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Baffling Citizenship Case!

Can anyone recommend a decent attorney?

PHobbes
post 12.Sep.2016, 12:24 PM
Post #1
Joined: 12.Sep.2016

Hello All,

I'm a complete newcomer here, but it seems like a good place to start looking for help. I'm in need of a good citizenship lawyer in Sweden, as I'm currently involved in what has become a very weird and protracted predicament.

I'll be as brief as possible in laying out what's going on. It's quite baffling.

I was born in the US in 1980, but my mother was, and still is, a Swedish citizen. In 2005 I contacted the Migrationsverket to see about obtaining Swedish citizenship, as I learned that dual-nationality was now recognized between the two countries (that began in 2001 I believe). I was told to contact my local Swedish consulate, which was Seattle at the time.

I went to the consulate, went through all the protocols, paperwork, and interviews, and in September 2005 I was issued a Swedish passport, from the Generalkonsulat Los Angeles. The cut-off age to claim citizenship is 22 normally, but I was told by the consul to make the application anyway, as sometimes they make exceptions if a connection can be proven (I have spent a lot of time in Sweden visiting family, burying grandparents, etc.). All in all it was a great experience, the people at the consulate were helpful and friendly.

Fast forward to August 2015. My Swedish passport is due to expire in a month. I live in the UK now, where I have been for 8 years (long story involving a girl, of course). I take a quick trip to Stockholm to see some family, and booked myself a passport renewal appointment at the Bergsgatan police station. Went in, filled out the paperwork, paid the fee, and they said the new passport would be sent to London where I could pick it up at the embassy.

But instead of the passport, I get an email a few days later saying, in short, that the application has been denied, and I am not a Swedish citizen. This began a countless stream of emails and letters to any and all parties over the past year (London embassy, Washington embassy, Migrationsverket, Seattle Consulate, police, you name it) in hopes of someone seeing the sense in this. I am now on my 3rd appeal to the Migration Court. Their argument, and the wall I'm banging my head on, is that I lost my Swedish citizenship at 22, and I have not shown 'solidarity' with Sweden.

If I lost citizenship at 22, then how/why was I issued a passport at 25?!? And if my initial application was approved and deemed acceptable, and led to me obtaining a passport, I should not have to reprove my 'solidarity' each time surely.

Anyway, that is the general gist of things. If you've read this far, I sincerely thank you. I'm still living and working in the UK, though I have had to put my secondary school teaching career on hold. I don't have a valid passport, I can't leave the country, so I'm in some kind of weird limbo. I did try and work with one attorney who was just as bewildered about the case as I am, and said it should be open/shut, but he made little effort to help me along.

My mother was able to dig up all the original documents of my application from the Riksarkiv on a recent trip to Sweden to help with the case (the police couldn't be bothered to look I guess). I am still registered with the tax Skatteverket as a citizen as well.

If anyone can recommend a decent attorney, I'm sure I can get this straightened out. Thanks again for reading, sorry to be so long-winded. I'll keep this board updated with how it progresses.

All the best,
Phil
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Scottish
post 12.Sep.2016, 01:51 PM
Post #2
Joined: 29.Apr.2016

QUOTE (bubblegum_vampire @ 12.Sep.2016, 04:24 AM) *
My interview with the Swedish embassy in DC is coming up this week, and they requested more information. Specifically, they sent me an email with a link to a page where I am s ... (show full quote)



QUOTE (PHobbes @ 12.Sep.2016, 01:24 PM) *
Hello All,I'm a complete newcomer here, but it seems like a good place to start looking for help. I'm in need of a good citizenship lawyer in Sweden, as I'm curre ... (show full quote)


try this out: http://advokatstaifo.se/medarbetare .Their contacts is there as well. Ask for YADID.
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wallace1837
post 12.Sep.2016, 01:58 PM
Post #3
Joined: 21.Oct.2012

QUOTE (PHobbes @ 12.Sep.2016, 12:24 PM) *
I don't have a valid passport, I can't leave the country, so I'm in some kind of weird limbo.

Get your US passport, that will at least solve the limbo part.
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Svedallas
post 12.Sep.2016, 10:59 PM
Post #4
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (PHobbes @ 12.Sep.2016, 01:24 PM) *
Hello All,I'm a complete newcomer here, but it seems like a good place to start looking for help. I'm in need of a good citizenship lawyer in Sweden, as I'm curre ... (show full quote)


I do remember the citizenship laws have been amended a few times. And, sometimes there could be a small clause that could have caused your citizenship to be in error?

i.e.
1. If your mother got citizenship after you were born
2. If you have close ties to Sweden - immediate relative - brother, sister, etc.
3. I always thought cut off was 18 or 20...?

Sounds to me - you missed the cut off age. But then - if your mother is a native. Then it should be a right?! In any case, there must be a reason - as to be declined is based on a changed clause - as are getting stricter with the application process, and rules...

