We got one step closer to that dream when she was able to move up north to Wisconsin in 2018, making the flights to see each other so much shorter and easier. Then, over the first 6 months of 2020, I was able to work remotely and live in the states with her for the first time spanning longer than just a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, time ran out for my visitor's visa, and we had to part ways again, but this experience was what truly cemented our love, proving that we were compatible as life partners. Shortly afterwards, we officially got engaged and have been excited about our joined future day after day looking forward to making that dream of living together permanently come true.
As things have panned out, Covid-19 travel restrictions have gotten more strict and we have struggled to even be able to visit each other. The land border is still closed to all non-essential travel, requiring anyone entering the country to travel by plane. Typically, only Canadians are allowed to enter the country as of this time with certain exceptions, including selective long distance partners counting as extended family members. Annie needs to be pre-approved to enter the country through an application for authorization and statutory declaration under the Covid-19 Quarantine Act. We are in the process of going through this documentation, however it relies on having a passport number for Annie, which is still processing due to name change complications.
As of January 29th, 2020, Justin Trudeau released a new initiative to contain the spread of Covid-19 and to discourage Canadians for leaving the country and returning for non-essential reasons [video below]. Any flights returning to Canada must now stop at the 4 major airports in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. The closest location to Winnipeg, which is still 15 hours away, is Calgary. Once arriving at the airport, any incoming passengers must take a Covid test and quarantine in an approved hotel for up to 3 days while the results process. Trudeau disclosed this could cost 'over 2,000 dollars, at the expense of the [passenger].' If a negative test is received, you are still required to quarantine for 2 weeks at a pre-planned location, and must go directly to that location from the hotel. If the test is positive, the only information that we have is that you will stay at a pre-approved government facility for two weeks. Currently, we don't know what costs or details are associated with that.
Right now we have to:
— One-way flight to Calgary: $150+
— Look into accommodations to quarantine in Calgary (closest of the 4 available airports) for the rapid-test wait time in addition to the 14-day mandatory quarantine: $500–$800
— Gas & travel between Calgary and Winnipeg: $200
— Get our sweet kitty, Slurpee, over the border safely (to be determined, prices vary drastically)
— Have a 60 minute consultation session with an immigration lawyer to help with the process: $200
— Documentation costs & fees: $250+
And that's all in addition to the $2000~ cost that PM Trudeau had mentioned for international arrivals. We have a functional savings of a couple thousand dollars, however because Annie won't be immediately able to physically work, we have to prepare for up to several months in which we will need to draw on that savings to live comfortably. The good news about everything is that we only need to do this once, and never again will we be long distance after almost a decade! If there's /any/ time for us to ask for help, it's with this. We would appreciate absolutely anything and everything, even if that's just a share to boost our situation.
Thank you so much from the bottom of both our hearts for reading and considering!
- Linda Mak
- Sheri-Lynn Sumaling
- Margaret Leach
- Casey Letendre
- Dana Sheppard
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