Topic: Entertainment

Immigration "red tape" dampening JGeeks wedding

By Aroha Treacher

In just a few days, JGeeks star, Marino Taiatini will marry his one true love Jessica Canalin who lives in Hawai'i.  However, once they're pronounced man and wife, they may have to spend up to a year apart in different countries because of immigration "red tape."

The couple have had a long distance relationship over several thousand miles, with countless phone calls and skype sessions and multiple flights back and forth.

"We're stronger but it's quite easy to breakdown, you just have to have full faith in your relationship no matter what," says Taiatini.

He's part of the metro Māori entertainment group JGeeks that shot to fame after appearing on the NZ's Got Talent in 2012, and have since toured around the world.

Canalin, a Phillipine native living half way across the world in Hawai'i, met her future husband at Honolulu Airport while he was on tour in Hawai'i last year.

"Ever since we met instantly it was a connection and I remember telling my cousin after our first official date, I'm going to marry this boy," explains Canalin.

Because Taiatini is not an American citizen, they can't get married in Hawai'i, and immigration policy means after their wedding they can't stay together, despite getting married in the Cook Islands.

"That is going to be the hardest part, is when we're married and then having to leave each other, okay see you, bye.  See you in a year," says Canalin.

But through all the stress the immigration process has put on them, they're staying positive, and when the dust settles they will begin their new life together in Hawai'i.