An update on my residency status

Please note an update to this post is at the bottom.

Now that it’s coming close to mid-October, I’ve been in the Netherlands for almost three months. When I meet people for the first time, one of the most common questions is: “What’s the status on your residency permit?”

It’s hard for me to say. Sander and I turned in all necessary papers, photos, copies and other documents in September. We’re waiting to hear from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). The IND qualifies me to stay in the Netherlands.

What did they want?
Anything we could give, to show Sander and I were in a relationship. Any early texts, documented conversations, or photos. Lucky for us, we did a lot of texting over Skype before we actually made calls to each other. When put into a word document, our chat logs went on for hundreds of pages. After our first few calls, we used Skype video chat and Facetime. Thank goodness for my iPhone keeping a log of all those Facetime calls! On top of about 20 pages of proof, they wanted passport photos, and plane ticket stubs. We also had a giant stack of paper filled out. Much of the paperwork was to prove I was an upstanding citizen and not running from a dark past back home.

What I do now
While I wait, Sander still has to go to work. I’m not allowed to get job here until I can be seen as a resident. I need a card that acts as my citizen number. I need that for a bank account and credibility that I’m in the country legally. In the meantime, I write, catch up on reading, spend some time watching Dutch television and take care not to trash the home!

After going back to school and having to grind out the last two years on a full time schedule, it’s a bit of a welcome break but it does get stale. Thank goodness for Sander’s family! They often invite me out to attend street markets or tour various regions close by. I’ve even had the opportunity to meet Sander’s boss and coworkers, who are all very wonderful people.

What’s coming up?
The future can’t be planned but here’s a little insight to what Sander and I want to do. We do have some secret plans coming up soon, that we can’t talk yet, but the situation will definitely end up keeping us busy! We have a lot of ideas of what to do with the flat, including a home tour when it’s ready. I want to grow this blog and see where it goes. I can always plan for the future but I’m taking the present one step at a time and play the waiting game for now.

I was approved for a residency permit good for 3 years in The Netherlands. In those 3 years, I need to do various courses to help me integrate with Dutch society. I’ll be fined around $3,000 if I’m unable to complete these courses. I’m planning on a complete and detailed page about all the things I have to do and learn for the final tests.

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