This sounds like a very complicated case (not a Local Forum discussion topic) - surely the US Embassy can direct you with a Swedish lawyer in the US?

Good luck.
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PHobbes
post 13.Sep.2016, 08:07 AM
Post #5
Joined: 12.Sep.2016

QUOTE (Svedallas @ 12.Sep.2016, 10:59 PM) *
I do remember the citizenship laws have been amended a few times. And, sometimes there could be a small clause that could have caused your citizenship to be in error?i.e.1. If ... (show full quote)


Thank you all for the replies and suggestions. Yes, it is a much too complicated case to hash out on a message board. I'm in real need of a professional at the moment.

I think my main point is that I went through the proper channels and procedures to get my passport and citizenship. It was approved, a passport was issued. If they did change a clause a few years later, surely they cannot annul the citizenships that were issued before? That would put so many peoples' lives and livelihoods in jeopardy, as it has mine. I cannot begin my career in the place I've lived for the past 8 years as a result. That is not something to play around with it seems to me. My mother is a native, by the way, born and raised in Sweden and has never changed her citizenship.

What I have gathered from my correspondence between the police, the migrationsverket, the embassies, and other agencies, is that there is no fluid communication between them. One hand doesn't seem to know what the other is doing.

Thanks again for the replies. I'll contact the attorney suggested and hope for the best.
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PHobbes
post 13.Sep.2016, 08:15 AM
Post #6
Joined: 12.Sep.2016

I did miss the cutoff, age 22. But was told when I inquired to apply anyway. They seem to have made an exception, hence getting a passport at 25. Nonetheless, once approved, it's not the kind of thing you can just take back. Citizenship is such a fundamental aspect of a person's life, not something to give and take back willy nilly.
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Svedallas
post 13.Sep.2016, 09:23 AM
Post #7
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (PHobbes @ 13.Sep.2016, 09:15 AM) *
I did miss the cutoff, age 22. But was told when I inquired to apply anyway. They seem to have made an exception, hence getting a passport at 25. Nonetheless, once approved ... (show full quote)


Unfortunately, if they had wrongfully issued - they have a right to revoke. They are pretty strict with the age thing.
Also, if you have never lived in Sweden or been a resident - that makes it hard for them to see any ties.

But I am no expert in this - its just what is stated...
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LLHope
post 13.Sep.2016, 08:39 PM
Post #8
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 1.Jan.2014

QUOTE (PHobbes @ 13.Sep.2016, 07:15 AM) *
Nonetheless, once approved, it's not the kind of thing you can just take back. Citizenship is such a fundamental aspect of a person's life, not something to give and take back willy nilly.
QUOTE (Svedallas @ 13.Sep.2016, 08:23 AM) *
Unfortunately, if they had wrongfully issued - they have a right to revoke. They are pretty strict with the age thing. Also, if you have never lived in Sweden or been a reside ... (show full quote)
According to Swedish law, Swedish citizenship cannot be withdrawn if it results in the person becoming stateless. In addition to that, it cannot be withdrawn if the person is currently or has been resident in Sweden. This applies even if the citizenship was obtained with incorrect/false information.

Unfortunately for OP, it sounds like citizenship was withdrawn because it was granted incorrectly (over 22) and OP has never been resident in Sweden. In that instance it is possible.

The question is whether or not there exists documentation that withdraws the citizenship, or whether the record of citizenship was not propagated correctly into the various systems and OP indeed has citizenship.

You could check with Skatteverket to see if you are registered as a Swedish citizen living abroad, one assumes that you indeed have the personal number. After-all you did receive one of the last few 10yr Swedish passports issued biggrin.gif
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hatim
post 14.Sep.2016, 06:31 AM
Post #9
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 31.Dec.2010

QUOTE (PHobbes @ 12.Sep.2016, 01:24 PM) *
My mother was able to dig up all the original documents of my application from the Riksarkiv on a recent trip to Sweden to help with the case (the police couldn't be bothe ... (show full quote)


May I ask why you want to be a Swedish citizen? You have clearly shown no interest in living in Sweden.

You can still do so by living (working) here for some time on work permit (while paying taxes and contributing to this country)
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Svedallas
post 14.Sep.2016, 11:15 AM
Post #10
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (hatim @ 14.Sep.2016, 07:31 AM) *
May I ask why you want to be a Swedish citizen? You have clearly shown no interest in living in Sweden.You can still do so by living (working) here for some time on work permi ... (show full quote)


I have to agree.

You have spent more time in the UK than Sweden, why not get a UK passport instead? Your eligibility is more UK - since you have never lived in Sweden. Is there a point fighting to get Swedish citizenship when you can get one of the country where you have resided for the past 8 years?

