APRIL 2017

Tupker Taaltraining & Amstel Expats are starting a new partnering arrangement

Like every international relocation, setting up life in the Netherlands has its challenges, but generally most expats will manage to get their personal life organised within a couple of months.

Though settling-in seems easy up to a certain point, it has also proven to be quite difficult to really integrate into Dutch society and the issue reported most frequently is: “getting to grips with the local language”.

If you have just arrived and/or you are planning to stay here for only a short period of time, just speaking English might be adequate. However, if you truly want to be part of Dutch life and make new local friends, there is no escaping learning the local language. Furthermore, if you want to apply for permanent Dutch citizenship, you are obliged to demonstrate that you have acquired a certain level (A2) of Dutch skills before your application for permanent residency can be submitted. Tupker Taaltraining has specialised in language training for native and non-native Dutch speakers since 2000.

As daunting as it may seem at first, learning Dutch can actually be fun! To ensure you enjoy your Dutch lessons and to encourage you to speak Dutch in practice, it is vital to partake in Dutch classes that:

-Focus on speaking & overcoming any practical hurdles you may experience;
-Enable you to learn from each other in a positive environment (small groups);
-Include lots of experience with settling-in & information on local matters.

New beginner’s courses will be announced shortly, more information: http://www.tupkertaaltraining.nl/en/
To be continued …

MARCH 2017

Harry Potter: the Exhibition visits Utrecht from the 11th of February to the 30th of June 2017

If you enjoyed the Harry Potter books and films, now is your chance to step inside this famous wizard’s magical world by visiting the global Harry Potter exhibition in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

In this amazing exhibition, guests will get an up close and personal look at the artistry and craftsmanship that went into creating the iconic props and costumes that appeared throughout the Harry Potter films.

Authentic artifacts will be displayed in elaborate settings inspired by locations from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry including the Gryffindor common room, Hagrid’s hut and the Great Hall. Experience dramatic displays inspired by the Hogwarts film sets and see the amazing craftsmanship behind authentic costumes and props from the Harry Potter films.

For more information and to buy tickets, go to: http://harrypotterexpo.nl/en/#home

FEBRUARY 2017

2017 Salary Requirements for Highly Skilled Migrants (HSM)Geld tip 2016

For 2017, the IND (Dutch Immigration Services) have set the new monthly gross salary conditions for the application and renewal of HSM residence permits to:

– €4.324 or
– €3.170 if under 30 years of age.

These salary conditions do not apply to HSM employees, who are employed as scientific researchers or doctors in training to become specialists. In these situations much lower salary conditions are applicable. Similarly, a more lenient salary requirement also applies to foreign (outside EU) students, who have completed their studies at a Dutch university. They are allowed to stay up to one year in the country in order to find a job with a minimum salary level of €2.272.

All amounts exclude 8% holiday allowance. For more information, use this link: http://ind.nl/en/Pages/income.aspx

Please note that [a] for HSM residence permit applications submitted before the 1st of January 2017, the 2016 salary criteria remain valid and [b] increases in required salary levels do not impact existing residence permits, but they will be taken into account once an existing permit needs to be renewed.

JANUARY 2017

They raise the world’s happiest children – so is it time you went Dutch?

According to Rina Acosta and Michele Hutchison, two expat mums living in the Netherlands, Dutch children enjoy freedoms denied to children in the countries they come from.

10 things that set Dutch children apart from those in the UK and the US:

-Dutch babies get more sleep.
-Dutch kids have little or no homework at primary school.
-Are not just seen but also heard.
-Are trusted to ride their bikes to school on their own.
-Are allowed to play outside unsupervised.
-Have regular family meals.
-Get to spend more time with their mothers and fathers.
-Enjoy simple pleasures and are happy with second-hand toys.
-And last but not least, get to eat chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag) for breakfast.

Their observations are likely to strike a cord with many international parents, who are raising a family in the Netherlands. Click here to download the full text of their article.

Their book: “The Happiest Kids in the World” is available in the Netherlands, for instance at the American Book Center in Amsterdam & The Hague and also online by using this link: http://www.abc.nl/

DECEMBER 2016

Wiebke’s Weinachten, the first Christmas shop in Amstelveen

This festive season, Wiebke’s Weinachten, opened its doors in the main shopping centre of Amstelveen. If you are still looking for some Christmas presents and decorations, Wiebke’s Weinachten is the perfect place to go.

The shop offers lovely gifts, ornaments and delicatessen from around the world, but especially from Scandanavia and Germany. You will also find popular English books for adults and children.

Last Sunday even Santa came to visit! So why not pop around yourself this weekend and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere?

Wiebke’s Weinachten is located at Binnenhof 21, 1181ZA Amstelveen.

