What kind of a world have we built where we have to justify, in writing, something as natural as parents visiting their children? That’s exactly what I just had to do so my Turkish parents can get a visa to visit me in Ireland. Here’s the letter of invitation I just wrote.

@aral Fairly standard stuff when it comes to international borders. I'm American but I'd need something like that if I was trying to get a visa in Canada so I could stay there longer than 90 days.

@BalooUriza Given the state of things, “fairly standard stuff” is in no way a synonym for “good.” In fact, “fairly standard stuff” has hardly ever been that. Slavery, at one point, was “fairly standard stuff” (and legal, to boot), as was the subjugation of women, etc. Societies progress when we begin to articulate, rebel against, and eventually alter the unethical and immoral things that are the “fairly standard stuff” of our day.

@aral @BalooUriza Did you seriously just compare the requirement of written communication to SLAVERY?!

Wow, the things people will say in public.

@aral This is a very Soviet Russia style letter. When the nation state controls even mundane events life becomes absurd.

@aral in a similar vein, my wife needs a handwritten letter from me if she wants to go and see her family in Hong Kong with our son, without which the French authorities won't let her leave the country.

Fuck borders, and fuck patriarchy. 😡

@mathieu @aral

There must be some reason for this Security is not a Joke

@aral @mathieu Well world is not a safe place so you need to take some measure to protect your people.

Terrorism, usage of drugs on rise etc everything need to be monitored for the safety.

Nothing to do with patriarchy, I also need a paper from my wife if I want to go abroad with one of our children. I'm from Belgium, but I guess that the rule is similar in France.

@mathieu Wow 😣​
It’s not even to visit you, but to acknowledge that she will be abroad. This is just crazy 😢​
But why the French policemen would have anything to say about that‽ If it were the company that wanted to ensure for WTF reasons that your wife would not be stopped in Hong Kong, I would (partially) understand, but the French police, this is just madness 😢​

@MartinShadok it's in case she steals our child.

Which is not even a frequent thing, it's just the state assuming foreigners are likely to do bad.

If this surprises you, you might want to check into marriage law for the amount of ways the state gets into the personal, and sometimes very intimate, parts of your life.

@mathieu I understand. This is all very frustrating.
Yeah, I do know how VISA and weddings laws can ask for very personal information, unfortunately. But it still amazes me that administrations continue to accept that... 😕

@MartinShadok administrations are the ones who decide what they ask.

Also, I wasn't only talking about the info they ask, but about the fact a marriage is a contract signed between you, your partner AND the state.

And as a party to that contract, the state gets to dictate a lot of things, including what happens in your bedroom.

French marriage law for example states the two spouses must live together and have regular sexual relationships.

@mathieu Non, sérieux ? Je ne trouve pas la condition sur LégiFrance : 😕
Je ne sais pas si j’ai la bonne interprétation de « vivre ensemble », mais il semble qu’il est autorisé de ne pas vivre dans le même domicile :
(On a justement des problèmes de VISA avec mon épouse… ce qui nous oblige au moins temporairement à ne pas être au même endroit. Ça nous embête pas mal, d’ailleurs 😢​)

@MartinShadok c'est dans la définition de "communauté de vie".

J'arrive pas à la trouver sur Légifrance, mais y a l'air d'avoir eu des jurisprudences sur le sujet, et tu trouveras assez facilement plein de ressources qui expliquent l'obligation d'avoir des relations sexuelles comme condition de cette "communauté de vie".

Désolé pour la situation dans laquelle vous êtes, j'espère que ça va s'arranger au plus vite. 🙁

@mathieu Ah oui, je n'avais pas pensé à la jurisprudence. Merci pour les encouragements 😊 On va y arriver, c'est ce qu'on se dit !

@mathieu @aral
She needs permission to _leave_ the country?
The last time I heard about that kind of stuff was before 1989, East Germany and Soviet Russia ... back when we were the Good Guys (TM), because we'd let people cross borders, and the Bad Guys (TM) were the ones building walls and doing paranoid border controls...

