Thursday, July 11, 2013

Popping by the Swedish Consulate

Consulate General of Sweden in New York |  Poppping by the Swedish Consulate on *sparklingly  |
{  Consulate General of Sweden in New York  }

In the ongoing, but hopefully rapidly winding down saga that has become my bureaucratic life, I visited the Swedish Consulate earlier this week for my residency interview. What I thought would be a pretty cut-and-dried experience (husband was born a Swedish citizen, wife has the right to live and work there via marriage to said-husband, so, we just fill out some forms, write a check and we're done—right?) turned out to be a bit convoluted—at least initially.

I submitted my request online at the beginning of the year, which called for filled-out forms, proof of marriage and our life together and payment, naturally. Since the Swedes wanted to know where we'd live when we arrive if they granted my residency request, they required that my mother-in-law fill out paperwork, too, confirming that she would let us stay with her until we get set up.

But after she filled out her forms, we were then asked by the Immigration Board in Sweden to confirm where we live and work in Sweden today (and to provide proof of such), despite the (obvious) issue that we currently live in NYC and are in fact asking permission for me to live and work in Sweden. How can we give proof if we haven't received permission for me to do just that? Why would I rent an apartment or buy a plane ticket without the legal documents necessary?

Silly Swedes.

So after some more strongly-worded emails, things seemed to be sifting out and I finally received notice two weeks ago for my interview this week (it would have been even sooner if I was in town). Oddly enough, the Swedish Consulate here seemed to be moving ahead, while the Migration Board in Sweden was still asking for more documentation of our non-existing life in Sweden (foolish).

I was told to come alone and bring the original documents I had submitted online (marriage certificate, passport, bank statements, tax filings, apartment lease, etc.) to meet with them. So I armed myself with all of that, and donned some cerulean blue pants and a cornflower yellow silk top (I'm a big believer in wearing bright colors anyway, but a subtle nod to the Swedish flag via my outfit was definitely on my mind, too) and headed up to Park Avenue in midtown.

The Swedish Consulate is not nearly as charming and lovely as the townhouse completely committed to the Italian Consulate—instead, the Swedish Consulate is housed in a huge edifice and takes up a few floors—but on the welcoming side, they had a plate of fresh kanelbullar waiting for visitors and I was in and out in 20 minutes!

My interviewer (who shares the same name as my mother-in-law, which I took as a good sign) asked me super straightforward questions, like my husband's name and date of birth, where we were married, did I marry of my own free will, why do I want to live in Sweden and what type of work I do and that was it!

Now I wait...again—although the woman did tell me that she saw no reason why the wait would be long, so fingers crossed!

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