Friday, November 4, 2011

Almost Legal Again.

Not that we were getting anywhere close or anything,   but this morning we were off to the “Magistrats Amt 35”,  or MA 35 for short.   Believe me,  the first time I heard someone talk about the MA 35,  I had no clue what they were talking about either.   Should I just come out and tell you what it is,  or do the long winded version?

Oh,  let’s go “long winded”,  since you’re just dying to know all about Austrian Bureaucracy.   And besides,  if you ever move to Austria,  some of this gibberish will be invaluable.  That works for me anyway.


I’ve been searching for a nice tidy Wiki article to link you to,  but I’ve struck out.   Put it this way,  all of the various authorities are divided up into different “Magistrates”,  and whether that makes sense in English or not,  I’m not sure.  “MA 48” for example,  looks after garbage removal,  and all the street sweeper types.   “MA 36” is the parking authority.  “MA 68” is the Fire Department.   And so on.  If you’re a complete glutton for punishment,  I did find a list here,  but it’s all in German of course.  Go about half way down the page,  and you can check my work…because it matters to you.

So,  if you haven’t figured it out by now,  MA 35 looks after the immigrants.  That would be yours truly and his lovely wife.  Even though we’re by no stretch of the imagination about to immigrate or anything,  the ordeal is pretty much the same.  Same deal with the work permit.

OK,  I see you’re starting to nod off there,  so let’s press on.

Today was the day Travelling Companion had to do her trip to the MA 35.   I only went along as Chauffeur.

Unlike when I went a couple weeks ago,  we remembered to get pictures taken for T.C.,  and now of course we each have enough photos to last for ever and ever,  amen.   Why do they think you’ll need eight?

I just realised I’ve used the term “ordeal” unfairly.   Each and every time we’ve gone to either the MA 35,  or the “gemeentehuis”  a few kilometres from the place we rented in the Netherlands,  the civil servants have for the most part been very nice.   “Civil”,  would be the appropriate term.  

This is in sharp contrast to the procedure you go through if you want to work in the US.   I’m not sure what the thinking is,  but you have to go in front of some border guard,  and answer all his/her stupid questions.   I mean,  if the company you’re employed by wants you to work somewhere,  then who cares?   But unfortunately,  there’s either some paranoia there,  or what,  I don’t know.   Maybe it’s the same for an American who wants to work in Canada?  I don’t know,  and I’m sure I’ll never find out.  I suppose they figure once you cross that border,  they could very well lose track of you.  Can’t see that happening here.

Here,  all they’re concerned with is if your passport is current,   you have a recent photo,  and you’ve brought all the relevant paper work.   You need to prove you’re employed,  and have a place to live.  There’s a couple more things in there too,  but my memory’s dim.

At that point there’s no real need for questions.  If you’ve managed to come up with all that,  then you probably didn’t just wander over the border and suddenly find yourself looking after a huge division that did a billion in sales.  

I’m just saying.

Now,  along with that,  you do get a little credit card type of thingy,  with all the relevant information on it,  with the aforementioned mug shot.  You need to keep that with you at all times,  and only turn it in when you leave the country for good,  or when you get a new one.


Both of ours will be ready next week.


That,  by the way,  is pretty damned exceptional.


And here’s why.   See,  the lawyer who met with us this morning was the same young lady who went along with me a couple weeks ago.  She just happens to be buds with one of the clerks,  and we just sort of sashayed in.


It goes pretty quickly once you’re in there anyway,  but we didn’t have to wait out in the big room with all the poor huddled masses for very long at all.   I can dig it.  It’s bad enough that you have to stand in line for just a wee bit too long to get the number in the first place,  but now I’m just starting to sound like a whiner.

T.C.  has other things to do besides sit around waiting for some number to come up on a tote board.  Of course,  I resisted the temptation to in any way shape or form mock any of the poor huddled masses.  That would just be mean.  So there was no, “Smell ya later!”  or anything else that popped into my head. 

If anyone ever figures out how to read a person’s mind,  I’m so dead.  I’m not kidding.



So that was that.   I actually felt a bit bad for the young lady who was processing our paperwork,  since she was WORKING.  I mean,  there were heaps of files on her desk,  with what I would term “runners” coming in and dropping off or picking up folders or files the whole time she was looking after us.

And in spite of the fact that they were obviously short staffed (one of her colleagues was on vacation) and she was working furiously,  she was still very pleasant with us.  Didn’t hurt that I was admiring the photo of her motorbike and asking her about her upcoming trip to Miami and Key West.

Never hurts to chat up the staff.



I think that’s it for today’s missive.  Hope you enjoyed the peek into the workings of Austria’s bureaucracy.   Like that’s possible.

There were no photo ops,  since I’m sure none of the huddled masses were really up for it.


Thanks for stopping by.





  1. Things definitely don't go that smoothly here in the states. At least not at DMV, IRS, or any other state or federal office. Glad you and T.C. are legal once again. Or is just T.C. that's legal?

  2. Well, technically neither of us would be "legal" until we pick up our new Residence Permits next week. My current one expires on the 25th. Not sure about T.C.s, but I think hers was a bit later, since mine was based on when my then passport was about to run out. I renewed it when we went home last year at Christmas. The passport can't expire before the residence permit. Just a wrinkle.

  3. EGADS...we can hardly get gas and have it go that smoothly. Glad all went well.

  4. No matter where you live you have to deal with bureaucracy and it often is an ordeal. One of those unfortunate parts of life.

  5. It's always nice to be legal - congrats!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.