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General Info: Spouse of French citizen applying for Spouse Visa / Titre de Séjour

Hi all,

I had to make a list for a friend of all the stuff we went through moving to France. I thought I'd post it here in case it helps someone with the "well, what now?" question once you've decided to move to France.

This is what we did, and would apply to you only if:

- You have a French Spouse
- You got married in the US of A (and are a US Citizen)
- You want to move to France


The links provided are the Atlanta Consulate. I would recommend looking at your local consulates for the paperwork. Consulates of France in the US - France in the United States/ Embassy of France in Washington
It should be standard, but as you will soon find out in France...your mileage may vary. :cool:

Step 0: Get married. Get a Marriage license.

Step 1: Transcription of US Marriage license in French
http://www.consulfrance-atlanta.org/IMG/pdf/Requete_Mariage.pdf
Need copy of your US Marriage License, might need other paperwork (ask consulate by phone perhaps)
Fill out request to get a transcript of your marriage license (above)
Turn it in and wait! (I think you can do this by mail) Ours took a couple months.

Step 2: Getting a Livret de Famille (you need this to apply for your spouse visa)
Mise à jour de votre état civil - France in the Southeast region
Paperwork needed is listed on the site. Typical bunch of paperwork needed here, including the above transcription, birth certificates (less than 3 months old for the French (order online), the American needs to be long-form with an Apostille from the Secretary of State's office attached - would suggest getting 4 or 5 of these). Lots more paperwork needed, see site above for complete list.
After you get your Livret de Famille - you can now apply for....

Step 3: Spouse Visa Requirements:
Long stay visa for the spouse of a French national - France in the Southeast region
For this you have to make an appointment. Typically they fill up quickly, so make it in advance, but not so advance that you won't have your paperwork in time.
Again, paperwork required is listed on the site above. It is a lot. :eek: This is normal.
They will take your passport at this point to attach the visa inside, so you won't be able to travel for a few weeks.

** After you get your passport back with the Visa inside you can now move to France at this point **

Step 4: Moving to France OFII visit
Once you move to France, you will be provided with stuff to mail off to the local OFII office in France and then they will send you an appointment date.
You can read about my experience here: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/france-expat-forum-expats-living-france/98275-my-ofii-experience-montrouge-december-2011-a.html
It is basically a "welcome to France" video, a French test, and a medical exam.
Then you also will have to go to a Civics class, one day class about the history of France and French cultural values. A few posts down from the above link is about my Civics class.
This gets you a Validated Visa for your first year, which means you'll be legal for 1 year for living in France. Yay.

Step 5: A few months before your first year in France -- apply for Carte de Sejour (or Titre de Sejour)
You'll go the to local Prefecture and make an appointment for première demande de titre de séjour (do this 3 months in advance)
You'll make the appointment and get the list of paperwork from them. Don't trust the interwebs for the list - the Prefectures all have slightly different versions of what you need.
You'll go for your appointment (with all paperwork), show it to them, you'll get a Récépissé de demande de titre de séjour saying you've applied for it - and you'll have that for two or three months until you get your Titre de Séjour by mail...I think mine took like 2 months into the next year.
Your first Titre de Séjour will be good for...1 year! Yep, all that work for another basically 7 months of living in France, since you'll have to return to the Prefecture 3 months before it is up to book another appointment and get the paperwork list again. :rolleyes:

Step 6: The next Titre de Séjour
So this is the same process as last time, go to the Prefecture for the list (yes, go again...you never know they change these things all the time) and book the appointment, give the papework, get a récépissé, then get your titre de sejour.
Mileage may vary here...they may give you another 1 year one, they might give you a 5 year one, or they might give you a 10 year one. I got a 10 year one, but I know others who got 1 year ones for several years and then got a 10 year one or a 5 year one. Probably depends on where you live....if we had lived in Paris when I re-applied, I bet I would have gotten another 1 year one, for example. But we live in the countryside now, so they were a bit more cool about handing over a 10 year one. Or they might had seen we had already been married for several years so they decided to give me a 10 year. Who knows. It's a mysterious process!

