At the official opening of the Expat Center Utrecht in the Stadskantoor of Utrecht, ACCESS signed an agreement with the City of Utrecht to supplement their Expat services with the Information and Hospitality services provide by ACCESS volunteers.
Building on years of experience providing similar services to The Hague International Centre ACCESS was “…honoured to have been approached by the City of Utrecht,” according to ACCESS Chair Dr Gary Hays. “It reaffirms the continuing professionalism of ACCESS in recent years, and is a tribute to the dedication and commitment of the 100s of volunteers we have worked with.”
ACCESS, a not-for-profit volunteer run organisation was established in The Hague in 1986. It now operates as a national organisation supporting internationals throughout the Netherlands. The support provided varies from an on-call Counselling Services Network, to a Helpdesk, a Community Education Department and a series FAQ Guides among other information sources. All its activities are run by volunteers, themselves internationals, on an expatriate assignment in the Netherlands.
The Expat Center Utrecht is the result of a partnership between the City of Utrecht and the IND and will start receiving its first expats, for the one-stop registration procedure on 31 March 2015. The one-stop procedure is available to employees of IND recognized sponsors (erkend referent) who can prepare the ground work, for their new foreign employees. Thus, streamlining the formalities required to get settled quickly and efficiently in Utrecht. In the words of Alderman Kreijkamp, Alderman for Finance, Economy, Education and International Affairs, “…with the IND and ACCESS as our partners, we have (significant) experience at our disposal to make our Expat Center a success. Add to this the unique character of Utrecht, and you’ll agree with me that we can’t fail in our effort.”
The ECU will start operations on Tuesdays, from 9:00-17:00 by appointment only, and the ACCESS Information Desk will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-17:00.
At the opening the City of Utrecht signed their agreement with the newly appointed State Secretary for Security and Justice and Minister of Immigration, Mr. Klaas Dijkhoff.