Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there !

I apologize in advance for the mistakes I might make writing in english. It is not my mother tongue.

I am french and I am currently living in France.
I am planning to get married with my american fiancee, in France, soon. We are planning to get married during one of his 90 days touristic trip to France (without visa), and to ask for a long-stay visa as a "spouse of a french national", from the US, after his return.

I am doing a lot of research and find a lot of documentation about the paperworks required but I have difficulty to set a clear timeline. I would like to figure out if 90 days is enough or not to get married without stress, considering that we are not planning a big wedding with big organisation.

Following those 3 steps, I try to make a more detailed timeline : 1/ gathering all the paperworks and translations we need, 2/ my fiance is coming to France, we apply together at the city hall, set a date, get married a few weeks after, 3/ my fiance go back to the US to ask for his visa.

I miss some information though, for example : the processing time between the first appointment at the city hall and the actual "publication des bans" (I heard it can take 2 months!!!) ? the moment when we are supposed to set the date of the wedding (is it after the "publication des bans" or can we set a date before) ? also, the processing time if we want to get a "prenuptial agreement" at the notaire's ?

I would appreciate if some, who have been in the same situation, can share their experience and, if they remember about it, share the detailed timeline of their marriage process in France.

Thanks in advance :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
Hi, Princess-Ann!
I think the whole thing took us 6 weeks from start to finish, including the 10 days the local mairie closed over the February holidays this year.
I dropped the dossier at the mairie Friday 17 February, just before the school holidays, the secretary checked that it was complete and when they re-opened on 6th March we fixed the date for 21st March. They published the bans and we were married on the 21st.

One of our witnesses started a new job as a "factrice" and couldn't be present, so we had to change that before they wrote her name onto the future "acte de mariage".
For madame there was no problem with paperwork for the dossier because she is French;
I'm British, but I already had recent official translations of my birth certificate, also for both my parents' "état-civil".
I gave the paper from the Consulate for "certificat de célibat", "actes de naissance intégrales" for our 4 children together, our "livret de famille", proof of domicile and that was all.

Contact a "traducteur assermenté" as soon as possible for your future husband's paperwork; many will work with scans of original documents sent by e-mail.
Ask your hotel de ville exactly about timing; we were married on a Tuesday morning in a small rural village.
I don't know for US citizens but for the UK, the Consulate does offer advice for Brits getting married in France; check that out if you haven't already done so.

Best wishes!
If you are sufficiently prepared, 90 days gives plenty of time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much for this first response. :)

How does the publication of the "bans" work exactly ? I understand from your message that it is a 3 steps process : 1/ you drop the dossier and all your paperworks to the Mairie 2/ Mairie is taking a few days (or weeks?) to proceed 3/ when they are ready to publish the "bans", then you can choose the date of your wedding (respecting the 10 days between the "bans" and the wedding).

We will get married in a mid-sized city (which is equivalent to a village in the US, I guess :p ) ; the size of the city makes me confident about the waiting and proceeding time. But we never know with french administration ! Also we are thinking about avoiding the wedding season. I have already contacted my City Hall for information and they sounds helpful. They were not that precise about proceeding timeline, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
Thank you very much for this first response. :)

How does the publication of the "bans" work exactly ? I understand from your message that it is a 3 steps process : 1/ you drop the dossier and all your paperworks to the Mairie 2/ Mairie is taking a few days (or weeks?) to proceed 3/ when they are ready to publish the "bans", then you can choose the date of your wedding (respecting the 10 days between the "bans" and the wedding).

We will get married in a mid-sized city (which is equivalent to a village in the US, I guess :p ) ; the size of the city makes me confident about the waiting and proceeding time. But we never know with french administration ! Also we are thinking about avoiding the wedding season. I have already contacted my City Hall for information and they sounds helpful. They were not that precise about proceeding timeline, though.
Well, as soon as the secretary has approved that the dossier is complete, she can go ahead and publish the bans.
That consists on putting up a printed announce on the commune's public notice-boards with all the other "arrêté municipaux".

Every mairie or hôtel de ville has a "planning" for marriages. If you explain your situation (90 day visa) they should be able to give you an idea of delays.
You're right to avoid the marriage season in the springtime.

