Marriage and residence permit -a few questions

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Marriage and residence permit -a few questions

Post by levret » Tue Apr 27, 2004 10:29 pm


I'm new here and I have some questions about obtaining a residence permit through marriage. First a few words about my situation:

I am a Finnish girl currently living with my boyfriend in the States. We would like to get married this year and my boyfriend would then apply for a residence permit and come and live with me in Finland sometime next year. We are planning to get married in Finland and then my boyfriend would return to the U.S. to apply for the permit. Now for my questions:

1. About the certificate you need to get to prove you can get married (saying that you're not married to someone else already) where can you get one of those in the States and will that then be valid in Finland?

2. I read here on your site that marriage in Finland takes a few weeks, would it be totally impossible to try to get it done around Christmas? My boyfriend can be in Finland for a month (two weeks before and two weeks after Christmas), but I guess if places are closed it's pretty much impossible. What do you think?

3. This is most important, concerning the residence permit: We can probably work out the financial side as well as prove that we're a real couple. The only problem is my boyfriend has a little bit of a criminal record. It's just two petty thefts (years ago when he was in high school he and his friends stole some beer from a store -twice). Is that going to be a problem? Will the Immigration people forgive him (as I have) for the mistakes he made in his younger, wilder years? Also, would it be a good idea to send them some sort of letter explaining the criminal record, or is that just silly?

I am REALLY grateful for all the help I can get, I have only now started looking into this thing and it all feels very difficult... :cry:


Marriage and residence permit -a few questions


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Post by ICanClimbThat » Tue Apr 27, 2004 11:01 pm

indeed it would be nice to have this explained all at once. Preferably by some one that has gone through the process start to finish.

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Nathan Lillie
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Post by Nathan Lillie » Tue Apr 27, 2004 11:40 pm

Ok, here goes.

Get the form from the Finnish consolute, and send it in ASAP. The application can take forever. It should only take 6 weeks or 3 months or something, I forget what they told me. But it took 5 for me, and I heard it can take longer than that even.

You can get them to fedex your passport back to you while they process the application.

You may already be common-law married, in which case you can claim that (and should document it with passport records, leases and anything joint you've got going) and in theory not have to rely on an actual marriage. An actual marriage certificate is better, however (that's what they told me at the consulate)

As far as proof that you are not married, you get that from the US embassy in Finland. Call them to make an appointment a few weeks in advance of when you want to go to there. They don't answer their phone and it can take a long time to get an appointment. They also have a nice little business going in the certificates, expect to pay for it.

Then you've got to file your papers with the Finnish authorities. I forget what the office is called, probably somebody else knows, but they took 2 weeks to process it for us. They said they would do it in one, but somebody screwed up. They give you a piece of paper which the magistrate needs to marry you.

We had to get a magistrate to do the wedding. If your boyfriend is not a member of an officially recognized church in Finland, you will too. This isn't a problem if you go to the magistrate office, but if you want a proper wedding, you should start shopping around for magistrates who are willing to come to where you are having the wedding.

If he is a member of a church recognized in Finland, get proof from that church. They have reciporical agreements.

4 weeks is tight, but it can be done if you know ahead of time what you have to do.

Once you have your marriage certificate, mail it in to the Finnish consolutat e (or fax it) as this will hurry the process of residence permit application.
If you want to catch beasts you don't see every day,
You have to go places quite out-of-the-way.
You have to places no other can get to.
You have to get cold and you have to get wet, too.

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:09 am

Hmmm... interesting of the record. If he made the thefts in high school and was a juvenile, then the records should not follow. Don't know how they calculate it in USA and Finland though.
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.

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Post by levret » Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:03 pm

Nathan- Thank you for your thorough reply, it feels good to know that other people have gone through the same process and survived. :) I guess we just have to get started…

As for the criminal record thing: they are not juvenile offenses. Maybe since it’s a question of pretty minor things it won’t be a problem… or will it? I am a very worried about this since getting my boyfriend’s residence application rejected would be terrible. Would it be a good idea to try to explain the thing to the embassy people in a letter or something, or should we just let them investigate on their own?


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