total length of successive stays may not, however, exceed three months in any half-year.

Not only Finland but the time spent in the following countries counts too

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.

Yes there's a difference between applying in or out of Finland. If you have not yet been granted a residence permit, you must apply outside of Finland. They are exceptions but from what you have described, none of them apply.


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nehia_qom
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Post by nehia_qom » Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:59 pm

khu wrote:Jessica: do you think there's any difference applying inside and outside Finland? I'm due to go back to the States for probably 5 months (my girlfriend is visiting over the summer). I hope that's then enough time to get through the system before I go back to finland at the end of summer! Anyone have experience with a straightforward application like this? Any further tips would help!

- KH
It is cheaper to get it from the states and I think that it is easier, but I'm not sure.
When I got the paperwork they said it would take 6 months to a year to get a residence permit, but it only took me about three weeks. I have heard stories from others here that it took much longer (longer than 5 months), so it is hard to say. You never know with the government they have a funny way of doing things.

Jess

When choosing between two evils, always choose the one you haven't tried yet.
- Mae West

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