A young Quebecer who has found a soul mate abroad had to get married to return to the country with her lover because of the increase in restrictions caused by the pandemic.
• Read also: COVID-19: An Airlift for Snowbirds Going to Florida
In August 2019, Naomi Poirier went to Spain for a student exchange for her studies. It was then that she met her partner, Lukas Tackenberg, while visiting a friend in Germany.
For several months, they dated at a distance and had to travel thousands of kilometers to find each other for a few days. This is why the onset of the pandemic, unlike most people, has brought the couple closer together.
“In March, with the confinement coming, I had to take my courses remotely. There is nothing more holding me back in Spain. So I decided to go to Heidelberg in Germany, so that we could be together during the crisis, ”explains the student from Saguenay.
But after several months of isolation, the desire to come back to his family was felt. While there is no problem with her coming back to the country, COVID-19 is making things difficult for her German spouse.
As Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada states, “most foreign nationals cannot come to Canada, even if they have a visa or travel authorization”, currently.
There are a few exceptions, but even if they applied, processing times would have been much longer than usual due to the health crisis. And the situation is not unique to Canada.
“I alerted the authorities here to tell them that I wanted to stay in Germany when my visa expired in June. No one answered my calls or emails, ”says Ms. Poirier, who has still not been able to renew her visa.
Rings and plexiglass
Thus, the simplest option for the couple to cross the Canadian border was for Mr. Tackenberg to become an “immediate family member of a Canadian citizen”.
It is therefore in the company of five guests that the couple passed the ring on their finger during a reception “very simple”, where plexiglass, mask and social distancing were in the spotlight. “In the end, we did it for love and we probably would have done it in the years to come, but the crisis precipitated things,” explains the young woman.
Officially husband and wife, the two lovers will return to the country on December 16.