Consulate moving offices The consulate office will move in January to a new location. Mike will send an announcement out with details. The email and phone number will be the same.
The consulate had to adjust due to COVID situation but decided in June to at least hand out passports and get that rolling with what they can. Mike has been working closely with the embassy to try and get things done properly.
Swedish passport applications, why can’t we get the applications put through in Edinburgh? This is mainly due to the bio-metrics technology. We don’t have the facilities to do it in Edinburgh. The question came up in the meeting with the embassy today, they are looking for a solution but this isn’t expected next year, possibly the year after.
The Embassy is planning to further discuss this in spring when they can meet again to look into what can be done long term.
If you aren’t able to get to London you will need to let your passport lapse.
How do I book a passport application slot? You have to do it online, they have quite a lot of slots at the moment and will also open up on Saturday’s for more times to be available.
If you are older, 75+and find the technology difficult then it’s possible to email Mike and he can help book an appointment.
Application slots are released on Fridays 9-12 am.
What is Mike’s geographical coverage? Scotland is divided between Glasgow and Edinburgh and Mike covers the East side and Orkney. Shetland has it’s own council. Consulates help each other though so this isn’t a hard line.
Emergency passports is an element that Mike can’t do at the moment so anybody who needs this will need to do it in Glasgow with David Hunter. Mike will start doing emergency passports again in February or March.
You are able to get back to Sweden with an emergency passport if your usual passport runs out.
Do all consoles provide the same service? Yes more or less, everyone is able to provide the general council services as an extra arm to the Embassy. tasks include emergency passports, looking after Swedish citizens in Scotland.
The levnadsintyg is for pensions, for people who have worked in Sweden and need to provide they are still alive and need to get their pensions paid out. Mike, and occasionally the Swedish church, annually signs a declaration confirming they are alive.
Mike can also act as a civil servant for anybody who doesn’t want to get married in church and registration of children for samordningsnummer.
Is Mike aware of who the Swedish living in Scotland are, is there a register to keep track of people who might need assistance with renewing passports? At the moment with the Brexit settlement status there are about 50,000 people registered but they think there are about 20,000 more who aren’t registered.
The problem is that people who have both passports don’t need to register, the same with students who are still registered in Sweden or people who moved here a long time ago and who have other settlement documentations. So it’s hard to know exact numbers.
They have to do citizen investigation to find this detail, if they have a name and a personal number of a person Mike can contact the Embassy to see what details they have, then they do an investigation to see who their relatives are and what they need to do to renew their passport.
Settled Status – The settled status is very important, there are a lot of elderly who haven’t reached out and think they might automatically have this as they have been here for long. It is important to make contact with Mike if you aren’t 100% certain you have settlement status.
The settled status is linked with your passport so if you get a new passport you need to register it with the British home office and they will update your records. You will have to send the new passport in to them as proof of new details
The last date by when the settlement status needs to be confirmed is 30th June 2021.
Another option has been mentioned that it’s possible to apply for settlement status through the Windrush scheme – you will need to have arrived before 1988. For further details https://www.gov.uk/windrush-prove-your-right-to-be-in-the-uk
Brexit, in short term will it have a big effect on us living in Scotland? Nobody knows, even on ambassador level. For us as citizens living here the settlement status is most important for us in our daily life. It might also be more expensive going back to Sweden and businesses might notice more changes but as private citizens the settlement status is the most important thing.
Very important to do this before the deadline expires as it might be more difficult to sort out then.
Samordningsnummer, what is the process for arranging this? – There is an online booking system in place currently. The biggest issue has been the discharge letters from hospitals that had to be resubmitted as it isn’t in the red book you leave with but an additional paper that details who the parents are.
Health insurance, what will happen when we cant use our blue cards post Brexit? Mike will ask the embassy to confirm what they recommend.
In the Brexit section on the Scottish Swedish Society’s website there is a long cover of travel in case of a no-deal Brexit. The cards stop applying at the end of the year so it was recommended to take out travel insurance. The papers on the website also outline other minor complications such as pet passports, driving licenses etc.
So worth having a look on the website again.
Roaming charges – these will also not be covered post Brexit as the UK won’t be part of the Union however three, o2, EE and Vodafone have said they will keep roaming policies after Brexit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-your-mobile-in-eu-and-eea-countries-after-the-uk-leaves-the-eu
How does Mike feel about being consul – looks forward to setting up a Swedish cultural hub and also further building on the business relationships directly between Sweden and Scotland as they are all currently managed through London. There are a lot of relationships already there but there isn’t an existing hub so Mike looks forward to pushing this next year.
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