Makes more sense to do so.
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PHobbes
post 14.Sep.2016, 01:08 PM
Post #11
Joined: 12.Sep.2016

QUOTE (Svedallas @ 14.Sep.2016, 11:15 AM) *
I have to agree. You have spent more time in the UK than Sweden, why not get a UK passport instead? Your eligibility is more UK - since you have never lived in Sweden. Is ther ... (show full quote)



Thanks for the contributions. I suppose from the outside it may seem questionable why I would indeed want to have Swedish citizenship if I'm living in the UK. Suffice it to say that from the outset I had full intentions of living, studying, and working in Sweden. Life however sometimes has different plans in mind.

Regardless, it is a fundamental aspect of my current life, and one which I want to keep. I still have very close ties with my family there, and would never rule out the possibility of eventually ending up there.

It's inconceivable to me that something so fundamental like citizenship can simply be issued and withdrawn so flippantly, without warning. It seems to me that once a passport is issued the deal is done, the time for asking questions is over, a decision has been made. What I do with my life after that is up to me.

I realise that I missed the cut-off age when I initially applied. That was understood from the beginning. However, I acted according to the advise and instructions from the Swedish consulate, and I guess an exception was made. But once the decision was made, it seems incredibly irresponsible to take it back, even if someone years later thinks it was a mistake.

If I lost my citizenship at 22, then how or why was I issued a passport at 25? Do they make a habit of giving passports to non-citizens? I am still registered with the Skatteverket as well.

Thanks again for the conversation. I am trying to get my head around what's going on here, and I appreciate the input. It's really quite a strange situation to be in! Hopefully the advocate recommended earlier can provide some help.
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Svedallas
post 14.Sep.2016, 02:18 PM
Post #12
Joined: 21.Apr.2016

QUOTE (PHobbes @ 14.Sep.2016, 02:08 PM) *
Thanks for the contributions. I suppose from the outside it may seem questionable why I would indeed want to have Swedish citizenship if I'm living in the UK. Suffice it ... (show full quote)


If you did know the cut off was 22 - and they were wrong to issue at 25. Why were you not honest with the "error" from the start? Sometimes, you can get rewarded if there is a mistake...
Also, that communication would have been your proof that it was still okay to claim citizenship after the cut off age.

Did you apply for UK residency in the UK? If so you could have a right to UK citizenship, and apply to be a EU resident in Sweden - which is still valid until Brexit.

Indeed it is a rather complex situation. Nevertheless. Good luck with your situation!
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Scottish
post 14.Sep.2016, 04:01 PM
Post #13
Joined: 29.Apr.2016

From what I read, i think he was very open from the on set that he was above 25 years of year but he got a go-ahead from the consular. Here is what he wrote "The cut-off age to claim citizenship is 22 normally, but I was told by the consul to make the application anyway, as sometimes they make exceptions if a connection can be proven (I have spent a lot of time in Sweden visiting family, burying grandparents, etc.). All in all it was a great experience, the people at the consulate were helpful and friendly."

From it all, I think there is an error of miscommunication somewhere than needs to be resolved some way.
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LLHope
post 14.Sep.2016, 10:59 PM
Post #14
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 1.Jan.2014

QUOTE (Scottish @ 14.Sep.2016, 03:01 PM) *
From it all, I think there is an error of miscommunication somewhere than needs to be resolved some way.
It could be many things, for example, if the passport was withdrawn then where was OP when it was? In the UK, how would Migrationsverket know OPs current address to send something? Maybe a letter went missing in the post somewhere. Alternatively it could be some confusion in integrations between systems! Most obvious answer is to order from Skatteverket your "Personbevis för Pass" as a Swedish Citizen living abroad wanting to renew the passport, see what they/it says then.
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PHobbes
post 17.Sep.2016, 09:58 AM
Post #15
Joined: 12.Sep.2016

QUOTE (LLHope @ 14.Sep.2016, 10:59 PM) *
It could be many things, for example, if the passport was withdrawn then where was OP when it was? In the UK, how would Migrationsverket know OPs current address to send somet ... (show full quote)


Thanks very much, that's not a suggestion I've come across yet!

To be clear, and sorry if I left the details hazy, I was very upfront from the outset about my age, the consular encouraged me to apply, and the application was handled by him.

What I believe happened is that there was an internal mix up when the Los Angeles Generalkonsulat closed, which is the one that handled my application. Who knows, but I don't believe I ended up in the centralized system somehow, despite being issued a person # and a passport.

It wasn't really that the passport was withdrawn, they simply denied my application to renew it when I went to Stockholm to do so last year. I contacted migration to ask what the deal was, and someone advised me to make a Declaration of Citizenship, which I did through the London Embassy. This was denied, so I appealed. And I'm still appealing...

I don't know if I followed the correct protocol here, but it was what I was instructed to do. This is where an attorney could be useful. The solution could in fact (I hope!) be very simple.

I already went through the whole process of proving my parentage, connection with Sweden, etc. when I was 25 with the consular. It was all approved, and a passport was issued. I don't see why I have to prove that again, or put it up for question again after it's all been approved?
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