New Here:) Question about Residence?:)

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Post by DAL » Sun May 25, 2003 3:17 am

Are you in Finland now? It took me seven months to get my one-year temporary residence permit. I applied after my Finnish wife and I moved to Finland once I got out of the US Army in Germany. I applied in Finland; they were a little bit upset with me for just moving to the country without first asking. :D You know being a non European and all. Me I had to beg, beg a lot - it may be different now, that was 1998.

I went through two years of temporary permits and then my wife and I both went in for an interview in Helsinki and then they issued me my permanent residence permit which is apparently valid until I die, so I am going to do my best to see how long that lasts. :)


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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Sun May 25, 2003 10:27 am

...and welcome to IEASF

Horse's other end is here:

summa summarum:
For being married you get an A residence - which means you have a permanent residence which doesn't require a work permit. Believe me, there is no such breed as a "housewife" in Finland since the 1950's. Not enough daytime soap (yet).

So after you land you're in there with the rest of the white trash in KELA (=welfare office), you need to fill in a few forms. As you are married - PHIL! GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE YOU SAID THE BENEFIT YOU MISSED APPLYING WAS AVAILABLE AT LANDING! - you're entitled to something or the other KELA benefit meant for helping you survive/integrate/get a job. Average time of getting work is around 8-9 months, but on the other hand education is free, so you might as well enroll into a program and get your networking done - and learn Finnish. Of course the best place to learn finnish is with the other moms at the sandbox - but as I said, the system is suh the kids are in daycare and the moms working so it might be a bit empty...

The only thing your Americanness means you are going to be asked if you are EU or NON-EU (EI-EU in Finnish). So thats the only racial segregation you'll face officially. And please, don't fill in any papers you're 'Caucasian' - here it means you'll get all the documents in Russian as Caucasians are from the Caucasus - in South Russia. Don't confuse the KELA ladies - they're confused enough with you speaking English at them. And yes, you need to go there to get your health card and before that you need to go to the magistrate to get yourself registered and the personal number. Otherwise getting a bank account, bus pass or actually even a GSM is quite... difficult.

There is some ret... American housewives knitting society aimed for tea parties and trying to figure out where to find the vanilla extract and how on earth a Celsius scale works. We're a bit more down to earth here. Please feel free to ask anything. If nothing else we can copypaste the Q&A eventually into a FAQ.

I guess our FAQ isn't up online yet, but bringing all those US electric gizmos over... just don't. Phil can tell you how electronic appliances work with blue smoke and when the smoke comes out - it don't work no more. A number of people can explain the tv+video+tapes equation - either you get multisystem gizmos that work or then just eat it and have two sets of stuff...

I do remain,
Your most obese Servant
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


Post by BAT » Sun May 25, 2003 10:42 am

My personal experience with the Finnish residence permit.

I'm a Canadian married to a Finn. It took me only 4 weeks to get my first residence permit (includes working), but I left for Finland the same day that my permit arrived at the Finnish consulate in Toronto. They were ticked about that, but the consulate people never told me that I HAD to leave my passport there and that I was not allowed to move to Finland before my permit was approved. (I had booked my airline ticket and had to take the flight, which I told them at the consulate and they said nothing about it.) I thought I could wait in Finland and get it done here. Anyway, I had to re-apply and got my new one in only 2 weeks. I think the main reason why my application was processed so quickly was that I had a job lined up already. My employer faxed a letter to the ulkomalaisvirasto telling that they needed me to have my permit as soon as possible so I could start work.

I have had two one-year residence permits, and applied for a permanent residence permit last summer, which I got no problem. It lasts the lifetime of your passport - which is only 5 years for a Canadian passport. You just have to go in and get a new permanent residence permit when you get the new passport.

This is just my experience - but basically, if you are married to a Finn and have work lined up with an employer who will contact the ulkomalaisvirasto to help speed things along, you should get your initial one-year permit quicker than 4 months!

Anyone else get their permits quicker than 4-7 months?


Post by Ace » Sun May 25, 2003 12:31 pm

BAT wrote: Anyone else get their permits quicker than 4-7 months?
2 weeks for an EU bod, and you can apply in Finland doesn't that make you sick?

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Post by nehia_qom » Sun May 25, 2003 1:41 pm

Hi tigerlilies! Welcome to the group.
I am also an American and I got my residence permit without work and without having to marry a Finn in about 4 weeks (and they told me that it would take at least 6 months).
That was almost six months ago though so maybe they are busier during the summer. If you applied in March I would expect it pretty soon, but you never know with the government :roll:


When choosing between two evils, always choose the one you haven't tried yet.
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Post by sodengiles » Mon May 26, 2003 10:46 am

Hello everyone,
I am a Brit, came here in Nov and got my res permit at the end of Feb (having called the police station every two days for the last two weeks until I got the permit).
Before I moved I called the UK Embassy over here and contacted the Finnish Embassy in London to ask what should I do, I was told just walk in to the local police station and I will be issued a res permit pretty quickly.
Good luck to everyone who is applying or waiting for a permit (or anything from the autorities).

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Post by Caroline » Mon Jul 14, 2003 6:33 pm

Believe me, there is no such breed as a "housewife" in Finland since the 1950's.

Hank you apparently aren't too familiar with northern Finnish culture, where we hear the words "kotirouva" and "kotiäiti" fairly often. The only reason I'm bringing this up is because there is this myth that Finnish women all over the country are as liberated as humanly possible, yet they still do most of the household chores, on average earn less and spend more time at home than men, particularly up here in the north.

What's important for tigerlilies to know is that being married to a Finnish citizen automatically qualifies her for full work rights, regardless of whether or not she has a job offer upon arrival in the country.
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

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Post by Caroline » Mon Jul 14, 2003 6:44 pm


I'm American too, and my husband is Finnish. We got married in 2001, and because we got married only a week before my 3-month visitor visa expired, I had to leave the country a few days after our wedding and be separated from my hubbie because it was impossible to get the residency permit while in Finland. I had to wait in the USA for 4 months (3 months to process the papers, 3 weeks to send the approval letter to my hubbie in Finland, and 1 week for me to reserve my flight). There is no interview required in order to renew your permit, which you will have to do 2 times in order to stay permanently here. Renewal takes about 2 weeks each time.
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

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Post by Kemars » Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:38 pm

so are you still in the US waiting? or have the permits arrived yet?

you should ( and I am sure your husband has already gotten this taken care of for you when you arrive )

1) get registered at the Helsinki magistrate offices (located somewhere toward the end of Bulavardi(SP?) in Helsinki. ( pretty close to Hemmingways?)

2) bring someone finnish with you before you go, but take care of the KELA health stuff to make sure you get health coverage. without the card your screwed.

At least that is what I did, and I had no one to help me with this stuff, other than that small company person helping me relocate...I owe a lot to her and she saved me a couple of times...

just my two cents worth...
How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

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