@Mr_Teatime only if she tries to leave the country with our child, but without me, yes.

Sooo... French authorities are worried that she might take the child and not come back, or what is going on there?
That is either completely silly, or somebody learned the wrong lesson from some weird fringe case.

... in East Germany, you'd only have had problems if you tried to leave together. If one famy member stayed behind, they figured the others were going to come back...

but either way, it all tastes very wrong to me.


Borders are stupid and we shouldn't have them. Seperating ourselfes so arbitrarily causes nothing but harm and suffering to all people.

@aral Seriously?

Your parents aren't being asked to *justify* visiting their son; they're being asked to *prove* they're visiting their son. And when they've proved it, they get to come and visit.

Seems...pretty reasonable to me. What am I not getting?

@griffinkate @aral If you read the "invitation" it's pretty clear! He's been asked to state the reasons he's inviting his parents to visit him. If it's any consolation Aral: it's probably worse on the other side of the Irish Sea :(

@QuoiQue @aral I can't re-read the letter because he's just blocked me for asking him that question.

But I don't think he was asked to supply a reason for inviting them, just asked to supply an invitation letter as proof of the invitation.

Which seems pretty standard and not very onerous to me? (But what do I know? And I guess I'll never know because he chose to call me ignorant and then block me rather than engage.)

@griffinkate you're missing this thing called not being scared of foreigners and assuming ill intent from them.

I'm sure there's a word for that… 🤔


@mathieu No point tagging your little friend in our convo, he's already blocked me.

What part of issuing visas is about being "scared of foreigners"? Visas are literally about granting people from overseas the right to visit your country!

@mathieu Ireland has literally already granted their son the right to live there. What part of that says "scared of foreigners" to you? REALLY?

@griffinkate how incredibly kind of them to grant a child the "roght" to live…

Borders and visas need to go.

Excellent letter @aral. I might take some inspiration from it for my next invitation letters to my family members.

@aral I already had to do a similar letter for my wife to visit me abroad.

I had the additional bonus that we speak together a language that the VISA people would probably not know. So I had to write such a letter in a language that I would never use with my wife. This is so strange and insane ☹

@MartinShadok @aral

Makes me wonder ... back in the day, when you wanted someone from Russia visit you in Western Germany, there was a form you had to fill out, stating who was visiting whom, for how long and so on, in both languages IIRC. It had the word "invitation" on it, and the visitor had to carry it, but it wasn't pretending to be an informal letter.

Still annoying but a lot less grotesque.

On a completely side note, your signature is creative!

@aral hey, you’ve left Sweden? We might also visit you in Ireland someday, but don’t need a letter - I’ll just ping you if we end up going to Ireland and see if you have time for a coffee or some food or otherwise to hang out. How come your parents need a letter and we don’t? They’ve known you all your life, and we only met a couple times.

@whakkee Please do; you’re always welcome. And I’ll leave the rhetorical question unanswered ;)

I may have to write a similar letter at some point in the future so I will definitely be cribbing sark from this, if you have no objection.

@aral You have my sympathies both for having to write this letter and for the shocking state of your mentions in reply to it.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised to find racist, statist mastonauts. 😦

@aral This is a great letter but aside from that, are your mentions always this much of a shitshow? :yikes:

@annika Oddly, much more so on the fediverse than on Twitter. Maybe because I haven’t blocked enough people on the fediverse yet. I better get on that ;)


I can't believe that you're being attacked for this.

. . . in truth, I can; I just don't want to.

@aral Thanks for sharing this. I have to write a similar letter to invite my grandparents for a visit here in Canada. This letter inspires me to reword my own.

@aral So surely you have done a template (or app) to do all the red tape stuff?

We so need to cut government down to size that it can't dump all this cr*p on us.

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