Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bonjour,

I have a question about changing my visa status while remaining in France. I know this is an often-discussed topic, but I didn't see any threads specifically for my type of visa. If I'm wrong, please feel free to point me to any and all existing threads!

I recently moved to France to work as an English teaching assistant in a few public primary schools. I have a long-stay work visa (travailleur temporaire) that expires in mid-May, a few weeks after the expiration of my work contract. I'd like to stay in France after my work contract ends, and to legally do so will require me to change my visa status, to my knowledge.

I'm considering becoming an au pair, enrolling in a French university or both. My questions:

  • Is it possible to change a visa status from long-stay travailleur temporaire to student or au pair?
  • If so, is one visa type easier to obtain (student vs. au pair)?
  • And finally, how much time should I allow for the visa-status-changing formalities? Or better phrased, how early can I start?

Thanks much for any and all assistance!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,382 Posts
Officially, no, you are not allowed to change visa status while remaining in France. The only change in status that is supposed to be allowed is from a renewable long-stay visa status to a spouse visa/status. (You never actually get a spouse visa - you just adjust your titre de séjour status to that of the spouse of a French national.)

All other sorts of status changes are supposed to involve a trip back "home" and re-applying for a new visa.

Now, this is France and you hear about all sorts of exceptions to the official procedures, but those depend on the local prefecture - and if you're in Gif, you should be aware that the prefecture in Evry is not terribly accommodating.

One other approach would be to put together the necessary paperwork (admission to a university program, au pair contract, etc.) and then apply online for a visa appointment with your "back home" consulate. Schedule a short "visit" back home for the period around the visa appointment and re-enter France with a new visa.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bev,

Thanks so much for the prompt and thorough reply! I am indeed currently living in Gif, but am thinking about moving to Paris eventually. Any idea if the prefecture in Paris is a little more accommodating?

Also, possibly silly questions, but:

  • As the prefecture corresponds to where you're living, how long do you have to live in a city to be eligible for that prefecture? Do they rely on some sort of justicatif de domicile?
  • If my French stars aligned and I was able to change the status of my visa while remaining in the country, would I be eligible to work anywhere in the country or only within Essonne?

Thanks again!

Kim
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,382 Posts
Moving to Paris puts you at the mercy of the prefecture for the arrondissement you're living in (though I have heard there has been some move toward centralization for immigration matters).

One of the conditions of your titre de séjour is that you are supposed to notify the préfecture if you change address. It's on the notification of the address change that you change which prefecture handles your case. I'm not sure what support they would ask for a change in address.

If you change status, it depends on what sort of visa and how your titre de séjour is worded. If you got, for example, an employer to back your new visa/status, chances are the titre de séjour would be limited to that employer. For an au pair, you would need to show an approved au pair contract (that conforms to the immigration requirements) plus enrollment in French language classes. The way they control the titres de séjour, it's only really on renewal that they check out your status. (Which is why the process of renewal isn't supposed to involve a change of status.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Another little question

Hi,
Thanks for this thread.
I'm in a similar situation but with another added complication, that being that I am in a relationship with a french citizen (him being the reason I decided to come to France in the first place).
I'm part-way through the assistanship program and have been told that it is possible for me to re-new my contract (which is fantastic!) My problem is that the paperwork says it is compulsory to return to my home country to re-apply for the visa. Now, even though it says it's compulsory, I'm holding out hope that I might somehow qualify for some kind of exception? I would like to continue working as an assistant, but I'm also wanting to go university here at the same time.

My question is, do you think it would be possible to change my visa to a student one or some kind of de-facto visa (which would allow me to work) without returning home? Maybe there is a way to convince my prefecture that I have ties here in France and returning home to Australia to get a piece of paper is ridiculous? Perhaps they could let me do the paperwork through my country's embassy is France instead?? Or something along those lines.
We're considering getting PASC'ed, but I've been told it probably wouldn't help me that much.

I can (just) afford to go home if I have to, but there are so many other things I'd rather spend $1600 on.

Also, getting married isn't an option as I'd still need to return home and get the necessary apostille stamp on my birth certificate. Ahh, bureaucracy! :confused2:

Thanks so much for any help/advice/ideas! The stress of this is making me crazy!
- miriam
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,382 Posts
Well, "arguing logic" with French officials is normally pretty pointless, so you can pretty much rule that approach out.

