Recent development on Indonesian immigration law enforced towards foreign spouses got me thinking, about a place to call home.
After having lived in Iceland for more than 2.5 years, undoubtedly I consider the country as my home (well, my second home after Jakarta, Indonesia). One of the many considerations on why my husband and I decided to live here was, “it makes more sense to do so.”
Immigration laws in Iceland is more lenient towards the spouses of Icelanders compared to Indonesian’s. I was granted temporary residency once I arrived in the country, which needs to be renewed every year for the first three years of my stay. Afterwards, I can apply for permanent residency which only needs to renewed every five years.
The residential permit allows me to work for full time, and entitles me to full health benefits. If I have any working experiences in Iceland, should I ever get unemployed in the future, I will be entitled to unemployment benefits.
The immigration law in Indonesia is pale beyond comparison with Iceland’s. At least, it was like that, until now. The new regulations passed by the Indonesian House of Representatives show how the immigration laws are constantly being reviewed and developed in order to cater the needs of Indonesian people and its residents. Though it’s still a long way for Indonesia to be able to come to the same point as Iceland, but at least now there is hope towards that direction.
I have never really given a good thought about where I would like to live the rest of my life. Because I always think it’s still way to early to pick a place to grow old in. But as our little family is getting another member, I can’t help but thinking where do I want to raise our child.
Despite being madly in love with Iceland, there is always a part of me that wants to share bits of my childhood and my first home to our children. I want them to know and experience the amazing place where I grew up, the beautiful people, the rich culture, the unbearable hot and humid weather, and all those lovely memories that cannot be obtained just by few holiday trips every year to Indonesia.
But on the other hand, raising a child in Iceland is so appealing, where it’s so safe that parents would normally leave their babies in their stroller outside shops or coffee-houses while they’re running their errands, where I could leave my car unlocked while parked anywhere, where I don’t fear for my life when walking or driving in the middle of the night (I mean, ever heard of Kapak Merah in Jakarta? /shudder).
There are only few weeks to go until the new little member of our family comes into our life, and I still have no idea where I want to raise our child.