The long road home from Brazil

By Michael Boriero – Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Suzanne Cordeau-Andrews and Gabriel Andreatto are in the middle of planning a small, intimate wedding in Magog, but there was a time not too long ago when it all seemed like a long shot.
The couple, which lived together in São Paulo, Brazil for the last six years, told The Record about their long, frustrating and complicated journey back to Canada at the end of July.
“Everyone just kept referring us to the official Canadian immigration website but it’s really not clear,” said Cordeau-Andrews. “They say ‘these are documents you need to present’, but you won’t necessarily be let into the country.”
Being a Canadian citizen, she had a fairly easy time moving back to her native country. But her partner had a much harder time. Andreatto, a native of Brazil, spent several weeks leading up to departure accumulating documents and translating them into English.
However, there was never any guarantee he’d be able to get into Canada. According to Andreatto, the whole process was a convoluted mess and he rarely got a straight answer from Brazilian and Canadian officials.
“No one gave me any reassurance before I got on the plane,” he said. “People would say you would only know if you’re allowed in Canada once you land in Canada.”
On top of that, there were no direct flights from Brazil to Canada. The couple needed to circumvent a travel ban by flying over the Atlantic to Europe and then back over the ocean to Canada. Cordeau-Andrews said she spent roughly 30 hours on a plane.
The whole experience was eye-opening for Andreatto, and Cordeau-Andrews. “It opened my eyes because I think as Canadians we don’t realize how lucky we are with the passport we have and then to think about my partner, just because he has a Brazilian passport, it’s so much more complicated for him,” she said.
The soon-to-be-married couple is away from all the chaos now, though, as they patiently wait to say their vows. They quarantined as soon as they hit Canadian soil, renting a trailer and parking it in the backyard of Cordeau-Andrew’s childhood home.
The couple has been engaged for roughly a year, but with the pandemic they postponed their original wedding plans. It was while in quarantine that they decided it would be smart to get their marriage out the way.
“When we got here in Magog, we realized our neighbour is a notary, so we figured why not get married because that might simplify things in the future,” she said.
Andreatto said he is just relieved the debacle to leave Brazil and get into Canada is over. Wedding planning occupies most of his time now. They converted Cordeau-Andrew’s parents’ backyard into a venue. His Brazilian family will tune in via Zoom.
“I think it’s all pretty exciting, we bought stuff to decorate the pavilion, and we hired a harpist, too,” Andreatto said adding that his future mother-in-law pushed for the music.
The newlywed couple will head off to Sweden for work in the coming months for work.

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