Registering at the American Embassy?

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tjawatts
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Post by tjawatts » Tue Aug 19, 2003 10:48 am

Peter Floyd wrote:Sorry even though it would be nice it is just not a function of a Foreign Office/Embassy to act as a welcoming committe or citizens advice beaureau. I am not satying that it could not be a function but...Most of the staff are on two year tours and dont know enough about the local situation/problems/solutions.
I suspect that if they knew about . they would direct all enquirers here.


My point is not that they have said they cant help, my point is that they havent had the curtesy to reply AT ALL!

Tony

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Niall Shaky
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Post by Niall Shaky » Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:30 pm

After emailing the consular section asking them whether I should register, they have sent me a wee form to fill in. Basically just name and address. But let's see if that ever comes in useful.

I think British embassies should help out expats. Other country's embassy's do. e.g. French.

What purpose do embassies serve? They're there to facilitate links and information exchange between two countries. What better way to do it than by helping out ex-pats? Just some basic information, a few pages on the website with the kind of information you can find on here would help a lot.

I briefly got to know a few people from the Embassy and, although I thought they were a pretty decent bunch, they are very different to your typical ex-pat Brit in Finland. They have no interest in Finland in particular, they just have chosen a career which means they have to move every 2-4 years. A lot of them were actually pretty unimpressed with the place ("You moved here because you wanted to?!?!?") and were dreaming of a more exciting posting to New York, Islamabad, Beijing etc.

So they are very cliquey and have no interest in learning Finnish, integrating, whatever. They're just doing their time. Only the very senior ones have a choice of whether they were sent here or to some other country*.

Also, the cocktail party thing riled me, because they do have a lot of social events, thrown for staff and other British guests. The Embassy can pretty much invite whoever it wants, for example The Finn-Brit players are usually well represented, but as this is all paid for by HM Government, then surely any Brit in town has just as valid a reason to be there?

But, you gotta have connections... which of course is so very British...

But, what do I care? I don't pay UK taxes anyway. I guess when I moved abroad I was naive enough to think that British Embassies would be interested in fostering some community spirit amongst ex-pats: WRONG!!!

(*Footnote: It would also be fair to say that I am jealous of the Embassy Staff's tax-free incomes and subsidised bar! :wink: )


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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:32 pm

Helsinki is a place diplomats from some countries, I hear, are sent something opposite of a reward... :mrgreen:
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


Tom and Jerry

Post by Tom and Jerry » Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:52 pm

Hank W. wrote:Helsinki is a place diplomats from some countries, I hear, are sent something opposite of a reward... :mrgreen:


Diplomats were sent hear as a kind of punishment of their own Foreign Ministry, very much true 30 - 20 years ago.

Not anymore today.

There were some changes east of Finland and in the Baltic region.
Perhaps, some had anyhow thought of another city than Helsinki.


Tom and Jerry

Post by Tom and Jerry » Tue Aug 19, 2003 10:24 pm

Peter Floyd wrote:Sorry even though it would be nice it is just not a function of a Foreign Office/Embassy to act as a welcoming committe or citizens advice beaureau. I am not satying that it could not be a function but....


One of the things they may do at embassy level is to point out that the Finnish law on foreigners (ulkomaalaislaki) does not mention at all the obligation that people have to go back to their country of origin to change their status as an immigrant.

They can make it very clear that this forward and backward sending is really an invention and an initiative of the ulkomaalaisvirasto. Nobody in Finland who ever had asked them to do so.

The other thing is the passports that are withdrawn for months on their desk. Also something not mentioned as obligatory in the ulkomaalaislaki.

That was already their habit in the eighties. In those antique days, with an office called the SUSTO (sisäasiainministeriön ulkomaalaistoimisto) , they took my passport for ages to decide on a visa.

That's strange. I won't forget that one. Never heard any apologies for their behaviour.


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