Last thing, usually it's M le maire himself who celebrates the marriage. Ask to know if there are others who are competent if M le maire is busy.

In our case, the day I submitted the dossier, we hadn't thought about choosing a date for the marriage. After the holidays, I went back to the mairie, told the secretary to go ahead with publishing the bans and at the same time fixed a definitive date for the marriage. The bans were published 2 or 3 days later.

As far as I know, it's the mairie who approve the dossier and don't have to get it checked by the prefecture, since M le maire is competent as "officier d'état-civil".
It's perfectly possible, in my opinion, to give them the dossier, tell them to go ahead and publish the bans and choose a date for the marriage all at once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As far as I know, it's the mairie who approve the dossier and don't have to get it checked by the prefecture, since M le maire is competent as "officier d'état-civil".
It's perfectly possible, in my opinion, to give them the dossier, tell them to go ahead and publish the bans and choose a date for the marriage all at once.
I probably need to clear that up.

One of my french friend has married a EU citizen not that long ago and the person in charged of the wedding at their City Hall told them she had to send the dossier to Nantes (to the court?? it was unclear) for approval. They had to wait 2 months between the moment they first went to the city hall to drop their dossier and the actual "publication des bans". Maybe it depends on the nationality...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
I probably need to clear that up.

One of my french friend has married a EU citizen not that long ago and the person in charged of the wedding at their City Hall told them she had to send the dossier to Nantes (to the court?? it was unclear) for approval. They had to wait 2 months between the moment they first went to the city hall to drop their dossier and the actual "publication des bans". Maybe it depends on the nationality...
The "Service central d'état civil - Ministère en charge des affaires étrangères" is in Nantes.
It deals with all birth, death and marriage acts for French citizens outside of France.
The local act of birth, marriage or death is "converted" into French format by the "officier d'état-civil" at the French consulate and then is registered at Nantes. It's not for non-French citizens, unless they are naturalised.

It certainly takes longer to get an document from Nantes (10 days instead of 3 or 4) than from any mairie or city hall, but the online service is efficient.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,474 Posts
The first thing you need to do is to go to the mairie and ask them what their procedure is for scheduling a marriage of a French person with a foreigner. As with so many things in France, there may be some variation from one mairie to the next. And the precise list of documents needed (particularly for the foreigner) can vary quite a bit.

Your fiancé will need at least a couple of documents that he can only get through the US Consulate (possibly involving a run to Paris - not sure if the other consular offices can do them). Your fiancé should take a look at this page from the US Consulate website https://fr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citize...ns-in-france/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/ and under the Marriage or Divorce heading, download the pdf file on General Guidelines for Marriage and Civil Partnerships. They explain how to get the consulate documents that are often required.

The mairie should be able to tell you how the posting of the banns works. When I got married here, I made a point of staying here for 40 days in order to establish residence so that the banns only had to be posted here in town. I don't know if that's still the rule, but you won't know unless you ask. (They don't do banns in the US - but there may be a requirement for posting something at the consulate or at least notifying the consulate before.)

The other thing you need to do with the mairie is to book (schedule) the salle des mariages and then ask them when you'll receive your livret de famille after the marriage. It can take a couple of days - or even a couple of weeks. (We got ours as we were leaving the mairie on the day, but that's because we had some special circumstances.) Your husband (by then) will need to have the livret de famille with him to apply for the spouse visa back in the US, as well as certified copies of both sides of your carte d'identité.

As far as the banns are concerned, I think it's 10 days they have to be posted for France, but I recall a note in the list of requirements we received from the mairie saying that, for an Italian citizen, the banns had to be posted in Italy for a full 30 days before the marriage could take place.

The marriage may be performed by the maire, or by one of the adjoints. (Friend of mine is a maire-adjoint and performs marriages every now and then.) Again, it varies by the mairie. But once you are scheduled into the salle des mariages, they'll make a proper official available for you.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you very much Poloss and Bev for your responses. :)

Good point about the "livret de famille" and the few additional days to count.

About the "certificat de coutume/celibat", i read it is possible to make it through a french-american lawyer, to avoid the round-trip to Paris Embassy.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,474 Posts
About the "certificat de coutume/celibat", i read it is possible to make it through a french-american lawyer, to avoid the round-trip to Paris Embassy.
Twenty years ago when I got married here in France, the ONLY way to get a certificat de coutume was to go to a dual qualified attorney (most of whom are in the Paris area) and, IIRC, it cost me a good 500€ or more. (The figure I recall is 2500 F.)

