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So, the hubby and I went to a Caisse d'Épargne in his neighborhood to see about what would need to be done to have his branch there. Of course he would have to start a new account with new numbers, debit cards, etc. NO, this is not an option as his bills and everything are tied to the bank account he started in his hometown region. He does NOT want to switch everything around because it's just too much of a hassle and I completely agree with him. So, we a few options. We can create a new account together at Caisse d'Epargne -with most of my money- but there would really be no activity on this account such as bills, direct deposit, etc. Will this be an issue when presenting it to a prefecture when it comes to renewing my titre de sejour?

Another option I heard that others have done was for the foreign spouse to create an account somewhere else and tie it to their french spouses' bank account. Has anyone ever heard of this?

The last option would be to go all the way back to his home town and add me to his account there and ask them to send the bank statements to his residence in Vincennes. Our only issue with this is wondering what in the hell they would ask for from me and if we didn't have it, it would of just been a waste of a trip.

We're both about to rip our hair out. I wish isn't wasn't so darn complicated. I also wish he had taken care of this stuff when he moved to Vincennes...but he said that he kept it this way so that if he ever lost his job he wouldn't have to switch to new bank accounts if he had to return home.

I don't know what to do. I feel so freaking frustrated right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :Cry::Cry::Cry:
 

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OK - back to basics. Breathe - long, slow, deep breaths.

Stop worrying about proving your marriage for your carte de séjour. You've got another 8 or 10 months at least before you get there. And once you're married, it's not nearly as difficult as you're making it. (They may ask a bit more when you go for French nationality - but that's a full 4 years off and by then you'll know how to deal with the Administration like a real French person.)

There is no requirement anywhere that says you have to have a joint bank account with your spouse. I know, because I don't have any accounts in common with my French spouse. All our accounts are separate. It works just fine. In fact, it's actually a good idea to keep your accounts strictly separate, because if you don't you're going to have to report your joint account to the US Treasury department as part of your FBAR filings, even if he doesn't want his finances reported to the IRS. (Long story - does not concern you at the moment. Enjoy the moment as long as it lasts!)

Open a bank account for yourself in your own name. Period. That will give you a bank statement with your home address on it (which can be used, if needed, to prove your residence). Plus, it gives you a bank account to deposit your pay in once you find a job. That's really all you need.

And wait until you get through your OFII appointment to see what your next step needs to be.

OK, once again - deep breaths..... <g>
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Or, if you really want a joint account, the bank can arrange for all of your direct payments to be transferred (at least, that's what Credit Agricole told me when I moved my account and there was no charge for the service - I would have thought your bank could also provide that service). The only thing your husband would then need to do is arrange for his pay to be deposited to the new account. Also, ask them to leave the old account open until such time as you have the new debit cards (they normally don't close the old account immediately anyway as there may be outstanding payments coming through). That said, I think Bev's suggestion of opening you own account is likely the best option - much easier for US reporting.
 

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Good point - different banks handle "transfers" of accounts (between branches) differently. Part of the reason I bank with Banque Populaire is that they even let you keep the same account number if you transfer branches. Back in the "good old days" (when they still charged you to close your account) most of the other banks in the area charged you to close the account even if you opened your new account at the same bank in another branch.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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The banking system here for Americans, i have been here one year and i give up on opening a bank account, its a such a headache. This is one of the French things i cant stand i got myself a prepaid visa card , i dont need a bank account here. MY GOD in california i can open a bank account in 20 mins the same exact day i enter the bank, here come back in 10 days, unbelieable.
 

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The banking system here for Americans, i have been here one year and i give up on opening a bank account, its a such a headache. This is one of the French things i cant stand i got myself a prepaid visa card , i dont need a bank account here. MY GOD in california i can open a bank account in 20 mins the same exact day i enter the bank, here come back in 10 days, unbelieable.
times were it was quite easy even for usa citizens
but since the usa government seem to want the french bank to jump through hoops if they hold an account for an american citizen it appears that many french banks regard such accounts as more trouble than they are worth
I won't pretend that I understand what this is all about , but have been told this by a couple of americans of my acquaintance
 

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The banking system here for Americans, i have been here one year and i give up on opening a bank account, its a such a headache. This is one of the French things i cant stand i got myself a prepaid visa card , i dont need a bank account here. MY GOD in california i can open a bank account in 20 mins the same exact day i enter the bank, here come back in 10 days, unbelieable.
I assume you mean wait 10 days for an appointment. The appointment to open a bank account relates to the Know Your Customer international requirements designed to avoid money laundering. The 10 day wait will depend on the bank, how many conseillers it has, how busy it is - the longest I've had to wait for an appointment is my bank. When you make the appointment they will tell you what documentation you will need to provide. If you bring all the documentation to your appointment they generally open the account immediately, but you do have to wait for your Carte Bleue and cheque account - nonetheless you can operate the account straight away by going into the bank (without an appointment, but with identification of course) and telling them you want to do, eg. deposit, withdraw, transfer. It's not really so complicated that you couldn't arrange to open an account over a period of one year, so I guess the real reason you haven't done so is that you don't need one.

BTW you can also open an account on the spot in Australia (subject, of course, to having the necessary ID). You just wait in line for a customer service officer to become available, so the wait depends very much on the time of day and the complexity of the banking requirements of the customers in front of you. At least when you go into the bank here with an appointment they generally see you on time - which for me is a good thing because I don't really like waiting in queues, I'd rather be using my time.
 

