Student Visa - Should I mention the Boyfriend?

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Student Visa - Should I mention the Boyfriend?


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Old 26th March 2020, 10:23 AM
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Exclamation Student Visa - Should I mention the Boyfriend?

I'm getting conflicting information on whether or not to highlight my connection with my currently-in-France and French citizen boyfriend of one year when applying for a 1-year Student Visa.

I already have a bachelor's degree and 8 years work experience as an architect. I am hoping to study French for 1 year (I found an accredited, 20 hour program that meets the visa requirements) in order to develop my language skills enough to be able to join the workforce in my field and permanently immigrate to France. My boyfriend will be housing me during this time and providing partial financial support (I have 75% of the required money saved for individual applicants and will have 100% upon my actual moving). We are planning on getting PACS'd upon my arrival and applying for the Visa Vie Privée et Familiale after my one year of studies. I would prefer to not get married just for a visa.

My questions are: are plans to return to my home country (USA) important to show in order to be granted a student visa? Conversely, will my visa be denied if I make it clear that my intention is to permanently immigrate and or moving for love?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 26th March 2020, 11:16 AM
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It's hard to say what the situation is currently (or what it will be once we get through this lockdown stuff), but it always has been a little risky to mention joining a "significant other" when applying for a student visa like that. The usual concern (before visa processing was handed off to the VFS people) was that you were only going for an "easy" student visa in order to settle in France so technically you're lying to the immigration people.

I would also be careful about assuming that you can get PACS'd easily before your student visa comes up for renewal (i.e. when you would have to request a change in status like that). I've lost track of the details, but it used to be that you had to prove 6 to 12 months of cohabitation before you could get PACS'd. That may have changed, and it's also one of those things that varies from one prefecture to another. In any event, it's also worth reflecting on your willingness to get PACS'd "just for a visa" while saying you wouldn't want to get married "just for a visa." The differences between the two are mostly just paperwork related.

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My questions are: are plans to return to my home country (USA) important to show in order to be granted a student visa? Conversely, will my visa be denied if I make it clear that my intention is to permanently immigrate and or moving for love?
As far as plans to return home - maybe, maybe not. You probably need to be able to explain what your plans are at the end of your studies. What will the certificate or diploma do for you career wise? There are some provisions for staying on if you find a job at the end of your studies that is related to your study program - but will the program you're pursuing be something that would qualify you for a job here in France? Or would it qualify you for a new (or better) job back in the US? Just be prepared to answer questions like that.

There is a very good chance of being denied a visa if it is evident that your "real" purpose in coming to France is not what your visa is for.

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Old 26th March 2020, 12:17 PM
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Thank you Bevdeforges for your quick reply! Would you recommend I note him as a French friend instead for my student application? I'm sure they're going to ask why this person is willing to house and sponsor me so I have to show some sort of connection.

I really do want to study. I'm hoping me taking three years of highschool french class, and visiting twice in the past year will establish a history of interest in the country. I'm currently living in South Korea designing local offices for european businesses so I've also shown a desire in building an international career. Knowing french isn't a required skill but being bilingual is always a good thing.

Do you think a more convincing and also truthful reason would be something like: I want to develop language skills and see if there's a future for me in France.

PACS can apparently be done without living together for a certain period of time and even between roommates. I'm definitely seeing it as a commitment but legally less binding/easier to dissolve if the relationship doesn't work out.

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Old 26th March 2020, 01:10 PM
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You can certainly list your boyfriend's place as the location where you have arranged lodging. You can also describe him as a family friend. But, as Bev noted, I wouldn't go further than that.

However, as Bev alluded, at this time France is not processing any visa requests. (Click for a larger image)
That announcement is available from the France-Visas web site.

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Old 26th March 2020, 01:26 PM
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Ultimately you'll have to get an affidavit from your "friend" (however defined) to show that he is offering to let you live with him, and possibly to define the terms under which you'll live there (e.g. paying rent? contributing to expenses? or will he cover your living expenses?). This is usually where things can get tricky.

But as berkinet has pointed out, they aren't taking visa applications at the moment. And some terms and conditions are likely to change when these things get started up again. Best thing to do is to stay tuned (hey, hang out with us!) and see what develops.

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