Step 7: Applying for Nationality
Acquisition de la nationalité française par mariage : conditions - Service-public.fr
You have to be married at least 4 years to apply for French nationality, and 3 of those years would have to be consecutively lived in France. If you have been married over 5 years it won't matter how long you've lived in France (maybe). If it was abroad then the French spouse needs to have been registered with the French authorities abroad through the consulate.
You will have to have a French test to have at least a B1 knowledge of French. You can download practice tests and sign up for tests at this website: Exemples de sujets | CIEP - the test is like 120 euros, and takes a couple hours. You have to get over 50/100 to pass.
You will have to have the normal paperwork you will have had all along in the process, plus a couple of extras (your parents birth certificates, for example). Again, see the website and visit the Prefecture for a complete list.
After applying for Nationality they have 1 year to approve you. The Gendarme will come and visit you, and then eventually you'll get a letter in the mail (I'm in this process right now, will edit this when I'm done).


Step 8: Drink lots of wine -- you are "done."

You can probably never really be done with French paperwork, but if you reach this far, at least you know that the worst is (probably) over.

Hope that helps. Please if anyone has additional info or see something that could use clarification, let me know below and I'll edit it. Looking back at all this again it seems like this is still the process, but who knows.

-Aaron
 

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Step 5: A few months before your first year in France -- apply for Carte de Sejour (or Titre de Sejour)
You'll go the to local Prefecture and make an appointment for première demande de titre de séjour (do this 3 months in advance)
You'll make the appointment and get the list of paperwork from them. Don't trust the interwebs for the list - the Prefectures all have slightly different versions of what you need.

-Aaron
Are you sure this is a premiere demande de titre de sejour? I think the OFII vignette is the premiere titre de sejour.
 

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Are you sure this is a premiere demande de titre de sejour? I think the OFII vignette is the premiere titre de sejour.
Probably right - I think what they meant to say was a premiere demande de carte de sejour. But the French don't normally fuss about word choice too much.

Thank you, arstewart, for that summary. Yes, the Atlanta consulate sometimes does things a bit differently from the other consulates in the US. But the principle is the same. Ditto the individual préfectures. Some want you to make an appointment on line, others have you stand in line to "take a number" or some other version of how to take an appointment.

And there does seem to be some change in the practice of whether you have to keep renewing your carte de séjour year by year or can get a multi-year one after a certain period of time. Keeps things interesting, I guess.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Are you sure this is a premiere demande de titre de sejour? I think the OFII vignette is the premiere titre de sejour.
Good question - this might vary on Prefecture, but you are correct.
Étranger en France : visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour - Service-public.fr

When we went they gave me a sheet for the "premiere demande de titre de sejour" (we made it clear what I already had). The paperwork was pretty much the same for the Premiere demande as well as for the next year for the renewal - so it probably doesn't matter, but thanks for the clarification.

Thanks!
 

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Thank you for all of the useful information. It's hard to find it all in one place!

I am American and I'm getting married to a French citizen next month in Paris.

I currently live in Germany with a German visa and will be applying for my long stay visa for France ( from Germany ) next week. From what I have read, if I do that, then I can switch it to the spouse visa easier after the wedding, without having to leave france.

I can't seem to find accurate information anywhere about how soon after we are married can I work? I have read on some forums or pages that we must have lived together for 1 year before I can work - is this true? What am I supposed to do for a year!? On paper, we've only 'lived together' for 2 months now as I can not live with him, or in France until I have a visa. So much red tape!

If anyone has any information on this it would be greatly appreciated. I have a great job offer for 1 month after I am married and I would hate if I could not take it...
 

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Thank you for all of the useful information. It's hard to find it all in one place!

I am American and I'm getting married to a French citizen next month in Paris.

I currently live in Germany with a German visa and will be applying for my long stay visa for France ( from Germany ) next week. From what I have read, if I do that, then I can switch it to the spouse visa easier after the wedding, without having to leave france.

