Soon I will be expelled from the country for the shady trade in lost permits and passes.
In the past five years I had a residence permit stating that I can stay in the Netherlands temporarily. It is the only document we have as refugees and we must treat it with care. Well, dealing with cards is not for me. I’ve lost it twice. I can no longer lose it from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), otherwise they will think I have a business in residence permits. Now it is at home by default, so that I cannot lose it anymore. Now that I have completed the five years in the Netherlands without any specifics, I can apply for a residence permit for an indefinite period. Last week I had to go to the IND office in Utrecht to take a new fingerprint and photo for the document. I had to bring my residence permit safely stored.
“Good morning, your ticket, please,” I heard on the train. I reached into my pocket to show my public transport card, but it was empty. I lost him. When the conductor was waiting for me for the public transport card, I was simultaneously looking for my residence permit. “Fortunately, I have one!” I shouted happily. ‘Did you found it?’ the conductor asked. No, I had lost my public transport card, but I was relieved that I had not lost my residence permit for the third time in any case. I came along to explain that I can travel for free because I am a student. That I really just lost my public transport card. He did not believe me and proceeded to issue the fine. I will stay at home until I have my permanent residence permit. Otherwise, my file will soon be full of fines and shady trade in ‘lost’ residence permits and passes, and I will still be deported from the country.