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VALENTINE'S STORY: Engaged couple forced to cancel wedding & live in separate countries

Posted at 6:36 AM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-14 06:36:52-05

MICHIGAN — Reminiscent of a rom-com, Hannah Veldman from Canada and Devin Eekhoff from West Michigan encompass your classic love story.

Veldman tells us the two met at Dordt University in Iowa; "Basically, he saw me around campus and wanted to get to know me, but was kind of too shy to talk to me."
"So he had a friend introduced us and then we started talking, and it was history ever since."

The pair dated for five years, then got engaged after college.

The wedding date was set for July 11th, 2020.

So we asked Veldman what they call each other now, months later in 2021.

She says"We say to each other that we're husband and wife, but when we are talking to a third party we have to be 'fiance's.'"

That's right. Turns out, as all good love stories do, this love story has a twist.

"So we are not legally married," explains Eekhoff.
"We got married with a pastor in a church because we are religious and wanted to make sure we did that. However, because of our K-1 Fiance Visa, we can't be legally married until she gets the approval from Canada."

Due to the pandemic and borders being closed, Veldman and Eekhoff were never able to get married in 2020.

Today they are still not legally married, and they are still forced to live in different countries, four plane rides apart.

"We just want to be together," says Veldman.
"And that couldn't happen," echos Eekhoff.

The couple's K-1 Fiance Visa has reached approval from the United States, but they are still waiting for approval from Canada.

Eekhoff tells us, "It's been a long process."
"Before covid-19 our lawyer said someone had this done in five to six months... we've been doing it for a year now."

Veldman adds; "Unfortunately, I'm kind of just stuck here until we hear about our visa. We don't know if we'll hear in a week, a month, or three months."

So this Valentine's Day, Hannah from Canada, and Devin living in Iowa's love story continues.

Temporarily separated by some 2,000 miles, these two say say they'll make it work.

"It's not about how you feel, it's about how you can best support your significant other," says Eekhoff.

They hope you'll take their love story as encouragement to appreciate the little, everyday moments you have with your loved ones in person this year.

"People say it's a make it or break it thing, and it really is," reflects Veldman.
"Because if you are so in love with this person, it doesn't matter if you're in different countries, it doesn't matter where you are, you're going to make it work."

Hannah and Devin say they do hope to have another wedding celebration in Canada when their K-1 Fiance Visa finally received approval.