I scrolled through the immigration website for New Zealand, suddenly realizing the only thing that would separate Fern and I, was money and a piece of paper. The process to have your partner with you across borders is a grueling journey of paperwork, doctor’s notes, police records, and an application longer than a college graduate proposal. My heart ached, not only for myself, but for the thousands of others that found love beyond their country’s borders, but suffer the reality of international law.
I scrolled through the visa section of Go Fund Me and realized that I was not the only one scrambling to come up with funds to be in the same place as my soulmate. In fact, there were several pages worth of couples that were reaching out for help. Even if a couple is married, it still costs around $1000 dollars for someone to obtain a green card. In fact, you have to be married two years before they even consider your spouse to be a permanent resident. Anything below two years is only counted as temporary, which means you have to reapply to keep your green card. There is a fiancé visa, but the wedding has to take place within 90 days of their arrival to the states. If you are not married within those 90 days, your partner will be deported with little option to ever return.
Not only is international love costly, but it requires months of paperwork and anxious anticipation about the ruling of your relationship. Suddenly the law is more involved in your love life because your heart desires to be in the same country as your loved one. Granted, it was a reality that Fern and I were aware of, we just did not know the financial detriment that may keep us apart. To obtain a partner visa for New Zealand it costs $1950 NZD, which equates to around $1400 USD. A partner visa establishes permanent residency for me, and the ability to study and work within the country indefinitely. If push comes to shove, I can apply for a tourist visa while the paperwork is being decided upon by the New Zealand Government. It will buy us some time, but not the ability to travel back and forth to our two countries with ease.
In reality, it will be a few years from now before all legalities are settled for us to be able to travel together from our respective countries. But that is our sacrifice. What we have is precious and rare, and I by no means take that for granted. I know that our hearts will always be torn one way or the other, because one of us will always be away from our original country. Our love is beyond borders, beyond law, and we work hard to be in the same corner of the world.
Which brings me to humbly ask for help. A partner visa is costly, and so is the means to travel. We are not simply a drive away, but will soon be an ocean away as the end of April will be the time Tom’s visa requires him to return to his homeland. So we are asking for a little help in establishing our life together. It is hard for me to even ask for help, but with the encouragement of those who love us, I created a Go Fund Me account. Even if you cannot financially support us, we could use all the love and encouragement during this shift in our life. We have lived a lovely year together, and are working hard so that we may be in the same place. Beyond the hardship of surgery and financial setback this year, we humbly walk forward into a future together. Join our story by donating to the beginning of our lives together, or simply send love our way.
To donate, follow this link:
To send love, comment or send us a message. We thank you for your time, your support, and your love during this transition phase of our lives. Once we are established, we have all the intention and drive to pay it forward in the future. We know how precious and short this life is, which is why we hope to step into the future with hands ready to heal the earth with our love. Many blessings and love to you as this new year begins.
Love and Light,
Bethany and Tom (aka Petal and Fern)