This most recent election has given many a thought of leaving America. I am just on travel, so I plan to return, but leaving America may not be as hard as one might imagine. I will explain.
Since I was headed to Europe, I thought I might do a little genealogy back in Finland. My family is 100% Finnska, and so most of the branches of the family tree are in Finland, not America. I was aware of the 90-day Schengen requirement which requires that one depart after 90 days, and so I looked on the Finnish web site about extended residency. To my surprise, I discovered that they had a long-lost-grandchild permit. Prove that you are the grandchild of a Finn, and you may receive a permit to reside and work in Finland for up to four years. I know what you are thinking – that’s the length of the Presidential term.
Anyway, I will write a post about the process of applying, but suffice it to say that I completed the three or four page application. The only challenge was obtaining the my birth certificate, my parents’ birth certificates, and then the Finnish birth certificates of my grandparents. It took me about 60 days to acquire the documents and obtain all the necessary governmental stamps (known as Apostilles) that make them valid for submission in a foreign country like Finland. Cost: About $500. They shipped the card to me at the Finnish Embassy in Bulgaria about 3 months later.
There are many ways to live in foreign countries. You can buy property. You can be a student or a retired person (which means that you have show means of support). If you are wealthy enough to afford another passport, you can, essentially, purchase one (which costs about $5M in Switzerland or a couple of hundred thousand for a Bulgarian passport). My heritage and the Finnish laws support my ability to live in Finland with no other qualifications other than proof of lineage. Pretty cool. I plan to visit next year.