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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello there

I'm an Australian woman living in France with my French partner for the past two years. Because of my 90 day tourist visa restriction, we have left France on several occasions for months at a time :plane:...until now.

We've both been terribly silly and naughty for not doing our research before we left Australia 2 years ago (that's where we met). :eek:
My partner has always been under the impression that things are very relaxed about French citizens bringing their partners etc. How wrong could he be...:confused:

So, I'll try to be brief...
In order for me to stay here in peace... we wanted to get married, but discovered we cant because my partner doesn't have a Tax file number as he works overseas... mostly the middle east and hasn't paid taxes for years. So that's out.

Next PACS...
filled out all the relevant papers. We have an appointment on November 27th..which woud make me around 3 months over my used by date :eek:
If we do end up PACSing, I am told I still need to fly to Australia to apply for my long-stay visa...and they want to see how much money I have etc to prove that I can support myself. Sounds to me that the PACS is a bit of a waste of time and doesn't really count for that much??? Am I wrong?

Next plan is a lot more expensive but we're running out of options.
Fly to Australia together, get married (I think it's a lot easier there), apply for my 'spousal visa' etc and take it from there.

Has anybody experienced the marriage in France verses marriage in their own country confusion?

I have read somewhere that there is a loophole allowing you to stay without the long-term visa if you can prove you've lived together in France for over 6 months (illegally?) :clap2: Is that true? (clutching at straws here)

Also if we end up getting married in Australia, we need a 'livret de famille' which is 'an extract copy of family registry' to apply for my long-term visa. But do they mean? His or mine? I've never heard of it in Australia before? How do we get it???

I know this is a bit long-winded and I hope i haven't confused you, but I would be ever so grateful if someone could enlighten me. I have done nothing but research and read for the past few weeks....and the information is always conflicting. :confused2:
Many thanks in advance.
 

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I have read somewhere that there is a loophole allowing you to stay without the long-term visa if you can prove you've lived together in France for over 6 months (illegally?) :clap2: Is that true? (clutching at straws here)
I let expert on France answer your other questions, but as far as this is concerned, it doesn't work. You and your partner/spouse have to live in another EU country other than France for 6 months, and your French partner has to be working or in self-employment there, before you can apply to live in France under EU regulations. Some EU countries don't recognise unmarried partnership, in which case you must be married to each other.
 

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... we need a 'livret de famille' which is 'an extract copy of family registry' to apply for my long-term visa. But do they mean? His or mine? I've never heard of it in Australia before? How do we get it???

I don't have a clue about most of your questions, and besides Bev will soon chime in and give you more help than I could, but the Livret de Famille is a document from the French Government that you apply for once you've been married. Not sure how it works if you get married in France but here in the states you send in your marriage certificate with the application and (for us) in about 3-4 months you get a little book in the mail. The book has your and your spouse's vital info and there's pages for all future family members.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I let expert on France answer your other questions, but as far as this is concerned, it doesn't work. You and your partner/spouse have to live in another EU country other than France for 6 months, and your French partner has to be working or in self-employment there, before you can apply to live in France under EU regulations. Some EU countries don't recognise unmarried partnership, in which case you must be married to each other.
yes, that seems unlikely. I thought so. Thanks so much for your reply. I really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't have a clue about most of your questions, and besides Bev will soon chime in and give you more help than I could, but the Livret de Famille is a document from the French Government that you apply for once you've been married. Not sure how it works if you get married in France but here in the states you send in your marriage certificate with the application and (for us) in about 3-4 months you get a little book in the mail. The book has your and your spouse's vital info and there's pages for all future family members.

Good Luck!
my goodness. That means if we get married in Australia and then send away for the Livret de Famille, I have to wait in Australia for 3-4 months to receive it before I can apply for the long-term visa???
Mon Dieu...the soup just got a lot thicker.:(
Thanks so much for your reply. I do appreciate it.
 

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Well there might be a way to get it faster if you go to the consulate in person?


We did it by mail and I'm not totally sure how long it took but I know it was multiple months.

sorry to be giving bad news...


