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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey y'all, my post isn't exactly a response to the OP, but a lot of the visa and legality references in the thread do pertain to my unique situation, so I thought I'd ask.

I came to Paris to be an au pair in February 2013 and had a contract through July, which then got extended to October (when my visa expired- Oct. 1) and now I am going to definitely stay through December (you can have 3 months to get out of the country after the visa expires, right?).

Now, the issues are these: When I arrived, I sent in my paperwork to OFII and then got a letter stating they received the paperwork. All well and good. But then after that, I never received the appointment to go the immigration office for my medical appointment, where they give you your stamp or whatever and the titre de sejour, which fully validates your visa (I understand it's not complete when you first arrive, only partially). I told my host mom about this, and we just figured it was taking the administration a long time, but still, nothing has come, and I don't think she ever called like she said she would. Then, I thought that if you went back to the US at least once, that it would restart the 90 or 120 days (I've seen both?) that you can be in France without a visa, so I wasn't worried about it. However, I now know that it's 90 in every 180 days, oops. I also did not take the class required for the visa, as I wasn't planning on renewing it, but now, I want to stay until next July, so I'm hitting these problems.

So the situation: my non-fully-validated visa just expired, I did not take the courses, but I can enroll in a 4 or 12 week one. [I also heard at one point (from a blog and the french embassy) that I didn't have to attend classes the whole time, and just as long as I showed evidence that I completed at least SOMETHING, even 4 weeks, that that would be sufficient for renewing] And I have been in France from Feb 2 to end of May when I went back home for 2 weeks, then until august where I was home for 3 weeks, and now back here until Christmas.

Phew, sorry about writing an entire novel, but it's a complex situation!
Thanks for any advice!
 

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Have moved you into a thread of your own, since you have a couple of issues here.

First of all, on a visa for less than one year, you don't normally need to go through the OFII stuff - certainly not the medical appointment and formal visit. I'm not even sure that you have to have your visa "validated" (i.e. turned into a titre de séjour) but they keep changing the process.

I came to Paris to be an au pair in February 2013 and had a contract through July, which then got extended to October (when my visa expired- Oct. 1) and now I am going to definitely stay through December (you can have 3 months to get out of the country after the visa expires, right?).
Now, how exactly did you get your visa "extended"? If you just ducked out of France for a bit and re-entered on a "Schengen visa" (i.e. the 90 day stamp in the passport) then you're no longer here on an au pair visa at all and there is nothing to extend if you are planning on staying through December. (Who told you that you have 3 months to get out of the country after your visa expires?)

So the situation: my non-fully-validated visa just expired, I did not take the courses, but I can enroll in a 4 or 12 week one. [I also heard at one point (from a blog and the french embassy) that I didn't have to attend classes the whole time, and just as long as I showed evidence that I completed at least SOMETHING, even 4 weeks, that that would be sufficient for renewing] And I have been in France from Feb 2 to end of May when I went back home for 2 weeks, then until august where I was home for 3 weeks, and now back here until Christmas.
Are you talking about the courses (actually, classes) you take through the OFII? Or the French lessons you are expected to take as a condition of your au pair visa? While it's true you don't have to attend classes the whole time you are working as an au pair, you apparently never took any French classes during the term of your au pair visa. Normally, in the visa process you are required to submit documentation of your registration in a French language course, along with your approved au pair contract (which will also specify the dates of your au pair arrangement). Your host family would need to get approval for an amended contract (i.e. with the new dates and, I imagine, evidence of a paid up registration for French classes).

If you actually extended your au pair visa in July, then you need to do the same thing again. (Though it is not usually possible to extend a long-stay visa from within France. Normally, you renew your titre de séjour - if it is renewable.) If you just went back home and re-entered France on a 90 day Schengen visa, then you have overstayed and there is no au pair visa to extend. If you just go home now, I suspect they may not do anything about the overstay, but I don't know how they are tracking these things currently.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First of all, on a visa for less than one year, you don't normally need to go through the OFII stuff - certainly not the medical appointment and formal visit.
I thought if it was anything over the 90 say Shengen visa, that you had to do that stuff. I don't know why they only gave me a visa from September to October, my friends' visas are all typically a year.

