Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Am I ever stumped...and in a pickle. We are set to LEAVE Canada on June 30th for France where we've rented a home for 3 years in Aix. We have been told on numerous occasions that we DO not require a visa to stay in France. My hubby holds a Canadian AND UK passport, and I just have a Canadian one. I understood we'd simply need to arrive and register at the local hotel de ville upon arrival (and perhaps apply for a carte de sejour pour moi but even that seems unclear).

I need to get a letter from the French consulate in Toronto in order for our shipment of household furniture etc to arrive without issue in France (mid August). Having contacted the French consulate they are now asking my husband to make an apt with them (for what, je ne sais pas) and that I will need to apply for a long term stay visa. Mon dieu.

Anyone with any help/advice out there? (Of course talking to anyone there in person is impossible and there are no available apt's until mid July). And I'm usually SO organized.

Thanks in advance for any help out there,
Jennifer
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,394 Posts
Only thing I can find online is this page from the Service-Public website. Unfortunately it does not address the issue of visa - but it strongly implies that your husband, as an EU national, has every right to bring his family with him.

In practice, we've been hearing that the non-EU spouses of EU nationals need only the "tourist visa" stamp you get when you arrive in France. And actually, you don't have to register yourselves on arrival. You, as a non-EU national, will have to present yourself to the mairie or prefecture (it varies by departement) within 3 months of arrival to apply for a "titre de séjour" - i.e. a carte de séjour.

What I don't understand is what sort of "letter" you have to get from the consulate in order to ship your belongings. Have never heard of that. Normally the moving company or shipper handles those details, but to my knowledge there is no "letter from the consulate" involved.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The good news...

Thank you Bev for your post. It was very helpful. Have just picked up a vmail and despite what I was originally told by the French consulate in Toronto, I do NOT require a visa to enter France based on the fact that my husband carries a UK passport (which is what we were told a year ago on this topic). Whew is all I can say.

The letter I refer to is called 'Certificat de Changement de Residence'. This is typically handled by a company if you are moving overseas for a job (which we are not). It smooths the process at customs in France as far as I can tell. But really, who knows if it is mandatory or not. I tend to get varying stories a lot. : )

Thanks again for your insight.
Jennifer


Unfortunately it does not address the issue of visa - but it strongly implies that your husband, as an EU national, has every right to bring his family with him.

In practice, we've been hearing that the non-EU spouses of EU nationals need only the "tourist visa" stamp you get when you arrive in France. And actually, you don't have to register yourselves on arrival. You, as a non-EU national, will have to present yourself to the mairie or prefecture (it varies by departement) within 3 months of arrival to apply for a "titre de séjour" - i.e. a carte de séjour.

What I don't understand is what sort of "letter" you have to get from the consulate in order to ship your belongings. Have never heard of that. Normally the moving company or shipper handles those details, but to my knowledge there is no "letter from the consulate" involved.
Cheers,
Bev
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Assuming that your husband holds dual nationality Canada/UK, then as an EU member state national he and his family has virtually the same right to live and work in France as a French national.

It is incumbent upon you, as the Canadian spouse of a UK national taking up residence in France, to apply for your carte de séjour within a three month period of your arrival in France (date of stamp of arrival in Schengen area country). Bev recently came across some documents on an official site somewhere that suggested the CdS application had to be made within two months not three, so bear that in mind.

The Mairie of the town/village where you are taking up residence doesn't process the application, it forwards it to the préfecture of the department. Generally speaking it is done quite speedily, but you are arriving pretty much when all the government offices are starting to go on slowdown for the summer, so be prepared to be patient.

Someone recently attached a pdf of the documents you will need for your CdS application once you arrive in France, I''ll try and find it - if you haven't seen it already. It includes papers such as a certified translation of your marriage certificate, proof of residence in France, evidence that you have the means to support yourselves, insurance, passport photos. If you have any children living with you, they also ask for their birth certs for some reason - or at least, they did so in the case of my wife and myself.

As for a certificat de changement de résidence, the best explanation that I've found is on this page of the French Consulate in San Francisco.