From what I heard the reason it took so long was that it had to go back and forth from San Francisco to France via diplomatic channels and that takes a long time. Perhaps you could get married in Australia then go to France on another visitor visa and apply for livret there and get it quicker?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well there might be a way to get it faster if you go to the consulate in person?


We did it by mail and I'm not totally sure how long it took but I know it was multiple months.

sorry to be giving bad news...


From what I heard the reason it took so long was that it had to go back and forth from San Francisco to France via diplomatic channels and that takes a long time. Perhaps you could get married in Australia then go to France on another visitor visa and apply for livret there and get it quicker?
But then it's back again to Australia to apply for the lon-stay visa! It's a never ending cycle. Someone should write a book about it. A black comedy.:alien:
Thanks again for your help.
 

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But then it's back again to Australia to apply for the lon-stay visa! It's a never ending cycle. Someone should write a book about it. A black comedy.:alien:
Thanks again for your help.
I'm working on it! (The book, that is...) My first few years here in France were a real nightmare. And you're exactly right - most French nationals "just assume" they can bring their spouse or companion back to live in France with them. Ain't so.

we wanted to get married, but discovered we cant because my partner doesn't have a Tax file number as he works overseas... mostly the middle east and hasn't paid taxes for years. So that's out.
This is the one I don't understand. To get married in France, you need to be resident in France, and then you must marry at the mairie (i.e. town hall) of the town in which one of you is resident. (Legally resident, that is... sorry.) But DH (my now dear husband) was never asked about any sort of tax file number. He needs to be able to "prove" where he is resident (usually utility bills, etc) but not that his taxes are paid. I suspect the issue is that your partner isn't considered resident in France (say, if he spends 183 days + in a year working elsewhere).

The trick these days is that, to get married in France to a French resident, you (as the foreigner) need to have a long stay visa issued in your country of residence. (Wasn't the case when I did the deed.)

Next PACS...
filled out all the relevant papers. We have an appointment on November 27th..which woud make me around 3 months over my used by date
If we do end up PACSing, I am told I still need to fly to Australia to apply for my long-stay visa...and they want to see how much money I have etc to prove that I can support myself. Sounds to me that the PACS is a bit of a waste of time and doesn't really count for that much??? Am I wrong?
Honestly, there isn't that much difference between getting PACS'd and getting married these days - at least not for a heterosexual couple. (Getting married in France takes a least a month or so of gathering documents and preparing your file.) Where is this appointment you have on the 27th November?

You can get PACS'd (or so I'm told) at a French consulate outside France as long as one of you is a French citizen and can prove it. But to go to France afterwards, you still need the long stay visa, so you're kind of back to square one again.

Fly to Australia together, get married (I think it's a lot easier there), apply for my 'spousal visa' etc and take it from there.
Honestly, that's going to be the easiest way (although definitely not the cheapest), provided Australia doesn't have some maze of documents and procedures to put you through. You will need to get a "livret de famille" but that's an almost automatic long-stay visa for you once you have that.

You get the livret de famille at the French consulate - usually they ask you to submit some sort of certified copy of your marriage certificate from wherever you got married. This is the thing that can take time to get, as it's kind of a weird request in many countries. Check with the French consulate in Australia to see what sort of certification they require.

I have read somewhere that there is a loophole allowing you to stay without the long-term visa if you can prove you've lived together in France for over 6 months (illegally?) Is that true? (clutching at straws here)
It's the "illegally" part that'll trip you up. If you've LEGALLY been living together six months (may now be a year, but I'm not sure - the rules keep changing) - say, you were in France on a student visa or working there legally - they won't make you go back home to get the long-stay visa in order to get married or PACS'd.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm working on it! (The book, that is...) My first few years here in France were a real nightmare. And you're exactly right - most French nationals "just assume" they can bring their spouse or companion back to live in France with them. Ain't so.



This is the one I don't understand. To get married in France, you need to be resident in France, and then you must marry at the mairie (i.e. town hall) of the town in which one of you is resident. (Legally resident, that is... sorry.) But DH (my now dear husband) was never asked about any sort of tax file number. He needs to be able to "prove" where he is resident (usually utility bills, etc) but not that his taxes are paid. I suspect the issue is that your partner isn't considered resident in France (say, if he spends 183 days + in a year working elsewhere).

