Passports and embassiesSeptember 8, 2013
Paulina’s been sick most of the week, but she kept strong and went for a job interview this week, and she got the job! Though it’s only until February, but still better than “just” having a part-time job. She’s going to work at a book store on Arlanda (seems like she can’t get enough of those airport jobs, seeing as she worked at Vasa Airport for a long time).
The only bad thing with a job on an airport is that you need to get a security clearence to get the job, and in order to get that clearance they’ll do a background check, and for that they need some numbers from you passport, and it has to be valid. Paulina’s passport expired a few month’s ago, so she’ll need to get a new one. After googling for a few minutes we found the address to the Finnish embassy in Stockholm, as well as how much it’ll cost. Turns out that if you need a passport that should be valid for the next five years, you’ll have to pay up 1070 SEK (122€), when I got my passport a few years back I remember it costing about 40-50€, and that passport is valid for 10 years.
Anyway, this passport thing woke up a question that I’ve really haven’t thought about for a few years. I was born in Germany, and one of my parents is a German citizen (the other being a Finnish citizen), so I was given dual citizenship at birth. A few years back, I was probably 18 at the time, I sent an email to the German embassy in Helsinki, asking if I was still a German citizen, and if I recall correctly I was, and they told me I could go to the embassy and collect a German passport.
Historically, Germany hasn’t allowed dual-citizenship, the holder needs to decide at the age of 23 which one of the citizenships he or she wants to keep. After I completed my civilian service (compulsory military conscription) in Finland, I got an official statement from the Finnish Government stating that I would continue being a Finnish citizen because of my service to the country (I was 19 at the time). From my limited research I found out that German changed their laws back in ’09 allowing dual citizenship as long as the other citizenship is from another European country (and that it’s part of the Schengen-agreement) and that you got both of the citizenships from birth, i.e. you haven’t chosen a specific citizenship nor have you denounced one.
Now I’m 25 years old, and I haven’t heard anything from the German government, so in the midst of looking into embassies in Stockholm, I sent an email to the German embassy here in Stockholm asking if I was still a citizen or how I can check my citizen-status in Germany. So we’ll see how that works out.
Come Sunday, Paulina being at work and me being bored as ever, I decided to head out to Diplomatstaden (The diplomat city) in Östermalm, this is where most of the Stockholm embassies are located. This area of Stockholm is really nice, it’s super clean and it was almost completely void of people. Then again, most of the buildings are protected with high fences and security personal, and from what I could see, there weren’t that many normal residents.
The first embassy that I saw was the “Finnish Castle” a modest and modern building, and probably the prettiest embassy of the one’s I saw. It’s built in what I would describe as typical modern Finnish architectural design, being a bit “blocky” and mostly white, though I was a bit surprised that there weren’t more glass-like surfaces. (I couldn’t get a clean picture of the building, but the wikipedia article has a good one).
All the other embassies were normal office complexes, with the U.S. Embassy probably being the biggest. After walking around I finally found the second thing I was looking for (The Finnish embassy being the first), The German Embassy, which in all it’s pride, was pretty boring.