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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have done a bit of research online and the ambafrance website is discouraging and confusing. Moreover, there is no hotline for visas at the Consulate General's office. Really hard to get some advice. Is it advisable to just book an appointment with the Consulate General and go from there even though i have no idea what Visa i should be applying for?

I am Australian and looking into moving to France. My partner is already in France and we want to live there for at least one or two years or longer, depending on certain circumstances.

Long stay visa without work - I understand that there is a long stay visa without work for more than 90 days but I need to be able to work there. would it be advisable for me to apply for this visa then look for employers while i'm there? Has this ever been done or is this possible?

Partner visa - is there a partner visa for non married couples? we have been together for two years and lived together for over a year here in Sydney.

Work permit - is this attainable only if an employer is willing to sponsor me?

Finding a job:
Employers willing to sponsor - Where can I find these employers? Any websites I can go to?
Recruitment agencies - Can anyone recommend a recruitment agency in Sydney who can assist with finding jobs in France?

Other than these options, are there any other visa options for me?

Thank you guys in advance!

Nozomi
 

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'Fraid the news is not at all what you are hoping to hear:

Partner visa - nope. Married will do it if your partner is French. If not, there is a process for sponsoring the spouse of a non-French, but it requires that the French-based spouse must have been living in France for at least 18 months and have resources and a residence for the spouse.

Long-stay without work - means what it says. You must sign a statement that you will not work while in France (and actually you'll need proof of adequate resources to finance you intended stay in order to get the visa). While theoretically you could look for work, if you were to find a job with an employer willing and able to sponsor you for a work visa, you'd have to return home to apply for the new visa. Practically speaking, no employer will talk to you unless you already have "working papers" (i.e. a visa/residence card that allows you to work).

Finding a job - Sponsoring employers must get permission to hire a foreigner on a one-by-one basis, so it depends on the position, the candidate and the employer's resources for dealing with the government protocol. Finding a job from a distance is VERY difficult unless you can make yourself available in person (say, a "vacation" trip to France). Given the hiring rules in France, no reputable employer will hire you sight unseen - and even a phone or Skype interview is not enough. The rules for hiring a non-EU foreigner require that the employer prove they have attempted to find someone similarly qualified in France or from within the EU. Unless you have very unique qualifications, chances of finding a job are virtually nil.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response Bev. I am getting discouraged as I continue to read about my options.

So partner visa is definitely out.

Long stay without work - how much money do I need to have to apply for one year visa?

Another visa that could work - STUDENT VISA. If I enroll in French classes, would that suffice? Will it get me a student visa? And will that be for at least a year? Also, how much money do I need to have in my account to get a student visa?

Accommodation is not a problem, as we have a place to stay - rent free as it is his family's property.

One other thing - if I get the Long stay visa without work - can I apply for the residence permit when in France?

Thank you so much

Nozomi
 

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Try not to parse things too finely. The consulate always has "discretion" to grant or not grant a visa, based on what they think you may or may not be trying to get away with.

So partner visa is definitely out.
Yes

Long stay without work - how much money do I need to have to apply for one year visa?
Another of those "depends on your circumstances and why you say you are going to France" things. Basically you need either a source of income (pension, trust fund, other reliable source) or a bank account with enough to see you through your projected stay. Depends a bit on where you'll be, among other things. Figure that the SMIC (minimum wage) is about 1420€ per month and adjust that figure for your actual needs.

Another visa that could work - STUDENT VISA. If I enroll in French classes, would that suffice? Will it get me a student visa? And will that be for at least a year? Also, how much money do I need to have in my account to get a student visa?
French classes will do it, but they need to be "serious" enough to get you a visa and you need to enroll for the period of time you wish to remain in France (i.e. a year long course, if you're planning on staying a year). You'll need to have enough to cover your tuition fees plus living expenses (which may include a year-long health care cover if you don't qualify for one through the school you'll be attending).
Accommodation is not a problem, as we have a place to stay - rent free as it is his family's property.
You'll need documentation of this - like a letter from his family, showing their ownership of the property and explaining the terms of your stay there.
One other thing - if I get the Long stay visa without work - can I apply for the residence permit when in France?
If by "resident permit" you mean "titre de séjour" you'll actually have to have one. You receive it after you contact the OFII on arrival and see what they want you to do as far as medical exam, etc.

If by "resident permit" you mean a "carte de resident" you can only apply for that after something like 5 years of legal residence in France. (Means you would be renewing your visitor carte de séjour each year, showing each time that you still have the same financial resources at your disposal and the paid up health insurance policy.) There are other requirements than just having survived 5 years in France, though - including speaking passable French and having properly "assimilated" which usually means having a job and paying cotisations, which is kind of difficult on a visitor visa since you aren't allowed to work.

Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your response Bev, I really appreciate it!

We are now down to two options - student visa or Intent to marry visa (is there such a thing?).

I suspect my boyfriend is leaning towards Intent to marry visa. We have been planning on having a kid next year so I am hoping he will go in this direction. Just waiting for him to get some courage to say it. haha

Anyway, if he does pick this route, would the visa be for at least a year or two? How soon would we be expected to get married? What are the requirements for this visa? And will I be allowed to work while on this visa?

Hope you have an answer for this Bev.

Thank you so much for all the previous answers you have provided!
 

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The "intent to marry" visa is actually a one-year visitor visa. Just be sure to mention your plans to marry when applying for the visa.

No, you can't work (though jobs over here are really hard to come by anyhow). And you should plan on getting married within the first six months that you're in France. (Some prefectures won't let you change status on expiration of the visitor visa unless you've been cohabiting for at least six months.)

On expiration of the visitor visa (at the end of a year) you need to apply for a change in status (i.e. to that of "spouse") at the same time you apply to "renew" your titre de séjour. You'll have to have gotten the various OFII formalities out of the way (contract of integration, which includes sitting through a couple of classes, plus formal evaluation of your level of French and a visit with Pole Emploi).

Of course all this only applies if your boyfriend is French. If he's not, it's a whole different process, which he will have to initiate in France based on his status there.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, my partner is a French national.

So after getting married within six month from the time of arrival in France, I am able to change my status to a spouse. But does this mean I would have to leave the country and apply from outside France for the new spouse status? And am I applying for a new Spouse Visa or is this a residency of a more permanent nature?

Thanks again Bev.
 

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Yes, my partner is a French national.

So after getting married within six month from the time of arrival in France, I am able to change my status to a spouse. But does this mean I would have to leave the country and apply from outside France for the new spouse status? And am I applying for a new Spouse Visa or is this a residency of a more permanent nature?

Thanks again Bev.
No, if you get married during the first six months of your visitor visa, you simply have to wait until about two months before it expires and go to the prefecture like you were going to renew your titre de séjour (i.e. residence permit), but ask for a change of status at the same time. Basically, you're just applying for your first carte de séjour but under a different status.

The visa is only to enter France for the long term. It's the carte (or titre) de séjour that allows you to remain.

But the trick here is that you can't change your status until the regular renewal time for your first visa (i.e. after you have been in France for about 10 months or so). You can't work, and you have to have private health coverage for that first year.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi Nozomi,

Just reading your post and it sounds very similar to my situation. Just wondering how you were going applying for it? Did you choose the long stay intent to marry visa?
 
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