Officially Official Residents!
This is slightly belated, because we received notice about a month ago that our application for residency in the Netherlands was approved (yay!). Just last week, though, we picked up the formal cards that show we are officially residents so I felt this was the time to update.
Two and a half months of applying, taking next steps, and lots of waiting – it felt like a long time, but compared to the process in other countries (I.e. the US), it went relatively quickly.
One step that we had to take for our particular visa was to create a company. This DAFT – Dutch American Friendship Treaty – visa allows self-employed Americans (and Japanese) to come to the Netherlands with the intent to create a business that increases commerce between the two countries. We were told it was pretty standard for Americans to apply for this if they were not coming to work for a company (as is our case). Being that I’m still a co-owner of a small business back home, and Josh is retired from the finance/electronic trading industry, we decided he would start the business. The easy part about this is that you just have to start the business. With this visa, unlike an investment visa for example, you don’t have to prove a whole lot of viability. We wrote a business plan around a consulting service that would use Josh’s experience to advise Dutch high frequency traders on making connections with the USA, then applied with the Chamber of Commerce, then opened a bank account (and put in the required amount of funds), consulted a CPA, submitted the documents to the government, and VOILA! We were approved! (Also, consider this my marketing effort…if you’re Dutch and you’re interested in trading in the US, give us a shout).
It is a great feeling to know we are done with that process! We were also fortunate to have a lot of help along the way. We had a great lawyer, David Nauta, (https://www.expataandemaas.com/) and consulted many times with the relatively new Expat Center.
- Now that we are official we’ve had to schedule vaccines & health checks with a Dutch pediatric center (similar to back home for wellness checks, but not where we’d take them if they were sick or hurt, which would be to our new family doctor)
- Register with our family doctor (you are given options of doctors based on which part of the city you live in, you don’t just choose anyone)
- Sign up for insurance. It is obligatory, but it isn’t free. You must have a base level of insurance, but you can opt for higher coverage. It is cheaper than in the US as are health related expenses.
I would say it seems less common to come under the DAFT treaty in Maastricht than in other larger cities and that made things a little complicated in the beginning. But now, we ‘re happy we had the advice to do so and we are excited to be here for another 8.5 months.