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Here's my checklist : moving to NL

So you've decided to move to the Netherlands to be with your partner. That's great! If you just got married, congratulations to both of you! If you've been together for a while now but plan to make that big move and live in the Netherlands, that's awesome! Good luck to both of you! Whichever path you'll be coming from, you'll always be excited about the move and the new experiences you'll encounter in a new country. So of course, you want to make sure that everything is planned accordingly and all the necessary documents are ready for that transfer. So what do you need to move to the Netherlands? What's your next step?  

To be able to live in the Netherlands you'll need a residence permit. And certain conditions need to be met if you'll be moving as a spouse or a registered partner, for example, your partner should be a Dutch citizen or at the least, also carry a Dutch residence permit. And that you both have the intention of living together. But let's just say that those basic conditions are already a given, what other things would you require to apply for that permit? 

My experience moving to the Netherlands thankfully was a smooth sail. But of course, that obviously varies from person to person, plus my situation was different because unlike many other Filipinos who moved to Europe from the Philippines, I moved to the Netherlands from The United States. In any case, I can imagine that the steps I had gone through and processes I dealt with coming to Europe would generally be the same, so if you're in the same boat as I am, whether or not you'll be coming from my home country, or any other country, let me share with you the steps I took and the documents I needed to prepare to fulfill the requirements of moving to the Netherlands to be with the man I love.

Step 1: Learn Basic Dutch

If you're coming from a country outside of the EU, you'll be required to take and pass an  Inburgeringsexamen  or a  Civic Integration Examination  before moving to the Netherlands. The purpose of this exam is to learn basic Dutch language and know a bit more about the Dutch culture and society before you even relocate. So... how to pass this  Civic Integration  exam? Don't be too scared because the course you'll be taking is fairly basic. A lot of study materials will be available to help you pass this test. You will be tested on four abilities: reading, writing, speaking and listening. For more information on the details of the Civic Integration exam, click on this link below.

Learn more about the  Inburgeringsexamen , Dutch Civic Integration Examination

I took my Dutch language course while I was living in Los Angeles. And I specifically told my teacher that I was taking it to prepare for my Civic Integration Examination. After a few months of in-person classes, online review materials and sample questions, I took my test at the Consulates-General Office in San Francisco, California. And thankfully, I passed. For more information on how to take the test and apply for MVV (authorization for temporary stay)/residence permit (permanent residency) if you live in the United States, click on this link below.

Applying for MVV (temporary residence permit)/permanent residence permit from the USA

If you are coming from the Philippines, click this link below.

Applying for MVV (temporary residence permit)/permanent residence permit from the Philippines.

Once you've passed the test, you're ready for the next step!

Step 2: Collect all your necessary documents

There's a lot of websites available to you on how to apply for visas and residence permits but to play it safe, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Services (IND) is the go to website and they are very thorough and very detailed in helping you prepare the documents you'll need during the application process. Just make sure that when you gather all your documents, you give yourself ample time between acquiring these documents and submitting them to the embassy or consulate. Get your birth certificates ready, and your passport, your photos, other legal document evidence, travel insurance, etc. Plus don't forget, some of these documents may need to be translated so consider that in your time frame as well! For the IND website, visit  for more information.

Step 3: Complete and submit your application online or via post

Nowadays, it's just very easy and convenient to send your applications online. All you have to do is include the required list of documents as an attachment to the online application form and then press the send button. My one advice here, please make sure that you've double-checked and triple-checked if you've attached all necessary documents and filled out the form completely and correctly. You don't want to cause any delays in your application. Whether you want to submit an online application or a written one, it's all up to you. The only difference I can think of is that with the online application, you have to pay the fees right away. Written applications would still need to be reviewed so you pay later.  

Step 4: Prepare for the flight!

Congratulations, they've granted your application for an MVV or your residence permit! What's next? Time to take that flight to the Netherlands and be with the one you love! The process doesn't stop there however, because once you're in the Netherlands, you'll still need to register yourself to an address, report your presence and fulfill additional documentations and other requirements. After all, they need to make sure that our purpose of stay is to be with our partner that sponsored us, right? So just enjoy your first few days, relax and feel like a tourist!

Step 5: Live, work and travel

Once you have your residence permit, you can now freely look for a job or even go back to school, just like I did. Your partner will also need to take out health insurance for you because everyone who lives in the Netherlands is required at the least, a basic health insurance. You'll also need to continue to integrate into the dutch society so you'll be taking classes once again to prepare for a more in depth Civic Integration examination or the NT2 ( Dutch as a second language,  Netherlands as a second language). This is very important because if I remember correctly, the IND can revoke your residence permit if you don't pass this test. Don't worry, they usually give ample time for one to pass this test, about 2 to 3 years or so. 

So  is it easy to live in the Netherlands ? That's a cause for another blog and I'll answer that question for sure! But for now, is it easy to move to the Netherlands? I'd say yes. If you follow this checklist that I prepared for you, then you'll be fine. Your partner is after all with you to help you! Feel free to check out other resources as well and after that, you're all set! Good luck!

For more information on moving to the Netherlands to be with your partner, check out this link,  Following your partner to the Netherlands: First steps. 

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