Daniel Malpica: Problems with the Finnish Immigration Service

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So here is the story… Two years ago I applied to the Migration Office for a residence permit under the base of entrepreneurship (toiminimi). Later on that same 2017, I received a full-time working grant from Koneen Säätiö – Kone Foundation for my literature project Mutanttikieltä. I informed Migri about it arguing that my situation changed because the grant demanded for me a full-time commitment: silence…

Daniel Malpica. You can visit his website here.


Last August, a year ago, I received a letter from Migri (The Finnish Immigration Service) with an appointment at the airport-terminal 2, a rare thing but possible considering that I used to live in Vantaa. ‘Ok, good! I’m going to pick up my residence permit’ I thought. How naive.
Once there, the conversation went like this:
– Spanish, right?
– (Me) Yes, but I can handle it in English.
– No, no, we are gonna call an interpreter.
So then I got suspicious and decided to record the whole interview (which I used partly on my performance at Kiasma, lol). Once inside the office, they connected a telephone to the speakers with a Spanish-accent translator on the other side of the line. The statements in a nutshell were:
1. You applied as an entrepreneur.
2. But what you really want is to live from the stipend (Kone’s grant).
3. Anyhow, we consider that the country has enough ‘graphic designers’ (the area of my company at that time), therefore we consider it won’t be profitable.
4. So we ask you to leave Finland back to Mexico.
It was a surprise for me and for the person informing the decision. When they asked me for my opinion I said that I didn’t agree considering that I’ve been working professionally since 2013, that I had a full-time job here, and that my work had cultural value towards the country (even opening spaces for Finnish and non-Finnish authors, artists and emergent talents from the youth). Anyhow when I asked for their suggestions considering that they are the legal entity who knows about this cases they said: get a lawyer.
So I did, and the attorney told me that we were not going to win the case and that this process resets/erases my time living in Finland, he also said – let’s appeal to avoid deportation and meanwhile you can apply to a residence permit that is suitable to your status.
(By the way, in situations like this you have to pay first to the lawyer, then to the judge for making the appealing process and later for the new residence permit application. So a well-spent grant-salary I might say, isn’t it?)
Then time passed by, it’s 2019, the process has denied me the possibility of traveling outside the country and I have made already (based on different sources of counselling) my new application under the status of ‘Professional Artist’; an abstract and discriminatory kind of visa where being a restaurant musician is not worthy enough to be considered professional. Anyhow, I covered all the criteria: To live professionally of your work (Kone and my own company) and Being a member of an artists’ association (as a board member at Suomen Pen Finnish Pen and Globe Art Point. in my case). Before summer holidays Migri wrote to me asking for more supplementary documents regarding my other sources of income.
PEN and GAP made wonderful letters in Finnish on my support which I provided to Migri among all the invoices sent throughout my company (now ‘Manuke. Lit, Media Art & Design’): clicked and sent. Some days ago I received a message from Migri (deadline on August 16th) with another supplementary request which says:
[ – According to the documents you have provided, your grant with Koneen Säätiö was finished in June 2019. From what kind of work do you receive your main source of income now?
Please note, that if your main source of income comes from the work that you do through your own business, you should apply for entrepreneur’s residence permit. ]
An ‘Entrepreneur’s Residence Permit’, the same one that they rejected from me already. On top of that, this time they are politely suggesting me to make the ‘correct’ residence permit application (which they did not when I provided Kone’s grant decision two years ago), furthermore they waited ’til my grant got finish to make this repetitive request, and third… why do the work made within my company is not considered artistic professional work?
So, voidaan mennä varjoon! I mean, the ones who know me may have noticed that I am not a person that complains that much. I have found a home in Finland with the support of so many friends, colleagues and beloved ones; I wouldn’t be pushing forward otherwise.
I am generally quite positive, grateful and ambitious, but also critical and generally consistent. These two years have been mentally exhausting, it has made me feel demotivated, ashamed, depressed, self-destructive, a bit bitter, more difficult to be contacted affecting all the areas of my work… And it’s just sad, like feeling punished.
This is an issue that happens in even worst proportion to other people here, asylum seekers for instance. And a constant subject remains on the lack of proper information, a matter of basic accessibility. So with real respect to all of them, I kindly ask you for advice, because I have uncertainty and the only thing that I have done in this summer has been holding to my literature (poetry/life) and to my work, the ultimate beauty saloon that makes all these narratives enjoyable.
Here is my portfolio and, as always, thanks for watching
Last August, a year ago, I received a letter from Migri with an appointment at the airport-terminal 2, a rare thing but possible considering that I used to live in Vantaa. ‘Ok, good! I’m going to pick up my residence permit’ I thought. How naive.
Once there, the conversation went like this:
– Spanish, right?
– (Me) Yes, but I can handle it in English.
– No, no, we are gonna call an interpreter.
So then I got suspicious and decided to record the whole interview (which I used partly on my performance at Kiasma, lol). Once inside the office, they connected a telephone to the speakers with a Spanish-accent translator on the other side of the line. The statements in a nutshell were:
1. You applied as an entrepreneur.
2. But what you really want is to live from the stipend (Kone’s grant).
3. Anyhow, we consider that the country has enough ‘graphic designers’ (the area of my company at that time), therefore we consider it won’t be profitable.
4. So we ask you to leave Finland back to Mexico.
It was a surprise for me and for the person informing the decision. When they asked me for my opinion I said that I didn’t agree considering that I’ve been working professionally since 2013, that I had a full-time job here, and that my work had cultural value towards the country (even opening spaces for Finnish and non-Finnish authors, artists and emergent talents from the youth). Anyhow when I asked for their suggestions considering that they are the legal entity who knows about this cases they said: get a lawyer.
So I did, and the attorney told me that we were not going to win the case and that this process resets/erases my time living in Finland, he also said – Let’s appeal to avoid deportation and meanwhile you can apply to a residence permit that is suitable to your status.
(By the way, in situations like this you have to pay first to the lawyer, then to the judge for making the appealing process and later for the new residence permit application. So a well-spent grant-salary I might say, isn’t it?)
Then time passed by, it’s 2019, the process has denied me the possibility of traveling outside the country and I have made already (based on different sources of counselling) my new application under the status of ‘Professional Artist’; an abstract and discriminatory kind of visa where being a restaurant musician is not worthy enough to be considered professional. Anyhow, I covered all the criteria: To live professionally of your work (Kone and my own company) and Being a member of an artists’ association (as a board member at Suomen Pen Finnish Pen and Globe Art Point. in my case). Before summer holidays Migri wrote to me asking for more supplementary documents regarding my other sources of income.


