Questions about U.S. citizen marrying French citizen in U.S., then moving to France

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Questions about U.S. citizen marrying French citizen in U.S., then moving to France


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Old 11th July 2011, 04:55 PM
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Default Questions about U.S. citizen marrying French citizen in U.S., then moving to France

Hello expats:

I'm an American citizen (who lives in the US) engaged to a French citizen (who lives in France) and we're trying to figure out where we want to get married and where we want to live after we get married. I have some questions maybe you can help me with.

If I understand what I've read here on this forum and elsewhere on the internet correctly, if we want to get married in the U.S. and live in France, the process is this:
1. She comes here on the usual tourist visa.
2. We get married and she leaves within three months
3. We take the marriage certificate to the local French consulate and they convert it to the livret de famille. (How long does this usually take by the way? This would be at the Boston consulate.)
4. I use the livret de famille to apply for a long-stay visa in France.
5. Once I get that visa, I can move to France and we start our life together. I need, however, to apply for a Carte de Sejour if I want to stay more than a year and I have to register with OFII during the first three months.

Do I have that right? Any idea how long this would take?

My other question is, would I then have the right to work in France, or is there something else I need to get (besides a job, of course)?

I appreciate the help!

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Old 11th July 2011, 06:03 PM
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Basically your understanding is correct. A couple clarifications:

2. she leaves within 90 days, but best not to push it to the limits. (There are stories about folks who have found out the hard way the difference between 90 days and 3 months.)

3. getting your livret de famille can take up to a couple of months - the sticking points are: getting the "certified marriage certificate" (usually means an apostilled certificate, which can take some time in some states), and in addition to preparing the livret de famille, the fact of the marriage has to be recorded in the French spouse's birth record before they can issue you the livret. Depending on where your French spouse was born, this can take a few days, a few weeks or a couple of months.

5. You get the visa, move to France and go to the OFII to get your visa validated for your first year in France. This includes doing your medical exam and signing a contract of integration and assimilation, which determines how much of the various civics and language classes you need to attend during your first year in France. Then, toward the end of that year, you apply for your carte de séjour.

You have the right to work in France as soon as you arrive, but you may find employers hesitant to talk to you until you have that OFII validation in your passport. Consider, too, that if you have to do the language classes, those will get in the way of your working, so get that sorted asap.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 11th July 2011, 11:17 PM
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Thank Bev! That's very useful info.

I wasn't aware of this language test and the integration contract, so that's good to know. Do you know (or does anyone else know) how hard the language exam is? I'm ok at French, but hardly conversational and I would really appreciate a government-funded language course. Have people found that class helpful?

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Old 12th July 2011, 07:00 AM
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From all accounts, the language test is pretty basic, although lately it seems that you may be "sentenced" to a tour through the language classes (say, 100 hours instead of the full 400 hours) if you're not up to conversational level.

They've been talking for ages about making some sort of standardized test, but as far as I know it's still basically informal - and if you manage to conduct most of your OFII visit in French you'll probably be exempted from the classes altogether.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 12th July 2011, 10:15 AM
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Hi

Does anyone have an idea where we can find more information about this exam please?

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Old 12th July 2011, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindsay craven View Post
Hi

Does anyone have an idea where we can find more information about this exam please?
At this point it isn't an "exam" as such. It's just an evaluation of your ability to read, speak and understand French. Generally it's done more or less informally - but as an EU national, you'll never encounter it anyhow.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 29th March 2012, 08:53 PM
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Default Help with Marrying a French Citizen

Hi Bev!

i have recently joined Expatforum and find your posts very helpful, especially this one since i am in a very similar situation. I am hoping you would be able to answers to questions that i have regarding getting married to a French citizen in the US and moving to France.

1. Is there a particular website that I can go to to look up more information on the regulations involving marrying a French citizen in the US?

2. This relates to the 90 day tourist visa for American citizens. I recently took a trip to France and stayed there for 84 days. I was taking french classes (at an insituture that did not require a student visa) and would like to go back to France to continue taking classes (I am currently in the US). Would it be possible to travel back to France on a tourist visa and stay for about two months. I was in France from Jan 4th to Mar 28th and would like to return in the middle of April. I hope so!

Thank you again for your helpful responses.
Gothy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
Basically your understanding is correct. A couple clarifications:

2. she leaves within 90 days, but best not to push it to the limits. (There are stories about folks who have found out the hard way the difference between 90 days and 3 months.)

3. getting your livret de famille can take up to a couple of months - the sticking points are: getting the "certified marriage certificate" (usually means an apostilled certificate, which can take some time in some states), and in addition to preparing the livret de famille, the fact of the marriage has to be recorded in the French spouse's birth record before they can issue you the livret. Depending on where your French spouse was born, this can take a few days, a few weeks or a couple of months.

5. You get the visa, move to France and go to the OFII to get your visa validated for your first year in France. This includes doing your medical exam and signing a contract of integration and assimilation, which determines how much of the various civics and language classes you need to attend during your first year in France. Then, toward the end of that year, you apply for your carte de séjour.

You have the right to work in France as soon as you arrive, but you may find employers hesitant to talk to you until you have that OFII validation in your passport. Consider, too, that if you have to do the language classes, those will get in the way of your working, so get that sorted asap.
Cheers,
Bev

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