Adventures at the Immigration Office

In the three weeks since landing in Amsterdam, I’ve managed to accomplish quite a bit. I’ve registered with my gemeente, eaten many pancakes, and now, after my appointment with the IND, I’ve gained legal residency. The IND is the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Netherlands.  To reside in the Netherlands legally,  you have to have a visa for work, study, or in my case, be married to an EU or Dutch citizen.

There are many conditions for each situation, so it is imperative to do your research ahead of time. For me to live here, my husband and I had to show official documentation to prove our relationship. For us, this meant having our apostilled (internationally authenticated) marriage license, previous lease agreements showing that we lived together, and other documents like joint bank accounts that upheld the legitimacy of our relationship. We also had to prove that we had the financial means to support ourselves so that we wouldn’t become dependent on the Dutch government. In many cases, the IND will tell applicants the amount necessary to support your request for residency. I’ve heard the amount can range anywhere from 700-2200 EUR a month for up to 12 months.  The amount depends on several factors, and it is my understanding that a primary factor is where you plan on living. Amsterdam will obviously be more expensive than other places in the country, so the funds needed to support your residency request will likely be higher there.

We had our IND appointment last week and luckily it was a smooth process. We arrived well prepared with all of our documents and financial statements ready. Within an hour, I had completed the necessary biometrics and received a temporary approval of my request for residency. Assuming all goes well, I will receive my permanent resident card via mail, and it will be valid for five years. Now that I have received my BSN (like a Social Security Number) and temporary residency, I am authorized to work, can open a bank account, get insurance and all that fun stuff. The process in the Netherlands was much quicker and way more affordable than the process for establishing my husband’s residency in the US! I’m excited about starting this new chapter abroad.

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