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My son, who has spent most of his life in France legally with us, then left to the States for several years, and came back here on a tourist visa off and on as his carte de sejour had expired, married a French woman last November in Las Vegas who he had lived with while here on a student visa, has now overstayed his visitor visa by almost one month. Now he is trying for a rapprochement familial or as married to a French woman. We are very old and need to know what he can do to stay here legally. If not what is the best way for him to leave without being penalized for years as we will probably be dead.

Any advice will be appreciated. My spouse and I are American and we both have renewable ten year resident visas.
 

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Chances are, he can leave, return to the US and apply for a proper spouse visa from there without any problem. However, it will take some time.

First of all, he needs to get a livret de famille in order to "register" the marriage here in France. He must apply for that in the consular jurisdiction where the marriage took place. (Actually they should have applied to publish the banns before they got married - but too late on that score.) Las Vegas is in Clark Co, Nevada, so he'll have to go through the French Consulate in Los Angeles. (The information for registering a marriage is on the consulate's French page: Transcription d’un acte de mariage - Consulat Général de France à Los Angeles

Once he has the livret de famille, he can then apply for a spouse visa, which should only take a week or two at most to receive. Long stay visa for Spouses of a French national (FRANCE and French Overseas (...) - Consulat Général de France à Los Angeles

But net-net, he really can't stay. If he were on a proper long-stay visa he would be able to change his status next time his carte de séjour was up for renewal, but as he was on a tourist visa, he really has to return to the US and go through the proper channels. If by some chance he and his wife did apply for and receive their livret de famille, it will be a quick trip. But the livret can take "a few" (i.e. 2 to 6 or more) months to get from overseas. It might go somewhat quicker if his wife can go with him - or at least can make the initial application for the livret de famille with him in LA.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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