Now, how exactly did you get your visa "extended"?
I haven't extended my visa at all. Since I knew I had until October, I just told the family that I would indeed stay longer. My contract probably still says until July though; we haven't done anything with that since I first got the visa. Also, I've been reading so much that I can't remember where I heard that, but it makes sense that if your visa expires, then you'd be able to still be here for 90 days like the other tourists who don't have visas right?

Your host family would need to get approval for an amended contract (i.e. with the new dates and, I imagine, evidence of a paid up registration for French classes).
I'm talking about the French language courses that we're required to take. I did do a pre-registration to get here, and presented the form to obtain my visa, but then when I got here I realized it was going to be very time-consuming and expensive to do, which bothered me, as I already speak French fluently and honestly learn more just being out with French friends and talking. So, no, I did not take the classes during my visa duration (Feb-Oct). But in theory, I could do it, before I renewed the visa.

(Though it is not usually possible to extend a long-stay visa from within France. Normally, you renew your titre de séjour - if it is renewable.)
And through OFII is how I would get that titre de sejour, right? But if I never even got that... could I just restart the process, even from within the US? I mean, if it was never validated, would it be like I never held one, or would it be like I messed it up and they won't grant me an extension? Or a new one in the future?


If you just went back home and re-entered France on a 90 day Schengen visa, then you have overstayed and there is no au pair visa to extend.
I just re-entered normally. I don't think anyone even looked at my actual visa, just my identity page. And all of this was within the time period of my visa, so I'd imagine I could go back and forth while I hold my visa right?

Thanks for responding, and sorry again if it's confusing! It's all just really technical, and as I want to work in international relations and travel back and forth in the future, I really don't want to wreck my chances of being allowed to stay here for an extended time.

Devon
 

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From the Washington DC French consulate website:

A long stay visa (D) is required for any stay in France that exceeds 90 days. The visa issued for a "Au pair" stay is valid as a resident card at the same time, from 3 to 12 months. You don’t need to apply for a resident card with this visa. You will be required to register at the local branch of OFII office within the first 3 months of your stay in France.
You may want to dig out the contract you used to apply for your visa.
An employment contract (contrat de travail) signed by the french labor Department (DIRECCTE : (Direction du Travail) in France.
As far as I know, they grant the visa for the period of time that was originally indicated in the contract you submitted.

but it makes sense that if your visa expires, then you'd be able to still be here for 90 days like the other tourists who don't have visas right?
What "makes sense" really has nothing to do with how the immigration laws work - either here or in the US. (Believe me on this one, I spent 20 months as an illegal here in France after being married here in France to a French national based on "what someone told me" because what I was told was flat out wrong.)

I did do a pre-registration to get here, and presented the form to obtain my visa, but then when I got here I realized it was going to be very time-consuming and expensive to do, which bothered me, as I already speak French fluently and honestly learn more just being out with French friends and talking. So, no, I did not take the classes during my visa duration (Feb-Oct). But in theory, I could do it, before I renewed the visa.
OK, well the good news is that they probably won't come back on you for not taking the classes you were supposed to do. However, you could get hassled about it on re-applying for an au pair visa, should you go that route. (Depending on the consulate, you may have to submit a paid-up registration - so that if you bail on the classes, you've wasted your employer's money. If they're ok with that, I suppose it's no big deal.)

And through OFII is how I would get that titre de sejour, right? But if I never even got that... could I just restart the process, even from within the US? I mean, if it was never validated, would it be like I never held one, or would it be like I messed it up and they won't grant me an extension? Or a new one in the future?
On an au pair visa you're only required to register with the OFII, not to get a titre de séjour - so you basically have nothing to renew. (And any renewal would go through the préfecture.)

I just re-entered normally. I don't think anyone even looked at my actual visa, just my identity page. And all of this was within the time period of my visa, so I'd imagine I could go back and forth while I hold my visa right?
Obviously you simply re-entered France the last time on your au pair visa. I just got back from the US earlier this week and I notice they don't actually stamp your passport anymore. They just scan your passport to record your comings and goings. Not sure how much they bother with matching things up against your visa record, nor what they would do if anyone notices that you're here on an overstay.

You and your employer probably need to touch base with someone at the préfecture to see what, if anything, can be done to extend your au pair visa.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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