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Tewerkstellingsvergunning, verblijfsvergunning, soffinummer

Some Dutch bureaucracy and me


The Netherlands, August 2004 —

I made an appointment at the Belastingdienst [revenue "service.*"] September 9, 10:00.

I need to be able to bank. I need this most pointedly in order to remove K_'s responsibility from the contract for this room. She is worried, apparently with good reason, that she can be fined if she is found to be subletting to me.

She moved out about a month ago. She's been getting her mail elsewhere. She is going to be getting a room as of 1 September, and probably thus be more fully written in as not living here. The evidence will be stronger, then, that she does not live her.

In order to get a tax number, a sofinummer, I will need a tewerkstellingsvergunning, or work permit. A_ and I are now in the process of applying for a work permit. The Centrum voor Werk en Inkomen (CWI) has said it is prepared to offer a work permit for the period of 6 months.

It is unclear in the general record of info whether I will also need a residence permit in order to get a sofinummer. The man at reception at Belastingdienst said that I can get a tax number with a work permit.

The residence permit, if achievable, will come later—I need a work permit in order to apply for a residence permit. In thick bureaucracy, this could take some time. The IND [Imigratie en Naturalisatiedienst] is backed up at this time, and processes take time normally.

But, logically, if I'm working I will need a tax number. So it does make sense that I can get one, if I have a work permit. In another sense, the sofinummer is itself the goal — "de sluitstuk" (final piece) according to one online source.

Heavy bureaucratic entanglement, as could be expected. I will likely be allowed to work legally for six months. A verblijfsvergunning [residence permit] normally is valid for a year, I think. It seems difficult to imagine the IND will give me a year-long residence permit, when my work permit is valid only for a half-year.

But it's a foot in the door. In bureaucracy, it is difficult to get a foot in the door unless your foot is already in the door. My foot's in the door.

But for right now, what I really need is a tax number. I need to bank. I need to be able to pay rent,* and raise no eyebrows.

I'm craving a bit of drink. It's tempting. I want a bottle of wine.

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* The name of the Dutch taxation agency, the "Belastingdienst," is the same euphemism used by the United States' "Internal Revenue Service." Belasting is "taxation," and dienst is "service."

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* As it turned out, I was worrying too much about technical legalities, thinking that the landlord would not take my cash. He did.

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  • Return to "able to pay rent" ...


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