Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cindy and how it is to try to officially live in Belgium

I have to link to Cindy's latest post on the bureaucractic nightmare that seems to be 'moving to Belgium'.

She very kindly wrote: To recap, my tourist visa expired while my inscription for a visa was pending. The computer automatically generated a Ordre de Quitter la Territoire upon expiration of the tourist visa. The OQT was served without anyone checking to see if I had a pending inscription process. Efforts to revoke the OQT were hampered by the loss of my entire file. Another copy of the file was submitted in Brussels. The Belgian Consulate then informed me that service of the OQT automatically cancelled my pending application and that I would have to re-re-resubmit an application!

Her story isn't unusual here, almost everyone seems to have one but they're too complicated to write up ... complicated and unbelievable.

My papers weren't sent on to Brussels until someone found them again, I lost 2 months while they sat at the District House. The police visit didn't happen fast because I was out the first time he came ... yes, at Nederlands class but it took another visit to the District House to get him to come back.

I've had to buy two birth certificates ... I didn't require an Apostille for the residency visa ... second time round and I do. Let's not forget that all papers needed translated into English by an official translator.

My passport wasn't considered proof of ID, so I travelled to Brussels where my Embassy copied the details from my passport into letter form, signed and stamped it ... which I paid for. Then I had to go to another office in Brussels and have something else stamped ... and pay for it.

Now, we're preparing for the 200euro+ visit to the lawyer who writes up a contract stating I'm living with Gert, which will take quite some time to put together apparently ... why they don't have a 'form' contract is beyond me.

Starving your way into Belgium is surely a viable alternative, especially if you don't have a partner and home here because, quite frankly, you probably would starve. And in taking that road, you might possibly end up with less anger issues because I certainly have some about losing the ability to earn an income for almost a year.

Mmmmmm... so who knows, will Cindy, the American lawyer, be allowed back into Belgium to live with her partner or will she be kept out?


The Wandering Turk said...

This is truly one of the more bewildering bureaucratic bullshit scenarios I have read - and I've lived in Turkey. Kafka's Castle lives on resolutely in Belgium apparently. You may receive a letter soon stating that "your claim to live in the village was not valid, yet, taking certain auxiliary circumstances into account, you are permitted to live and work here".

woman wandering said...

Turkey was so much simpler to live in ... and kinder. I guess I should just be grateful that I haven't been deported like Cindy.

Kafka ... yes! :)