When news of Japan’s entry ban on new visitors first began trickling out Monday, Elin McCready had already weathered much of the worst.

After the relaxing of restrictions just three weeks earlier, the 48-year-old professor of linguistics and philosophy at Tokyo’s Aoyama Gakuin University quickly began the process of helping her partner make the journey from Sweden to Japan.

In those three weeks, she gathered much of the needed paperwork, helped find a company to sponsor his visa and navigated a bureaucratic maze while preparing to submit the documents.