First, let me point out that I am oddly calm. It’s immigration time again, and while I am not taking anything for granted, I’m not freaking out either. Give the sort of year it’s been, I think I’m mentally prepared for just about anything. A while back I made my peace with the possibility that we could be sent back into a grossly mismanaged pandemic-cum-fascist power grab. Mostly I have a sense of satisfaction that I’ve been working my ass off, doing everything right, and it I go down at least I’m going down swinging. I’ll be proud of what I’ve accomplished this year, even if I ultimately fail.
On the bright side, it seems that people are being automatically extended for the duration of travel restrictions. I mean, if they deny your residence permit you can’t exactly leave right now. Especially if you’re trying to get to America. Not gonna happen.
There is an area on the application where it asks if there are any other reasons I want to stay in Finland, aside from being a self-employed person. I pointed out that as an overweight, asthmatic soon-to-be 57-year-old, I am reasonably high risk for COVID-19. Given the explosion of new cases, moving back to America right now means endangering my life.
I also pointed out that the political climate is equally dangerous. The European Union Parliament has condemned the racism, violence, and injustice. There are gun-toting “patriots” who assuredly think I’m some sort of traitor for having lived abroad for the past years — and liking it. That has to make me some sort of Commie in their eyes, and people have been assaulted for less.
We’ll see what happens. At the very least, we have until 31 October or whenever travel restrictions are lifted. Given how things are going, what with the push to reopen schools and professional sports and pretty much everything, I can’t see the travel restrictions being lifted any time soon.