Have you ever asked yourself how much you would pay just to be allowed to be where your fate is leading you? Is it worth paying to have the right to live in a country? And how can you or an institution determine the monetary value of a couple having the chance to live together?
Can you imagine something you wouldn’t do for the good of your family? Something you wouldn’t pay or sacrifice to give them the best life? How deep can you dig into your intimacy, how thin do the walls to protect your privacy have to become?
From a host country’s point of view, the amount to pay for a visa works as a deterrent. Keeping a control on the authenticity of motives and on the intention of people entering your country is a process the government has to manage. At the same time, there is an ethical dilemma on how an institution can exert its power onto people’s lives. The costs at stake here are not limited to a measure of dollars, but also to the stress the process exerts on the couple and family. To describe with details the story of your relationship, including the more intimate aspects, both emotional and financial, gives the applicants a feeling of powerlessness. Is the sacrifice of your intimacy and dignity something you will ever accept for your family? And is an institution allowed to require its citizens and prospective citizens to have these basic rights put on hold?
Being a young family is indeed exciting, challenges aside. It is definitely worth living in Australia, striving to have a better life in a country where opportunities are real and within reach, as close as you are far away from your country. Having $AUD7000 to spend, for a medium to low income young family as there are many and many more, may be a thrilling thought to daydream. What about saving that money for a house deposit? It may look like a laughable amount, but isn’t it equal to half of all you can get from the First Home Super Saver Scheme? In other words one of the crucial redeeming government means to ease the costs in the younger generations’ lives?
While the government uses the tariff collected from the Department of Home Affairs to provide better services and to level inequalities, $7000 can make a difference between a small and a medium – a second hand or a new – a poor or medium class status car you would consider buying for your growing family.
Wouldn’t you also consider refreshing your everyday life, buying new energy savings appliances, a bigger couch or some comfortable furniture for your future kids?
Why not think instead of your future family? Wouldn’t you like to have three months of childcare paid? Or use that amount to provide your family with full private health insurance cover for two years? Just to make sure you will be able to face the hard times, given that a risk averse family won’t pore over the definition of tax as a satisfactory provisions of public services (hopefully equivalent) to the amount paid?
Won’t this amount of money give you the chance of feeling free to enjoy your social life without the burden of the end of the month restrictions? You could enjoy the luxury of 700 Sunday morning visits to a café (2 regular coffees and a babycino), or 70 family dinners in a pub. Or otherwise a 10 year gym membership for your healthy and active young family.
If you were a nostalgic kind of person, an immigrant shaped personality with deep roots and multifaceted belongings, wouldn’t you use that money to gift your family with a trip to your country of origin, visiting your family and friends, your hometown, the support of your network, the certainties you left to find yourself in the auspicious role of an prospective Australian citizen?
But, more than money, wouldn’t you have back your confidence in the future, the perception of reliability on a country that will back your career, your family, a better life for you and your siblings, the future citizens of Australia? And again your pride and dignity, the privacy to protect the fragility of a relationship, the tensing strings on which you build the net of your future, financially, emotionally and simply normally?
Could a human right ever be on sale? Where is the limit on the interference of the power on the private ability to self determine, to just live a serene and normal life? What’s the antidote to release the common family dreams from the unbearable weight of boundless national interest of a borderless land?