My move to the Netherlands - Part 2
Back in South Africa, there were many things that needed to be organized. We had to figure out the best course for our dogs that of course needed to come with, the paperwork, our Dutch classes, the new work, selling our household contents, gosh what about the car and the really nice orchid that has finally bloomed after 3 years?
The best option for me was to firstly, research.
For our pets, there is a Facebook group called Embark that has amazing information and even a how to guide for the DIY route with my pets.
Then, listing what we could for sale.
Organizing the move to my parents place to save on cash flow.
Keeping a finger on documents, etc etc.
After returning from my trip to Amsterdam, we went to home affairs to check up on our documents. In true home affairs fashion, we ended up having to wait for 6 hours just to found out that while our unabridged birth certificates are ready, we are still awaiting the letter of no impediment and there is no timeline on when it will be ready. We waited another 4 weeks and with no word from Home Affairs, I decide to pay someone to get it for me. This is after all the only document that we need.
It cost R2000 per document, so for my partner and I we had to pay R4000. We got them within a week. If I had known it would be so quick I would’ve done it this way when we applied for our documents in the first place.
After receiving our documents, we sent them to PNB Brooklyn postnet – they offer a service whereby they send in your documents to be apostilled and they will then send them back to your address when they are finished. This was another 38 days of waiting. By now, we have sold most of our belongings and have moved in with my parents which is another challenge after having lived on my own for about 12 years :D
Finally, we receive back our apostilled documents, and new forms are filled in to be sent to the IND. After receiving the email and letter that the embassy has approved our application, the feeling you get is hard to explain. Suddenly, you realize after all the waiting and planning, it’s happening. You have 2 weeks to finalize and pack before you fly to your new country.
A few things I would like to give advice on when it comes to the admin:
1. Pay the exorbitant amount of money to expedite your documentation from home affairs. It will cut your waiting time with at least 3 months.
2. Keep track of everything of you need to fill in and which documents are at what stage.
3. Do NOT sell your smaller household items. Rather pack them and pay for the extra baggage.
4. Get a house hunter to sort out your accommodation. It will ease a lot of stress out of your journey.
5. When the waiting seems unbearable, watch some videos about the Netherlands or keep something by your desk to remind you of why you decided to do this in the first place. For me, it ended up being some tulips and a wallpaper of the Oude Kerk.
6. If you’re bringing your pets with you, add reminders to your phone of when they need to go for what.
7. Book flexible flights in advance, it’ll save you quite a bit of money.
8. Never forget, you are not alone in this and you have an amazing network of people at Ir Olav
Read Part 1 of the blog HERE!
- Chantelle Hattingh, Quality Assurance Engineer