If you’re a British or American passport holder, you probably (and justifiably) feel somewhat aggrieved by the extortionate cost of visas when you visit other countries. I certainly do.
For example, a Chinese tourist visa costs £30 if you’re British, £90 if you’re American, and £20 if you’re pretty much from anywhere else in the world. The cheapest Indian tourist visa available costs between £12.20 and £42.20 depending upon where you’re from, unless of course you happen to be British or American. Americans can expect to pay £57.20 while UK nationals have to fork out a much bigger £92.20.
Why are visas so expensive for UK and American passport holders?
Presumably it is something to do with reciprocal arrangements. Something along the lines of ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your’s. Unfortunately both the US (particularly) and the UK have strict, often expensive immigration laws. An Indian, for example, can expect to pay around £80 for a tourist visa to the UK and will have to jump through hoops to obtain it. It took me a while to even find that information among the wealth of hoops on the UK visa page. To me, this just isn’t fair.
In 2001, there were 60,711 Polish-born individuals living in the UK. After the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, there are now 579,000 Polish-born individuals living in the UK. This number increases to 850,000 if you consider ethnic Poles who hold British passports. I think this is brilliant. This represents free movement and an ability not only to travel where you want, but also to live where you want. As we strive for freedom in the world, it can only be achieved when we take down our borders and allow free movement across the world. I like to travel, so I am biased. I do not like to hand over much of the little money I carry each time I cross into a new country.
I am not alone in my desire to explore the world. I recently talked of why Americans don’t travel abroad, but this is changing. In the future, I hope for it to be easier for everyone.
Could the world work without borders?
One day, yes, I believe so. Or I hope that it will. The EU is the perfect example of free movement. There are many financial problems, but in general, cultures are integrating with one another. There are countries that will take longer than others to open, but as time progress, in general, we are becoming more open to one another. Could you ever imagine the US border being opened to Mexicans?
Ronald Reagan once said, “A nation without borders is not a nation.”
I feel that this view is outdated. Our birthright should not entitle us to rights over others. In the meantime, I guess that I’ll have to put up with my expensive visa fees and just have to get on with what I do. Why? I really don’t know.
Migration of humans has occurred since the beginning of our species. We can only fight it for so long.