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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
Can anyone shed a little light on what has become a confusing matter for us please ? We are moving to France in August and myself and my 2 children are dual Estonian / Australian citizens so therefore will be travelling on our Estonian (EU) passports.

My husband is not an EU citizen. We understand that as a non EU spouse of an EU citizen he is fine to live with us in France and travel in Europe with us also with no visa requirements. As we understand it he just needs to register for the carte de sojour within 2 months of our arrival. We have heard that the carte de sojour can take up to 6 months to be issued.

Our concern is this : travelling on an Australian passport without a long term visa he is only allowed to stay in France for 3 months. If the carte de sojour will take longer than this to issue does that mean he will be “illegal” ? Once you register with the prefecture and have a receipt, is this enough for the authorities ? He will not be working so we only need this card for residency purposes. We also want to travel a bit so is the receipt enough for that??

We were also wondering if we will need to have our marriage certificate translated into French ? If so, do we need to do that before we arrive or can someone at the local prefecture normally assist with this ? We have tried to gather information on exactly what documents we need to accompany the application for carte de sojour but it is hard to get a definitive answer.

Would appreciate any input ...... Thanks.
 

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The right of a person to live and work in France depends on their citizenship as follows:

1. Non-European Union Citizens: A Carte de Séjour, also known as a Titre de Séjour, is a residence permit required by French law for any non-European Union citizen staying in France for a period longer than three months.
2. European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) Citizens: All EU citizens from the original accession countries, and EEA citizens and their family members have the right to live and work in France and do not require a work or residence permit.

Note: The non-EU/EEA spouse and dependent family members of an EU citizen in France are entitled to the same rights as an EU citizen to live in France, however within two months of arrival in the country they must apply for a residence permit (Carte de Séjour) and will not be entitled to all rights afforded EU/EEA citizens in France. "Family members" are the spouse, children under 21 years of both the EU citizen or their non-EU spouse (and dependant parents, under certain circumstances).
3. New EU Accession countries: Citizens of the new EU member states Bulgaria and Romania may live in France but there are limitations on the sectors in which they may be employed. These rulings apply for seven years from the point of the member country's accession to the EU. From 1 July 2008 many restrictions were removed for citizens of Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Limitations may also apply to non-EU citizens who hold residency permits from new accession states. Seek advice of the French Embassy in the new member state.

I just copy pasted this from this website:
Residency in France for EU and non-EU Citizens - Carte de Séjour French Residence Permit - AngloINFO French Riviera, in the Côte d'Azur (France)

from what it looks like, he's got all the same rights as you but he just needs to do the carte de sejour before 2 months. The carte de sejour process will need you to translate every single last document requested into french.

On a side note, i married a french woman so i needed my livret de famille for this process.. dont know if you have an estonian equivalent, there certainly isnt an australian equivalent so i dont know what you'd do with that
 

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I have a feeling this could get complicated.

Your non-EU husband has the right to a French carte de séjour if you are living in France and exercising your EU rights of mobility. What this means is that you will have to produce proof that you are married and you will have to provide evidence of your residence in France (i.e. where you are living, a lease or other residence document, like a utility bill) and how you are supporting yourself (and him) while living in France (job contract, bank statements, etc.). Technically you'll need medical insurance if you aren't eligible for whatever health care system they have in Estonia. I don't know that they'll ask for it at the prefecture, but they theoretically could do so.

If they want the marriage certificate translated, chances are it will have to be done by a "certified" translator - which means someone who can authenticate the document at the same time - so I would wait until you get to France to have this done. Ask first at the prefecture, though, because they might accept some form of authentication through the Estonian consulate in France.

The only way to find out precisely what documents you'll need for the application, though, is to stop into the prefecture and ask them. Each prefecture has their own list of requirements and it's best to get the list (in written form, if possible) first and then assemble your dossier.
Cheers,
Bev
It varies greatly by prefecture as to how long it will take to get his carte de séjour. Once they have accepted his application (his "dossier" as they usually say) he should receive a receipt, which will function as his permit to remain until the card is issued.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all for your advice. We have all the paperwork we can possibly think of to back ourselves up so fingers crossed all goes well. Thanks again.
 

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Visa de long sejour

Hi,
Just wanted to add that you may want to look into getting a visa de sejour before leaving australia as some prefectures are very difficult to deal with and may not issue the carte de sejour. I thought I would be able to get the carte de sejour easily once I got here being the wife of a french citizen but I am now about to travel back to Australia just to get the visa de long sejour. I would double check your info before you leave just to make sure.
 

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Hi,
Just wanted to add that you may want to look into getting a visa de sejour before leaving australia as some prefectures are very difficult to deal with and may not issue the carte de sejour. I thought I would be able to get the carte de sejour easily once I got here being the wife of a french citizen but I am now about to travel back to Australia just to get the visa de long sejour. I would double check your info before you leave just to make sure.
Jess, the rules are very different for non-EU nationals married to French nationals. You do need a visa de long séjour to be able to get a carte de séjour. Non-EU nationals married to EU nationals (other than French nationals) actually have an easier time of it and do not need anything more than a visitor visa (which includes the 90 day Schengen visa which is just stamped in your passport on arrival).
Cheers,
Bev
 
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