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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

This is my first post, and I appreciate all the great info that's out there!

I'm American and my boyfriend is French, and we're considering getting PACSed.

We met while I was here on a tourist visa. I am a freelance writer based in NYC. That said, I do not have any sort of long-term visa; but, since I am freelance and mobile, I stay with him in France when I can within the terms of the standard Schengen Visa.

We'd like to be able to allow me to stay without rushing into marriage, and the PACS contract seems like a smart idea for us. However, in all the confusing info I am reading, it seems to state that I need to live with him for a year before we can actually get PACSed.

My question is, how can I do this if I am only able to come in and out of the country on the limited Schengen terms? I don't know how to get around the year thing.

Also, if I did manage to get here, I keep hearing that I can't "work" for a year. I assume this means I can't work in FRANCE, correct? All my clients are in the USA--I hope I'd just be able to continue to work with them. Think this is right? (This is how I would continue to make my income when I am here--I don't anticipate having to work for French folks in France...)

Any help is appreciated! Many thanks.
 

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OK, need to clarify a few things here:

We'd like to be able to allow me to stay without rushing into marriage, and the PACS contract seems like a smart idea for us. However, in all the confusing info I am reading, it seems to state that I need to live with him for a year before we can actually get PACSed.
The PACS is very popular among folks who say they aren't ready to get married, but to a certain extent, the PACS isn't all that much different from marriage. Just know what you're getting into. (Also, check the additional requirements for a foreigner to PACS - there are a couple of documents you have to get from the American Consulate, basically the same things you need to get married in France as a foreigner.)

I've heard that many jurisdictions require anywhere from six months to a year of cohabitation before they'll do a PACS, but I'm not sure if the law actually requires it. One thing to know, however, is that a PACS doesn't "guarantee" that you can get a long-stay visa (or carte de séjour). You may have to return to the US to apply for the appropriate visa to return to France to live with your PACS partner.

And "working in France" consists of doing work while physically located in France. It does NOT relate to where your customers or clients are located. Technically, on the type of visa you'd get as the PACS partner of a French national, you probably could work no problem (this has been changing in recent years) however, you still have to fulfil the OFII requirements (classes, evaluation of your French and French classes if needed), which makes it kind of tricky to work in the early months. And, to work remotely, you'd need to arrange for some sort of "business entity" in France so that you'd be properly registered for taxes and social insurances.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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OK, need to clarify a few things here:



The PACS is very popular among folks who say they aren't ready to get married, but to a certain extent, the PACS isn't all that much different from marriage. Just know what you're getting into. (Also, check the additional requirements for a foreigner to PACS - there are a couple of documents you have to get from the American Consulate, basically the same things you need to get married in France as a foreigner.)
I don't know how it works elsewhere in France, but in Paris, there's no cohabitation requirement to actually get PACSed. The amount of vie commune (which depends from prefecture to prefecture) only comes in when you are trying to get a titre de séjour vie privée et familiale on the basis of a PACs. Then you need to be able to prove you have been living together for whatever amount of time the prefecture wants--usually with rent slips/bank statements that show a common address/etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know how it works elsewhere in France, but in Paris, there's no cohabitation requirement to actually get PACSed. The amount of vie commune (which depends from prefecture to prefecture) only comes in when you are trying to get a titre de séjour vie privée et familiale on the basis of a PACs. Then you need to be able to prove you have been living together for whatever amount of time the prefecture wants--usually with rent slips/bank statements that show a common address/etc.
Thanks so much--that feels like a bit of a relief, as we are in Paris and would get PACSed here.

Sounds like I need to get the details from our prefecture all around. Nervous!

Many, many thanks.
 

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Thanks so much--that feels like a bit of a relief, as we are in Paris and would get PACSed here.

Sounds like I need to get the details from our prefecture all around. Nervous!

Many, many thanks.
The thing is, you need to figure out a legal way to stay in France for a year in order to have the 12 months of documented living together that the Paris prefecture requires to even consider giving you the titre de séjour vie privée et familiale (which is what spouses of French nationals have). As Bev said, it's not automatic with a PACS.

If you have enough money saved up, a visitor visa would be a good bet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
(This is SUCH helpful info--thanking you again...)

Any idea what sort of funds a prefecture would want to see in my savings account? Are we talking $10,000, or, say, $100,000-ish? Hmmmm.
 

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When initially applying for a visa, you'll be dealing with the French consulate in NYC. The prefecture is for later, when it comes time for visa renewal/status changes in France (which is what you would be doing if you get a visitor visa, get pacsed, and then make your appointment to change your status from visitor to partner of a French citizen 2-3 months before your initial visa expires).

I actually went through the NYC consulate, but for a student visa, so the financial requirements are different. There should be a list on their website of the documents you need to bring to your appointment (which you make online) and how much money you would need to have in your account.
 

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(This is SUCH helpful info--thanking you again...)

Any idea what sort of funds a prefecture would want to see in my savings account? Are we talking $10,000, or, say, $100,000-ish? Hmmmm.
For a visitor visa, we're talking about something approximating at least the SMIC (French minimum wage) plus a paid up expat health insurance plan for the year. You can't work on a visitor visa (this may be where you heard the "can't work for the first year" from) though your plan to work remotely may or may not fly.

The trick will be convincing the consulate that you have a sufficient "reason" for wanting to visit France for a year. Some consulates are backing away from granting the visitor visa as a sort of ersatz "fiancé visa" (i.e. moving to France to prepare for your marriage/PACS within the first six months so that you'll be eligible for a change in status at renewal), but others are perfectly happy to do this. Check the website of the French consulate in the US for wherever your US residence is.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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For a visitor visa, we're talking about something approximating at least the SMIC (French minimum wage) plus a paid up expat health insurance plan for the year. You can't work on a visitor visa (this may be where you heard the "can't work for the first year" from) though your plan to work remotely may or may not fly.

The trick will be convincing the consulate that you have a sufficient "reason" for wanting to visit France for a year. Some consulates are backing away from granting the visitor visa as a sort of ersatz "fiancé visa" (i.e. moving to France to prepare for your marriage/PACS within the first six months so that you'll be eligible for a change in status at renewal), but others are perfectly happy to do this. Check the website of the French consulate in the US for wherever your US residence is.
Cheers,
Bev
Yup, I was about to respond more or less with this. Whenever I applied for my first visa in May 2012, I hadn't yet married my husband but had plans to do so in the following months. I had to provide proof of sufficient funds for my 6 month visa, but to err on the side of caution, I also included a paper that essentially had my then future-husband's monthly salary, and a notary-signed paper stating he was willing to financially support me if necessary. They also additionally asked me for a copy of his French identity card as proof he was a real human being and I wasn't inventing a French fiancé (something that had not been mentioned on their website, and I had to scramble to get, because I only had one day before I was moving out of state, very long story).

However, even getting an appointment for said visa was a trial in and of itself. Once I had the papers together, the French consulate of Atlanta gave me the 6 month visa, but for some reason, getting an appointment for said visitor visa was exceedingly difficult (this may however just be a fluke of the Atlanta consulate).
 
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