I can't seem to find accurate information anywhere about how soon after we are married can I work? I have read on some forums or pages that we must have lived together for 1 year before I can work - is this true? What am I supposed to do for a year!? On paper, we've only 'lived together' for 2 months now as I can not live with him, or in France until I have a visa. So much red tape!

If anyone has any information on this it would be greatly appreciated. I have a great job offer for 1 month after I am married and I would hate if I could not take it...
Just an FYI from what I've always understood, you'll have to apply for the spouse visa in the USA if you are a US citizen (but I'm not sure about EU visa holders - anyone else with expertise want to chime in here?). I very well could be mistaken on this point, but it's just what I've understood and read.

Re: working - As soon as you have a spouse-visa you can work, I started an AE in my first year in Paris and started working right away, no problems. (Well, problems with starting the AE, but that wasn't because of my status, just due to general French administration).

It may be that your ability to work would be limited on the long-stay visa you are trying to get, I could see that happening. But spouses of French citizens have the right to work, IF you have a spouse visa and then afterwards a Titre de Sejour because of said spouse.
 

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hello mynameiskristen

First of all congrats.

I was i the exact same situation last year.

I am an Indian and I was studying in Germany. I got married to my then gf in a Parisien suburb. I applied for a spouse visa from Frankfurt the next week and got it in a day. You spouse visa entitles you to work full time.

But finding a job might be difficult atleast till you get the OFII sticker on your passport which technically is your residence permit. I've heard that some employers refuse to hire you unless you have your carte de sejour which you will get roughly after 13-14 months after your arrival in France. But I dont think this is a problem. I have found part time work without the carte de sejour and know people who have got a CDI (permanent work contract with only the OFII sticker).

Which german visa do you have? do you hold a German residence permit?
 

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Oh thank you so much! It is so nice to hear from someone who has been in a similar situation...! It has been SO hard to get info specific to the situation.

I have had a freelance German Visa for the past 3 years but it expires on the 6th of September, and my wedding is on the 30th of August so it leaves VERY little time to switch...

Do you think it would be better to cancel my appointment next week in Frankfurt and just wait until we are married to go the following week and directly apply for the spouse visa? I am going to apply for the long stay visa which is 6 months, and now I am getting concerned I will have to wait until it is up to change my status...

Well the reason I am so nervous is because I potentially already have a great job offer which would have me start the beginning of October.. I would HATE to lose the chance for this job!!

Thank you for the help!
 

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Just an FYI from what I've always understood, you'll have to apply for the spouse visa in the USA if you are a US citizen (but I'm not sure about EU visa holders - anyone else with expertise want to chime in here?). I very well could be mistaken on this point, but it's just what I've understood and read.

Re: working - As soon as you have a spouse-visa you can work, I started an AE in my first year in Paris and started working right away, no problems. (Well, problems with starting the AE, but that wasn't because of my status, just due to general French administration).

It may be that your ability to work would be limited on the long-stay visa you are trying to get, I could see that happening. But spouses of French citizens have the right to work, IF you have a spouse visa and then afterwards a Titre de Sejour because of said spouse.
Hi! Thank you so much for the information. Well I found out that being that I have been residing in Germany for 3 years I have to go there as my 'home country'. That much I know..

I am more just confused to whether or not it is better to get the long stay visa from Frankfurt BEFORE the wedding (I thought I could switch it to spouse visa after the wedding immediately in that case but maybe I am wrong - ?) or if it is better to go to Frankfurt a day or two after the wedding (how soon after do you get the livret de famille?) and apply directly for the spouse visa?
 

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Oh thank you so much! It is so nice to hear from someone who has been in a similar situation...! It has been SO hard to get info specific to the situation.

I have had a freelance German Visa for the past 3 years but it expires on the 6th of September, and my wedding is on the 30th of August so it leaves VERY little time to switch...