PEN and GAP made wonderful letters in Finnish on my support which I provided to Migri among all the invoices sent throughout my company (now ‘Manuke. Lit, Media Art & Design’): clicked and sent. Some days ago I received a message from Migri (deadline on August 16th) with another supplementary request which says:
[ – According to the documents you have provided, your grant with Koneen Säätiö was finished in June 2019. From what kind of work do you receive your main source of income now?
Please note, that if your main source of income comes from the work that you do through your own business, you should apply for entrepreneur’s residence permit. ]
An ‘Entrepreneur’s Residence Permit’, the same one that they rejected from me already. On top of that, this time they are politely suggesting me to make the ‘correct’ residence permit application (which they did not when I provided Kone’s grant decision two years ago), furthermore they waited ’til my grant got finish to make this repetitive request, and third… why do the work made within my company is not considered artistic professional work?
So, voidaan mennä varjoon! I mean, the ones who know me may have noticed that I am not a person that complains that much. I have found a home in Finland with the support of so many friends, colleagues and beloved ones; I wouldn’t be pushing forward otherwise.
I am generally quite positive, grateful and ambitious, but also critical and generally consistent. These two years have been mentally exhausting, it has made me feel demotivated, ashamed, depressed, self-destructive, a bit bitter, more difficult to be contacted affecting all the areas of my work… And it’s just sad, like feeling punished.
This is an issue that happens in even worst proportion to other people here, asylum seekers for instance. And a constant subject remains on the lack of proper information, a matter of basic accessibility. So with real respect to all of them, I kindly ask you for advice, because I have uncertainty and the only thing that I have done in this summer has been holding to my literature (poetry/life) and to my work, the ultimate beauty saloon that makes all these narratives enjoyable.
Here is my portfolio and, as always, thanks for looking.

😀


[EXTRA NOTE]
Dear friends, if you want to share this story please copy and paste the text (cmd C / cmd V) in your timeline and tag me if you want. I am a public figure in Mexico, so I prefer to keep this message within my contacts and the contacts that you decided to share it with.
Kiitos ja paljon!”

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