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Im living in Paris area.

The 10 days is just to be able to see someone to get inside and sit and open a account. I need this document, that document, this that, a royal pain in the butt for sure. I have been here now over a year and i have come to expect things like this in France, every thing moves at half speed here for the most part.

I wanted to go to the doctor in my city, 10 mins from the center of paris, and they told me each time i called a dentist that their not taking any new paticents, whatttttttttttttttt so i couldnt even get a appointment to see the dentist in my city and there are 35 dentist.
 

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Ah, the times, they are a changing.... That know your customer stuff has hit even the US, though they implement it a bit differently. Just try opening a new bank account back in the States after you've been living overseas for a bit! Only reason I was able to do so is that my Dad had put me onto his account as a signer ("just in case") and so I was a "known quantity" to the bank and so could pretty much by-pass all the rigamarole for a really "new" customer.

The trick to opening a new account in France (even in Paris) is to pick a smaller, non-international bank - preferably one without the obligation to report stuff to the IRS. All the banks report pretty much everything in your account to the Banque de France - but it's up to the Banque de France what they report on to the IRS. However, if they haven't asked you for a W-9 or your US SSN, there's a limit to how "useful" the information is for the IRS.

Yes, it takes longer to open a bank account here than in the US. But at most banks, you can generally get an appointment within 24 to 48 hours (well, 1 or 2 business days). Some banks even have English speaking conseillers - though not all do. Just remember that the "conseillers" are the newbies just hired in and working their way up the career ladder.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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The banking system here for Americans, i have been here one year and i give up on opening a bank account, its a such a headache. This is one of the French things i cant stand i got myself a prepaid visa card , i dont need a bank account here. MY GOD in california i can open a bank account in 20 mins the same exact day i enter the bank, here come back in 10 days, unbelieable.
You have to compare that which is comparable.

I am not surprised that an AMERICAN can open a bank account in 20 mins in California. But can a FRENCH person?

I can open a bank account here in 20 mins too!!! :D:D
 

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I suppose one of the reasons that the French banking system doesn't bother me as much as it does some Americans is that I got to France via Germany. Now THAT's a banking system that can drive you nuts at first!

After three years in Germany, the French system wasn't all that big a surprise. (And was actually quite a bit cheaper than the German banking system.) But both have changed over the twenty odd years I've been here.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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You have to compare that which is comparable.

I am not surprised that an AMERICAN can open a bank account in 20 mins in California. But can a FRENCH person?

I can open a bank account here in 20 mins too!!! :D:D

Yes a french person can open a bank account in 20 30 minutes no problem, you need Id and 100 dollars cash your done.


You can open a bank account in France in 20 mins, loveeeeeee to see that, in fact i will pay to see that, not possiable.
 

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Yes a french person can open a bank account in 20 30 minutes no problem, you need Id and 100 dollars cash your done.


You can open a bank account in France in 20 mins, loveeeeeee to see that, in fact i will pay to see that, not possiable.
I will take your word for the first question, but as for the second, I have done it - give or take 10 minutes - (Société Générale) so you will have to take my word for it!
 

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Verite, Mike also has the major disadvantage of being a US citizen. That's starting to become a huge liability when it comes to opening bank accounts anywhere these days. Not that it can't be done, but you do have to have a bit of patience and a willingness to play along with the rules.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Well, a few data points from my own experience.

There are no international 'know your customer' laws, but nearly all countries have similar national laws. As others have said above, if one partner is American, it's best to keep financials separate.

My wife has a French HSBC account that she obtained through HSBC in Australia without any correspondence with a French branch. We went to Paris, walked in and she picked up her debit card and cheque book.

I've had a US checking account for 30 years, and obtained a credit card (with a pretty decent limit) within a week of moving here last year. I went to the branch and asked for one.

I've set up all of our utility and similar (phone, Internet) accounts in France just by photocopying my wife's RIB and walking into a branch.

If someone says to me in France 'please give me your bank details' I say 'I don't have a bank account' and move on.

We wanted to talk to a bank about a mortgage, and got an appointment same day with Crédit Foncier.

These are random snippets, but my main point is that sometimes we make things harder than they need to be. Go with the flow, people.
 

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You can open a bank account in France in 20 mins, loveeeeeee to see that, in fact i will pay to see that, not possiable.
MIke, I'm not French, and I don't have a French bank account. But I plan to get one in the next few months.

I will take this as a personal challenge. It probably won't be 20 minutes, but I would be very surprised if it takes me more than an hour.

I will report the whole process - time to get an appointment, documents required, interview details, etc. right here.
 

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Verite, Mike also has the major disadvantage of being a US citizen. That's starting to become a huge liability when it comes to opening bank accounts anywhere these days. Not that it can't be done, but you do have to have a bit of patience and a willingness to play along with the rules.
Cheers,
Bev
I am aware of the difficulties, I am also aware of the reasons, not sure Mike is tho'.
 

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I am aware of the difficulties, I am also aware of the reasons, not sure Mike is tho'.
Let's just say that Mike has a tendency to be a little bit impatient with the procedures over here, which are not "quite" the same as what he's familiar with back home. However, as I just finished saying over on another thread, even an absence of a year or so is enough that he runs the risk of being "a stranger" back "home."
Cheers,
Bev
 
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