Normally, you shouldn't have to go back home if you were renewing your existing titre de séjour. What this means, however, is that you can show that all the same conditions that got you your visa in the first place are still applicable - which I guess would mean that you would continue in the assistantship program. However I suspect that your travailleur temporaire status could be one that is not "renewable."

If you want to change your visa/carte de séjour status, then normally you have to return back home to re-apply for a new visa, re-enter the country on that visa and then go through whatever OFII processing there is (or isn't) as though it were your first arrival again. The one big exception is a change of status from a renewable long-stay visa status to that of the spouse of a French national. But once again, there is the matter of whether or not your current visa is considered renewable or not.

You could always simply ask at the local prefecture - if only to find out if your current titre de séjour is renewable if you can get the contract renewed. Unfortunately, even if you can get someone to tell you "yes" you could still run into problems when you actually try to renew. (Sometimes people at the prefecture "try" to be helpful without really fully understanding the situation.) See what they can tell you, but be prepared no matter what for the possibility that you may have to make a trip back.

Unless anyone else here has any different experience with such things.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Thanks Bev!
I think I will try and make an appointment for my local prefecture.
I'll prepare a HUGE list of questions, the first of which being whether my visa is a renewable one, and try and get some positive answers :)
I'm 99% sure the school I work for will want to re-new my contract. If that's the case, and my visa allows re-renewals, then it might be possible to extend my titre de sejour without the trip home??
But if my visa is the type that doesn't allow renewals, then I'm almost certain to have to return home?

My main problem is that I get so confused with all the terminology, I'm sure to confuse them and myself.

Thanks again for your words of wisdom!
- miriam
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,382 Posts
I'm 99% sure the school I work for will want to re-new my contract. If that's the case, and my visa allows re-renewals, then it might be possible to extend my titre de sejour without the trip home??
But if my visa is the type that doesn't allow renewals, then I'm almost certain to have to return home?
Basically, that's about how I expect it will work itself out. Just ask your questions, show them what documents you have and note down the answers without trying to argue them into changing their minds or anything. If all else fails, ask them (as humbly as you can) "what do YOU suggest I do?" You never know - if they like you, they may find a way. But if you challenge them or p them off, they'll do their best to trip you up.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Thanks Bev!
I think I will try and make an appointment for my local prefecture.
I'll prepare a HUGE list of questions, the first of which being whether my visa is a renewable one, and try and get some positive answers :)
I'm 99% sure the school I work for will want to re-new my contract. If that's the case, and my visa allows re-renewals, then it might be possible to extend my titre de sejour without the trip home??
But if my visa is the type that doesn't allow renewals, then I'm almost certain to have to return home?

My main problem is that I get so confused with all the terminology, I'm sure to confuse them and myself.

Thanks again for your words of wisdom!
- miriam
Are you with the TAPIF? If so, then you have a travailleur temporaire visa, and you will most likely have to go back to the US to change your status. (I have had many assistant.e friends try and fail to change/renew theirs in France, but as Bev said, you may get lucky and come across a sympathetic fonctionnaire. It's worth a shot, but it is not something I would depend on.)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,382 Posts
Nah, the issue is that the OP here is from Australia. Longer trip, and more expensive. But I've seen little evidence that that is taken into account in these matters.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Nah, the issue is that the OP here is from Australia. Longer trip, and more expensive. But I've seen little evidence that that is taken into account in these matters.
Cheers,
Bev
Another Cuné reading comprehension fail. Sorry about that!

In that case, I really hope you do fall into the lap of a particularly sympathetic fonctionnaire, OP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Hi,
No, I'm not with TAPIF, but the Australian equivalent, and I think the rules are almost identical.
I wish they took things like logistics into account - if I were from England, popping over for a few weeks wouldn't be a big problem, but as it is, it would just about send me broke.

I just found this site about extending visa's for work reasons (which could suit me?), but I'm assuming that, like you said, will depend on whether my original visa is renewable.

ww. hauts-de-seine.gouv.fr/Demarches-administratives/Etrangers-en-France/Renseignements-pratiques/Prolongation-de-Visa

Do you think this site means renewing a visa, or the titre de sejour? Or are they the same thing? My current visa expires on the 1st of May, by my OFII stamp is valid till October, so I'm so very confused. And to stay in France, both would need to "be extended"?

