Thanks to IND, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, I experienced a rollercoaster-like graduation day.
One month ago, my parents decided to see me in Holland. I’d like to show them around Europe instead of staying in Holland for their visit. Because I didn’t have my new residence permit yet however, I had to apply for an extra return visa to go abroad. Two weeks ago I called IND for an appointment for it.
The man on the other side of line told me my residence permit was being processed and that it might be ready soon. He suggested I call them one week later for an update. Thus on September 17, I called the IND again. Coincidently, it was the same man answered my phone. He went to check my application status and left me alone for 10 minutes, which cost me a lot of phone charge. But my waiting paid off as he told me the ID card was ready. ‘Do you mean I can pick it up as of today?’ I can’t believe IND can be so efficient. ‘Yes,’ the man said calmly.
My graduation ceremony was on 25th. My parents arrived that morning. I first fetched my parents at Schiphol. On the way back to Wageningen, I passed by Utrecht and went to IND office for my card. But there I was told my card was not done yet. I was shocked by such a bad news. To make up for the mistake, they granted me a return visa for free. But strangely I had to get it in Rijswijk, a city near Den Haag, and the appointment was made at 16:00. ‘Give this to my colleagues in Rijswijk, they will handle it,’ the man behind the counter delivered me a post-it with some Dutch words.
I first went back to Wageningen for the ceremony which began at 13:30. But I was totally absentminded and checking my watch all the time. Right afterwards my big brother Gerard drove me to Rijswijk wildly, with his vintage Peugeot. Although we had tried our best, we didn’t make it in time. But thankfully the magnanimous staff still accepted my application. After a 30-minute verification of that post-it, however reluctant they were, they pasted the stick of return visa in my passport. Why were they so reluctant? Because the post-it said that I could get the visa for free.
Maybe to many Dutchmen ‘Oranje is ING’. But to many foreigners, oranje is IND. I believe every foreign student has at least one special story with IND. It is my honor that IND gave me one on my graduation day.
Pic of the Week: After an exhausted trip from Rijswijk, I finally had time to take picture with my brother and the graduation gifts from friends.