Difference between revisions of "Offshore:Admin Hacks"

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When you live on a boat, in the Netherlands, it is not possible to register your address there unless you are the lucky owner of one of the 2500 official houseboat addresses in Amsterdam. I moved to Amsterdam from Belgium in September last year. One month after, I bought an 8m motor cruiser boat with no working motor and really old batteries. The interior was covered with lacquer paint applied by the previous owner without paint hardener, which meant that if you would touch the walls, you’d be covered in paint. I knew it was quite some project to take on, but the price was tempting and I was ready for an adventure after graduating from university.  
When you live on a boat, in the Netherlands, it is not possible to register your address there unless you are the lucky owner of one of the 2500 official houseboat addresses in Amsterdam. I moved to Amsterdam from Belgium in September last year. One month after, I bought an 8m motor cruiser boat with no working motor and really old batteries. The interior was covered with lacquer paint applied by the previous owner without paint hardener, which meant that if you would touch the walls, you’d be covered in paint. I knew it was quite some project to take on, but the price was tempting and I was ready for an adventure after graduating from university.  


Since buying an official houseboat address was never an option for me, I had to find an alternative way to be able to register in the Netherlands. At first I registered myself as an RNI which basically is a registration for someone that doesn’t live in the Netherlands. You need this registration to be able to receive your BSN number. With this BSN number you’re able to work in the Netherlands. After registering for the RNI I thought I was good with my administration until my manager, at the hostel I work at two days a week, came to me and informed me I had to get an official address or else they wouldn’t be able to extend my contract. Apparently the RNI registration is only valid for four months. I didn’t know.  
Since buying an official houseboat address was never an option for me, I had to find an alternative way to be able to register in the Netherlands. At first I registered myself as an [https://www.amsterdam.nl/veelgevraagd/?productid=%7B78A87674-890E-426F-8FF0-8452BF095699%7D RNI] which basically is a registration for someone that doesn’t live in the Netherlands. You need this registration to be able to receive your BSN number. With this [https://www.amsterdam.nl/veelgevraagd/?productid=%7BD9EEC2D8-7BA7-4DEA-A931-1D2ACB207608%7D BSN] number you’re able to work in the Netherlands. After registering for the RNI I thought I was good with my administration until my manager, at the hostel I work at two days a week, came to me and informed me I had to get an official address or else they wouldn’t be able to extend my contract. Apparently the RNI registration is only valid for four months. I didn’t know.  


For this, I’m super glad I speak Dutch because it took me quite some time studying official websites to figure out what to do. At first I found an administrative construction that enables  cross-border workers of the BeNeLux to be registered in one country and work in the other. Due to this lead, I didn’t look further and thought once again everything was fine. A month later I got an email from the HR department from the hostel: this construction was only for people that really lived in a city situated next to a border, so surely not for me.  
For this, I’m super glad I speak Dutch because it took me quite some time studying official websites to figure out what to do. At first I found an administrative construction that enables  [http://startpuntgrensarbeid.benelux.int cross-border workers] of the BeNeLux to be registered in one country and work in the other. Due to this lead, I didn’t look further and thought once again everything was fine. A month later I got an email from the HR department from the hostel: this construction was only for people that really lived in a city situated next to a border, so surely not for me.  


Informing with other people on what they did, I found out that I could register at a briefadres. This is an address of a friend or family member that lives in the Netherlands and is willing to collect your mail. This registration can only be done by the main tenant and just two people can be registered at one briefadres.  
Informing with other people on what they did, I found out that I could register at a [https://www.amsterdam.nl/veelgevraagd/?productid=%7BB4A56660-8158-4DBA-A959-21DBAC61210D%7D#case_%7B1FEB8645-6EFE-45B8-A08F-72E15AD0463E%7D briefadres]. This is an address of a friend or family member that lives in the Netherlands and is willing to collect your mail. This registration can only be done by the main tenant and just two people can be registered at one briefadres.  


It was time to start looking for this type of address. I knew housing is a big problem in Amsterdam, but I didn’t know a lot of my friends were also not able to register at their place, even if they rented an apartment or room. This situation was created by the housing shortage in Amsterdam and the need to register to be able to work in the Netherlands. An owner of a house would let out an apartment without giving the tenant the possibility to register at that address, this way the owner could register himself or other people there and together with the rent also get money for providing someone a registration.
It was time to start looking for this type of address. I knew housing is a big problem in Amsterdam, but I didn’t know a lot of my friends were also not able to register at their place, even if they rented an apartment or room. This situation was created by the housing shortage in Amsterdam and the need to register to be able to work in the Netherlands. An owner of a house would let out an apartment without giving the tenant the possibility to register at that address, this way the owner could register himself or other people there and together with the rent also get money for providing someone a registration.
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This is a service they provide for expats living in hotels. I just needed proof of extension of my contract and a permission from my job, which I both got. Just 5 days before my contract expired, on my birthday January 25th, I was able to register for one year at a briefadres!  
This is a service they provide for expats living in hotels. I just needed proof of extension of my contract and a permission from my job, which I both got. Just 5 days before my contract expired, on my birthday January 25th, I was able to register for one year at a briefadres!  


