Lex Gaudius provides legal advice for MEGE participants

Miro del Gaudio and his law firm Lex Gaudius have a strong experience in helping immigrants. Now Miro is also helping the MEGE project participants. “Tell always the truth”, is his first advice for immigrants who are applying for residence permit in Finland.

Lawyer Miro del Gaudio and his law firm Lex Gaudius is helping the MEGE project participants by offering legal advice. Last year they gave their first session for participants and more is yet to come this year: there will be four different sessions divided for the whole year.

“Southern Italian background helps in dealing with different cultures”

Lex Gaudius is used to work with persons with foreign background and majority of their customers are originally from somewhere else than Finland. “The ability to deal with different cultures is one of the strengths of Lex Gaudius”, Miro says.

Miro also has a background somewhere else: he is half Italian and half Finnish. Miro finds that his Southern Italian background helps him a lot in being in contact with all the cultures of the world. “I don’t know why, but persons with a foreign background find it easy to trust me”, Miro says. “It’s quite easy to get the connection.”

Miro finds it’s also easy to understand different opinions because of his background. “The cultural differences between Italy and Finland are also quite strong”, he says. “Sometimes I have been telling as an example a situation from my childhood. For doing exactly same thing at school, in Naples I was praised but in Vaasa I received detention.”

Residence permit as an entrepreneur or for some other reason?

Lex Gaudius is offering participants information especially about residence permits for entrepreneurs. Non-EU citizens need a residence permit in order to stay more than 90 days in Finland. It’s possible to get a residence permit either as an entrepreneur or, since April 2018, as a start-up entrepreneur. However, the MEGE participants are interested in different ways to get the permit so stay in Finland.

The other reasons for getting the residence permit are working or studying in Finland, moving to Finland to be with a family member, remigration or being a victim of human trafficking. If a person has a residence permit which allows working, one can also start a business and doesn’t need to apply for a new permit as an entrepreneur.

“The participants are interested in residence permits in general, not jus as an entrepreneur”, says Miro. “They want to know what kind of conditions there are in getting the residence permit for Finland.”

The participants have also possibility to ask for advice in their own situations. “Last time we received all kinds of questions.” Miro hopes that this year, with four sessions to come, they will have time to deal even more with personal questions of the participants. He hopes to get tips about subjects that participants are especially interested in, so they can prepare in advance. “We will be able to get deeper, for sure.”

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Driven by ethical values

Person applying for residence permit as an entrepreneur is not, however, the most typical customer for Lex Gaudius. “The ones who get residence permit as entrepreneurs are just a small part of all the foreigners and immigrants, who are in need of help”, Miro says. “They are the lucky ones, but there are many people who are doing much worse.”

For Miro and his team ethical values are very important. “Nowadays many people are struggling, not just foreigners but also many Finns”, Miro says. “We haven’t been selecting a certain group with whom we want to work, but often the immigrants are the ones who are in the weakest position.”

Lex Gaudius has been gaining reputation among immigrants by helping the ones who are in the most difficult situation. “We have been doing a lot of voluntary work in situations where it’s not possible for a person to get a lawyer otherwise” Miro says. “It means that we haven’t received reward. But my employees haven’t been working for free, I have paid them their salary like always.”

Lex Gaudius wants to show that a private enterprise can operate with ethical values. “We are strongly driven by social values”, Miro says. “We would like to have even a bigger impact on the society and be an example for others.”

Three things Miro del Gaudio advices to check when you are applying for residence permit for Finland:

1. Tell the truth

In Finland it’s very important that you explain things as truthful and as possible when dealing with authorities. It’s important to be accurate and clear with all information, like dates and events. It’s very difficult to start correcting an incorrect information, if it’s noticed that a person is lying or tells something that later turns out to be incorrect. In some other countries there is much more tolerance and understanding for misunderstandings or other reasons for giving incorrect information.

2. Make sure you meet the general requirements

The Finnish Immigration Services will check that the general requirements are met. The general requirements are that you need to have a valid passport, you have not been prescribed a prohibition of entry to Finland and you are not a danger to public order and security, public health or Finland’s international relations. For example, if a person has a background with serious crimes, it has to be considered, what kind of impact it could have in meeting the general requirements.

3. Make sure you have sufficient funds to live in Finland

For a foreigner who is running a business in Finland it’s not possible to get social benefits from Finland, if the business isn’t as successful as expected. So, you need to have enough money to live in Finland.

For more information, please visit: https://lexgaudius.com

Text: Riikka Kotiranta
Photos: Eemeli Sarka

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