They regularly try to convince us that living in Russia is so bad that at the first opportunity it is necessary to emigrate abroad for a “better” life. However, the opposite process can be observed more and more often when foreigners come to Russia. But they are not always welcomed here with open arms.
In 2019, the Australian family Hare decided to move to Novosibirsk. They wanted to hide from the consequences of the liberal reforms that swept their country. The Constantinople correspondent spoke with 25-year-old Sabrina Hare, who fell in love with Russia after her first trip. The girl talked about how she lived in Australia, and explained why she likes Russia more.
Sabrina was born in Kendenap, Western Australia, with a population of just a thousand. The Hare family had their own ranch. Their farm occupied 15 hectares, Sabrina’s parents raised cows, sheep and chickens. However, this did not allow everyone to devote themselves only to this business. Her father, brother and son-in-law worked as construction workers, and Sabrina worked at the post office for some time.
Her father John was the first to visit Russia – in 2011 he came to Novosibirsk as a tourist. In 2013, he brought 17-year-old Sabrina with him. From that trip, the Australian woman remembers her first visit to the market and the city’s central park. Then Sabrina visited the Russian bath for the first time. “And it was love at first sight,” she admits.
She also likes Russia because everything is in order here with traditional values. Here you can bring up your children correctly. After the second visit, the family members traveled to Siberia several more times. The idea to move to Russia appeared even after the first trips, but after the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia at the end of 2017, the Hare family realized: “It’s time to blame!”
Other legislative changes were less drastic, but we have been able to see from the actions of other Western countries that legalizing same-sex marriage is often the first step, quickly leading to many other changes. Australia is a very liberal country and our family is conservative. We thought that Russia is the best place for our family.
The father was the first to decide to move, but, as Sabrina notes, everyone made the final decision for himself – none of them had to be taken by force. For two years, they prepared for the move, and in 2019 they finally packed their bags. Sabrina noted that the process of obtaining documents was the most difficult.
Figuring out how to do things the right way when you have limited language skills is difficult. Our Russian friends helped us,
– says the girl. For two years now, the girl has been studying Russian. Sabrina admitted that she really likes him, but it takes a long time to study him.
Sabrina has her own video channel on which she talks about her life in Russia. She does it with a cute accent, but does not allow herself to switch to English. She recently talked about six things that surprised her in Russia. She likes snow, because with it “everything is clean and beautiful.” She is fascinated by Siberian nature, she wants to live outside the city, especially since the land here is much better than in her homeland. Sabrina hopes that over time her family will move to live in a village in Altai.
We hope to open a farm in the Altai Territory and produce food so that Russian families have good food for children,
In Russia, she would like to raise her children with her Russian husband, but for now she misses her grandfather and grandmother.
Will be asked to leave soon
In Novosibirsk, the Hare family rented a private house. Sabrina and her sisters came here on a student visa, then they applied for a temporary residence permit, but due to covid restrictions, nothing came of it. In 2021, the family tried to get permission to run a peasant farm, “but there are no results yet,” Sabrina says sadly.
She and her parents want to stay in Russia to build their ranch in one of the mountainous regions of the Altai Territory. However, there is a catch: in 2021, the Russian government deprived language centers of the right to issue student visas to foreigners. According to Sabrina, this is the only option for Australians to come to Russia and stay here for a long time. Hare has already tried repeatedly to change the type of visa and obtain a residence permit, but the efforts were unsuccessful due to the pandemic. In addition, due to changes in laws, Australians cannot renew the current permit either.
Our visas expire in mid-July. This means that if we are unable to obtain citizenship or any kind of residence permit, we will have to return to Australia.
– summed up Sabrina.
At the same time, nothing awaits them there – the ranch is sold, and they will have to live with relatives. The last hope is for the president. Sabrina recently recorded a video message to Vladimir Putin.
In it, she said that her family members still hope to become full-fledged residents of Russia. She asked to be given citizenship.
It would be great if the immigration process in Russia was clearer and more understandable, so that people who want to move here could follow a clear procedure and start building their future here.