So for my particular situation, that is, non-EU citizen with a permanent residence and work visa and married to an EU citizen, moving to the Netherlands is not Kafka-impossible. You have to live there first, and then you register with the city, and then you take your registration to the immigration office and apply for a residence permit. That usually takes three months, but you get a “pending” sticker in your passport, so you can go ahead with the other stuff like getting a doctor and looking for work. It’s not normally a closed circle.
Unless the bank and the University decide to make it so. The banks decided they would not loan money to us unless I got a residence permit – even though all their numbers are based on DrBob’s salary and assume that I will have no income of my own (which is not true) – and that’s when it became a closed circle: need the permit to get an address, need the address to get a permit.
Most people rent first, and then find something to buy (this is where the University comes in). Technically, we did that: DrBob rented a flat with Short Stay Solutions, which is apparently part of the University somehow, and he was not allowed to put my name, or anyone else’s name, on the rental contract. If we’d done that, I’d be registered at a Utrecht address, and I could have gotten the permit that the banks required. We probably could have appealed the no-wives-on-the-rental-contract thing, but we didn’t know about this until this Tuesday, and the contract expires in two weeks, so there’s no time.
So. The solution we arrived at, which we both hate, is that DrBob’s buying the house all by his lonesome, so they drew up a new purchase agreement without my name on it.
We also tried and failed to get Sofi-numbers for the kids (like a Social Security number, only they need it before they can start school), so DrBob had to call for an appointment, and they gave him one for next week.
So let’s look at the reasons for the trip: get me a residence permit, get sofi-numbers for the kids, move DrBob out of his apartment because the rental contract’s up and he won’t be back. The residence permit can’t happen until we actually move in, so sometime after September 1st. The sofi-numbers require an appointment, which is next week, so he has to go back, so there was no point in moving out.
In other words, four days gone, nothing useful achieved.
I hate bureaucrats.
Song du jour of the day: The Circle Game, by Joni Mitchell.