Do you think it would be better to cancel my appointment next week in Frankfurt and just wait until we are married to go the following week and directly apply for the spouse visa? I am going to apply for the long stay visa which is 6 months, and now I am getting concerned I will have to wait until it is up to change my status...

Well the reason I am so nervous is because I potentially already have a great job offer which would have me start the beginning of October.. I would HATE to lose the chance for this job!!

Thank you for the help!
Which visa are you applying for exactly?
 

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Which visa are you applying for exactly?
I have scheduled to go to Frankfurt next week to apply for a long stay visa. He calls it: 'Visa en vue mariage' as I told him I won't make it to Frankfurt in time after the wedding before my German visa expires.
Things have changed now though. I can go directly after but it is cutting it REALLY close.
 

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Ah okay, I am guessing it is something similar to a fiancé visa.

Now I think this is a complicated situation. I dont think a fiancé visa entitles you to work. Would it be possible for you to renew your residence permit and then apply for your spouse visa after the wedding?

I personally think you could get our spouse visa well before october if your wedding is before 15th september.

In my case I got married on 13th july and had my visa issued by 1st August. I had applied on 30th July though.

That was because I had to wait for "casier judiciaire"/no criminal records certificate(i forgot the german word) from Bundespolizei. You have to apply for this and they will mail it to you within 2 weeks.
 

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OK - be VERY careful here. I was in more or less precisely the same situation (albeit 20 years ago) and ran into mega-problems.

First of all, yes, you do have to apply for your visa from your country of residence (i.e. Germany). But you may want to rethink the way you're doing it. Before the marriage takes place, you can only apply for a long stay visitor visa - which means a one-year visa with no work privileges. After the marriage, you can change your status, but normally only when the initial one-year visa/residence permit is up for renewal, a couple of months before its expiration. Though a few folks have reported that their local prefectures will change status earlier than that, you probably will have difficulty changing to that of spouse if you haven't gone through the OFII formalities, particularly the "contrat d'accueil" stuff.

If you skip the visitor visa, what you can do is to get married in France on your Schengen visa (i.e. your 90 days as a tourist), and as soon as you get your livret de famille, hop back to Frankfurt and put in for your spouse visa. Delivery should only take a week, maybe two tops and it's as close to an "automatic" visa as there is. (As long as you're not a threat to national security.) Just get the verification of your domicile in Germany before your visa expires so you can "prove" your eligibility to apply through the Frankfurt consulate.

On re-arrival in France with your new spouse visa, you'll have to register with the OFII to go through the processing there. Technically speaking, you're eligible to work from the get go, however practically speaking you should plan on getting the OFII stuff completed before you start work. There are a couple of classes to attend (day long affairs), the medical exam and a meeting with Pole Emploi, plus an assessment of your level of French (with mandatory French classes if you need them).

If you do go the visitor visa route, be prepared to spend your first year in France without being able to work and make sure to contact the OFII before going to change status so you can complete what is needed for the contrat d'accueil.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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OK - be VERY careful here. I was in more or less precisely the same situation (albeit 20 years ago) and ran into mega-problems.

First of all, yes, you do have to apply for your visa from your country of residence (i.e. Germany). But you may want to rethink the way you're doing it. Before the marriage takes place, you can only apply for a long stay visitor visa - which means a one-year visa with no work privileges. After the marriage, you can change your status, but normally only when the initial one-year visa/residence permit is up for renewal, a couple of months before its expiration. Though a few folks have reported that their local prefectures will change status earlier than that, you probably will have difficulty changing to that of spouse if you haven't gone through the OFII formalities, particularly the "contrat d'accueil" stuff.

If you skip the visitor visa, what you can do is to get married in France on your Schengen visa (i.e. your 90 days as a tourist), and as soon as you get your livret de famille, hop back to Frankfurt and put in for your spouse visa. Delivery should only take a week, maybe two tops and it's as close to an "automatic" visa as there is. (As long as you're not a threat to national security.) Just get the verification of your domicile in Germany before your visa expires so you can "prove" your eligibility to apply through the Frankfurt consulate.