So far for the registration, but my administrative struggle wasn’t over. Basically everything you have to apply for in the Netherlands is really a hustle when you don’t have a physical mailbox. When you work for a Dutch company you are also obliged to have a health insurance. I already have one in Belgium which has much much better conditions than what Dutch health insurance companies have to offer, but I had no choice. I had to apply. They send you the insurance card by mail. You can apply for zorgtoeslag (a compensation for health insurance) online, only not when you have a briefadres, then they have to mail you papers and you have to post them back. For a DigID (login system for government websites) you need a mailbox. I can go on and on and on.  
So far for the registration, but my administrative struggle wasn’t over. Basically everything you have to apply for in the Netherlands is really a hustle when you don’t have a physical mailbox. When you work for a Dutch company you are also obliged to have a health insurance. I already have one in Belgium which has much much better conditions than what Dutch health insurance companies have to offer, but I had no choice. I had to apply. They send you the insurance card by mail. You can apply for [https://mijn.toeslagen.nl zorgtoeslag] (a compensation for health insurance) online, only not when you have a briefadres, then they have to mail you papers and you have to post them back. For a [https://www.digid.nl/ DigID] (login system for government websites) you need a mailbox. I can go on and on and on.  


Basically what I suggest you to do if you want to live off-the-grid  in the Netherlands and come from another country: rent a room for some months first and fix your administration before starting to live on a boat, in a yurt, or on a trailer.
Basically what I suggest you to do if you want to live off-the-grid  in the Netherlands and come from another country: rent a room for some months first and fix your administration before starting to live on a boat, in a yurt, or on a trailer.

Revision as of 03:15, 9 March 2017

Boat.gif

ADMIN HACK 06.03.2017 16:29 52°24'16.1"N 4°53'12.1"E inside: 16.7°C outside: 9°C

When you live on a boat, in the Netherlands, it is not possible to register your address there unless you are the lucky owner of one of the 2500 official houseboat addresses in Amsterdam. I moved to Amsterdam from Belgium in September last year. One month after, I bought an 8m motor cruiser boat with no working motor and really old batteries. The interior was covered with lacquer paint applied by the previous owner without paint hardener, which meant that if you would touch the walls, you’d be covered in paint. I knew it was quite some project to take on, but the price was tempting and I was ready for an adventure after graduating from university.

Since buying an official houseboat address was never an option for me, I had to find an alternative way to be able to register in the Netherlands. At first I registered myself as an RNI which basically is a registration for someone that doesn’t live in the Netherlands. You need this registration to be able to receive your BSN number. With this BSN number you’re able to work in the Netherlands. After registering for the RNI I thought I was good with my administration until my manager, at the hostel I work at two days a week, came to me and informed me I had to get an official address or else they wouldn’t be able to extend my contract. Apparently the RNI registration is only valid for four months. I didn’t know.

For this, I’m super glad I speak Dutch because it took me quite some time studying official websites to figure out what to do. At first I found an administrative construction that enables cross-border workers of the BeNeLux to be registered in one country and work in the other. Due to this lead, I didn’t look further and thought once again everything was fine. A month later I got an email from the HR department from the hostel: this construction was only for people that really lived in a city situated next to a border, so surely not for me.

Informing with other people on what they did, I found out that I could register at a briefadres. This is an address of a friend or family member that lives in the Netherlands and is willing to collect your mail. This registration can only be done by the main tenant and just two people can be registered at one briefadres.

It was time to start looking for this type of address. I knew housing is a big problem in Amsterdam, but I didn’t know a lot of my friends were also not able to register at their place, even if they rented an apartment or room. This situation was created by the housing shortage in Amsterdam and the need to register to be able to work in the Netherlands. An owner of a house would let out an apartment without giving the tenant the possibility to register at that address, this way the owner could register himself or other people there and together with the rent also get money for providing someone a registration.

After one month of looking for a possible briefadres I got really desperate, since my work contract was expiring so I made an appointment at the city hall and went there instead of calling them all the time and spending fortunes on callcredit. At the city hall I got the best service ever, I apparently charmed one of the employees there with my Flemish accent, explained my whole situation and he put a lot of effort to find a way to register: at my job. This is a service they provide for expats living in hotels. I just needed proof of extension of my contract and a permission from my job, which I both got. Just 5 days before my contract expired, on my birthday January 25th, I was able to register for one year at a briefadres!

So far for the registration, but my administrative struggle wasn’t over. Basically everything you have to apply for in the Netherlands is really a hustle when you don’t have a physical mailbox. When you work for a Dutch company you are also obliged to have a health insurance. I already have one in Belgium which has much much better conditions than what Dutch health insurance companies have to offer, but I had no choice. I had to apply. They send you the insurance card by mail. You can apply for zorgtoeslag (a compensation for health insurance) online, only not when you have a briefadres, then they have to mail you papers and you have to post them back. For a DigID (login system for government websites) you need a mailbox. I can go on and on and on.

Basically what I suggest you to do if you want to live off-the-grid in the Netherlands and come from another country: rent a room for some months first and fix your administration before starting to live on a boat, in a yurt, or on a trailer.