Can I get married in France and stay without returning to home country?

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Can I get married in France and stay without returning to home country?


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Old 25th March 2011, 01:05 PM
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Question Can I get married in France and stay without returning to home country?

I'm an American/Canadian citizen living and working in France. I am here for a year on a Working Holiday visa. I am thinking about getting married to my French girlfriend in order to keep living and working here after my current visa expires. I've read about marriage and visa requirements, by most of the info I have found is all about the spouse of a French citizen applying from their home country. I plan to get married here in France while my current visa is still good. So my question is...

If I get married in France before my current visa expires, will I still have to go back to the US and re-apply, or will I be able to stay in France and convert my visa into a "Carte de séjour" without leaving?

Thanks for any help you can give me!

Jeremy

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Old 25th March 2011, 02:01 PM
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The official word (in French) is here: Visas de long séjour - Service-public.fr

The short and dirty translation is that if you get married in France you can apply at the local préfecture for a spouse visa if:

- you entered France legally (i.e. with a proper visa)
- you married a French national in France
- you have been living with this person for at least 6 months in France (regardless of when the marriage took place)

They also say that if you already have a "titre de séjour" (by which I think they mean a long-stay visa, but I'm not sure of that), you can just apply for a change of status when that is up for renewal. Not sure how the working holiday visa applies, as it's not normally renewable.

Of course, this IS still France and each préfecture seems to have their own interpretation of the rules. You might want to ask at your local préfecture to see what their take on the rules is.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 30th March 2011, 03:52 PM
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None of my Australian or Canadian friends here on Working Holiday visas have been able to change/renew them to something else. It will entirely depend on your préfecture, but I wouldn't count on it. You'll most likely need to go back to the US and get the spouse visa.

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