Well, I am at the end of my tether with paperwork and fighting off supposed sunstroke, time to eat ice-cream and blog (can’t do much else at the moment). Sadly, the whole affair relating to following the rules and procedures (in order to register myself here in The Netherlands) is going to fill up an entire blog post – but I’ll try and condense it a little.
Two trips to the Gemeente Rotterdam (town hall), several phone calls, multiple form filling and additional documentation passing between the UK and NL – only to find that the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) are not yet willing to fully register me as a legal/lawful citizen (or provide me with a registration certificate). I have already obtained the required Burger Service Nummer (Citizen number – for their poxy, personal records database system), which apparently allows me to deal with Dutch authorities, get paid/taxed, take out a bank account and obtain insurances etc. Though, there were further mixed messages/confusion and miscommunication between the health insurance company (which you have to bloody well pay for) and IND – which finally got resolved today! I guess the BSN number is the main ‘gateway to the stars’ here – the registration part with IND is just an added extra, but proving to be a right royal pain in the arse…
However, because I am just/only working here voluntarily (until I find that elusive ‘proper’ job) I now needed to obtain a ‘joint’ bank account and proof of financial stability, with the person I live with. This would be all fine and dandy, if they were clear about what was/is needed to become fully registered here from day one – the message keeps changing and I am losing hope/patience, after arriving here on May 10th and still finding myself messing about with the formalities… It’s not even like I wasn’t prepared for all this, after spending the last 3 years in another EU country.
The earlier need for an apostille stamp on my documents (birth certificate and name change) seems to have been become non important and not been required again since the first trip to the Gemeente :O This is also not free and costs approx £40 plus postage per document, from the UK.
I would advise anyone approaching this whole nightmare process to take a Dutch speaking person with you, and even then – don’t expect to come out of it laughing for at least a few months or longer! I wouldn’t mind, but the trouble I had getting my British Passport was bad enough, despite my English nationality – being born overseas to a serving UK soldier helped to complicate that – but that’s another story… I honestly have no idea how another European country can be so procrastinatory (and inefficient) over something which should be so basic/simple. If the UK is happy with my paperwork, then the same should apply to the countries currently existing within the EU.
So, we have a 3rd appointment in August (yes, it takes them approx 3 weeks to see me again, each and every time) – will have to see what else they need, or they deem necessary to bat me over the head with…. In all sincerity, I can’t imagine what further paperwork they can ask from me, but I am not going to be shunned away like a naughty little girl who hasn’t done her homework, again.
It is times like these where I start questioning the relationship that the UK has with it’s Euro counterparts – everything should be made simple and standard by being part of this happy ‘family of democratic, political and economic European countries’. At the moment I feel as though I may as well come from as far away as Australia!
I have to say, that in comparison to Denmark (with their own annoying, discretionary methods – but free health care) that this part of the relocation chapter has (surprisingly) become much more nonsensical than I anticipated. :O