Monday, August 06, 2007

You cannot even begin to imagine what the Belgian Service for Foreigners did this time ...

2 very different decisions on one day on ONE fax ...

1. They state that they can't be sure my daughter is living with us, so they postpone a family reunification decision based on that. However we did have the police visit very fast so that should have been cleared up quickly but then ...

2. later on the same day, on that same 8 page fax, further down somebody comes out of nowhere and decides that my daughter isn't a minor (despite having her birth certificate clearly stating she is) and they have demanded all the paperwork for someone over 21 years of age who wants to reunify with their family member in Belgium.

The required paperwork has to prove 'interesting' things like the fact that she had no income. I was left wondering how you prove that. We also have to prove she doesn't own a home ... I'll leave that one with you but it sounds expensive searching real estate records for a home in her name or not.

We also have to prove she was being supported by us in some way and that we are earning enough to support her ... as per the process for anyone over 21.

It is that paperwork that will now put her on hold and in process for another 5 months.

Oh but wait, I've done this before.

Could I promise him something better in New Zealand, if we left his kids with their mother and moved back to my world ...?

I really don't know.
This thing with God handing out pieces of land to specific ethnic groups leaves one in a quandary if one still wants to wander the world.


Peter said...

I know what you're experiencing right now Di..

After the "the doors are open" policy during the 90s, Belgium's immigration services currently try their utmost to prevent legitimate family reunifications.

They will almost resort to anything to lower the immigration figures.

Like you noticed, they will behave like a bunch of retarded idiots, make crazy demands and contradict themselves with an "we own this place" attitude.

One of my brothers married a non-native, non-EU citizen: they even had to prove their marriage wasn't "fake" (imagine, they already had a child).

You've gone through all this absurd bureaucracy before, I can imagine it starts to turn your stomach.

womanwandering said...

I don't like saying bad things about Belgium and I suspect that this kind of attitude is more common than I realised, even if immigration has been happening forever however this response stunned both Gert and I as we had read up on the rules before entering into the process.

Today's paperwork appears to directly contradict the laws that apply to family reunification.

And you know I wouldn't be doingthis if Gert didn't have two young children. Even now, I'm trying to target my business at non-Belgians so as not to take business from Belgian natives.

If I hadn't met Gert I would have stayed over in Istanbul where I was made so welcome, or I would have gone home to New Zealand, instead here we are.

I wondered if a passive form of anti-immigration was being pursued. Too many people wouldn't know where to look for the laws or know who to write to. Let's see how it goes.

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Ah, the joys of bureaucracy!

This experience is common in too many countries, not just Belgium unfortunately.

Though family is a sacred thing and should always be allowed to re-unite

Good luck with this, it's frustrating, I'm sure..

V-Grrrl said...

I have the perfect solution: Jessica should go to the Service for Foreigners office naked and dirty and holding only her paperwork. That should "prove" she is without an income or a home of her own. : )

P.S. While she's there, she can pee on the building steps and mark her territory.

harvey molloy said...

And I thought Singapore was bad! At least there the process is open and if your paperwork is in order you're OK. This seems all very hostile and traumatic. Hang in there!

christina said...

Oh dear! Canada has similar policies when it comes to reunifying families. If a child is over 22 and not in full-time studies and/or being supported by their parents financially they are not considereded a dependent and must try to get into the country on their own accord. Being in a common-law relationship is also a deterrent. Doesn't seem fair at all, does it? Family is family, I say. Why don't they just leave the little people alone and worry about the big stuff??

womanwandering said...

Hi Farfallina, you're right and I'm really not sure what would happen if I tried to take Gert back to New Zealand.

Family is sacred and now I have two on opposite sides of the world ...

Thanks for your luck wish, it seems to have come true in the intervening days :)

V-grrrl, as usual you left me smiling with your reply. Who knows if your solution would work ... it's Europe and they're so much more with it about nudity and 'territory marking'...

Hi Harvey ... I think everywhere is bad these days. It's sad when you consider migration is the way of the human.

It's embarassing isn't it Christina. Like NZ, Canada was colonised by the same people, and Belgians were colonisers too, suddenly we have all these rules that seem very hypocritical when you consider our collective pasts.

I think the little people are simpler to deal with. Imagine if Gert hadn't been involved, hadn't read through the 8 page fax in Dutch and hadn't known who to contact. It's a fairly effective passive aggressive deterrent ... and it's not just Belgium who does it.