Living together without marrying
A Canadian-American couple were devastated to discover that Canada won't recognize their marriage, performed with only the groom present at the wedding while the bride participated via FaceTime. The couple had hoped that by getting married, they could reunite in Canada, which allows American spouses to enter the country.
She and Maksymiuk, 32, were legally married on July 6 and have a valid marriage licence from the state of Kansas. The catch is that only Maksymiuk was physically present at the official wedding ceremony in Kansas City, Kan.
Pickrell later participated via FaceTime in an informal ceremony for the couple, held at a chapel in neighbouring Kansas City, Mo. Kansas City straddles the two states. Canada, however, is not on board.
Maksymiuk said he discovered this when he tried to enter the country and explained the details of his proxy marriage when questioned by a border officer. I broke down.
Maksymiuk lives in Royal Oak, Mich. Despite the short distance, the couple remain apart.
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On top of that, the U. Canadians can still fly to the U. Canada recently loosened its travel restrictions to allow immediate family to enter, including spouses and common-law partners. Committed couples who don't meet the criteria have scrambled for solutions, including marriage — if they can get to the same location.
Pickrell and Maksymiuk searched for a possible alternative and discovered a little known fact: Couples can legally marry in Kansas in a proxy ceremony. The two decided to give it a shot.
Henry Chang, a business immigration lawyer in Toronto, said Kansas wound up legalizing proxy marriages by neglecting to spell out in the law who must attend the wedding. To seal the deal, Maksymiuk flew to the state of Kansas, where he obtained a marriage licence and attended a proxy ceremony in Kansas City, Kan.
Your Magical Day then held an informal ceremony for the couple at a nearby chapel in Kansas City, Mo. Pickrell appeared via FaceTime on an iPad.
At the time, she was at her job as a kitchen supervisor at a restaurant just outside Windsor. Her boss and co-workers ed her for the ceremony while her family tuned in from Montreal. But things fell apart five days later at the Detroit-Windsor border when Maksymiuk tried to enter Canada and was denied entry.
Maksymiuk said the government's position is frustrating, as he and Pickrell have been in a committed relationship for almost five years. Chang, the Toronto lawyer, said Maksymiuk would likely be allowed to enter Canada if he and Pickrell redo their wedding ceremony in the U. Because that's currently not an option, the couple hopes the federal government will broaden its immediate family exemptions to allow more couples to reunite. Ever since the government introduced its immediate family exemptions in June, it has faced pressure from separated families and couples who don't meet the criteria.
The Public Health Agency of Canada told CBC News last week that it's reviewing its definition of immediate family while still keeping in mind the risks posed by international travel during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Pickrell and Maksymiuk say they have no regrets about their proxy marriage, which allowed them to celebrate their love — albeit remotely.
No one can tell me different. Sophia Harris covers business and consumer news.
Contact: sophia. Social Sharing. Canadian-American couple reunited after compiling binder proving common-law status Canada-U. Sophia Harris Business reporter.