For gift collection and more information (Dutch only) go to:
http://www.wiebkes-weihnachten.nl

 

AUTUMN 2016

Walking trails in North Holland

Autumn is generally a lovely time for walking. Enjoy the beautiful autumn colours and the last bit of summer heat. Of course, there are many parks in-and-around Amsterdam, that you can visit and also the Amsterdam Forest is beautiful around this time of the year.

But if you are willing to travel a bit further, you might also find some pleasant walking tours in the province.

Go to: https://www.wikiloc.com/trails/hiking/netherlands/noord-holland

 

AUGUST 2016

Amsteltuin: enjoy the summer by dining in the vineyard in Amstelveen

A real vineyard opened in Amstelveen in 2006. This summer you can not only visit the vineyard, but also enjoy an exclusive dinner.

Friday, the 19th of August – Tapas & Paella

Friday, the 16th of September – Mediterranean Evening

For more information on the vineyard, its location and to make your dinner reservation, go to: www.amsteltuin.nl

JULY 2016

TREK Food Truck Festival hits Amsterdam from 14 to 17 July 2016

Dozens of food trucks tour around the Netherlands this summer to provide delicious food and drinks at city parks, including live music and entertainment.

In July this food caravan visits the Amstelpark in Amsterdam.

Date: 14-17 July 2016
Location: Arent Janszoon Ernststraat 1,1082 LT Amsterdam.

Other cities: Rotterdam, Utrecht, Maastricht, Enschede, Nijmegen, Eindhoven, ’s-Hertogenbosch and The Hague.

More information (Dutch only) and location dates: www.festival-trek.nl

JUNE 2016

De Bibliotheek Amstelland, the public library  of Amstelveen

Did you know that the central public library in Amstelveen offers an extensive collection of books written in other languages than Dutch? They have a considerable collection in English. Some examples of other languages available are: German, French, Hebrew and Japanese.

Apart from a large number of magazines, there is also a music collection (cd’s, dvd’s and sheetmusic) and a selection of films on dvd.

The library is located at Amstelveen Centre (Stadshart). For more information on library services, see this link: http://www.amstelland-bibliotheken.nl/index.php/english-info

MAY 2016

Vondelpark open air theatre, Amsterdam, 5 May – 11 September 2016

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday free performances and concerts are held in the centre of the Vondelpark, near ‘T Blauwe Theehuis.

The programme includes: dance, classical & pop music and theatre performances for young and old.

For more information (Dutch only), including a map of the location, please click this link

APRIL 2016

Personal recommendation: the Japanese cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Amstelveen

Spring seems to have finally arrived. Last Sunday (3rd of April) everybody seemed to be out-and-about enjoying the good weather. We visited the Japanese Cherry Blossom Park in Amstelveen, it was both busy and beautiful.

Do not wait to long, if you want to see these blossoms bloom. Please note that on the 9th of April the annual Cherry Blossom Festival will be held, therefore public visitors are welcome only after 15.00.
Location: 1182DB Amstelveen.

MARCH 2016

St. Patrick’s Festival, Amsterdam’s premier Irish cultural festival, 19th of March 2016

St. Patrick’s Festival is a day that has something for everyone, young and old. The Festival takes place at the award-winning music centre Splendor in Amsterdam. With top Irish and Dutch musicians and performances of classical to contemporary to traditional Irish music, dance, spoken word and workshops there’s plenty to experience, enjoy and learn as well as and a chance to banter in the Splendor pub.

Date: 19th of March 2016
Time: 12.00 up to Midnight
Location: Splendor, Uilenburgerstraat 116, 1011LX Amsterdam

More information, including full programme & tickets on: http://www.stpatrickamsterdam.com/

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2016

2016 Salary Requirements for Highly Skilled Migrants (HSM)Geld tip 2016

For 2016, the IND (Dutch Immigration Services) have set the new monthly gross salary conditions for the application and renewal of HSM residence permits to:

– €4.240 or
– €3.108 if under 30 years of age.

The salary condition does not apply to HSM employees, who are employed as scientific researchers or doctors in training to become specialists. As a single person, they have to earn at least a minimum wage of €972,70.

A more lenient salary requirement also applies to foreign (outside EU) students, who have completed their studies at a Dutch university. They are allowed to stay up to one year in the country in order to find a job with a minimum salary level of €2.228.

All amounts exclude 8% holiday allowance.

Please note that [a] for HSM residence permit applications submitted before the 1st of January 2016, the 2015 salary criteria remain valid and [b] increases in required salary levels do not impact existing residence permits, but they will be taken into account once an existing permit needs to be renewed. This does not apply to foreign students with a Dutch degree. If applicable, the salary requirement remains €2.228, also when you reach 30 years of age and/or you change employer.

