member of state

February 22nd, 2006

So they told us at the university that it was very important for all us international students to go to City Hall and register as citizens of Utrecht. I had been back and forth on this, because the first I heard of the issue, it was most unclear to me. I recall that when I applied to come here, there was an issue of a student visa. Which, of course, I don't need. So for those who do, the non-EU people, there is a whole procedure there. I didn't have to do all that. They said that non-EU's have to apply for a residence permit in this country. EU folks can also apply if they want to. I expressly asked about this and was told that as an EU citizen, I do not have to apply. Three months later I get here and on the introduction day they say to us all "master students must apply for a residence permit, this is very important :blah:". So I copy all the required papers and hand them over at Student Services. This morning at 9 we all had to go to City Hall to finalize the whole thing. At 8.55 there's no more than 20 people outside the building, okay maybe this won't take long. Minutes later they open and we march in. Everyone has their passport ready. Figures one of the first people in line gets into a discussion with the city official. "It says here you were born in Czechoslovakia." "Yes." "But there is no such country." "I know." "Well then we have a problem, because the city of Utrecht keeps track of where people were born." "So what do you want me to do about it?" *more stupid chit chat* "You were born in 1981, Czechoslovakia was part of the Soviet Union." This Russian guy standing in line with me says "I didn't know that". None of us did. "It's a good thing I came down here this morning, otherwise I never would have known." He smiled. I was milking it, I know. Finally the guy is done with the Czech/Slovak and we move on. Oh no, another Czechoslovakian. Eventually it's my turn. They misspelled my name. *sigh* Ok, all done. "I don't need to pay the €30?" "What are you talking about?" "I thought I had to pay that to apply for a residence permit..(?)" The officials talk among themselves, the ladies from the university student services join in. "Well if you want to apply, you can't do that here." "So how do I do that?" They have another conference. One of them comes up to me "you're Norwegian, you don't have to apply." "But we were told at the introduction that we had to." "Who told you that?" "Someone at the university, they said it to all of us." Look missy, I didn't photograph and finger print the perpetrator. Most likely it was your colleague standing right over there. "Well you don't have to, you're an EU citizen." You're telling me, I was surprised any of this bs was required in the first place.

So I walk out of there as a citizen, I saved €30 and I don't have to wait 4 months for some bs residence permit, all in all a good morning.

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4 Responses to "member of state"

  1. Diana says:

    Madonna mia, those people at the city hall are stupid!:wallbang:

    Especially about that Czechoslovakia thing. And this: "you're Norwegian, so you don't have to apply" Since when is Norway a EU member? Does Norway has a special agreement with the EU that I don't know of? But with a Polish passport you are an EU citizen, so I am a bit confused here :confused:

    Anyway, those city officials should be fired for their incompetent knowledge.

  2. erik says:

    Norway = EFTA, which is effectively the same as EU in these matters as I recall.

    "It's a good thing I came down here this morning, otherwise I never would have known."


  3. Diana says:

    I thought the EFTA was only a free trade agreement, not concerning the freedom of movement of people. Well, maybe I was mistaken.

  4. numerodix says:

    [1] Norway is part of Schengen, the über cool agreement that lets us Europeans travel and settle wherever we want in Europe. As you say, there is a Polish passport to fall back on.

    [2] Thank you for sympathy laughs! Pity is very underrated.. :D