You need a lawyer who is qualified before the barreau in France AND has a legal license in one of the US states. But I'm not sure if that's how it's done nowadays. The US Consulate route would appear be to easier - even if you count the transportation costs to get up to Paris and back.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Hello!

I'm gonna get married to my french fiancé in three weeks (started to plan everything in the end of July) and we've been through the whole process of getting the papers.

Here's what I had to do:
First things first: I had to have my birth certificate (I'm brazilian) issued less than 6 months ago, which I didn't have so I had to kindly ask my parents, who live in Brazil, to get it for me in the city that I was born.

They also provided me the certificat de celibat, which could be done in Brazil (but you can ask at the embassy as well).
I think the whole process of my parents getting these two documents was one week and a half. They sent the docs via DHL and in three days I had them in hands.

I had to wait for my birth certificate so I could send it to the consulate in Paris and ask for my certificat the coutume, the only document that no one could provide for me but the consulate.
I don't know about the American embassy but brazilians can ask for this certificat via post. They ask for 20 days to send us the document and it arrived here after 15 days.

Went to the mairie last Friday, had the talk with the mayor (who's gonna marry us) today and we're all good to marry in 3 weeks.

Ah, and it's for 10 days that they put our name announcing publicly our marriage - sorry, forgot the specific name for that.

I guess I was lucky because I had my parents to do it for me in Brazil and my embassy allows us to ask for both certificat de celibat et de coutume via post. If I had to go there in person, the next appointment available would be for the end of October, which would be really frustrating.

So all of that to say that we got everything in one month so far and getting married in three weeks. So yeah, you guys can do it!

Good luck! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
I am planning to get married with my american fiancee, in France, soon. We are planning to get married during one of his 90 days touristic trip to France (without visa), and to ask for a long-stay visa as a "spouse of a french national", from the US, after his return.
Do you need a wedding photographer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi there,

I am currently in the first phase of my timeline (gathering all the paperworks and translations we need).

Just for the record, I went back to see the City Hall clerk and she gives me the "dossier de mariage".

She couldn't give me a really precise timeline about the 90 days but she has confirmed what Poloss said, and reassured me about the "publication of the bans". So, indeed :
1/ we need to drop together the complete "dossier de mariage" with the right paperwork
2 / if everything is alright, they can allow the "publication des bans" right away and we can chose a date for the wedding
OR 2/ they decide we need to be interviewed by some City Councillor and it delays a little the "publication des bans" (several weeks, depending on the appointment date for the interview)
3/ in my city hall, it seems there is no problem to set a date of wedding. They are marrying people everyday and she told I could set a date within 30 days approximatively.

About my second question, she told me that : as there is no "publication of the bans" required in the other country (USA), they don't need to send the "dossier de mariage" anywhere. It basically means only the city hall in question will decide if they can marry us or not.

So, basically... 90 days is enough to get married if everything is ready on time.
IF (and only IF) all paperwork is ok!

That is leading me to a question about the APOSTILLE (as the secretary in the City Hall was very confused about that) :

- do we just have to send the Original Copy of the Birth Certificate (to the right person, in the right state, obviously) to get an Apostille on it?
- or do we have to send the Original Copy of the Birth Certificate + the translation, to get an Apostille on both ?

The lady seems to say I need to get an Apostille on the translation, which seems kinda crazy (why US authority would put a stamp on a french document???). :confused:

* Once again, excuse my English, I'm not totally bilingual yet. I hope I am clear enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
Good to hear that things are moving forward!

Who brought up the question of apostilles?
If you did, well you should have kept quiet.

You say the secretary was confused about that.
Either she knows about apostilles and they are required (from your Consulate I suppose) or she never heard of them and now she's confused.

An apostille on a translation is nonsense because your translator is already assermenté auprès de some court of justice in France.

When dealing with administrations only speak when you're spoken to and reply as precisely and briefly as possible!

PS - your English is perfect and you know it! Are you fishing for compliments?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Poloss for your response (and for the compliment too).

