From California to Amsterdam

Last July, a family from San Francisco released a self-produced music video in which they announce their plans to move to Amsterdam. The solar startup where Thor Muller works, Off Grid Electric, had just opened an office in Amsterdam, and the Mullers were in the midst of relocating here. The comic video, in which Thor, his wife Amy and their two children sing about Dutch hallmarks such as canals and windmills, was widely shared on Facebook and elsewhere, and got written up in major news media around the world.

A reception at the IN Amsterdam offices

The Mullers have now arrived in Amsterdam, and a special welcome ceremony was held on 16 August to thank the family for creating such a positive buzz for the city. At the office of IN Amsterdam (which stands for 'International Newcomers Amsterdam'), the Mullers were surprised with a festive reception. The event, which featured haring and other typically Dutch food, was hosted by IN Amsterdam and amsterdam inbusiness. In welcoming the Mullers, the director of IN Amsterdam, Els Bosma, mentioned the city’s long history of openness to newcomers from around the world. “Amsterdam has always been happy to have knowledge migrants come over,” she said. Bosma then presented the Mullers with a special pin, “an honorary gift for I amsterdam ambassadors.” The pin features images of canal houses, a windmill, and a bicycle.

The city of Amsterdam responds with its own video

Thor Muller initially wrote the song to help his family get ready for their move to Amsterdam. “I wanted to teach them about Dutch food before they came over, so they could order at a restaurant,” he said. That explains why Dutch cuisine features so prominently in the video, from haring and jenever to pea soup and poffertjes. The city of Amsterdam responded to the Muller’s video with a new video of their own, which premiered at today’s event. It features various city officials welcoming the Mullers in song. Bosma again thanked Mr. Muller and his family for their video, and for their investigation into Dutch culture. “The investigation is just beginning,” Muller said.

IN Amsterdam helps newcomers 

The newly-arrived family members had just completed their paperwork earlier that morning at the office of IN Amsterdam, formerly known as the Expatcenter Amsterdam. Based in Amsterdam-Zuid’s World Trade Center complex, IN Amsterdam provides international newcomers like the Mullers with a simple one-stop-shop to help them with all the procedures related to immigration, such as residence permits, work permits, and tax matters. Last year, IN Amsterdam won the “Best Expat Support” award in the Financial Times’ 2016 fDi Strategy Awards.