Friday, July 22, 2011

The cost of immigration

I wanted to write this post mainly as just a little vent but also so people knew exactly what people go through when they marry someone who lives in a different country.

There is the monitory cost of course, that I will go over in a minute. But there is also emotional and physical costs too.

Let's start with the financial side. Early on in Billy & my relationship our main communication was via the Internet. That was fairly cheap, just our monthly subscription fees. We also talked on the phone and over the course of a year I probably spent at least $1000+ on phone bills and phone cards. Probably a lot more than that.

Then I flew to see him for 16 days. The ticket alone was about $3000. Plus spending money. Then he flew to Australia 6 months later. Another $3000.

Then the immigration fees for him were about $4500 including his medical, visa fees etc.

Then all 3 of us flew here so approx $9000 for those airline tickets. Then the immigration fees for Ashley and I were $6000 plus about $1200 in medical fees for immunisations, blood tests etc.

Add all of those up and you have about $27 000. And those are just the things I can remember. It's probably closer to $30 000. And those were all things that were to be paid up front in cash.

Plus we had to sell everything we owned in Australia so we had to buy new things when we moved here so that was more expense. We wiped out all our savings and put ourselves in debt to be together.

Now let me just say I am not complaining. We knew what we were getting into. But we made the choice to do this and we accept our debt. I just want to put this out there because I have had people say things to me in regards to our financial situation and they just don't understand how we got here. So I wanted to lay our cards on the table.

Emotional costs are even worse sometimes. I miss a lot of things about Australia. The main thing is people. I miss my mum. I miss my sister and niece. I have other siblings and relatives but my sister Shelly and her daughter Rikki-lee were the ones I was closest too. Luckily I got to see Rikki-Lee when she was over here last year and that was a big thing for me.

I also miss my friends. The people here are different to what I am used to. I never felt judged by my friends in Australia. The people I have met here tend to be more judgemental, now not all are like that, but I have met a lot of people that are. I have a few really good friends here. But I still miss those back home.

There are many other things I miss, being so close to the ocean, the food, our old house, it was HUGE!

Physically it's tough too. I have never suffered allergies until I moved here. Also the heat here is awful. I honestly don't remember it ever feeling this hot back in Perth. I think it's the humidity here that kills me. Also the food here is on the unhealthy side. Junk food is cheap so it's pretty easy to gain weight, which I know from first hand experience. Luckily I have turned that around recently.

Don't get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for everything I have at the moment, but when I look at what we have spent just to be together it makes me feel a little sick inside. That amount of money would pay off about 2/3 of our mortgage. Which would allow us to buy a bigger place and have a baby. But life doesn't always go the way we plan. I never planned on falling in love with someone halfway around the world, but thank god I did!

I see people all around me buying big beautiful houses, having babies, going on awesome vacations and we seem to be stuck in this decaying trailer and just barely getting by. But we have each other and we have faith that someday things will improve for us. Hopefully it will happen before my eggs dry up!


  1. i feel your pain nikki! its so bloody expensive. you know my experience, and it was a waste of fucking money in the end!!!!

    i miss you heaps, i wish you lived closer.

  2. very interesting nikki!! i wish things were easier, and it makes me cranky when people go about things the wrong way and get away with it even though they are breaking the law and yet there are people like you guys who have done everything by the book and properly and yet it sets you back so much :( will you ever move back to aus? xox

  3. Kate, in all honesty the only way I would move back to Australia would be without Billy. And that isn't really an option I am willing to take!

    He was really unhappy there. He missed his family too much. It was easier for me as I am used to being away from family.

    Plus I don't think I could do that move all over again. It's way too stressful.

  4. Nikki I too feel your pain. I moved here 15 months ago and the expense of being with the man I love is horrendous but I wouldnt change it for all the world. I too never had allergies until I moved here...nor did I have asthma but now I do. The foods are so full of processed garbage that I try to buy as fresh as possible and make everything from scratch but Ohio doesnt always have the greatest produce.

    The friends comments yu made really hit home with me...I have yet to find any close friends as I just dont understand how people can judge me just because I am from another hurts and some days it cripples me but I pick myself up again and remember that if they want to be that way it is their loss.

    Hope things get better for you guys xx

  5. It is tough, and it is ridiculously expensive. I find it so hard to be away from my sisters kids. I wish the two countries were closer together. I am stuck in some sort of limbo land. I love our life here and it'd the best we've had so far BUT I miss my family and I miss the lifestyle of Australia.


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