I am Finally in The Netherlands!

 Hello everyone! This has been a late post but yes, Is till want to inform you guys that I finally stepped foot in the country of my husband as a probational resident. Wuhoo! It was a swift application that we had. The only thing that consumed most of our time was waiting for the result of my exam. It took us 6 weeks of waiting. And without it, we won't be able to proceed with the process.

After receiving the result of my exam, we then compiled all the documents that we needed. There were not that much actually. We only needed to fill out 4 individual documents, a document to be filled out by my husband's company's bookkeeper and everything is good. I did not even use my birth certificate and marriage certificate. I think we had an edge because we registered our marriage in the municipality last 2018 and also in the BRP in Den Haag last year. I am not sure if the records I have with the immigration helped because I have been flying back and forth to The Netherlands for 5 years now (since 2015).

After we submitted our application, it was another waiting game. But happily, after 7 working days, it was approved! We were also surprised because others took a few months (up to 3 months, that's the max) before they receive a YES.

When we received a positive response from the Dutch immigration, we immediately tried to get an appointment with the Dutch embassy in Manila to have my sticker (visa). It then will take up to 10 working days before you can finally get your hands on it. Fortunately, mine only took 5 working days and it was shipped to me immediately.

I can say that everything was guided by God's holy spirit because everything went to smooth and quick. We then booked a flight for me so I can come here as soon as possible.

There was no obstacle on our application and even on my flight. Even in the middle on the lockdown in The Netherlands, I still entered so peacefully.

Now, I am on my last day of home quarantine. Tomorrow is the first day that I can freely go out of the house. There is still a lockdown here (until January 18), but that's ok, at least I can now roam around the neighborhood and meet the neighbors (from afar).

Here's our vlog about the travel I had from Manila to Amsterdam. Enjoy watching!

A Star is Born Hits Me Hard

 I was just alone today at home. Well, that's the case normally since my husband is 6000 miles away. Anyway, it is a habit of mine to look at a movie or a series every time I eat dinner. I got used to having my husband talking to me when we eat, so now that he's not there, I just make myself entertained by things I find on Netflix or Youtube.

Today, I bumped into this Top 10 list on Netflix and saw the movie "A Star Is Born". It has been a long time since I watched a drama/love story film. In the beginning, I was like, ok, I just prep my dinner then just sit once I'm done but continuing it playing in my background. When I finally finished making food, I ate, then was stunned by the story. It made me stop, I held my chest and started crying for no reason. I felt it was hurting inside of me.

Is it because I miss my man so much? Or the songs from the movie just added up to the fire of sadness and homesickness I am feeling? It was not easy. The movie hit me hard.

I continued listening to the song and clip excerpts of the movie and my tears still are falling. Would you believe that I did not even realize that the girl is Lady Gaga? It was so different and beautiful at the same time. Maybe this is the reason why I do not watch these kinds of movies, I am a hardcore crybaby.

Well, yeah, that's it.

My Basic Intergration Result (Basisexamen Inburgering) Result Finally Came! MVV Journey 2020

Hey all! Thank you for coming by! You may have read from my previous post about the exam I needed to take so I can stay in The Netherlands for a longer period of time. It took me quite some time to finally be able to have everything ready because of the virus. But happily, when I got back to The Philippines, everything went smooth, we just needed to wait for a little more time because of the mandatory quarantine and all.

After waiting for 6 weeks, the result finally came. I thought that my husband will be the only one who'll receive it, but no, they have sent it to my email as well. When I saw a message from DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs/DepEd), I was stunned and I actually do not know what to do. It was nine in the morning in The Philippines and my husband on the other side of the world is still sleeping. I needed to wait a little bit more.

Finally, when he woke up, we started with a video call and opened the email at the same time.

We were so ecstatic to know that my hard work just paid off and getting the full mark!

Speaking: 10
Reading: 10
Knowledge of Dutch Society: 10

I cannot say if the exam is easy or not. It depends on the person and the range of materials he used to prepare. I cannot shaer the questions from the exam either.

Anyways, this is an important requirement for the MVV application. I will definitely make a vlog or a blog post about the requirements on how you can obtain a 5-year visa for family reunification.

Thank you for reading!

And because I want you to pass the exam as well, here are some tips while self-studying! I know you'll pass it in one take.

