Adventures in Immigration

And, the Immigration process has finally begun! Thursday the 4th found my boyfriend and I trotting all over the Netherlands, paperwork in tow embarking on my journey of Going Dutch. First stop was Amsterdam and the American Consulate where I had to hold up my right hand and swear to a complete stranger that I am now not married, nor have I ever been. Visions of crazy Vegas vacations past floated through my mind and I thank the Universe that on one of those booze-filled jaunts, I never mistakenly said “I do” under the influence.

We then headed to the IND- the office of the Dutch Immigration. We met with a really nice intake worker who took all our paperwork and got the whole process started. I was incredibly nervous for some reason, though honestly have nothing to hide. Though my grandparents had come to America through Ellis Island, I have never been an immigrant before.  What if for some reason, this doesn’t work out and I’m not allowed to stay here? I’m putting these thoughts aside and focusing on the positive. Of course the Dutch government wants me here- I’m fun! I’m also in love with one of their citizens. They have to let me stay. Right?

I received a letter over the weekend stating that I should have a decision from them by July 4th. I’m taking this as a good sign as it’s the American Independence Day.

The next step in this journey to Integration is waiting for the City Hall in the next village over to receive my paperwork and issue me a BSN number. This is the equivalent to an American Social Security number and with this I can finally enroll in school as well as get Health insurance. I can even open a bank account. I’ll finally be a real person again.

In the meantime, I wait.