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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!

I am a young Franco-Ontarian who has just finished his undergraduate degree in French (all schooling has been done in French), and I have been looking into the possibility of moving to France, along with my senior parent who wants to relocate for their retirement.

We have a house in my hometown, and we are looking to sell it, but before we do, we want to make sure that my parent can get permanent residency, and possibly a citizenship in good ol' Gaule.

We don't want to stay there for a few months, and then find out we have to relinquish the house we bought because of no residency permit acceptation.

Parent:

My parent, my retired parent who taught me French, has slowly lost the ability to speak it because their work was mostly dealing with anglophones, but I'm sure a refresher course could help them. Will this in any way affect their ability to gain a French Citizenship down the road one day? My parent is a law-abiding, pay-bills on time, on the dot type of person.


My case:

In my case, I have no problem as I only need to do my master 1 & 2 in France, and then I will automatically gain nationality, supposedly.

I remember a few years back, the policy was that a Franco-Ontarian would be able to apply for French nationality right off the bat, the only conditions being that they did their schooling, and post-secondary schooling in French. Has this changed?

Also, will I have to pay international student fees, even though France will be my new country?

If I do these 2 years, and gain the French nationality, will it in help my parent gain French nationality too? I still live with them, and depend on them for housing, and of course, I like to look-out for them too! I wouldn't be here without them. :redface:

In terms of my parent's pension, it is $1,300 CAD excluding GST, do they convert it into 1,300 EUR, or does it the depend on the currency? If not, we will have a sizable amount come from the sale of the house, and possibly downsize for life in France.

In terms of health insurance, during the first 3 month period, will OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance) covers us until we hit permanent residency status, and get universal insurance?

Thanks for reading my inquiry, I hope that I can receive information, which I can relay to future Expat users.

Merci!

C. Huet
 

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You may want to take a look at the Service Public page on naturalization: Naturalisation : conditions à remplir - Service-public.fr

It's difficult to tell if your parent will be able to take French nationality, assuming they are retiring to France. They first will have to get a long-stay visa, though in the case of a retiree, this is normally a "visitor" visa which does not permit them to work. The carte de séjour has to be renewed every year (including proof of private health insurance), and as far as I know, residence time does not count toward the 5 years needed to apply for French nationality, mainly because of the "no work" restriction.

In your case, it should be somewhat easier if you have obtained one or more university degrees in France - however, that thing about working still applies:
La notion de résidence est ici plus large que la notion habituelle de domicile. Elle implique que le demandeur doit avoir en France le centre de ses intérêts matériels (notamment professionnels) et de ses liens familiaux.
The bit I have bolded didn't used to be in there, but what we've seen more and more lately is that they are insisting on residence time with legitimate employment (i.e. paying your cotisations and taxes) and employment also counts pretty heavily under the "assimilation" requirement, too.

One thing to remember about French citizenship is that it does nothing for you in terms of qualifying a person for health care or other state benefits. Even French citizens have to have paid into the system for a certain period of time before they can make use of state benefits - or be retired on a French pension.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I'm constantly amazed by two things

A - this this sort of information even exists

B - that Bev knows where it is and understands it.

DejW

You may want to take a look at the Service Public page on naturalization: Naturalisation : conditions à remplir - Service-public.fr

It's difficult to tell if your parent will be able to take French nationality, assuming they are retiring to France. They first will have to get a long-stay visa, though in the case of a retiree, this is normally a "visitor" visa which does not permit them to work. The carte de séjour has to be renewed every year (including proof of private health insurance), and as far as I know, residence time does not count toward the 5 years needed to apply for French nationality, mainly because of the "no work" restriction.

In your case, it should be somewhat easier if you have obtained one or more university degrees in France - however, that thing about working still applies:

The bit I have bolded didn't used to be in there, but what we've seen more and more lately is that they are insisting on residence time with legitimate employment (i.e. paying your cotisations and taxes) and employment also counts pretty heavily under the "assimilation" requirement, too.

One thing to remember about French citizenship is that it does nothing for you in terms of qualifying a person for health care or other state benefits. Even French citizens have to have paid into the system for a certain period of time before they can make use of state benefits - or be retired on a French pension.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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To be honest about it, I've just known and counseled lots of folks who come from countries where mere residence gets you into the health care system. That's not the case here in France and it usually comes as quite a shock.

Yes, and having been on the "wrong" side of the immigration situation for a couple of years teaches you lots about where to look for information.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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In my case, I have no problem as I only need to do my master 1 & 2 in France, and then I will automatically gain nationality, supposedly.
I'm not sure about special exceptions for Canadians, but the general rule is that doing a graduate level degree reduces the waiting time to apply for nationality from 5 years to 2. Note that this is for appyling, not automatically granting. As to whether the 2 years you spent doing your MA count, or whether it needs to be 2 years after you finished your degree, that seems to depend a bit on individual prefecture fuzziness. And you need to be able to remain in France legally for the year-or-so it takes for them to process your application.

So you'll definitely want to clarify if there are special rules for Canadians.
 

