My One Year Check In: My DAFT Freelance Visa

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I'm going to do a little who, what, when, where, why with my one year update.

I've had a couple of questions asking me how long it took for me to get my approval letter and how long it took me to get "real employment with paying clients' so I thought I'd answer it all in one go.

How long did it take to recieve my visa?

Okay so I sent away my paperwork on 24 March, 2016 BUT I had not finished my application fully when I sent away the application.
The day I submitted it, I received a three month temporary visa that allowed me to stay in the country while I was finishing up my application.

So I got my BSN, opened up a Dutch bank account, put in 4,500 Euros as the required opening balance for my company, had an opening balance sheet drawn up by a Dutch tax lawyer (270 Euros!) and signed and dated by him, and registered my company with the KVK (which took 20 minutes). Everything listed here took me another two months due to beauracracy and laziness.

I received my visa August 25th 2016 and now that it's been a year, I can officially do a year update.

What have I been doing this year? 
I now work for a great American company in technology sales in the best area of Amsterdam. I started out as a freelancer and now I work there full time as an employee.

Do you ever get letters from the government? 
I did get a letter about 6 months ago asking to audit my company; they wanted to make sure I had maintained the minimum balance in my business account (I did!), my profit loss statement from my company activities and they wanted to see that I was making money.

What's been the hardest thing about being a freelancer? 
Staying on top of my taxes and books! Seriously, someone should offer a class on Dutch freelance taxes and bookkeeping. I'd take it.

If you could do it again, what would make it easier to get your visa? 
I thought it was pretty straight forward from the beginning, I guess I would have all of my required capital in order before submitting my application. I ended up making and keeping the 4500.00 in my account within being in the country for two months and submitted that part of my application after submitting the first part.

What would your first advice be to people who are thinking about moving to Amsterdam? 
Don't let your fears hold you back. There will be obstacles in your way when you move, but nothing is too big not to overcome if it's something that you really want.

Can we talk?!? 
Of course! I offer 15 minute consultation calls for free and if you'd just like to ask a question or two you can always email me. Please request a call through the blog comments. I am in the process of launching a hand holding service to help people through the application process myself with my own checklists, all of my recommended lawyers, tax advisors, what to avoid and helpful hints. It's an all inclusive package to get you moved from the US to the Netherlands. Look for that to come at the top of my blog :)

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Everyone loves the idea of a vacation- am I right?

But theres a minority of us, that hate to plan that vacation. I mean, I get a little itchy thinking about how much research it would take me to plan a 4-6 day vacation, from the flights to the accomodation to the activities while I'm there.... I'm actually exhausted typing about it.

In comes my new favourite way to travel: The concept is simple. You pay for a complete surprise trip. I didn't want to spend over 250 euros, so picked the number of days I wanted to go away and choose the "Broke Mediterranean Trip" option, and left the rest up to them.

So the back story is that I was sitting at my desk on Facebook one day thinking about how much I just needed to be sitting on a beach somewhere.
I was so exasperated, I said any beach would do.

As my little fingers kept scrolling, I came across a nicely placed ad for (great job Facebook algorithms). Four clicks and a credit card entry and I had booked a four day vacation to some unknown Mediterranean location in 3 weeks.
The initial adrenaline rush was enough to sustain me for two weeks and just as I was about to get antsy, sent me the weather report from my mystery location.

The day came and I was on my way to the airport with my bags packed and no idea where I was going. I sat down in the lobby and pulled out my key to scratch my scratchcard I received in the mail one week prior.
I was headed to......

Nice, France!

Almost everything was already planned for me, including check in at the airport and my hostel accomodations. I stayed in Hotel Ozz in Nice which was a wonderful surprise in itself that included free breakfast and was within walking distance of the Nice train station. While there, I was able to see one of my favorite football legends play, Mario Baotelli for OGC Nice in their home stadium. I'll never forget the joy I felt just being there seeing my favorite players playing in their home stadium and how it made me want to get back on the pitch myself.

On my 4 day excursion, I explored the beaches of Nice, the casinos of Monaco, and the delicacies of the French Riviera but most importantly spent a lot of alone time enjoying my own company and not stressing about a planned vacation where I had things I was supposed to be doing and places I had planned to explore. Everything I did on my trip was a happy unplanned accident.

Would I do it again?

Heck yeah I would.
The French Riviera was a wonderful destination for to send me to with lots to do, 29 degrees and sun everyday. I would almost dare say my trip was perfect.

My trip was a rejuvenating and stress free time that really brought back some life into my everyday routine. The adrenaline jolt of jumping into the unknown is something everyone should do at least once in their life.

If anyone is looking to do a trip in the near future, I'm happy to share tips! I love the company motto, "You'll go where you're meant to go" and that couldn't be more true in my case.

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