Solving problems requires years of experience in the Netherlands.
Life in the Netherlands is more difficult than I thought. It is not just me, it applies to everyone who lives in the Netherlands. Solving problems here requires years of experience. Apparently the five years of experience I have in the Netherlands are not enough.
“Have you emailed the IND (the Immigration and Naturalization Service) that you need proof of your application for a permanent residence permit? Otherwise, your student grants will stop and tuition fees will go up”, said a friend this week. “You don’t have to, right? I have already applied online for the permanent residence permit”, I said, surprised. “No, it really takes a long time to get it. So you have to arrange something now, otherwise you will have no papers and a problem with your school and work”, the friend said.
The student grants of a Syrian friend of ours has stopped, because his five-year residence permit has expired and his application for the new residence permit is still being processed. The basis that I have had in the Netherlands all this time is no longer self-evident. Without papers I am not insured, so I am not allowed to see the doctor. A valid residence document is also crucial for my work in the supermarket, I am not allowed to work without it. If I don’t have the papers in order, the tuition fees go up and I will automati-cally be treated as a foreign student, who has to pay € 8.000 euros for school.
Newcomers are expected to reach a certain language level, integrate and find a job within five years. It might be an idea if the government also inte-grates in a number of areas, such as the IND with the Education Executive Agency (DUO).
That wouldn’t make our life more fun, but it would make it easier.