How can I reunite with my partner?
Here are successful stories from couples separated by travel bans
These stories are individual experiences, not official guidelines
Chloe and Benj
Malaysia to United Kingdom
In 2019, fate brought us together when our paths crossed while we were both travelling on the same flight - I was on my way from Malaysia to Bangkok and he was on the same flight for transit returning to the UK from his motherland, Hong Kong. He happened to be the passenger seated right next to me on that very flight.
Fate decided to then puts us to test when we were separated for over a year due to the pandemic. Malaysia declared a lockdown on March 18, 2020 and the country's borders have been closed since then. A long distance relationship (LDR) isn't easy at all, all the more so during this pandemic period where most LDR couples are separated for a prolonged and unknown period, not knowing when they could be united again. We were separated across 7000 miles and it took me 13 attempts and more than 6 months to apply for My Travel Pass (MTP) from the Malaysia Immigration to exit the country.
My MTP was applied and granted on the grounds that my partner and I are planning to settle down in the United Kingdom for good. We provided documents for proof of our relationship (from our photos to call logs and even FB status), documents to prove our intention to settle down in the UK including letters from my employer for transfer of my employment to the London branch, invitation letter from my partner to me addressed to the immigration department for him to confirm the status of our relationship, a Statutory Declaration to prove our relationship, and documents to show that the government of the United Kingdom allows my entry and stay in the country.
I travelled with Qatar Airways and took a transit in Doha, Qatar. It was overall a pleasant journey with Qatar Airways and they do have strict compliance with the SOPs set for the aviation industry during this pandemic time so I had indeed travelled with much peace of mind throughout the whole journey.
It was perhaps the most challenging journey I have ever taken in my entire life, but one that is worth every mile when we could finally be united at long last in the United Kingdom on 19th December, 2020, after 461 days of separation!
To all those couples out there who are waiting for your reunion, don't give up! I know it is not easy, I had been there myself, but know that perseverance pays off! With patience, good will and lots of faith, we will all get there eventually. Best wishes to all of you!