Blog - Post-birth paperwork

Added on Monday, 2017-11-13 22:10 CET in category Prague
When we went to Prague for our daughter's birth, we realized we should not underestimate the amount of paperwork to be done. And indeed, besides our new main job of parenting, we've mainly been filling out paperwork.

Health insurance

Normally, a person in the EU has health insurance where he works, or otherwise where he lives. Because Alina and I were both still employed in the Netherlands at the time of Viviana's birth, we both had health insurance there.

When we contacted the Czech health insurance that covered Alina's health costs here in Prague, they therefore told us that Viviana would also have to get health insurance in the Netherlands, as she is a dependant of us. It would not be possible for her to get her own health insurance here. So we called our Dutch health insurance, but after five or so calls they told us they could only register her on our health insurance when she'll be registered in the Netherlands. In the meantime, she'd have no health insurance, and we would have to pay everything up front.

Only when we would come to the Netherlands and register her there at city hall in Rotterdam, only then could Viviana get health insurance. If we were to do so within four months after birth, then all costs until then would be covered retroactively.

Now we had only planned to come to the Netherlands after five months or so, but even if we'd come earlier, we'd first have to wait for her birth certificate, apostille, translation, and Dutch passport to be ready, which may take months in total. And all the while the bills would add up…

Eventually the Czech health insurance informed us there exists a European form called "E 109", which can be used to give health insurance to dependants abroad. Our Dutch health care insurance, which conveniently didn't know such a form existed at first, was then reluctant, and at times plain out refused to talk to us (!), but after lots of calls and nagging we finally got our beloved form, and with that a local health insurance card for Viviana.

Birth certificate

Before Viviana was even born we had to tell the birth registry at the hospital what name our daughter would get. We escaped the surname debacle, so after filling out "Viviana Eleonora" and "Maatjes-Siletskaya", they said they'd take care of the rest.

And indeed, a week and a half later we picked up Viviana's birth certificate at the birth register. The only other thing we needed was our marriage certificate + apostille + translation.

Getting an apostille on the birth certificate proved to be an interesting next step. Unlike the Netherlands, where it's a matter of one trip to court, we needed to visit two locations: Prague's main birth registry for some stamp, and then Prague's interior ministry for the apostille itself. ("Fun" fact: instead of paying cash or by card, we had to pay using postage stamps.)

Dutch passport

Before we could travel back to the Netherlands, Viviana would need to get a passport. Because Alina and I both hold Dutch and Russian citizenship, Viviana also gets both, but being in Europe made the Dutch passport a priority.

Applying for a Dutch passport turned out to be relatively easy. We filled out the application form, supplied some extra documents and paid the fee. The passport was done just three weeks later.

The only difficult part was getting a passport photograph done… Getting a newborn to lie still and look into the camera proved somewhat challenging. Instead of taking the picture at the photographer's, where she might make a fuss or just plain sleep, we got the tip to instead make the picture ourselves on a stretched bed sheet with the baby facing up. It then only took ~200 tries and a bit of retouching by Viviana's uncle :)

Russian passport

Against all expectations, getting the Russian passport proved to be about as simple. Alina applied for citizenship and external Russian passport in one go.

While she was at the embassy, the consul was quite surprised to hear I had Russian citizenship too :) "But why? I've never seen such a thing before…" :P An appropriate reaction I suppose, given all the hoops I had to jump

Czech residence permit

When my wife originally moved to Prague in 2001, she and her family got permanent residency in Czechia, which we decided to get for Viviana as well. This would give her the right to travel around Europe as a Russian citizen (you know, just in case), and several benefits in Czechia itself.

Already when Viviana got her birth certificate we started applying for her residence permit, but they didn't actually start processing anything until we showed them her Russian passport a few weeks later.
Over four months after her birth, her residence permit still isn't ready… In a few weeks we'll have to go to the foreign police again for "biometric processing" (how would that work on a baby I wonder?), and only a few weeks after that can we finally pick up her residence permit.

Update 2017-12-01: when we went for biometric processing, we were told that wasn't possible, because our child is still a baby. You don't say… Also, they had moved the application to the EU department for some reason. A few hours and lots of explaining later, Viviana is now the proud holder of permanent residency in Czechia :)


Although all this may seem like a lot, when compared to the process of getting Russian citizenship it's not all that bad :)