She brought the "apostille" topic as it is absolutely mandatory to get an apostille on the birth certificate for US citizen. She had a document about what countries need it.

But she told me she was unsure (and she did sound unclear) about what to do with the translation (apostille before or after it?).

Anyway... to be honest, my bf has already sent his birth certificate and asked for the apostille (we are waiting for the document right now) _without the translation obviously_ so I told the lady "i don't think i need the translation to be apostilled, it doesn't make sense to me" and try to convince her (and myself). I hope it has worked. ;)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,474 Posts
There is a very good document on the US Consulate website about apostilles that your fiancé may want to take a look at.

But in general, an apostille is simply a certificate from the authority that issued the document that, yes, the document itself is valid and genuine. There is no need for a translation for that.

Once you have the apostille on the document, you get it translated - both the document and (maybe) the apostille. (Just to make sure that the apostille actually says "yes, this is a valid document issued by our state" or whatever.) A traducteur assermenté will know whether or not the apostille itself "needs" to be translated or not. But the way it was explained to me, a traducteur assermenté is supposed to be able to determine if the document is genuine or not - but these days they require the apostille, too.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
18,642 Posts
Just to clarify Bev's post. You get the birth certificate apostilled. Then you get it translated by a traducteur assermenté, who will also translate the apostille. The traducteur assermenté will stamp and sign the translation, which makes it an official document. The traducteur assermenté is an officer of the court and the signature and stamp is therefore appropriately authorised in France. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Thank you very much Poloss and Bev for your responses. :)

Good point about the "livret de famille" and the few additional days to count.

About the "certificat de coutume/celibat", i read it is possible to make it through a french-american lawyer, to avoid the round-trip to Paris Embassy.
Hello Princess-Ann,

I am so glad I found this thread. I would like to ask about the certificate de coutume? What does it really mean? My french boyfriend is also having a hard time to understand this. Btw, my boyfriend and I are planning to get married this April 2017.

Thank you in advance for your help. :)

Sent from my VTR-L29 using Tapatalk
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,474 Posts
The certificat de coutume is supposed to be a legal statement that you (the subject of the certificat) are legally capable of getting married - both in your home country and in France. The lawyer who issues this is supposed to have done a review and search of your documents - mainly to show that you are of the legal age to marry, are not already married (in any country) and a few other technical points. You can expect to pay something like 500€ (or more) for a dual qualified attorney (both in the US and in France) to prepare the document for you.

What I understand the consulate does is to provide a bi-lingual document that explains the US law on marriage and then summarizes the key points of the identification documents you have provided. It is basically a notarized statement that you have declared yourself eligible to marry under oath. Take a look at the Consulate information sheet on marriage in France https://fr.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/50/2017/07/acs_marriage-in-france.pdf That document will cost you $50 for the notary seal. (You can also get the document at the consulate in Marseille.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Your boyfriend has to go to the city hall where you will get married and ask about it.

EDIT : I wrote the following thinking you were american, but maybe you are from Philippines... I don't know the details about the Philippines case.

It seems most of the city halls will accept the notarized document from the US Embassy.
A document that looks like that : https://photos.state.gov/libraries/france/45994/acs/usc_paris-coutume-celibat.pdf

Some city halls will prefer (or even specifically ask for) a document made by a french-american lawyer.
The lady at my city hall told me they prefer the lawyer document cause there is much more information (the lawyer puts all the details of the US and state laws about marriage).

Personally, I did both "certificat de coutume" and "certificat de célibat" through a lawyer, by email. And it has costed me 200 euros for both. Taking a train to Paris US Embassy would have cost me more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
The certificat de coutume is supposed to be a legal statement that you (the subject of the certificat) are legally capable of getting married - both in your home country and in France. The lawyer who issues this is supposed to have done a review and search of your documents - mainly to show that you are of the legal age to marry, are not already married (in any country) and a few other technical points. You can expect to pay something like 500€ (or more) for a dual qualified attorney (both in the US and in France) to prepare the document for you.
Thank you Bev for your clarifications. Kindly correct me if I am wrong with my own understanding. Btw, I am a Filipina currently in the Phils.

Basically, I should go directly to the Consulate of France here in the Philippines if they have a lawyer that can make certificat de coutume for me.


Sabel



Sent from my VTR-L29 using Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top