Day 27: I AM – We Are Legally Nederlands Residents!

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If it were only so easy to have everything in one place, one portal, with all the checklists and to do items, life would be so easy! I see a business opportunity!! 

The first time Jeff and I heard about the expat center was totally random. We were walking around looking for housing and were getting hungry and looking for some place to eat. I looked up and saw the I AMsterdam logo and the bike in the window, and that is what caught my eye. Of course, I was curious and dragged Jeff with me to check it out. There was so much knowledge in this place, with helpful, knowing people!  Who knew? Who knew that this is the place we would eventually need to visit and why didn’t anyone tell us?  In the portal we create one day, we’ll make it easier for other expats to find their way!

So today we had an appointment to meet with this government center to register as residents of the Netherlands. We brought our passports and apostilized documents of our birth certificates and marriage certificate. We filled out paperwork and signed our life away. The good news is, we are now officially residents and I can officially work here if I want to.  We have all been assigned BSN numbers – basically a Social Security Number that is linked to government services such as doctors, insurance, dental care and taxes. The number is ours permanently, even after we leave.

The thing that really frustrated me on principle only, was that Jeff and the kids were granted residence for 5 years. I was only allowed a 1 year permit. WTH??  I have to prove that we’re still married in order to stay here after a year!  I have to reapply to stay and ask for an extension. I guess I’ll need Jeff to come with me and sign on my behalf that we’re still together. That just makes me mad. I understand why they might have that standard, but it doesn’t seem fair or just. Do you? 

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Here’s my crazy husband, playing with me for this picture. I liked the wild wallpaper and matching coffee mugs… not very Dutch like, though!

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Here are my 5 year resident kids – without their mother!!  GRRRRrrrrr…..

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Here’s the official letterhead!  Kinda cool, right?

Dag – Tot siens!! xo