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April Price

April Price



My One Year Check In: My DAFT Freelance Visa

5 months ago

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 :) Just Pack Your Bags and Go

5 months ago

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 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 so picked the number of days I wanted to get 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.

When is it okay to cry? The overwhelming feeling of a big move

9 months ago

I don't know about my readers, but for me, I find that it can be really overwhelming to stand in the doorway of my bedroom and see my clothes (neatly) tossed over the chair in the corner and my stacks of books askew and wonder how in the heck am I going to get everything packed neatly so I can unpack it and know where everything is?

That was just one of my worries for my recent move, and yes, that worry was pretty surface level and turned out to be pretty silly because a) I'm not really that organized so I didn't end up minding that I couldn't find a few things (that's normal for me!) and b) I had other things to think about.

When I first moved to the Netherlands I was pretty overwhelmed about not having friends, not having a job lined up, not having a visa yet, not having accomodation and moving in with my partner who's lease was up on his apartment in 2 weeks.

I had a few stresses at that time.

I remember calling my mom and crying saying that I had no idea what I was doing with my life and she gave me simple advice that I think anyone who feels overwhelmed could benefit from:

1. You can't look at the big picture, you need to chop it up into little pieces.
My mom made a karate joke which only made me cry more, but she was right. I sat down and wrote out all of the things I needed to do to get my freelance visa and put them in a binder with a checklist. That same checklist is available for download here.

2. Write out your fears.
Once I wrote everything down and saw my fears on paper, I was able to tackle them one by one. So one of my biggest fears was not having friends. Seeing it written down on paper made it feel so silly to me! I have played soccer my entire life, if one of my fears was not having friends, I could join a soccer team. Problem solved.

3. IT'S OKAY TO CRY. Crying is just emotion leaving the body. Sometimes we all have too much emotion pent up and it spills over. I know I am not the only one who feels worlds better after a good cry.

4. Reach out for help. 
That one has always been tricky for me, but moms are always right. As soon as I realized that finding an apartment in 2 weeks was a herculean task that I couldn't take on on my own, I hired a dutch housing agent to help me find a room. In one week and 300 euros later, we had housing.

What are some of your greatest fears about a big move? Are you moving to The Netherlands and want someone to talk to? Reach out to me and let's chat! I'll give you a good mother's talkin' and we can talk through your fears together. :)


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