On re-arrival in France with your new spouse visa, you'll have to register with the OFII to go through the processing there. Technically speaking, you're eligible to work from the get go, however practically speaking you should plan on getting the OFII stuff completed before you start work. There are a couple of classes to attend (day long affairs), the medical exam and a meeting with Pole Emploi, plus an assessment of your level of French (with mandatory French classes if you need them).

If you do go the visitor visa route, be prepared to spend your first year in France without being able to work and make sure to contact the OFII before going to change status so you can complete what is needed for the contrat d'accueil.
Cheers,
Bev
Hi Bev!

I've been reading so many posts on here where you come in with a plethora of information and was looking forward to/hoping for a response from you :)

First of all, thank you so much for the detailed explanation and information! I appreciate you taking the time to do that.

Okay so it really sounds like I should skip this meeting in Frankfurt next week and just go IMMEDIATELY after I'm married. I can't afford to not work for a year.
With that being said - How long does it generally take to get the livret de famille?

What type of proof of domicile would I need? I have the German visa in my passport, I have a lease for an apartment etc.

Is there any way to do the OFII now? I just arrived and I am here with my boyfriend in Paris now, preparing for the wedding and would have the whole month free to take these classes if it is possible BEFORE hand... Would be great!

I guess it's not possible to plan a honeymoon in September then? :S

Thank you!
 

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Ah okay, I am guessing it is something similar to a fiancé visa.

Now I think this is a complicated situation. I dont think a fiancé visa entitles you to work. Would it be possible for you to renew your residence permit and then apply for your spouse visa after the wedding?

I personally think you could get our spouse visa well before october if your wedding is before 15th september.

In my case I got married on 13th july and had my visa issued by 1st August. I had applied on 30th July though.

That was because I had to wait for "casier judiciaire"/no criminal records certificate(i forgot the german word) from Bundespolizei. You have to apply for this and they will mail it to you within 2 weeks.

Ah okay! Thank you! Do you think I can apply for that form from the Bundespolizei ahead of time, now? Can they send it to my future French address as I gave up my German apartment at this point... (just staying registered until after the wedding)?
 

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I just copy pasted the document list I got from frankurt last year

The 2 documents in bold have to be applied for or obtained at the auslanderbehorde where you are registered.

I am not sure if they will send it to france. I got it mailed to my address. But I think I was asked for the address it had to be sent. I'm not very sure though. Sorry for that.

CONSULAT GENERAL DE FRANCE

à

FRANCFORT-SUR-LE-MAIN

DEMANDE DE VISA

Conjoint étranger de ressortissant français

Justificatifs à produire (originaux accompagnés de leur photocopie) :

Passeport valable au moins encore 15 mois lors de la délivrance du

visa

Permis de séjour en Allemagne

photos d’identité (2 )

extrait de casier judiciaire de moins de 3 mois

Copie intégrale de l’acte de mariage français

Livret de famille français

Copie intégrale de l’acte de naissance du conjoint français

Preuve de la nationalité française du conjoint (carte nationale

d’identité, certificat de nationalité française, ...)

Justificatifs de la résidence en France du conjoint français (attestation

de résidence délivrée par la Mairie, bail d’appartement, facture

d’électricité, fiches de paye, ...) ou de son intention d’y résider

(promesse d’embauche, bail d’appartement, ...)

Attestation de départ d’Allemagne (Abmeldung).

Si le mariage n’a pas eu lieu en France, il doit être transcrit à l’état-civil français

(prendre contact avec le consulat de France dans le pays où a eu lieu le mariage).

La demande devra être personnellement déposée, après rendez-vous, auprès des

services de ce Consulat général

Anträge werden persönlich beim französischen Generalkonsulat in Frankfurt gestellt.

Heures d’ouverture au public :

de 8h45 à 12h00 – les lundi, mardi, mercredi et vendredi

de 8h45 à 15h30 le jeudi.

