Dealing with Immigration and Bureaucrats.

So a brief update:

Today we spent practically all day calling around various offices of the Local Government.

It seems that while Amsterdam and Den Haag (The Hague) are well oiled machines in the processing of fresh Expats Rotterdam however is not. In fact they couldn’t be further from it.

They recently introduced an appointment based system for registering with the municipality (something that you need to do before you can officially start work and pay tax), however they forgot to inform the IND (Dutch immigration) which they where supposed to do before implementing any changes to the registration policy.

So after a few hours of reading the EU Treaty to them over the phone they have decided that I should call on Monday so that I may get a separate appointment for the purpose of receiving the Tax Number (sofi number) so that I and my Husband may work before we officially exist in Rotterdam.

You see there have been some recent changes to the registration system for Expats, the result of which is that when you arrive you must first register with the IND and the municipality in order to get your tax number (Social Fiscal number-SOFI number) which is not to be confused with your citizen number (Burger Service Number -BSN) which is the same number but at the same time are different numbers.

So back to the point: Rotterdam has an appointments based system for registering with the municipality (with a LONG Waiting List), so to get around to the fact that we can’t wait until Christmas to start work (litterally our appointments to register in the municipality are on the 21st of December):

We must first Register with the tax office (belastingdienst – phone number: 08000543) so that we may get our SOFI numbers in order to start work (even self employed / freelance work).

Then we must attend our appointments at the IND so that we are officially in the country and my husband can get a residence card that verifies that he legally classifies as a European citizen (due to his being my Husband – Thank you EU Treaty Directive 2004-38-EC – Article 11).

Finally we must then register with the municipality (just in time for Christmas) so that we can get our tax numbers converted into citizen numbers so that we are officially residents of the Netherlands, YIPPEE!!!!

Sounds like a lot of work unless you’ve ever tried to deal with the UKBA (the United Kingdom Border Agency) who are for a lack of a better word RACIST-HOMOPHOBIC PIGS who suggested I get divorced from my Malaysian Husband and “marry nice a European Girl instead”. // I am not looking forward to having to deal with them again when we go back to the UK to visit family for Christmas. //

EXPAT Advice: When moving to the Netherlands either book all your appointments the moment you get a local phone number or select a municipality that has a lot of experience processing Expats (such as Amsterdam or Den Haag).

Speak Soon,

Tim

P.S. I didn’t pack enough tea

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