DECEMBER 2015

Amsterdam Light Festival, 28 November 2015 – 17 January 2016

Amsterdam lights up again during the 4th edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival. This year’s theme is Friendhip. Discover artworks made by (inter)national artists around the historical town. You can experience the winter light festival through various exhibitions, events, boat tours (Watercolors) and walking routes (Illuminade). More information, including the full programme on: http://www.amsterdamlightfestival.com/en/

NOVEMBER 2015

Healthy Festive Food Cookery Workshop, 1 November 2015, Amsterdam

Food is at the heart of our celebrations, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah. Can food be healthy and festive? The answer is yes! Participants will cook recipes devised in consultation with nutritionist Kyrin Hall (www.kyrinhall.com) and prepare a five-course celebration meal under the guidance of Chef Ivo Schellen, who is passionate about educating people about the impact of nutrition on health and well-being.

access_cancerlink_logo_-_new_156x182Date:     Sunday, 1 November 2015
Time:    12:00 to 17:00 (please note 5-hour duration)
Cost:     Euro 45,00 (reduction for companion)
Venue: Amsterdam Art Center, Donauweg 23 1043 AJ Amsterdam. Free parking is available.

The price includes snacks and drinks and feasting on the prepared dishes.

Open to anyone, who wants to learn more about the link between cancer prevention and nutrition. Especially welcome is anyone, whose life has been touched by cancer.

This event is presented by ACCESS Cancerlink, which is a nonprofit organisation. Please contact Aine Campbell via e-mail at cancerlink@icconnections.org to register and/or inform them of any special food requirements.

OCTOBER 2015

Halloween: experience your fear by visiting a theme park between 16 & 31 October 2015

Celebrating Halloween is becoming more and more popular in the Netherlands. Dutch theme parks have also discovered this event. If you dare to be scared by creepy monsters, witches and haunted houses, check out these parks:
Halloween-pumpkin

Not into Halloween, but still looking to visit a family fun park during the Autumn break?
Here are some alternatives:

SEPTEMBER 2015

Van Gogh Museum: festive opening of the new main entrance, 5 & 6 September 2015

The opening of the new entrance of the Van Gogh Museum is celebrated on 5 and 6 September with 125,000 sunflowers on Museumplein. This beautiful sunflower labyrinth is open to visitors free of charge.

Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) is one of the Netherlands’ most famous artists. He also lived and worked in France for a long time. This summer it is exactly 125 years since his death and throughout the year, various European cultural institutions are organising exhibitions and events linked by the theme of ‘125 Years of Inspiration’.

During september, you can visit the following exhibitions in the museum:

  • What do Vincent van Gogh’s ideas and insights mean to artists today? In the exhibition ‘When I Give, I Give Myself’, 23 contemporary artists respond to letters written by Van Gogh.
  • Discover the parallels between two iconic artists: Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch. Admire the many masterpieces from all over the world, including ‘The scream’ by Munch and ‘Starry night over the Rhone’ by Van Gogh.

Van Gogh Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 7, 1071 CX Amsterdam, Phone: (0)20 570 5200
For more information and online ticket sales, go to: http://www.vangoghmuseum.com/en

AUGUST 2015

Visit the Amsterdam Concertgebouw for one of the Robeco SummerNights concerts

The concertgebouw offers an extensive musical programme of wonderful concerts, from classical to jazz and from cabaret to film scores. Your are invited to enjoy world-famous orchestras, soloists and conductors. The Mirror Hall also hosts a summer restaurant, where you can enjoy a three-course dinner for € 36 per person, before the start of the concert.

Het Concertgebouw, Concertgebouwplein 10, 1071 LN Amsterdam
Phone: 020 573 05 73, Tickets: 0900 671 83 45
For more information and ticket sales, check the website: http://www.concertgebouw.nl/en

JULY 2015

New changes to employment laws starting on the 1st of July 2015

[1] Conversion into an employment agreement for indefinite time
An employment agreement for an indefinite period will occur automatically when:

  • a maximum of 3 contracts is exceeded;
  • the maximum time frame of 2 years is exceeded;

In both situations, the period passed between consecutive contracts should be no more than 6 months and 1 day.

[2] A Transition allowance is introduced.
This compensation replaces the current severance payment in case an employment agreement is terminated. As an employee, you are entitled to this allowance, when your employer initiated the termination of the employment agreement AND the total duration of the employment agreement exceeds 24 months.

The transition allowance will be calculated as follows:

  • For every year of service < 10 years: the employee receives ⅓ of his monthly salary.
  • For every year of service > 10 years, the employee receives ½ of his monthly salary.

If the employee is  over 50 years of age, he is also entitled to 1 month salary for every year of service that exceeds 10 years. The maximum transition allowance is set to €75.000, unless the employee’s annual salary exceeds this amount, in which case his annual salary counts as the maximum transition amount.

[3] Reconsideration period
In case of amicable termination (mutual consent, settlement agreement), a reconsideration period of 14 days will be introduced  on behalf of the employee. Within those 14 days, the employee may withdraw his consent, which leads to continuation of the employment agreement and/or reopens the negotiation process about terminating employment.