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The only rules I have heard of is a fast-track for Quebecers. Yes, anyone who does a masters degree here can get fast tracked too, but as noted, I believe one has to be able to legally stay here while the application is getting processed. This usually means a job right after school and continued employment. You can apply for a APS visa which allows you 6 months to find work in your field on the same footing as other Europeans. Not impossible, but still a struggle for many.

Otherwise as a Canadian you must show you are a special snowflake and no other European could do the job. A difficult task and once there is a break in your status you lose the time spent in France i.e. if you don't find work in the 6 months and have to leave you cannot then return on another visa and count your 2 years towards citizenship (if anyone knows any different please let me know).
 

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The only rules I have heard of is a fast-track for Quebecers. Yes, anyone who does a masters degree here can get fast tracked too, but as noted, I believe one has to be able to legally stay here while the application is getting processed. This usually means a job right after school and continued employment. You can apply for a APS visa which allows you 6 months to find work in your field on the same footing as other Europeans. Not impossible, but still a struggle for many.

Otherwise as a Canadian you must show you are a special snowflake and no other European could do the job. A difficult task and once there is a break in your status you lose the time spent in France i.e. if you don't find work in the 6 months and have to leave you cannot then return on another visa and count your 2 years towards citizenship (if anyone knows any different please let me know).
A few small clarifications on this process. I'm an American who recently finished a master's degree and is currently working on an APS and waiting for my change of status to salarié to be processed.

The APS has been extended from 6 months to 12, but at the Paris prefecture at least they're currently processing this as a 6 month APS renewable once rather than the 12 months from the start. And the APS is not a titre de sejour, but a special status that can only be switched to a work visa (I'm PACSed to a French person with over a year of living together, etc etc, but I was not allowed to apply for a family titre de séjour because I was on the post-student APS).

While you're on the APS, you have the right to work on equal footing with any European for a job in your field, like CanuckGirl said. But then when your employer applies to sponsor a work visa, they've got to prove you're that special snowflake and the job couldn't be filled by a European. So at some point if you want to stay more than 12 months and switch to a work visa, the employer will have to go through all the hassle of hiring a non-EU foreigner.
 

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While you're on the APS, you have the right to work on equal footing with any European for a job in your field, like CanuckGirl said. But then when your employer applies to sponsor a work visa, they've got to prove you're that special snowflake and the job couldn't be filled by a European. So at some point if you want to stay more than 12 months and switch to a work visa, the employer will have to go through all the hassle of hiring a non-EU foreigner.
Are you friggin' kidding me???? Why bother then except for PR about how fab it is for foreign students here. I graduated during the memo that circulated about denying any foreign students jobs and it sucked. I know two Canadians who found jobs at that time but the Prefecture refused to change their status so they left France. I was informally told that at another region they were told to just not allow the change, period. BTW I have a special loathing for the Prefecture of Paris and their foreign student department so if you have had to go there my sympathies. Both other Prefectures I have been to have been much friendlier and more helpful then they were to me (or to anyone there... I saw grown men cry on more than one occasion).
 

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The news on the employment front has only gotten more and more grim as time goes on. There's even a theory out there saying that Hollande gave the Closer the story about him and his new girlfriend to divert attention from all the other grim news (including closure of a couple of plants up north with all the concomitant loss of employment).

FWIW, it ain't much easier for the "native born" new graduate to find work - these days most folks I know have cobbled together a series of CDDs right out of school before finding anyone willing to consider them for a CDI.

Times are tough all around.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone, I was thinking of the teaching English as a second language route because people eventually leave those jobs for something better. I used to be a kindergarten supply teacher!

It's good that France is taking initiative to shut down Nuclear plants, but I heard they were building one in the North-West of the country. I guess the job market for native graduates is thin, and even thinner for the 'foreign-born' French.

The Québec ancestry thingamagic no longer applies either, but it wasn't only for the Québecois. You could be from New-Orleans in the United States, and still get fast-tracked if you could prove ancestry. In my case, I missed the boat while I was still in high school.

I plan on becoming a professor in the future, hopefully I do create connections while I am there. But, I will probably be working, and learning at the same time.

I plan on settling down in a little village, and not the massive Paris because of the hustle.

My parent will be paying into the system because they will be paying housing taxes, maybe that will help us out as well.

Thanks again. :)
 

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as a matter of interest , how easy is it for canadians who want to retire here , presumably they can't join the state health scheme , what sort of medical insurance is compulsory [ presuming they can live here ?]
 

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I think you may be misunderstanding the problem.

Thanks everyone, I was thinking of the teaching English as a second language route because people eventually leave those jobs for something better. I used to be a kindergarten supply teacher!
There may be fewer jobs available for teaching English than you imagine. Many of those who teach English do so on a freelance basis. But in your case, it's your ability to work at all that is at issue. To sponsor you for a work visa, a potential employer would have to justify hiring you over any French national and/or EU national interested in the job. And there is an entire country of native English speakers just to the north who don't need visas or work approval.

The Québec ancestry thingamagic no longer applies either, but it wasn't only for the Québecois. You could be from New-Orleans in the United States, and still get fast-tracked if you could prove ancestry. In my case, I missed the boat while I was still in high school.
There is still an "ancestry" option - though you have to show unbroken lines to the French born relative, and prove your current ties to the French community.

