Many moons ago I wrote of my problems dealing with my wife’s green card problem in the USA. Even as of today. this issue remains unresolved.
However, immigration issues are not limited to my home country. They seem to have a life overseas as well.
I called my wife’s dilemma, something I have written about here, a “pickle”. Now I have my own immigration pickle in the country of Finland.
It all began about a month ago when I was considering whether or not to take a job in this fair country. I began to investigate what it would take for me to legally work in Finland since my Finnish wife would be remaining in the United States.
The Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C. informed me that my residence permit from a previous sojourn in the country was valid for another 8 months. All well and good, I thought.
This is when the fun began. Over the course of the ensuing several weeks I began to get some mixed signals from the lady I was dealing with at the embassy.
I only dealt with her a couple of times, but she mentioned that Finnish immigration was sqauwking about the validity of my residence permit. She expressed frustration over their intent to “cancel” it.
However, I recall even asking her if I should proceed with my plans to move. She said ‘yes’.
A few days before my flight to Helsinki, I received a call from her. She told me to go to the police station to sort things out as soon as I got to my destination.
After dealing with jet lag and scheduling, I finally managed to go there yesterday. The visit was a nightmare.
I patiently put up with the fact that I was not called at my scheduled time. I was just persisent, and finally got to sit with the lady handling the cases of foreigners.
This middle-aged woman was a little shy and and even more unsure of herself, but this is not uncommon among Finns. She asked no questions and I had to feed her my information.
The lady excused herself for a minute and returned after a short time. She said,”I checked with a colleague and she told me that since your wife is not living here you need to apply for a work permit.”
Having gotten myself into my current life situation due to rage attacks, I managed to stay cool, collected the required applications for me and my employer and left. I knew, however, I was indeed in a pickle.
My employer has made it quite clear that they will not pay me without proof of legal residence. I have been flitting around my new workplace showing off my old residence permit to the personnel people.
I even registered using it with the town magistrate’s office. A person needs to register their local presence when they move into Finland.
I have very little recourse at the moment except to do what I was told. Even in Finland, it seems a petty bureucrat can hold sway over your life.
My employer has indicated that they do not interfere with immigration matters. When I wrote a rather firm and unhappy Email to the woman at the Embassy of Finland in DC, I got a typical reply.
She in essence passed the buck. So sorry to hear of your difficulty, but the Finnish the local police have jurisdiction in your case. Follow up with them, dearie.
Also typically, the cops are closed for several days. They are moving their offices.
Thus, I am truly in a Finnish pickle. I face the prosect of not getting paid for at least 6 weeks, and only if my work permit is approved.
I have a long weekend ahead to decide what to do next. Decisions, Decisions.
A FINNISH SUOLAKURKKU (PICKLE)
“”Excuse me. I know from experience I am juicy and magnificent. But wait a minute. Too much salt isn’t good for you.”