JUNE 2015

Outdoor swimming pools in-and-around Amsterdam

Now the weather is getting warmer, you and your family might enjoy swimming in one of the outdoor pools in Amsterdam.

The following pools all have outdoor facilities:

  • De Meerkamp, Van der Hooplaan 239, 1185 LN Amstelveen
  • De Mirandabad, De Mirandalaan 9, 1079 PA Amsterdam
  • Optissport Sloterpark, President Allendelaan 3, 1064 GW Amsterdam
  • Noorderparkbad, Sneeuwbalweg 5, 1032 VS, Amsterdam
  • Brediusbad, Spaarndammerdijk 306, 1013 ZX, Amsterdam
  • Flevoparkbad, Insulindeweg 1002, 1094 MK, Amsterdam

Enjoy the summer and go for a dive in one of these pools. Most pools also have toddler pools and play areas for younger children.

MAY 2015

Top 10 selection of MUST EAT AMSTERDAM

  1. Cafe De Klepel
  2. Gebroeders Hartering
  3. TONTON Club
  4. Patisserie Holtkamp
  5. Marius
  6. Worst
  7. Hotel de Goudfazant
  8. Sir Hummus
  9. Taiko
  10. Morgan & Mees

Did you know that Amsterdam has the largest number of different nationalities in the world? This is also reflected in its variety of restaurants, turning Amsterdam into a number one food destination. In this book, professional foodie, Luc Hoornaert shows you his favourite eating spots around Amsterdam. These eating places excel in what they offer, whether it’s veal croquettes, ice cream or hot dogs.

Must Eat Amsterdam, published on the 27th of May 2015 and widely available via internet and local bookstores. ISBN: 9789401426718, total pages: 256, price: €15,99.

APRIL 2015

Tulips: enjoy a tour around North-Holland to see these beautiful flowers in full bloom

Most people are familiar with the Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower exposition, but the North of Holland hosts more flower gardens, such as the Hortus Bolborum, located in Limmen, which is approx. 30 minute’s drive from Amsterdam.

At the Hortus Bolborum, they specialise in historical bulbs, enabling you to see some old varieties, that are not commercially grown anymore. At trip to this beautiful garden can easily be combined with a visit to the historic town of Alkmaar (traditional cheese market on Friday) and/or a walk along the beach near Castricum.

The garden can be viewed from 6 April – 16 May 2015
Address: Zuidkerkenlaan 23a, 1906AC Limmen
Opening times: Mon-Sat10.00-17.00 and Sun12.00-17.00
Entrance fees: Adults €3,50 and children up to 12 years for free

MARCH 2015

Springtime fun: visit the baby animals at Ridammerhoeve, organic farm in Amstelveen

This farm is located in the Amsterdam Forest and home to goats, chickens, cows, pigs, pony and horses.

Children can cuddle with the animals and enjoy the play area. They also love to feed the little goats with small bottles of milk, which can be bought on site.

A weekly organic farmer’s market is held on Saturdays. Produce, e.g. tasty goat’s ice cream, can be bought in the farm shop or ordered in the restaurant.

Ridammerhoeve can be visited for free. Address: Nieuwe Meerlaan 4, 1182DB Amstelveen.

More information (in Dutch only) on: http://www.geitenboerderij.nl

FEBRUARY 2015

Winter Wonderland, weekend of 31st of January – 1st of February 2015

winter in the forest 2After many grey days, winter has finally arrived in the Netherlands. Some recent snow showers have resulted in this beautiful scenery.

If you want to experience these lovely views, just venture out-and-about this weekend. You better not hesitate, as this cold winter spell is forecasted to last only a couple of days.

JANUARY 2015

2015 Salary Requirements for Highly Skilled Migrants (HSM)

For 2015, the IND (Dutch Immigration Services) have set the new monthly gross salary conditions for the application and renewal of HSM residence permits to:

– €4.524,12 or
– €3.316,68 if under 30 years of age.

The salary condition does not apply to HSM employees, who are employed as scientific researchers or doctors in training to become specialists. They have to earn at least the minimum wage.

A more lenient salary requirement also applies to foreign (outside EU) students, who have completed their studies at a Dutch university. They are allowed to stay up to one year in the country in order to find a job with a minimum salary level of €2.377,88.

All amounts include 8% holiday allowance.

Please note that [a] for HSM residence permit applications submitted before the 1st of January 2015, the 2014 salary criteria remain valid and [b] increases in required salary levels do not impact existing residence permits, but they will be taken into account once an existing permit needs to be renewed.

