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
Kae Yunn and Jérémy
Malaysia to France
Doha, Qatar; Madrid, Spain
Here's my process from Penang, Malaysia to Toulouse, France on 5th & 6th December as an unmarried partner of French national:
1. Two days prior departure I did my RT-PCR test in a clinic in Penang (requirements from France side for the covid test result to be presented at border), then I apply for the cross-state permit from the nearest police station (CMCO, conditional movement control order, still in place at this point in time, need to obtain approval to cross state) - remember to prepare two sets of documents for the permit, the police station will keep one.
2. I took a flight with MAS on 5th afternoon from Penang international airport to KLIA (the only available flight that day to KL), the airport is basically like a ghost town with barely any shops open, similar when I arrived in KLIA in the afternoon, most shops are not open and I have to wait around 10 hours to my next flight with Qatar at 2.35am, so I got my dinner at 7/11 instead, it's kind of sad to see once a busy transit hub to become so deserted somehow.
3. I did web check in, there will be a Qatar crew standing before the line at the baggage drop area to check the document. I have printed:
- MTP approval to exit Malaysia to France
- Laissez Passer (both French & English translated version)
- IATA travel advisory indicated the travel exemptions
- Email replied from Spain Embassy in Malaysia stating that I have the right document to transit in Spain
- My partner's passport
The Qatar crew asked a few questions on reason of visiting, I mentioned to visit my partner and travel under exemptions of unmarried partner of French national, then show her the documents that I have.
4. Similar process at the check-in counter the crew asked the same question and I have presented the documents, they took some photos and asked if I have filled in the Spanish Health form declaration online to obtain a QR code, the lady told me it is required even for transit passenger, I didn't have that information prior so I just did it on the spot and received the QR code via email, they then let me to check in the luggage (they were slightly overweight at 32kg, but Qatar didn't charge the extra baggage, also they didn't weigh my carry on backpack on flight). The crew has been very helpful during the process.
5. Not much questions asked at KLIA immigration counter, I only showed the MTP approval, and mentioned reason of visiting France, then the officer stamped exit stamp on the passport and I am all good to go.
6. Flight from KL - Doha, the flight is not full, although I didn't have full row to myself, the seat beside me was empty, and the journey has been quite comfortable. Doha airport is quite busy and I can at least feel a sense of normalcy inside an airport despite everyone in mask. My next flight is from Doha-Madrid with no issue to board the flight.
7. Upon reaching in Madrid, I need to pass-by the border control first before I can take my next flight to Toulouse, France. This is a code share flight with Iberia. At the border control, I presented my Laissez-Passer (underneath there have small wording in Spanish-mentioning that this is an exceptional authorization for the person to present at French border). I also showed the email with Spain Embassy stating that I'm allowed to transit in Spain. The process is smooth and the officer let me through in less than 5 minutes. No one check the health form QR code that I have obtained so far, I took the underground train to change from Terminal 4S to Terminal 4 which took about 5 minutes with no stops in between.
8. Boarded my last flight with Iberia and arrived in Toulouse Blagnac airport. While at the immigration counter, after presented my documents, he asked if I have my covid test done I answered yes, then the officer called the border police. I follow the border police to a room and they asked a few question, they are quite friendly nevertheless. After I mentioned I have my return ticket bought and showed to them, they are quite happy about it. One officer flipped through the documents compilation and another one flipped through my passports and keep nodding his head ( think all the travel stamps to different countries helped and also with my partner's passport copy included in document), they also asked if I have sufficient fund and credit card which I answered yes where they didn't ask to look at my card/bank account. Similar to all other border control I've went through, the officer said he's ok with it and send me out for entry 🙂
After more than 24 hours of travelling and transiting, I am glad that at least things went smoothly. Hopefully this sharing will help anyone that planning to make the trip soon :) And definitely hope everyone can reunite with their love ones soon!