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My partial Dutch work permit

29 August, 2004, Nijmegen the Netherlands

This page is adapted from an email to a friend.

My boss got a letter — finally — from the government on the 9th of August. The lady from CWI, said it was their "intention" to refuse me a work permit. CWI stands for Centrum voor Werk en Inkomen. Work and income. Employment regulation; precursor, for us, to Immigratiedienst — immigration service.

CWI wants Arend to try to find somebody European to do the job.

Arend and I wrote back that the job is not as easy as one might think. Sourdough bread is in fact difficult, loaves rising overnight as they do. We played it up a bit, pointing out the difficulty of the job.

We also pointed to the efforts that he had made to "find" a European. (We'd consulted CWI as to his obligations but it turned out — no surprise — that these specified requirements were not the specified requirements that we faced after that 5-week period, which took at least ten weeks.)

The same woman wrote back soon after our letter. She said that — blah blah blah tough talk and detail — they are prepared to grant a 6-month work permit. With conditions.

These conditions are serious. Mevrouw de Jong wrote that it is "echter verwacht," or expected, that Arend make a full effort to find a European citizen for the job. She included a section of article 10 of the immigrant labor code, citing the general avenues of search for the appropriate candidate.

So it's tricky.

We got that letter on 17 August. We posted one back on the 22nd, which aside from its artfulness was simply a notice of acceptance of those latest terms. We're waiting to hear.

• Postnote: a 6-month work permit arrived by post soon after, but with such a brief time allowance and with other conditions attached, it was useless.