Friday, December 4, 2009

Yes I would like to live here alsjeblieft

Well, I have officially applied to become a Dutch resident for a year. As of 10:00 this morning, the matter is no longer in my hands. It was amazing how many things I had to do to get here.
Before I even came, I had to get a certified birth certificate (which resulted in a parking ticket…stupid line taking too long.) Apparently the one I had was not certified, even though it had a sheriff signature and a stamp which is apparently what qualifies it to be certified. I found out it wasn’t eligible after sending it in to get an apostle and receiving an letter of decline. So after getting the correct one, I had to get that apostled. An apostle (pronounced ap-oh-steal not uh-pos-le) is a certified paper that says the certificate is eligible for use in another country.
I also had to buy a plane ticket and a years worth of travel insurance, and since I didn’t have enough money for both, I had to reopen my credit card, which I had JUST finished paying off. But it came in handy for the other things I needed – jackets, turtlenecks, sweatpants, converter, etc.
Once I got here I had to go to the town hall and register with them. Then they gave me a number to call to register with immigration, which then game me a date (Dec. 4th) to go turn in paperwork. Upon receiving this date, we also received a confirmation packet in the mail with all the paperwork I needed to fill out. Thank goodness I had an English version downloaded on my computer, or I would have been so lost. The packet included a statement of non-marriage, statement of no dependants, what my hours and pay would be, all my hosts’ information, and a statement of non-criminal status.
For those of you wondering, non-criminal status is considered having a non-criminal status according to Dutch law. For example, you can be imprisoned for being gay in some countries, but that would not make you a criminal for your Dutch visa application. So I am not considered a criminal in the county of Holland despite my seven cousins and me getting a field arrest for attempting to start a fire in the woods by shooting off an illegal potato gun (true story btw.)
Anyway, I now have a temporary sticker on my passport and the decision is out of my hands. I don’t get an official response for another six months, so even if they do decide to reject it, I’ll have been here for seven months. They could decide to reject it for any number of reasons, but most likely it should be fine. Now all that’s left to do it wait.

Word of the day: verblijfsvergunning – resident application


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