DECEMBER 2014

Amsterdam Light Festival, 27 November 2014 – 18 January 2015

Amsterdam Light FestivalAmsterdam lights up during the 3rd edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival. Discover artworks made by (inter)national artists around the historical town. You can experience the winter light festival through various exhibitions, events, boat tours and walking routes. More information, including the full programme on: http://www.amsterdamlightfestival.com/en/

NOVEMBER 2014

Winter market at the British School of Amsterdam, Sun 23 November 2014

From 12:00 – 16:00 you are invited to visit the annual winter market at the British School. Lots of fun for the kids, arts & crafts and international food market. Everyone is welcome, you do not need to have children at the school to join in with the festivities. More information is also available on: www.britams.nl/news

Location: British School of Amsterdam, Fred. Roeskestraat 94a, 1076 ED Amsterdam.
Admission fee: €2,00 for adults & kids for free.

SEPTEMBER 2014

Dutch Course

Dutch courses starting again in September

September is the best month to start new classes in the Netherlands, so why not start a Dutch course to improve your Dutch language skills and make it easier to have a local conversation? TopTaal provides Dutch courses specifically for expats. In co-operation with Bridging the Gap Foundation, they are starting new groups now. For more information contact TopTaal by phone: 020-7163690 or e-mail: contact@toptaal.com

logo The Expat Kids Club

Mindfulness for Kids: free introduction, Amstelveen, 3 September 2014

Kate Berger, founder of the Expat Kids Club and certified instructor of mindfulness courses presents the benefits of mindfulness for children and youngsters during an information session held on the 3rd of September from 9:30 – 10:30.Location: MOC Lindenlaan 75, Room #309, 1185LC Amstelveen.

Later this Autumn, a Mindfulness Program especially for teens (12-15 years old) is starting from the beginning of October running for 8 weeks. Students are taught to use mindfulness to: feel happier, calmer and more fulfilled, get along better with others, concentrate and learn better, cope with stress and anxiety and perform better in music and sports.

To register, please contact Kate via phone: 06 – 148 32 702 or e-mail: expatkidsclub@gmail.com. More information is also available on: www.expatkidsclub.com/mindfulness

AUGUST 2014

Hospital helpdesk

New medical helpdesk for Indian expats open this summer

Indian expats seeking medical advice are invited to contact the new digital medical service desk at Amstelland Hospital. Being in a country, where you are not yet acquainted with local healthcare options and practices, makes it hard to find your way around. The India desk aims to guide expats with health concerns to the appropriate channels and specialists.

The helpdesk is located at Amstelland Hospital in Amstelveen. For more information, please contact the India Desk’s service staff at indiadesk@zha.nl or visit the website: www.indiadeskamstelland.nl

JULY 2014

lachen2

International Comedytrain at Toomler, last week running from 30 July 2014

Toomler is a well-known Comedy Club in Amsterdam, where Dutch stand-up comedians have been performing for over 20 years.

During the summer months, Toomler is hosting an international programme of stand-up comedians. This week is your last chance to attend English speaking comedy shows by international artists. For more information, programme and tickets, check: www.toomler.nl/international-festival

Toomler is situated next to the Hilton hotel: Breitnerstraat 2, 1077BL Amsterdam. Have fun!

JUNE 2014

Japan festival 2014

Japan Festival, 14 and 15 June 2014 in Amstelveen.

Visit the centre of Amstelveen and enjoy a host of Japanese culinary and cultural activities, including:

  1. Orchestra and musical performances, e.g. Taikodrums
  2. Shows: Japanese dancing, martial arts and traditional kimono fashion
  3. Workshops such as: Japanese tea ceremony, calligraphy, Manga, origami, etc.
  4. Exhibition of beautiful Bonsai trees and masterclass of the Japanese Bonsai master, TiagaUrushibata

The festival can be visited for free. More information and full programme on: www.japanfestival.nl/en/

MAY 2014

tennisplaatje

World Championship Team Tennis 2014 in Amstelveen. Register now!

On Saturday, the 7th and Sunday, the 8th of June 2014, the World Championship Team Tennis is organised at Sportpark “De Kegel” in Amstelveen.

Each national team should consist of 8-10 players (men and women). All matches are played in doubles (men’s, ladies and mixed). For each teamround six players will be on court (3 men and 3 women). You do not need to be a member of a Dutch tennis club to participate and all levels are welcome.

Already the following teams have registered: France, U.K., Thailand, China, Suriname and United Nations.
For more information on this tournament and/or to register your team, visit the website: www.worldtennis.nl

APRIL 2014

King’s Day celebrations, Amstelveen, 26 April 2014

logo koningsdag 2014

The Dutch Royal family will visit the centre of Amstelveen to join in the festivities organised by local sports, dance and hobby clubs. Music bands will be playing to enhance the festive atmosphere. Celebrations start around 11.00. If you want to see the Royals themselves, you have to be there between 12.00-13.00, but expect the town centre to be very busy. See this local map for more information on the Royal route: route map (in Dutch)

You can also find more information on the day’s programme, street markets and recommended travel options via: www.amstelveen.nl/koningsdag. In order to open the English information page directly, use this link: King’s Day information.