Basisexamen Inburgering Experience (Basic Intergration Exam) For Long-Term Visa: MVV Journey 2020

I have been applying for a tourist visa since 2015 (the very first time I went out of the country while being unemployed since I quit my job a few months back prior to my flight). And so far, all of them went straight in the jar (pasok sa banga) and got approved. I have been also traveling here and there every year after that.

It just never came into mind that I will be applying for a long-term visa and will be requesting a probationary residence permit. Yes, we never really planned to stay longer in The Netherlands until all these happened. My husband cannot stay longer in The Philippines and I cannot in The Netherlands either. And since my husband's term of 5 years of stay has already ended, I think it is my turn now to change life courses and be in his country. For a background story, he first decided to stay in PH for a year, but it was extended to half a decade already.

During the recent trip I had, we've finally decided that I will be taking the exam (for those who are planning to stay longer than 3 months in NL). My flight back to PH was supposedly on June 5, but due to the pandemic, I was extended until September 3. At first, we thought of taking the exam in July or August, a few weeks after my arrival. Because I was extended, we moved our plans and the exam then fell to September.

This basic integration examination is about the Dutch language and society. One needs to pass it to be able to live in NL (there are exceptions, which I am not in any way included haha). And for preparation, my husband bought me the official self-study pack called Naar Nederland.

While I am in NL, and I cannot actually go anywhere else, there's coronavirus and all, I had ample time to study and finish the book. I always make sure to study at a strict time (8:00am-9:00am) every day except weekends.

When I got back, I just needed to wait until I finished my 14-days mandatory quarantine. By September 11, my husband paid for the 3 sets of the exam (speaking, reading, and culture/society). After 5 days (September 16), we received the confirmation that DUO (like the Dutch Department of Education) received our payment. On September 21, I sent an email to the Dutch embassy requesting my preferred date. In two days, September 23, they confirmed the date of the exam on September 30.

The above photo was sent to me for reference by a friend who had her exam a few years ago. That is how they divided the questions into parts. All in all, there are 94 items.

Few days before traveling to Manila, I went to the police station to secure a travel pass that will allow me to go beyond my city, also proving that I went through the quarantine period and got no symptoms. Traveling at this time isn't easy, plus never cheap at all! I paid Php3500 / USD75 for renting a private van, there are no available buses at that time.

After an hour ride from my place to the embassy, we arrived an hour earlier. I still had ample time to prepare myself, check the things I needed, and study a bit.

When I went upstairs, I still waited for a few minutes before finally getting into the examination room. It started with the speaking, which I find very comprehensible. After a few minutes, I then started the reading, which is a little tricky at the comprehensive reading. And lastly, the KNS/culture questions. I was given an hour and a half to finish everything but I had a lot of time left, even I went back to the questions three times.

The waiting game then started. The lady at the embassy told me it will take up to 8 weeks for the result to be released. That made me sad. But it was okay. Time will fly fast if I will keep myself busy.

Are you going to take the A1 Basisexamen Inburgering or the basic integration exam abroad too? Make sure to keep reading, fill your mind with lots of vocabulary and you're good to go. Success!

Basic Integration Exam Timeline

Sept. 11: Paid for the Inburgering Examen
Sept. 16: Payment Confirmation Received
Sept. 21: Requested for exam date
Sept. 23: Embassy & DUO confirmed exam date
Sept. 30: Exam day

With Abundant Joy

 I have been ranting the past day on this post why am I not receiving my result yet. It was a depressing day for me, I was stressing out.

The next day, to my surprise, the result of my exam finally arrived. There's no way yet to see the result because my husband and I agreed that we will look at it together.

My result was there but I still needed to wait for another three hours before my husband wakes up.

Finally, the time has come. We looked at it together,  and we were both happy to see perfect scores on all of the three parts. Who would have thought? There were almost 100 items included in the test. I had an hour and a half to answer them. And I passed all of them.

Being alone at our apartment, I actually thought that I will celebrate this achievement alone. The next day, my mom called asking me if I need anything. They will visit me and give supplies like vegetables they harvested in their garden.

Few hours later, here they come.

I was so happy that they've made efforts to give me a simple celebration. I was amazing. I also got a bouquet of stargazer from my husband which mademe even happier.

30.09.2020 - I took the Dutch A1 Exam at Makati
11.11.2020 - We received the result

Next step, we will apply for my long term visa or what they call MVV. We are also hoping for a positive result on this one. And soon enough, I will be with my husband again, and there'll only be a one way ticket cause we will close the distance once again.