Publikumverkehr :

8.45 bis 12 – montags, dienstags, mittwochs und freitags

8.45 bis 15.30 donnerstags.


I was mailed this document by the consulate so I cannot provide a link.
 

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I just copy pasted the document list I got from frankurt last year

The 2 documents in bold have to be applied for or obtained at the auslanderbehorde where you are registered.

I am not sure if they will send it to france. I got it mailed to my address. But I think I was asked for the address it had to be sent. I'm not very sure though. Sorry for that.

CONSULAT GENERAL DE FRANCE

à

FRANCFORT-SUR-LE-MAIN

DEMANDE DE VISA

Conjoint étranger de ressortissant français

Justificatifs à produire (originaux accompagnés de leur photocopie) :

Passeport valable au moins encore 15 mois lors de la délivrance du

visa

Permis de séjour en Allemagne

photos d’identité (2 )

extrait de casier judiciaire de moins de 3 mois

Copie intégrale de l’acte de mariage français

Livret de famille français

Copie intégrale de l’acte de naissance du conjoint français

Preuve de la nationalité française du conjoint (carte nationale

d’identité, certificat de nationalité française, ...)

Justificatifs de la résidence en France du conjoint français (attestation

de résidence délivrée par la Mairie, bail d’appartement, facture

d’électricité, fiches de paye, ...) ou de son intention d’y résider

(promesse d’embauche, bail d’appartement, ...)

Attestation de départ d’Allemagne (Abmeldung).

Si le mariage n’a pas eu lieu en France, il doit être transcrit à l’état-civil français

(prendre contact avec le consulat de France dans le pays où a eu lieu le mariage).

La demande devra être personnellement déposée, après rendez-vous, auprès des

services de ce Consulat général

Anträge werden persönlich beim französischen Generalkonsulat in Frankfurt gestellt.

Heures d’ouverture au public :

de 8h45 à 12h00 – les lundi, mardi, mercredi et vendredi

de 8h45 à 15h30 le jeudi.

Publikumverkehr :

8.45 bis 12 – montags, dienstags, mittwochs und freitags

8.45 bis 15.30 donnerstags.


I was mailed this document by the consulate so I cannot provide a link.

Wow thanks so much for all of the info! Maybe I just have to go back this month then.. So you can 'de-register' in Germany before you actually have your visa for France?

Also, did you have to wait for the certificate to depart Germany or do they give that to you right away?
 

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Wow thanks so much for all of the info! Maybe I just have to go back this month then.. So you can 'de-register' in Germany before you actually have your visa for France?

Also, did you have to wait for the certificate to depart Germany or do they give that to you right away?

I was told at the auslanderbehorde that I will have to leave Germany within 2 weeks after deregistration.

Certificate to depart Germany If you are refering to Abmeldung. Yes
You go to Auslanderbehorde and ask for it and they will just print it for you.
They might ask you where you are going and the address you will be residing in after leaving Germany.
 

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The requirements for a visa keep changing. Best to go by what is currently posted on the relevant consulate website: Spouse of a French citizen - long stay - Frankreich in Deutschland I would advise you to get a fresh copy of the document they give you to show you are properly angemeldet. Then you can abmelden, giving your address in France, but you'll have the registration document showing that you were resident in Germany.

We got our livret de famille on our way out of the mairie after the ceremony. Have heard from folks recently that it sometimes takes a week or ten days after the ceremony to receive, though you should be able to ask at the mairie - they may be able to prepare it for you to have the next day or so. But check with the consulate in Frankfurt to see about booking an appointment to make your visa application. That, in and of itself, can take a few weeks.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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From my experience last year.
I got an appointment in less than a week.

We got a bunch of certificat de mariage and extrait de acte de mariage and livret de famille after our wedding at he mairie.

A copie integrale de acte de mariage has to be asked for during mairie working hours and you will be provided with how many ever you want on the same day.

Thank you bev for the link.

I remember there was absolutely no info on the website about a french spouse visa last year.
 
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