Responsibilities of the Consulate General of Finland in New York
The Consulate General of Finland in New York promotes Finland’s commercial interests, works on improving the operational conditions for the Finnish cultural agents and strengthens Finland’s national brand through the means of public diplomacy. The Consulate General is also responsible for consular and entry services in New York as well as in other states, and special administrative areas that fall within the scope of the Consulate’s activity. The activity scope of the Consulate General of Finland in New York covers 35 states situated on the East Coast and in the Midwest, as well as two special administrative regions (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).
Due to its location, the main activity of the Consulate General of Finland in New York focuses on New York, a city that is known as an internationally significant economy, culture and media center. The activity scope of the Consulate General covers 35 states situated on the East Coast and in the Midwest, as well as two special administrative regions (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). The area is the size of the European Union.
The Consulate General of Finland in New York promotes Finland’s commercial interests, works on improving operational conditions of the Finnish cultural agents and strengthens Finland’s national brand through the means of public diplomacy. The United States continues to be the most important economy and market region in the world, housing almost half of the world’s innovation. Due to these factors, having close commercial and economic links with the US is of the utmost importance for Finland. The Consulate General builds connections between Finnish and US agents on a state and city level, facilitating relationship among the representatives of the political, economic and corporate spheres. In addition, the Consulate General supports the activity of the Finnish companies in the US and participates in the efforts aimed at attracting investors to Finland. A lot of work is currently underway around start-ups and small businesses, but the Consulate General continues to work with traditional industry companies.
For the Finnish agents operating in the cultural and creative domains, the Consulate General offers diverse services both in New York and other states that fall within the scope of its activity. The operational model of the Consulate General is based on promoting, in cooperation with local partners, the visibility, mobility, operational requirements and business potential of the Finnish agents in the United States. The role of the Consulate General comprises, among other things, identification and facilitation of the potential cooperation partnerships, networking services, coordination of experts’ visits, event organization, communication and general consulting services.
The aim of the Consulate General is to strengthen Finland’s national brand and to highlight Finnish excellence and know-how in the United States. Together with local partners, the Consulate General has succeeded in increasing awareness about the Finnish technology and innovation capabilities, culture, as well as the Finnish environmentally-friendly thinking culture, its equality-based society and high-level educational system. The Consulate General is very active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, ensuring a strong visibility and maintaining interaction with key target groups.
The Consulate General collaborates closely with the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C., the Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles and other members of the Team Finland USA network. In commercial and economic matters, this involves working with Business Finland and the Finnish-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC). In addition, the Consulate General works closely with the Nordic Innovation House (NIH). In culture-related issues, the Consulate General relies on its cooperation with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.
The Consulate General of Finland in New York employs 18 honorary consuls. Honorary consuls perform duties associated with the Consulate General’s activity and offer important support to the Consulate General throughout its territory.
Consular and entry services
One of the Consulate General’s main responsibilities is to protect the interests of Finnish nationals. There are over 20,000 Finnish nationals and approx. half a million American-Finnish nationals living on the territory that falls within the scope of the Consulate General’s activity. In addition, over 100,000 Finnish tourists visit the area every year. New York has been the Finnish’s favorite city destination for several years.
Based on the quantity of the consular and entry services offered by the Consulate General of Finland in New York, it is one of Finland’s biggest representations in the world. The Consulate General assists Finnish nationals in crisis situations and aids the Finnish nationals and Finnish residents that find themselves in distress during their travels in the United States. Together with the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. and the Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles, the Consulate General of Finland in New York issues advice to travelers informing them about local conditions and practices as well as instructs them to inform about their travel plans when traveling to the United States.
The Consulate General issues approximately 700 new Finnish passports annually. During elections, it also arranges legal absentee voting on the territory for which it is responsible.
In addition to its consular activities, the Consulate General offers country entry related services to people intending to travel to Finland. Even though Americans travelling to Finland do not require a Finnish visa, the Consulate General issues approximately 1000 Finnish visas for other country nationals living in the US. In addition, the Consulate General receives residence permit applications from Americans and other country nationals who wish to stay or work in Finland for a longer period of time.