Thursday, April 5, 2007

Applying for Dutch citizenship today!

Today I start on the path to obtaining a second passport (dual citizenship). I have done some research and consulted some immigration law specialists (thanks Tessa!) and it is now possible for me due to being married to a Dutch citizen.

I have always kind of seen this as not really being necessary but lately a few things have been nagging at me to get me to make the move:

* I will not lose my US citizenship
* My children have been born here (have both American and Dutch citizenship), so I would like to have the same rights as they do
* I can not vote here until I obtain Dutch citizenship
* Much easier to move about in the EU

I will keep posing to this item via the comments as I proceed down the road to citizenship. I am sure there will be enough interesting events in this process to post about. Wish me luck! :-)

8 comments:

  1. This morning, 5th April 2007, I was told that the best process for me to take would be to try for an ‘Option’ for Dutch citizenship. This is over 200 euros cheaper and can be done for persons married for more than 3 years to a Dutch citizen and having been longer than 15 years in the Netherlands with an unbroken staying-permit.

    As I have been here since June 1992 and married for over 5 years now it should be fine for me! ;-)

    But…. there is always a but isn’t there? :-P

    But, the police that keep the stay-permit records have made a big mess of it (these are the words of the s-Hertogenbosch City Hall employee helping me) so that they can’t tell how long I have been here. They even have my initial start date as June 1993, good thing I still have my old passport with the original stamp in it showing June 1992.

    The next step is that City Hall requests a complete overview of my stay-permit records from the police and call me within a week with the results. This will include an advice over the options I have open to me to proceed with a naturalization (dual-citizenship) request.

    More as it develops…

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  2. Today, 17th April 2007, I have been called back by City Hall with the info that this process can start (option version)!

    I have ordered a new certified birth certificate online and have an appointment in May to start the procedure. ;-)

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  3. Today, 15th May 2007, was the appointment to start the option procedure for naturalization… but… as one could expect, there was a problem. Actually two problems.

    1) I have to be in the Netherlands for 15 years, which is June this year (less than a month from now). I mentioned this to the first lady I spoke to, but she said it was not a problem and planned my appointment today. The lady I met today at City Hall said different, “Not possible!”

    2) the birth certificate I ordered from Vital Records in Oregon is not complete, it must have an Apostie (sort of certification that is based on a contract between the Dutch government and the USA).

    So the meeting was moved to end of July and I have to sort out the needed stamp on my birth certificate.

    I continue to push on… :-P

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  4. Last week I got a letter from my sister with $1.80 on US postage stamps so I can mail off my birth certificate to ge t the Apostie stamp. It requires a self-addressed stamped envelop so needed postage from the US to get it back.

    This weekend it went into the mailbox, so now I wait until it returns before heading back to City Hall in July.

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  5. I got the apostie back inside of a week, amazing!

    After waiting over a month, this morning at 1000 hours I again could be found in the City Hall waiting area. Will I get to submit my request for naturalization today? Will my papers be in order?

    It took over 30 mins of filling in papers, computer searching, searching for answers to her questions in big binders of information, but at around 1045 hours it was done!

    I had to sign not only the application, but provide diverse documents and a signed statement about not being a past criminal.

    Now I await the results which, if all goes well, will be an invitation to a naturalization ceremony!

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  6. Today the letter arrived!

    I have been sent an invitation to appear at a ceremony for naturalization! Later this month I will appear at City Hall to officially be inducted as a Dutch citizen.

    It stated that it is official only after attending the ceremony, so I had better not miss it. The letter also stated that it will take up to a week after the ceremony to allow the paperwork to process through the government channels. After that, I can apply for my Dutch passport.

    More after the ceremony!

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  7. Got it!

    See full story at http://www.schabell.com/2007/08/ik-ben-een-nederlander.html

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  8. So, the circle is completed, I have finally picked up my first ever Dutch passport here:

    http://www.schabell.com/2007/09/my-new-passport.html

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