Verblijfsvergunning Ingewilligd - Applying for a residence permit in the Netherlands

Today I write this post as a registered Amsterdammer (yes, that's what they're called).

Last Tuesday afternoon, a friend came over to visit and brought our mail up with her. In the pile was a letter addressed to me from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). I promptly opened it up, and then set it aside. You see, the letter was in Dutch and my usual reaction to Dutch mail is to set it aside until Philippe comes home. Plus, I wasn't expecting a letter with news of my residence being granted for at least another month. But, after catching up on my friend's recent adventures on our apartment's cozy little balcony, the conversation switched to my immigration process and we remembered the letter. My friend speaks Dutch fluently, so she was the perfect candidate to help me understand the letter.

She read the first paragraph silently to herself, then looked up and started reading it to me. "I hereby enclose my decision that today your request of the granting of a residence permit for a fixed period is ... ingewilligd." She wasn't sure what ingewilligd meant and I sure had no idea whatsoever. I did know, however, that I really wanted to know what it meant. So I ran to my phone where I have the Google Translate app handy, and typed it in as fast as I could figure out how to spell it. 

I-n-g-e-w-i-l-l-i-g-d ... Dutch to English ... translate ... Granted!

My residence permit was granted! Mijn verblijfsvergunning is ingewilligd! Here I thought verblijfsvergunning looked like the difficult word in the sentence, but apparently it means residence permit and ingewilligd is a more fancy, official term for granted. As far as I was concerned, my Dutch lesson for the day was complete and my life as a Dutch resident was just beginning. Cue a huge smile, a small sigh of relief, and astonishment that only 27 days after applying for a residence permit at the IND, my residence was granted. I had never really doubted that my request for residence would be approved since Philippe and I had painstakingly followed all the steps correctly, but it still felt wonderful to receive the official news.

Now, my last post was all about how the husband and I decided to get married and the process it took to do so. Marriage was definitely the first step to me becoming a Dutch resident, but it was not the only one. I promise one of these days I'll get around to writing about the more exciting parts of Amsterdam life, but I'm afraid today is not that day. Instead, because I am hoping that this blog will help to serve others in our situation, I want to recount the next step in our journey: the IND appointment.

On the morning July 31, 2013, after returning from a lovely weeklong honeymoon in Malta, I had an appointment at the IND. We had made this appointment weeks in advance and even so, the first appointment they had available was for mid-August. My patient, devoted, loving husband, however, made phone calls almost every day after scheduling that initial appointment to see if there were any cancellation. Luckily, his persistence paid off and we were able to get an earlier appointment.

For this appointment, I had to bring the application for my verblijfsvergunning (it's so much more fun to say in Dutch), as well as a long list of documents. Thankfully, that patient, devoted, loving husband of mine also took the reins on this and filled out the long application, made phone calls to confirm that we had all the information we needed, and put everything together into two color-coded folders for my appointment.

The blue folder held my application, signed and dated on multiple pages by both the husband and I, which was to be submitted to the IND.

The red folder had all things things that the IND needed approve and/or make copies of, but that I was to bring back home afterwards:

  • My passport
  • A copy of my passport
  • Philippe's passport
  • A copy of Philippe's passport
  • My birth certificate with apostille
  • Our marriage license
  • Our apartment rental contract
  • Philippe's work contract
  • Philippe's most recent annual statement from his employer
  • Philippe's three most recent pay stubs

After thoroughly analyzing the documents and taking breaks to tell me all about his cat who recently passed away, the officer at the IND placed a document in my passport stating that I was in the process of applying for a residence permit which would allow me to stay in the Netherlands longer than the usual 90 days as determined by the Schengen Agreement. I was then sent on my merry way with a wish for the best and estimated three to six months until I heard back about my residence permit.

So, you can see why, only 27 days later, I was ecstatic to receive the news that my verblijfsvergunning was ingewilligd! I still have to wait for another letter which will provide me with further information about how to actually obtain my residence permit, but at least I know it's coming ... and soon! 

The population of Amsterdam has now increased by one. Time to start the job search!

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