The trick these days is that, to get married in France to a French resident, you (as the foreigner) need to have a long stay visa issued in your country of residence. (Wasn't the case when I did the deed.)



Honestly, there isn't that much difference between getting PACS'd and getting married these days - at least not for a heterosexual couple. (Getting married in France takes a least a month or so of gathering documents and preparing your file.) Where is this appointment you have on the 27th November?

You can get PACS'd (or so I'm told) at a French consulate outside France as long as one of you is a French citizen and can prove it. But to go to France afterwards, you still need the long stay visa, so you're kind of back to square one again.



Honestly, that's going to be the easiest way (although definitely not the cheapest), provided Australia doesn't have some maze of documents and procedures to put you through. You will need to get a "livret de famille" but that's an almost automatic long-stay visa for you once you have that.

You get the livret de famille at the French consulate - usually they ask you to submit some sort of certified copy of your marriage certificate from wherever you got married. This is the thing that can take time to get, as it's kind of a weird request in many countries. Check with the French consulate in Australia to see what sort of certification they require.



It's the "illegally" part that'll trip you up. If you've LEGALLY been living together six months (may now be a year, but I'm not sure - the rules keep changing) - say, you were in France on a student visa or working there legally - they won't make you go back home to get the long-stay visa in order to get married or PACS'd.
Cheers,
Bev
Dearest Bev
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It's so nice that there are people out there who actually care. Let me know when you finish your book, because I'll be the first one to buy it. :clap2:

I guess we have been living together legally...during the times I have been allowed to stay on my tourist visa....the 90 days....on and off for over a year now.
The phone bill is even in my name.
So not sure about that one. That remains a mystery.

As far as the appointment on the 27th of Nov; That's at the Tribunal D'Instance De Marseille. It's the day we need to bring in our papers etc.
But honestly, I'm not sure we'll go through with that one.
If we PACS it means I have to go back (have to go back to Australia either way) and prove that I can support myself for one year...and I just don't have the 20 000 euro they're asking. Also I read that you can't apply for a spouse visa if you're PACSed...
so then I'm not sure I'm allowed to work the first year or not? Probably not if I have to show them how much money I have.

Whereas if we're married I'm pretty sure I can.
Hence, I feel the best and easiest way is to get married either here or Australia and then go back to apply for the long-term visa once I have the livret de famille.
My only concern is that by the time all of that is organized - perhaps in another month or two, I would have long overstayed my welcome here, and I don't want to get into any trouble or possible jeopardize my application.
Not sure if I can organize it all from here if I'm not even supposed to be here? Do they even care? Do they want to see the long-term visa before they marry us?
I'm not sure anyone can answer that? :juggle:
Thanks so much for your support.
Cheers
Tanja
 

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The 90 days on and off isn't going to add up to the 6 months or a year you need. It's intended to be a full year (or whatever) on a long stay visa.

If you're willing to PACS, you should probably be willing to get married. The differences are negligible. And it's bound to be easier in Australia than in France.

But the big question is, where is he resident at the moment? If he's working outside France and not paying taxes, chances are he isn't resident in France. And that's the big thing working against you. He can take you to live in France with him. But if he's not resident there, your being there full time will establish his residence if you're married. Under French law, married partners share the same residence more or less by definition, and his earnings from the Middle East (I'm assuming someplace like Dubai that doesn't have income taxes) will become taxable in France if you're living there as his wife.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The 90 days on and off isn't going to add up to the 6 months or a year you need. It's intended to be a full year (or whatever) on a long stay visa.

If you're willing to PACS, you should probably be willing to get married. The differences are negligible. And it's bound to be easier in Australia than in France.

But the big question is, where is he resident at the moment? If he's working outside France and not paying taxes, chances are he isn't resident in France. And that's the big thing working against you. He can take you to live in France with him. But if he's not resident there, your being there full time will establish his residence if you're married. Under French law, married partners share the same residence more or less by definition, and his earnings from the Middle East (I'm assuming someplace like Dubai that doesn't have income taxes) will become taxable in France if you're living there as his wife.
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks again Bev. I really appreciate all your detailed replies.
Will let you know how it pans out...
Cheers Tanja
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The 90 days on and off isn't going to add up to the 6 months or a year you need. It's intended to be a full year (or whatever) on a long stay visa.