Enjoy your day!

MARCH 2014

Keukenhof in Lisse is open for visitors from 20 March to 18 May 2014

TulpenYou know that Spring time has arrived when the Keukenhof opens its doors. The world’s largest flower gardens can be visited in Lisse. Experience the beautiful colours, floral mosaics and get inspiration for your own garden, visiting the theme gardens, that reflect a special trend, such as cookery, family or recycling.

Every week a specific flower is featured in the Oranje Nassau Pavilion. Shows include the famous tulips but also freesia’s, roses, daffodils, irises and sunflowers are presented.

This year’s main theme is Holland, therefore the Amsterdam canals with their special atmosphere have been re-created in the Oranje Nassau Pavilion. To plan your visit and view more information on the park, check: www.keukenhof.nl/en/

FEBRUARY 2014

IND registration abolished for EU Citizens

stempel

Since the beginning of this year, it is no longer required for EU-/EEA and Swiss citizens (except Croatian nationals) to register with the IND, if they want to reside in the Netherlands. Consequently, you will no longer receive an IND-registration sticker in your passport, proving that you are legally entitled to live and work here.

The IND (Dutch Immigration Services) has produced a public letter to inform groups concerned about this new legislation. If you are requested to prove your lawful stay in the Netherlands, e.g. by your employer, you can contact us directly to receive this free document (Dutch only) via e-mail.

JANUARY 2014

2014 Salary Requirements for Highly Skilled Migrants (HSM)

euro geld

New in 2014: salary requirements on a monthly basis instead of an annual salary amount.
For 2014, the IND (Dutch Immigration Services) have set the new monthly gross salary conditions for the application and renewal of HSM residence permits to:
– €4.371,84 or
– €3.205,44 if under 30 years of age.

The salary condition does not apply to HSM employees, who are employed as scientific researchers or doctors in training to become specialists. They have to earn at least the minimum wage.

A more lenient salary requirement also applies to foreign (outside EU) students, who have completed their studies at a Dutch university. They are allowed to stay up to one year in the country in order to find a job with a minimum salary level of €2.297,16

All amounts include 8% holiday allowance.

Please note that [a] for HSM residence permit applications submitted before the 1st of January 2014 the 2013 salary criteria remain valid and [b] increases in required salary levels do not impact existing residence permits, but they will be taken into account once an existing permit needs to be renewed.

DECEMBER 2013

Amsterdam Light Festival, 6 December 2013 -19 January 2014

Amsterdam Light FestivalThe Amsterdam Light Festival is held from 6 December 2013 to 19 January 2014. Discover artworks made by (inter)national artists around the historical town. You can experience the winter light festival through various exhibitions, events, boat tours and walking routes. More information, including the full programme on: www.amsterdamlightfestival.com

NOVEMBER 2013

Female Empowerment Workshop, Amsterdam, 28 November 2013

international career clubThe International Career Club is holding a workshop on FEMALE EMPOWERMENT. Learn how to set professional goals and how to change your mindset to reach them! Whether you are having your own business, having an NGO job, corporate job or are looking for one, feeling empowered is a key to your professional success. Come and get the energy BOOST to develop further your professional life!

Where: Amsterdam. Date: 28 November 2013. Time: 18:00-21:30. Fee: EUR 19,00.
More info on: www.internationalcareerclub.com

OCTOBER 2013

Diwali India Festival, Amstelveen, 26 October 2013

diwaliThe city square (Stadsplein) of Amstelveen will be transformed into a colourful Indian festival, where visitors can learn more about Indian customs, henna tattoos and making India related arts and crafts. You will also be able to purchase beautiful Indian shawls, jewellery, Indian sweets, etc.

Furthermore, Indian restaurants from the Amsterdam region will be serving delicious food, whilst you can enjoy various musical and dance-performances. As the event takes place in a huge tent, the festival is weather-proof! More info on: www.diwalifestival.nl

SEPTEMBER 2013

Prinsjesdag, Tuesday 17 September 2013

Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day) is held on the 3rd Thursday in September to open the new parliamentary year. Historically, many parliamentarians, travelling from distant parts of the country, had to leave their homes a day earlier to ensure a timely arrival in The Hague, therefore Monday was considered to be an inappropriate day and Prinsjesdag was moved to Tuesdays.

At 13.00, the reigning monarch, currently King Willem-Alexander, travels from Noordeinde Palace in the Golden Carriage to The Binnenhof. The Golden Carriage is escorted by court dignitaries and a military escort of honour. Many people line up along the route to view the carriage, its royal passengers and entourage.

The king will give a speech, Troonrede, which sets out the main features of government policy for the parliamentary year. The King’s Speech is not written by the King, but by the Prime Minister and the cabinet. The audience includes a joint session of the two Houses of Parliament (Eerste and Tweede Kamer). In the afternoon, the Minister of Finance presents next year’s national budget. The budget-presentation is followed by parliamentary debates.

