Thursday, November 09, 2006

Racist or sensible? You decide...

I called the Australian High Commission in Port Vila today to find out precisely why Ben's visa was refused and to find out if there's any other way that we might be able to get him out here in time for christmas. The results of the conversation were less than pleasing and have left me feeling very disillusioned with the Australian Government's immigration and tourist policies. But rather than getting on a full-on (somewhat biased) rant about the racist nature of Australia's policies I'll provide you guys with the info and you can make up your own minds.

Ben's application was refused on the grounds that he has no incentive to return to his country of origin. When I asked today whether we had been too ambitious by applying for a two month visa I was told that the time limit had no bearing on the decision, rather the fact that he is in a relationship with an Australian citizen means that, according to the government's rules, he is not a "genuine tourist" and therefore would never have been considered for a tourist visa anyway. However, it took them a week of "application processing time" plus a AUS$75 dollar non-refundable processing fee to tell us that due to these rules the application wasn't worth the paper it was written on. Fancy taking an application fee from someone who barely earns that much in a week, in order to process an application that was never going to be granted anyway!!!

In short, Ben has no chance of getting into the country until we are married... and even then there's no guarantee that a spousal visa will be granted. I'm glad all our plans depend on me going there to live. I hate to imagine how he might be treated here.

Hmmm... the post was a little bit rant-y but not too bad considering...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Not such a good start to the week...

A friend of mine from uni was found dead in her apartment over the weekend. It has become a coroners case and, although we have our suspicions, we do not yet know the cause of death. I'm sorry that her time here was so tortured and painful and I wish there was more we could have done to help her. I wish she had wanted to be helped. I hope that she's pain free and at peace now. Raia, you are sadly missed.

In other not so glorious news, Ben didn't get his visa to come here for family christmas. Yet another trial and tribulation of forging a relationship and being engaged to a Pacific Islander I suppose. They declined his application (but took his money) on the grounds that he had no incentive to return to his country at the end of his visit. Why would he want to leave island paradise to come live in this smog filled shithole anyway?