Sorry for the bombardment of questions. Hopefully I'll get my head around this all soon.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
18,642 Posts
Hi,
Do you think this site means renewing a visa, or the titre de sejour?
That's an interesting question, as the page talks about visas specifically. I would say it's worth a try. I suggest you print out the page and take it with you when you go to the Prefecture and ask them whether it means you can extend your visa. Nothing ventured, nothing gained :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
One other approach would be to put together the necessary paperwork (admission to a university program, au pair contract, etc.) and then apply online for a visa appointment with your "back home" consulate. Schedule a short "visit" back home for the period around the visa appointment and re-enter France with a new visa.
Cheers,
Bev

Hi Bev,

I have a few questions that pertains to your above statement. I am currently on a Tourist Visa and have settled on a contract with a family to be an Au Pair. I was under the impression I would have to go back to the US for 3-4 weeks as the Au Pair Visa is being processed. Is it possible to make the appt online and then just go back briefly to pick up the visa, i.e. not spending so much time back home? Can I just fax them everything and then see them in person to PICK UP the visa?

Additionally, Can I go to any Consulate? Or must I go to Houston (due to my address on my drivers license being in Arkansas)

Thanks so much for any info you could give on this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Hi Bev,

I have a few questions that pertains to your above statement. I am currently on a Tourist Visa and have settled on a contract with a family to be an Au Pair. I was under the impression I would have to go back to the US for 3-4 weeks as the Au Pair Visa is being processed. Is it possible to make the appt online and then just go back briefly to pick up the visa, i.e. not spending so much time back home? Can I just fax them everything and then see them in person to PICK UP the visa?

Additionally, Can I go to any Consulate? Or must I go to Houston (due to my address on my drivers license being in Arkansas)

Thanks so much for any info you could give on this.
I do not think that any consulate is going to allow you to submit the documents online and just "pick up" a visa. Part of the visa process is a kind of interview, not to mention, from what I remember, they like seeing originals and copies when applicable. I could be wrong, but I very highly doubt that you will be able to do that.

Concerning which consulate, you have to go to the consulate where you can prove regional residency (ie driver's license, although generally they accept other things like utility bills). You cannot go to any old consulate. I personally learned this the hard way because it is almost impossible to procure an appointment at the French consulate of Atlanta. Fortunately for you, from what I've seen, it looks like it's only the French consulate of Atlanta that is exceedingly difficult - most other French consulates in the US have lots of appointment availability. You just have to count that the visa processing is going to take a while. For my visitor's visa, it took a little under a month, and they even offered a service to Fedex my passport to me (which was fortunate because I finally ended up getting an appointment 1 day before I was set to leave the state of Georgia).
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,382 Posts
Like Julialynn says, you must submit your visa application (in person) at the French consulate for the area in which you are legally resident. Whether you pick up your visa or have it sent to you after that initial appointment is up to the procedures of the consulate you used.

What I was referring to in my original statement is that you can (actually, you generally "must") apply for your appointment online. And for someone currently in France, that's actually the most convenient way to do things, as you can better plan your return trip once you know when you actually have the appointment. At times, folks have reported that the next available appointment at "their" consulate can be two months or more out - and if you wait until you've arrived back in the States to even try to make the appointment, that can really mess up your plans.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Like Julialynn says, you must submit your visa application (in person) at the French consulate for the area in which you are legally resident. Whether you pick up your visa or have it sent to you after that initial appointment is up to the procedures of the consulate you used.

What I was referring to in my original statement is that you can (actually, you generally "must") apply for your appointment online. And for someone currently in France, that's actually the most convenient way to do things, as you can better plan your return trip once you know when you actually have the appointment. At times, folks have reported that the next available appointment at "their" consulate can be two months or more out - and if you wait until you've arrived back in the States to even try to make the appointment, that can really mess up your plans.
Cheers,
Bev
Yup! I forgot to mention that, but yes, just about every consulate requires you to make your appointment online, which at least will be fortunate for you, since it'll make knowing when to come back easier. I don't know how the consulate of Houston is, but the Atlanta consulate was pretty much booked up the entire summer when I was trying to make an appointment. They only put about 3 months of appointments up, and they all instantly disappear. I remember looking at the Chicago consulate, and they always had appointments available. Same for the DC consulate.

Be very careful - the different consulates ask for very different things, so make sure that all your documents are thoroughly and completely prepared according to what is said on that consulate's website before arriving. (For example, the Atlanta consulate asked me to have multiple documents professionally translated into French, whereas the DC consulate asked for no such thing).
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top