Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello

We are an Australian family about to embark on a “Home Exchange” with a family in France for 12 months. Our adventure is due to begin in August.

We will not need to work whilst in France and the children will be enrolled in the local French school. We can’t wait to immerse ourselves in the French language, culture and history.

I am a dual EU and Australian citizen as are my 2 children.

My husband however is Australian. As I understand it, as he will be accompanying myself and our children on this adventure, as the spouse of an EU Citizen, he is not required to apply for a long term visa.

Does anyone know how this works and what we need to do on arrival in France so as to be sure we are doing everything legitimately. Any other tips from people who have embarked on similar exchanges would be appreciated.

Many thanks for any advice.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,395 Posts
The rules keep changing, but the last anyone reported here, you and the kids need to get yourselves "established" (i.e. with an address in your name) and then within the first two months you're there, you and your husband need to go to the préfecture to apply for a carte de séjour for him as the spouse of an EU national. (Be sure you make this clear - some préfectures will be thrown by the lack of a visa in his passport.)

You'll be asked for all the usual identity documents, plus proof that you're married (marriage certificate, possibly officially translated) and evidence that you have a place to live and enough money to live on for the period of time you'll be in France. You will need to prove your EU nationality - if your EU country has a national i.d. card, best to get that up to date asap as some préfectures can be sticky about accepting a passport as proof of nationality.

Safest approach is to wander down to the local mairie early in your stay and ask them about applying for the carte de séjour as the spouse of an EU national. Some mairies can do the application right there, but if they can't, they usually will call the préfecture for you and give you a list of what your particular préfecture will ask for. (It's always nice to have a friend at the mairie.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Hi, when we came over in 2007, my son and I had EU citizenship but my husband had US citizenship. He did apply for a long-term visa and was issued a 3 month visa. We also had to prove that we had enough money AND health insurance that would cover us while here. Our plan was always to establish long-term residency once here. We did visit the Marie within the first month to apply for my husband's titre de sejour. The person at the Mairie was unaware that my husband was entitled to work here and wanted him to apply for a non-working titre de sejour. So we had to write to the prefecture and provide bank statements, proof of health insurance, proof that we were legally married, my son's birth certificate etc... We were lucky in that they didn't require them to be translated at all :). Good luck, and if they try to tell you you can't be here and bla bla bla, just persevere and keep trying until you find the person who actually knows the law.
Bielby Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Double check with the consulate in Sydney and have him call the French consulate in the US (just to be on the safe side). I am not married but have a PACs with a French citizen. I as a US citizen was required to obtain a visitor visa and was given one for 12 months. Once in France I applied for my carte de sejour but that took three attempts at the same prefecture with three different people to finally be given an official appointment.

Sadly everyone who you speak with within the French bureaucracy system will tell you something different. Don't let this get to you, this is VERY common. One thing that is consistent is that ALL of your official documents (birth certificate's, marriage certificate, etc.) be translated "officially" to French. You need to show proof of income (bank statements), proof of address and proof of medical insurance as the above poster mentioned.

Bonne chance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
373 Posts
Arcybarrios, bear in mind that the rules for an EU citizen bringing a non-EU spouse to France are different than those for a French citizen bringing in a non-EU spouse.

In order to settle in France, the non-EU spouse of a French person must jump through a series of hoops not required of the non-EU spouse of a "non-French" EU person.

And although I believe the trend is (rightfully) toward giving the PACS the same recognition as marriage for residency purposes, I don't know quite where the law stands at present - several of the French consulate websites in the US specifically state that the PACS does not confer the right to reside in France - so your experience may have been different from a married person's.

On the other hand, will you get 5 different opinions from 3 different French bureaucrats? Yes, almost certainly!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for your advice everyone - this is such a great forum. We will make sure we have all our documentation (in English and French) ready to present and hope that things run relatively smoothly. I am sure we will be posting more questions !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Newyorkaise you are absolutely correct and hence why I mentioned that they contact the US and Sydney French Consulate for more info. My process was a "breeze" per say BUT (and what helped) I was told basically the same thing at both of these consulates (Aus and American). With the information they provided me with it was only a matter of talking to the "right" person at the prefecture.

From my experience it seems that the embassy's and consulates have it a bit more "together" than what the actual government employees in France do (IMHO).

I know that being Paxed is a bit different than being married but to be honest with you (and this might just be my case) I haven't been questioned at all. I guess all these bureaucrats are starting to warm up to the PACs. People are choosing to get PACed rather than married now a days and they might now be seeing more and more of these cases.

Cheers =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
373 Posts
You know, Arcybarrios, it was only in the last week or so that an article in Le Monde pointed out that very fact: that the PACS has really begun to flourish as the "union of choice" for far more people than the authorities ever expected when it was first enacted.

I've often wondered if the consulates post the warning that it doesn't give a right to residency just to limit the possibility of fraudulent PACSes - since apparently they've never gotten a handle on fraudulent marriages.

I think the consulates may seem more with-it because they get to make the decision on who to let in, with no right of appeal - and after that they just wash their hands of the whole affair. It's the poor bureaucrats at the prefecture who have to figure out the rules and regulations that change more often than the weather :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,395 Posts
Newyorkaise you are absolutely correct and hence why I mentioned that they contact the US and Sydney French Consulate for more info. My process was a "breeze" per say BUT (and what helped) I was told basically the same thing at both of these consulates (Aus and American). With the information they provided me with it was only a matter of talking to the "right" person at the prefecture.

From my experience it seems that the embassy's and consulates have it a bit more "together" than what the actual government employees in France do (IMHO).
The only problem with that approach is that the consulate staff reports to a different ministry than does the prefecture staff. Means that decisions by the consulate are not at all binding on the prefecture (as I found out the hard way).

Most likely the issue with the PACS is that it's so easy to dissolve (unless there is significant property involved). They used to be paranoid about fraudulent marriages, but now it's the legitimate (but fragile) PACS arrangements that are causing problems for the prefectures. Apparently a PACS can be dissolved just by writing a letter.
Cheers,
Bev
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top