JULY & AUGUST 2013

Vondelpark Open Air performances from 2 June to 25 August 2013

The Vondelpark hosts a three-month programme full of music, dance and theatre performances. Entrance is free and performances are held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The theater is located in the middle of the park, near the big fountain and

JUNE 2013

Midsummer night shopping in Amstelveen

Midnight shopping Amstelveen

On Thursday, the 20th of June 2013, it is late night shopping in shopping centre Amstelveen Stadshart till 23.00. To celebrate the summer, there will be special festivities, such as Teatro Pavana and Topchef Ron Blaauw. Also special summer discounts are available. Click here for more information on Amstelveen Stadshart.

MAY 2013

Orange Tea Theater performs every month in Amsterdam

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Orange Tea Theatre Company specialises in the performance of modern plays in the English language. Performances are held every fourth Tuesday of the month. They start at 19:30 and entry is 5 euros. Location: Waterstones, Kalverstraat 152, 1012 XE Amsterdam. For more information on the theatre and its programme, check out: www.orangeteatheatre.com

APRIL 2013

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Register now for the World Championship Team Tennis 2013 in Amstelveen

On Saturday, the 8th and Sunday, the 9th of June 2013, the World Championship Team Tennis is organised at Sportpark “De Kegel” in Amstelveen.

Each national team should consist of 8-10 players (men and women). All matches are played in doubles (men’s, ladies and mixed).  You do not need to be a member of a Dutch tennis club to participate and all levels are welcome.

For more information on this tournament and/or to register your team, visit the website: www.worldtennis.nl

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Open Water Spring Dive in Rotterdam on 28 March 2013

zwemmerAre you brave enough for a refreshing start of this Spring? If so, join other swimmers for this year’s Spring Dive in Rotterdam on the 28th of March 2013.

Theme will be the upcoming coronation of Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima, so dress as the Royals and jump into Spring! For more information, see Press Release.

MARCH 2013

Due date Dutch annual tax returns is approaching (1st of April 2013) 

animaatjes-belastingen-57778In general Dutch annual tax returns are due by the 1st of April, e.g. your tax return for 2012 should be submitted by: 1 April 2013. If you have demonstrable ties to the Netherlands (e.g. you live here, you work here, your family is based here) you are generally regarded as a ‘resident taxpayer’.

Consequently you are required to file a Dutch tax return. Be aware that not only your direct earnings but also your personal situation may have an effect on your tax position, some examples are: non-working partner, type of work, residency status, mortgage andother assets/earnings (particularly from abroad).

If you are considered to be a Dutch taxpayer and you have lived in the Netherlands for only part of the year, i.e. you immigrated to or emigrated from the Netherlands during 2012, you need to file a special tax return, called the M-form. Generally, the due date for M-forms tends to be the 1st of July.

Special rules and regulations will also apply to non-resident taxpayers and partial non-resident taxpayers. An example of the latter being expats, who have been granted the 30% tax ruling.

Do you want to know more about the Dutch tax system, its rules and the required input for tax returns? Amstel Expats gives you more information on local tax returns for free this month. Just send an e-mail to: info@amstelexpats.nl and you will receive our info sheet ‘Dutch Tax Returns’ in return.

FEBRUARY 2013

2013 Salary Requirements for Highly Skilled Migrants

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For 2013, the IND (Dutch Immigration Services) have set the new salary conditions for the application and renewal of Highly Skilled Migrant (HSM) residence permits to:

– €52,010 or
– €38,141 if under 30 years of age.

The salary condition does not apply to HSM employees, who are employed as scientific researchers or doctors in training to become specialists. They have to earn at least the minimum wage.

A more lenient salary requirement also applies to foreign (outside EU) students, who have completed their studies at a Dutch university. They are allowed to stay up to one year in the country in order to find a job with a minimum salary level of €27.336

Please note that [a] for HSM residence permit applications submitted before the 1st of January 2013 the 2012 salary criteria remain valid and [b] increases in required salary levels do not impact existing residence permits, but they will be taken into account once an existing permit needs to be renewed.

JANUARY 2013

Personal recommendation: China Light Rotterdam

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The Chinese light festival can be visited in the ‘Park at the Euromast’ in Rotterdam until the 14th of February 2012. Over 40 Chinese artists have built a fairytale paradise complete with laser shows and music & dance performances. Experience the magic world of China with more than 35 light objects of flowers, animals, the temple of heaven and an amazing dragon.

It is a fun event to visit with your family, we thoroughly enjoyed it even with the rainy weather! More information on: www.chinalightrotterdam.nl/en

DECEMBER 2012

Enjoy some winter fun at the (temporary) ice rinks in Amsterdam

Temperatures are still too high for skating on natural ice, but some local ice rinks are already open to practice your favourite skating moves. If you have no skates to bring yourself, you can also rent a pair. Hot drinks and snacks are available to warm up afterwards.

