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US EXCLUSIVE. Binational couples separated by the Covid will be able to meet

22:50  08 august  2020
22:50  08 august  2020 Source:   lejdd.fr

Binational couples separated by Covid-19 are desperately waiting to reunite

 Binational couples separated by Covid-19 are desperately waiting to reunite © Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP Two travelers meet and hug each other at Fiumicino airport in Rome on June 3, 2020 (illustrative image) . While the European Union reopened its borders to some fifteen non-European countries on July 1, it remains closed, among others, to the Americans and the Russians. For unmarried couples living between two countries, the wait continues. Hundreds of them have been forced to live apart for months for lack of status recognized by French law.

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, le secrétaire d'Etat au Tourisme, annonce au JDD la mise en place d'une procédure dérogatoire pour permettre les retrouvailles. © AFP

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, the Secretary of State for Tourism, announces to the JDD the establishment of a derogatory procedure to allow the reunion.

On Facebook or Twitter, they show their love as much as their despair. Canadians, Americans, Chileans, Moroccans ... For several months, these binational couples, unmarried, not in civil partnership, sometimes just engaged, have been living apart due to the closure of borders due to the Covid-19 epidemic . They would be more than a thousand thus torn between France and abroad, caught in administrative meanders for lack of being united in good and due form. Many of them have joined together in the collective #LoveIsNotTourism to change the regulations. Because a legal vacuum prevents them from continuing their story.

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The government will fill it this week. "This virus does not like love. We do", proclaims Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State in charge of the file, who announces to the JDD: "After having discussed with the collective #LoveIsNotTourism, we will open a derogatory procedure The spouses must present themselves at the consulate with documents attesting to joint activities, their identity documents, proof of residence in France for the French spouse, a return transport ticket… These exemptions, which will be validated by the Interministerial Crisis Commission, will result in the issuance of a laissez-passer when necessary. Thus, these couples will finally be able to reunite. Because their separation has lasted too long. "

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The appeal of the European Commission

To obtain a special authorization to come to France, it will therefore be necessary to prove a lasting sentimental relationship. This can involve a rental lease contract, bills or a joint bank account, the stamps affixed to the passports establishing regular visits and not just virtual exchanges ... Behind these documents to be provided, the hope of once again tightening the other in his arms. "Most are nervously exhausted, they have gone through confinement alone, with no prospect of the future and in sometimes precarious situations", describes Jean-Baptiste Soufron, the lawyer who represents the collective.

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Faced with such distress, several states, such as Germany and the Netherlands, have decided to liberalize the allocation of short-stay visas. In France, the mobilization has recently gained momentum with the multiplication of refusals of residence permits and the arrest of several deputies of the majority on the Kafkaesque situation experienced by these lovers. On Friday evening, the European Commission called on all EU member states to allow the entry into their territory of unmarried partners of European citizens and residents, regretting that "only a minority" allows it.

'Love is not tourism': hope for couples kept apart by virus .
Are the long months of lonesome waiting finally over? They last saw each other several months ago. "At some point this will all come to an end. We know that much, but no one knows when, or how much harm it will have done," the 50-year-old engineer told AFP, saying they have considered changing jobs, taking up studies again or even getting married in order to reunite.

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