The cost of fleeing the country

Everyone wants to leave the country literally so much that the immigration office is running out of passports. Recently, to deal with the delays in passport processing, the government got access to 100,000 passport booklets.

Unfortunately, that cannot help easing the situation, as those in demand for their passports are more than what the government can supply. This just goes to show how people are intending to leave the country in search of greener pastures. However, with a war in Europe nowadays they say that the greener pastures are no longer green as you might end up a soldier for a cause you have no idea about.

Still this has done little to dissuade ambitious people, bargaining the opportunity cost of staying in Kenya with the recent tax increases, lack of job opportunities and those available exclusively set aside for tribal shareholders.

But what is the cost of fleeing troubles at home? A quick chat with a friend who recently got his green card took me aback when he began to list down the estimated cost needed for your  green card be processed.

First cost on the list is the Diversity Lottery fee $330, followed by the medical fee estimated at $350 – $450. This alone sets you back Kes107,991 at the current exchange rate.

Then there is the USCIS immigration fee $220, the air fare estimated of Kes120,680–Kes243,955. Bringing the total cost to about Kes382,405 just to get to the airport in the country where you need to make-at the minimum Kes1,000 an hour just to survive. All that while not yet considering inflation and miscellaneous costs.

And yet you have not yet considered the emotional cost, the emotional stress one goes through as they are trying to get their immigration documents in order.

Read also: How Kenyans are surviving soaring cost of everything

Monica had gotten a good offer to work abroad which allowed her to bring her family along with her. However, as weeks to her departure got nearer, she got a devastating email from the company which said that her contract had been cancelled.

Can you imagine? After all the effort she had made towards this? Getting her kids psychologically prepared and even withdrawing them from their school and quitting her job? Using all her resources?

She had even sold the piece of land she had inherited from her late parents. Although this happened two years ago, Monica says that it left her scarred and humiliated. At one point she had faced severe ridicule and bullying from her community that she just had to leave and start a fresh.

However, it still puzzles me that regardless the cost of immigration, people are willing to take the leap of faith and try their luck no matter what happens. Whatever happened to patriotism? Did the love and admiration you once had for your country grow cold?

Some may argue that it may be the current situation in this country. Would you be willing to risk it all just to make it out of this country? Further to passport delays, this people are faced with dealing with the troubles that come with visa application especially when they intend to travel to first world countries.

Well, if you thought getting a passport is expensive, think again! It is far more expensive and time consuming to get a visa.

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