It would seem to be a useful document to have for customs, facilitating the free import of all your belongings so long as certain criteria are fulfilled: minimum 6 months since purchase, that you've lived outside the EU for a minimum 12 months.

Still, it's unclear to me if and why this is needed by an EU national. Worth trying to find out more.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,394 Posts
I just skimmed over that information on the Certificat de changement d'adresse and it seems to be a document for French people returning to France after living abroad for a while. They mention "if you are registered with the consulate" - which is a requirement for French nationals living overseas (though there is also a section on "if you didn't register with the consulate").

If you are shipping your stuff to France, I would expect that the shipper would handle the customs clearance through their agent in France. I'm not sure that the consulate could "confirm" the necessary information anyhow - i.e. that you've been living outside France for at least 12 months, etc.

Who told you that you need the certificat de changement d'adresse? If it's the consulate, I can assure you that you do often get conflicting information from them, depending on who you talk to and when you talk to them. It sounds like they have just been assuming that you are the spouse of a French citizen, cause the requirements you're talking about do apply to someone in that situation.
Cheers,
Bev
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Yes - French consulates are sometimes a bit useless on requirements for spouses of non-French EU citizens heading for France. My non-EU wife and I certainly needed no such document when coming back to France last year.
 
A

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Concerning the document changement d'adresse, it sounds like a good idea. I recently moved from Singapore to France and had my stuff shipped over. I did the customs clearance in France myself which was a nightmare. I had to prove that I was moving from residence principal in Singapore to a new one in France. Had to give them endless documents: work contracts, rental contracts, residency permits, certificate of attendance at infant school…you name it. I ended up having to make a little speech about how wonderful France was and how I was so glad to be moving here and wouldn’t be moving anywhere else in a hurry…finished with “Vive La Republique, Vive la France”…If this little document “changement d'adresse” can avoid this sort of fiasco it would be well worth it.

Concerning the documents required for a carte de sejour for spouse of an EU citizen, it was me that uploaded it on another thread but I can upload again. (Requirements probably differ slightly from one Prefecture to another).
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,702 Posts
If you are shipping your stuff to France, I would expect that the shipper would handle the customs clearance through their agent in France. I'm not sure that the consulate could "confirm" the necessary information anyhow - i.e. that you've been living outside France for at least 12 months, etc.
v

I assume it's like Italy. The consulate gives you a form you hand to the shipper. Without it you're like any other person trying to ship stuff into the EU. Vat and duty is due. With the form the shipper can clear your stuff before it even docks. So no storage fees or any other problems.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,394 Posts
I assume it's like Italy. The consulate gives you a form you hand to the shipper. Without it you're like any other person trying to ship stuff into the EU. Vat and duty is due. With the form the shipper can clear your stuff before it even docks. So no storage fees or any other problems.
When I moved to Germany, the mover handled everything. I supplied the listing of items with approximate purchase dates, original purchase price and estimated current value (for insurance) and they handled the rest for clearing customs.

I got a phone call when my stuff cleared customs to schedule the delivery date. I maybe had to fax the mover a copy of my passport or something, but that was it.

I cleared some stuff myself that I shipped from the US after my mother died. It had been in storage for two years - but when they contacted me, I just turned up with my identity papers and a copy of the probate certificate plus a death certificate for my mother and told them I was bringing the stuff in as part of my "inheritance." They struggled a bit with the paperwork, since it was in English and gave far more detail than the equivalent French documents - but all in all, it took maybe 20 to 30 minutes to clear the stuff.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,702 Posts
The mover still handles everything it's just easier. The shipper doesn't have to think or anything. They've got the clearance in hand. I've heard/seen people that have had stuff wait in port. Paying storage fees. It ended up being cheaper to pay the VAT etc then to keep paying the storage fees while the stuff cleared.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
To confirm what others have said, as a Canadian married to a UK passport holder, you do not need a long stay visa before entering France. Having said that, you may get a government drone who has the wrong info and tries to tell you otherwise.

I'm in the same boat (Canadian married to a Brit) and when I went through the process last year we got random info from various officials at our prefecture and city hall and literally had to go in with consulate printouts before the process got sorted. Don't panic if you encounter that.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top