I plan on settling down in a little village, and not the massive Paris because of the hustle.
Based on your plans, it will have to be a little village in proximity to a university if you're planning on teaching in one.

My parent will be paying into the system because they will be paying housing taxes, maybe that will help us out as well.
Unfortunately, no - paying into the housing tax system buys you no entitlements in the cotisation system. To be entitled to health care or other benefits, you have to have been working and paid cotisations (social insurances) which are based on your salary. As retirees, your parent will have to show appropriate health insurance in order to get a visa - and each year again in order to renew their carte de séjour.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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as a matter of interest , how easy is it for canadians who want to retire here , presumably they can't join the state health scheme , what sort of medical insurance is compulsory [ presuming they can live here ?]
This is what the Toronto consulate says about the required health insurance:

Travel Medical Insurance valid for the entire length of your stay in all the Schengen zone and covering all medical expenses such as medicine, hospitalization, repatriation with a minimum coverage of 50,000 CAD + 1 photocopy
The overall requirements for a visitor visa are here: Long Stay Visitors Visa - La France en Ontario et au Manitoba
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Thanks everyone, I was thinking of the teaching English as a second language route because people eventually leave those jobs for something better. I used to be a kindergarten supply teacher!

I plan on becoming a professor in the future, hopefully I do create connections while I am there. But, I will probably be working, and learning at the same time.

I plan on settling down in a little village, and not the massive Paris because of the hustle.
A lot of people leave the ESL job market because it is quite brutal. The public sector is closed to non-EU citizen (and quite difficult to enter for non-French due to the nature of the civil service exams). The private ESL market is therefore flooded with people of varying degrees of qualifications and experience. Experience and a good qualification in ESL are essential if you want to be able to pay the bills.

Also, little villages do not tend to be centers of economic opportunity, so if you need to work, you may want to consider a small city, or be prepared to commute. There are many different options somewhere between Paris and a tiny village. Others on the board can give you more insight into village/small town living in France.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Of course it is a village in proximity to a university. I have something a little different to offer from my British counterparts; though they are blessed with a distinguished accent in English, I have a different accent, and some people like that too, also I am fluent in French.

Assimilation à la communauté française
Connaissance de la langue française

Selon sa condition sociale (niveau d'études, ressources...), le demandeur doit justifier d'une connaissance suffisante de la langue française, caractérisée par la compréhension du langage nécessaire à la vie courante et par sa capacité à s'exprimer sur des sujets familiers dans ses domaines d'intérêt.
For me, I just have to talk about my studies, ahahaha... :D

Les personnes âgées de plus de 65 ans peuvent être dispensées de produire l'attestation délivrée par les organismes de formation au français langue d'intégration. Leur niveau de connaissance de la langue française est apprécié lors de l'entretien d'assimilation.
Looks like my parent is exempt.

Appartenir à l'entité culturelle et linguistique française, lorsqu'il est ressortissant d'un territoire ou État dont la langue officielle ou l'une des langues officielles est le français et que le français est sa langue maternelle ou qui justifie d'une scolarisation d'au moins 5 ans dans un établissement enseignant en langue française.
Doesn't this mean I'm exempt as well?

Hmmm...

I will be living in a village bordering a small city, a city that has a good university. I don't care where I work during the school year, I could work at Subway, or as an ESL instructor, as long as my time counts towards receiving my nationality.

Private ESL is flooded... I can probably find jobs elsewhere, you just have to be efficient, charming, and punctual.

The real problem is that the consulate services for Ontarians is 7 hours away, in a big city that isn't even Canada's capital.
 

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Private ESL is flooded... I can probably find jobs elsewhere, you just have to be efficient, charming, and punctual.
You are very Canadian/American with that idea, but I am afraid that isn't going to cut it here, sadly. The reality is that Canada is in a better economic situation and your opportunities there are stronger than over here. Plus the happy attitude is not really how one goes about their business here (see grumpy Parisian taxi drivers today, or the cultural code of only smiling to people you know... not what us folks from NA is used to)

I don't think you are appreciating the fact that in order to work at Subway as a Canadian they would have to sponsor you for a visa proving that no other European could work at Subway as well as you. Not going to happen I'm afraid. Yes, you can do your schooling here and after 2 years apply for citizenship, but as it is has been pointed out you would need to legally stay here for the year or so while having your application processed, and that means a job, and that means having skills for a position that no other European has.

I have mentioned that I knew Canadians who also did Master programs here and found a job, but the Prefecture would not let their employers give the job to a non-EU so they went back to Canada.

I don't want to rain on your parade, I hope you can continue your education here, but be cautious about how 'automatic' your application for citizenship is, and how easy it is to find work here. France is really a different beast with regards to hiring/firing which makes it more complicated than what North Americans are used to.
 

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I think the real issue here is that all you have quoted about language ability is for taking French nationality. Before you can do that, you have to live in France (legally and integrated into the system, which means working here) for at least 2 to 5 years.

The first hurdle is to get a long-stay visa that allows you to work.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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