Welcome to the Holland Club Houston

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The Holland Club is a social organization whose purpose is to promote fellowship among its members, and to further interest in the Netherlands and the Dutch Customs and traditions.
The Holland Club was founded in 1960 and celebrated 50 years in 2010. Our yearly events include: a Wine and Cheese gathering; Las Vegas Night; Oranjebal celebrating our Queen’s Day; pool and beach parties; our annual Indonesian dinner, the Rijsttafel; and Christmas and Sinterklaas parties.
Some of our members get together regularly for a pleasant Dutch-style ‘koffie uurtje’ or to play Bridge and Klaverjas. We also have a group who practice Dutch folk dances in wooden shoes, ‘De Texas Klompendansers.’ They perform at folk festivals throughout Texas.
More information can be received by contacting us at

communications@hollandclub.org

Editor: Leo Valk editor@hollandclub.org

Passport applications in Houston in March 2014

The new Consul-General in Miami, Mrs. Nathalie Olijslager, will visit the state of Texas in the last week of February 2014 to introduce herself to the business and Dutch community. The Consul-General wants to continue to assist Dutch citizens and, together with the Netherlands Business Support Office, help Dutch-American trade and investment thrive in the state of Texas.

She will fulfill all economic and consular duties in the region while the Netherlands is searching for a new Honorary Consul for Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. If you have any questions for her and or are interested in meeting the new Consul-General, please register athouston@nlconsulate.com. Date, time and location of events will be announced on this website and on www.dutchhelp.com.

The Dutch government hopes to reopen the honorary consulate office as soon as possible. It is important to mention though that passport and visa services at this office will not be continued. However, to accommodate Dutch citizens in the Texas region during this transition, a team of consular officers will be available to process passport applications in the last week of March 2014.

The exact dates, times and location for these one-time special consular sessions will be announced on this website at a later time. Citizens interested in applying for a passport at these sessions have to register by sending an email to houston@nlconsulate.com.

The reason for the ending of the passport and visa services in Houston lies in a new policy of the Dutch government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to no longer provide honorary consuls with the expensive biometric equipment needed to process passports and visas. This new policy is being implemented around the world to contain rising costs. Consequently the number of (US) locations where Dutch citizens can renew or apply for a passport will shrink further.

To help Dutch citizens abroad, the government has decided that passports applied  for by adults on March 9, 2014, or later will be valid for 10 years. This means citizens who will succesfully apply for a passport during one of the special consular sessions in the Texas region will get a passport that is valid for ten years. Please be aware that minors (younger than 18 years) will still have to renew their passports every five years. More details about the 10-year validity of the passport can be found on the website of the Regional Support Office,www.dutchhelp.com.

For any consular questions you can also call 1-877 DUTCHHELP (1-877-388-2443) at any moment of the day.

Passport  applications

Dutch citizens in the Texas region who need to renew their passport before the last week of March, or who are not able to come to one of the special consular sessions have a few options. They can:

*Make an appointment at one of the Dutch Consulates in Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston or Chicago or at the embassy in Washington, D.C.

*Apply for a new passport at the municipal desk (Haarlemmermeer municipality) at Schiphol Airport, or in the city of The Hague and border communities Bergen op Zoom, Echt-Susteren, Enschede, Maastricht, Montferland and Oldambt.

Visa applications:

Travelers in the Texas region who need a Schengen-visa for the Netherlands can apply in person at one of the Consulates in Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston, or Chicago, or at the embassy in Washington, D.C.

People who are not able to appear in person can under certain circumstances apply through mail. This is only possible for travel dates before May 15, 2014.  You can make a formal request to process your application by sending an email to houston@nlconsulate.com. Only with a written agreement from the visa desk can you proceed with your application through mail.

Coming activities

 

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Wine & Cheese Party – February
Las Vegas Night –  March 15
Casino trip L’auberge de Lac – April 26
Orange Lunch – April 27
Beach party – June
Rijst tafel – August  23 (including “sjoel competition” and other games)
Haring & hutspot, Annual Mtg – October 4
Sinterklaas – December tentative
Christmas Party – Dec. 20

The board is always looking for volunteers to organize events.

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For more details about these events, contact us at editor@hollandclub.org