Cross-border marriage - what are the issues?
August 21, 2013 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Due to a series of very bad events, my wife and I have ended up employed in two different countries. We are both American by nationality and university professors by profession, currently employed in the Netherlands. Her new position, for which she is applying for a visa now, is in Scotland. She cannot have her old job back, and I do not have a position in Scotland. So we are both foreigners in the countries in which we are employed, and we are (or, rather, will be soon) employed in two different countries. What are some of the immigration issues we need to consider here?

My current work visa (a kennismigrant visa) requires me to be in the Netherlands for 180 days in any consecutive year. I have been told that there might be other visas that would be more flexible, but I'm still in the process of trying to figure that out. My wife will have a Tier 2 general visa in the UK, which has a similar 180 restriction.

Of course we are contacting people who deal with visa issues to advise us, but I was hoping that AskMetafilter would have some advice or be able to highlight some issues we might not have thought of. Has anyone been in this situation? If so, how did you deal with it?

Extra info: I should be able to work remotely, if my visa(s) would allow it.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike to Law & Government (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How many consecutive years have you been legally resident in the Netherlands? If nothing has changed, after five years you are eligible for a 'permanent' residence permit, which is renewed at a significantly longer period than the yearly renewals of the kennismigrant visa.

There is also the Dutch American Friendship Treaty which is the way I remained in NL. You would need to start a business and would likely need to change the terms of your relationship with your institution, however. And I actually cannot remember if it had the 180 day limitation as well or not. But something worth asking your consultant about if all else fails.
posted by rocketpup at 1:04 PM on August 21, 2013

Oh, and if anyone knows of an immigration lawyer in Amsterdam that specializes in both UK and Dutch/EU immigration laws, I would be grateful for a reference.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 1:04 PM on August 21, 2013

More about permanent residence. Upon further research that permit is renewed every five years.
posted by rocketpup at 1:07 PM on August 21, 2013

We've both lived in the Netherlands for 5 years (and a month) now.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 1:08 PM on August 21, 2013

Absolutely check into the permanent residence permit.
posted by rocketpup at 1:22 PM on August 21, 2013

Looking over the requirements, permanent residency would require me to take a Dutch language test, which I would not pass. I'm taking a new position sometime in the near future to ease that commute, but this position will drop below the income requirements, so I would have to do the permanent residency now. However, my current Dutch knowledge is below the requirements of the exam.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 1:43 PM on August 21, 2013

That's a new requirement since my time. You could theoretically attempt to pass the A2-level course rather than take the exam cold. The documentation suggests you will be eligible for an exemption if you successfully complete the course.

Another thought is that you may be able to wrangle an exemption on your 180 day requirement if your institution says you need to do long term travel for your work, do a sabbatical, etc. The red tape surrounding this is likely thick, though.
posted by rocketpup at 1:52 PM on August 21, 2013

Things I am reading online suggest that "A2-level" means "... You must, for example, be able to have a short conversation with your neighbour about the weather, be able to pay for your groceries in the supermarket, buy a train ticket, or write a short letter to the insurance company. If you watch the news or listen to the radio, you must be able to understand what the topic is, but you do not have to fully understand everything."

Might it be possible for a short intensive course to bring you up to that level?
posted by kyrademon at 1:28 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

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