After lots of paperwork and lots of waiting, I have my resident permit for the Netherlands! The immigration office (IND) took exactly 4 months to process some very straight-forward documents. But hey, red tape isn’t known for being quick anywhere. AmIRight?
Now a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders and I can work freely, get health insurance, and not have to use my passport as my identity paper for 5 years! This also means that I don’t have to answer the annoying question at border control of “how long will you be staying in Europe?”. Because my answer will be, “how ever long I please, thank you very much!”. Hahhahahaha. Okay. So that only goes on in my head and would never say that to border control because those people have power that I don’t want to mess with.
So, what is a resident card? It shows that I am a legal resident of the Netherlands with all rights associated with that including rights to the social system (which, of course, I hope to never need). Since I don’t have a Dutch driver’s license yet, it is my identity card which you need for simple things like picking up a package…I like packages 😉 It also means that I am on record in immigration with my photo and fingerprints.
Once I get some papers from the U.S., I can apply for Italian citizenship. Why? Well, partly because it is just easier to do that and not have to mess with residency and but also it would mean that I can go back to school for a masters for next to nothing compared to U.S. prices (though, they complain about the cost here!). I would have dual citizenship, so I would not be giving up my American passport and I have no plans to do that. Long term, it would just be easier, that’s all. How? Because I’m now married to an Italian!
All is good now and there’s no more waiting until I submit my application to the Italian consulate. To recap, I am an American citizen with residency in the Netherlands waiting to apply for dual-citizenship to Italy. Is that clear as mud?
Thank you everyone for supporting our move and this huge life change. Was it hard? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. Do I miss my friends and family? Yes. Am I happy with life? Yes. Any other questions? 🙂