Temporary locations in town are: Museumplein (1 Dec 2012 – 14 Feb 2013) and Leidseplein (15 Nov 2012 – 13 Jan 2013).

The Jaap Eden Ice Skating Centre is a permanent ice rink. It offers a large outdoor rink, an indoor rink and beginner’s area. Address: Radioweg 64, 1098 NJ Amsterdam

NOVEMBER 2012

Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) arrives in NL on 17 November 2012

This year Sinterklaas will arrive by boat around 12.15 in Roermond on Saturday, the 17th of November. A live broadcast of his national arrival will be shown on Dutch television. During the weekend many other towns will also celebrate the arrival locally with children’s performances and Meet&Greet sessions. Examples are: Amstelveen (Saturday, 17 November) and Amsterdam (Sunday, 18 November).

During the weeks leading up to the 5th of December (the birthday of Sinterklaas), the Sint and his helpers can be seen regularly in shopping centres around the country. Children can leave their shoe near the chimney/heating/door together with a carrot, apple, or water for Sint’s white horse Amerigo. If they have been ‘good’, they will find a small present or sweet in their shoe next morning.

On the 5th of December, the Sint visits all primary schools. In the evening, his helpers leave bags full of presents at the door of many family homes. Although it is mainly a feast for children, the adult family members often exchange small gifts together with a poem that mildly teases the recipient.

More information on the tradition of Sinterklaas is available on: www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/netherlands/

OCTOBER 2012

The Marathon of Amsterdam is held on 21 October 2012

The annual Amsterdam Marathon takes place on Sunday, the 21st of October. There are five events scheduled: the marathon, the Mizuno Half Marathon, the 8 K run, the Olympic Kids Run 1K and the Mini Marathon.

The Amsterdam marathon runs along a historic course with famous buildings, such as the Rijksmuseum. The start and finish take place in the 80 year-old Olympic Stadium. Spectators of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon will be able to enjoy lots of music along the course.

Too late for this year’s marathon? Not to worry, you can register now for the Amsterdam Marathon 2013 on: www.tcsamsterdammarathon.nl/en/registration/

SEPTEMBER 2012

Dutch general election is held on 12 September 2012

An early general election will be held on Wednesday, the 12th of September. The 150 seats of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands are to be contested. The system of proportional representation, combined with historical divisions has resulted in a multi-party system. The major political parties are: VVD, PvdA, PVV, SP, CDA en D66.

Based on the election results, a new government will be formed. Because of the multi-party system, it is unlikely that a single party will gain the majority of seats in parliament. Therefore a coalition of two or more parties will likely to be required to form the new government.

About 12 to 14 ministers are appointed, these ministers together form the Council of Ministers. They are responsible for initiating laws and policies. Ministers, leading larger departments, are supported by state secretaries. All ministers and state secretaries together are referred to as the cabinet, which is led by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the party, winning the election.

AUGUST 2012

De Parade, the travelling theatre festival visits Amsterdam on 10-26 August 2012

The festival offers visitors a variety of theatre performances. The majority are in Dutch, but also for non-Dutch speakers, the Parade is an enjoyable experiencewith live music and culinary delights in a unique ambiance. There are also special children´s activities in the afternoons.

Location: Martin Luther Kingpark, Amsteldijk 1079LM Amsterdam

Open: Mon-Tue-Thu from 15.00-01.00, Wed & Sun 14.00-01.00, Fri 15.00-02.00 and Sat 14.00-02.00. Free entrance till 16.00, after that € 7,00 to enter the festival grounds (children & 65+ free). You will have to pay €2,00 to €10,00 to see a particular performance. More info on: www.deparade.nl/english

The Parade boat brings you to the festival from the centre of town. It leaves from the Stopera. More info on: www.blueboat.nl/en/specials/paradeboot

JULY 2012

Soaring tempartures? Go to one of the city beaches in Amsterdam to enjoy the good weather

During the summer, the city can be hot and stuffy. By car you can easily drive to the sandy beaches of the North Sea in about 30-40 minutes. Some examples are: Scheveningen, Zandvoort and Wijk aan Zee.

However, you do not need to leave Amsterdam to visit the beach. Around town there are several urban beaches offering sand, food & drinks without leaving town.

Strand West, a city beach located near the Houthavens (wood docks) in the Westerpark district.                     Address: Stavangerweg 900, 1013 AX Amsterdam. More info onː www.strand-west.nl (Dutch only)

Bijburg aan Zee, a sandy beach located in the New IJburg district. You can not only relax and sunbathe, but also go for a refreshing swim and even yoga on the beach. Address: Muiderlaan 1001, 1087 VA Amsterdam. More info onː www.blijburg.nl (Dutch only).

 

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