The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland now has an operational portable passport system that will first be available at the Finnish Embassy in Ottawa, then it will travel to the Finnish Consulate in Vancouver and lastly to the Consulate in Toronto.
The portable passport system will be available in Vancouver this fall, towards the end of September or early October. The date will be confirmed early August on the embassy web site www.finland.ca and in the Finnish newspapers in Canada.
The application process is virtually the same as at the Embassy in Ottawa.
A passport application form is no longer in use. The passport system generates the application and with the portable system the photo will be taken as part of the application process (this is different from the process at the Embassy in Ottawa, where the applicant provides a photograph). The applicant signs on an electronic tablet, and a fingerprint scan is taken. As the fee is set in euros, it may chance with exchange rate fluctuation. Valid fees are posted in the Services section of the Embassy website ($137.00 in May 2010).
The application can only be processed if the applicant’s personal data (name, date and place of birth) in the Finnish population register is up-to-date (further information: www.vaestorekisterikeskus.fi or www.maistraatti.fi). For example name changes due to a marriage or divorce cannot be processed in the passport system. These have to be updated in the population register ahead of time. Also, children born outside of Finland cannot be issued a Finnish passport until their birth and citizenship details are entered into the Finnish population register.
Future use of the portable passport system in Canada
The Embassy will inform the Finnish community of the circulation of the portable passport system at suitable venues within the Finnish Community via press releases and on the Embassy website. The costs involved in bringing the portable passport system to events and cities within Canada will create constraints on availability. Therefore, the portable system might be in a specific area only for few days in any given year.
Passport applications can be made in Finland at the local police station. The passport can be forwarded to the Embassy in Ottawa (by request) if it cannot be issued by the end of the stay in Finland. In fact, a passport application can be made at any passport issuing point in the world and the passport forwarded to Canada. Check the Foreign Ministry web site www.formin.fi for locations and contact information for Finnish missions. The Embassy in Ottawa will then make arrangements to forward the passport to the applicant, who should get in touch with the embassy upon return to Canada with their contact information. A pre-paid courier or Canada Post Xpress envelope must be provided by the applicant.
Contact for the media: Embassy of Finland, Head of Consular Affairs Tanja Neuvonen,
tel. (613) 288 22 40, if.nimrofnull@nenovueN.ajnaT