If you're willing to PACS, you should probably be willing to get married. The differences are negligible. And it's bound to be easier in Australia than in France.

But the big question is, where is he resident at the moment? If he's working outside France and not paying taxes, chances are he isn't resident in France. And that's the big thing working against you. He can take you to live in France with him. But if he's not resident there, your being there full time will establish his residence if you're married. Under French law, married partners share the same residence more or less by definition, and his earnings from the Middle East (I'm assuming someplace like Dubai that doesn't have income taxes) will become taxable in France if you're living there as his wife.
Cheers,
Bev
Hi Bev

Well I spoke to my other half. Looks like were definitely going back to Australia to do the deed. I'm starting to get used to the idea, so that's all fine. :)

However, I am still confused about a couple of things...and was hoping you could shine a light on them for me.

1.) The livret de famillie? I am assuming it is issued by the French Consulate in Australia once you give them your marriage certificate?
If that's the case...why is on their list of things to bring bring when applying for the long term visa??? If you get married in Australia then surely they don't need it as it's a French custom/procedure.
Unfortunately I can't contact them and ask them via email. Here's the link: (more research for your book :) )

Long Stay Visa for Foreign Spouse of a French citizen - La France en Australie

And if they do issue it at the consulate, why are people suggesting it takes 3-4 months to receive?

2.) Should I be applying for the 'Vie Privee et Familiale Carte de Sejour' when I'm in Australia, once we're married?

3.) Can I work with this once I'm in France or is there another waiting period? Another carte?

Thanks for your patients Bev. I promise I'll leave you alone after this one.

Did you say that you've had some theatre training in the past? If that's so then that's something we have in common....but that's another story best saved for another time.
Cheers
Tanja
 

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1.) The livret de famillie? I am assuming it is issued by the French Consulate in Australia once you give them your marriage certificate?
If that's the case...why is on their list of things to bring bring when applying for the long term visa??? If you get married in Australia then surely they don't need it as it's a French custom/procedure.
Unfortunately I can't contact them and ask them via email. Here's the link: (more research for your book :) )

Long Stay Visa for Foreign Spouse of a French citizen - La France en Australie

And if they do issue it at the consulate, why are people suggesting it takes 3-4 months to receive?
If you are married overseas, it's the French Consulate that issues your Livret de Famille. And basically, you can't apply for your visa de long séjour based on marriage to a French national until you have your Livret de Famille.

Check back through the archives here on the forum. There are a few threads dealing with the process for getting a livret de famille in the US. Most of those seem to indicate that the delay in the process is getting the appropriate certification for your foreign marriage certificate. You can't just show them the certificate they give you after your marriage - it has to be stamped or certified by some authority in Australia to make it acceptable to the French Consulate.

Technically, they should be able to issue the livret on the spot - but they may have to send things back to France to be officially recorded in all the places this needs to be done. (The French update a person's birth certificate when they get married - I guess to guard against bigamists.)

2.) Should I be applying for the 'Vie Privee et Familiale Carte de Sejour' when I'm in Australia, once we're married?
You can't apply for any sort of carte de séjour until after you get to France. And basically, you just apply for a carte de séjour. They give you whichever one they choose to give you. The fact that you qualified for your visa based on being the spouse of a French citizen means they'll give you the appropriate carte de séjour (i.e. with working privileges more or less right away).

3.) Can I work with this once I'm in France or is there another waiting period? Another carte?
According to the OFII, you may not even need a carte de séjour - just to have a stamp placed in your passport. Unfortunately, the English translations on the OFII website OFII - Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration leave alot to be desired. You're better off if you can read all this stuff from the French part of the website. And there is always the little matter of variations in procedure you may run into as you work your way through the administrative maze.

Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you are married overseas, it's the French Consulate that issues your Livret de Famille. And basically, you can't apply for your visa de long séjour based on marriage to a French national until you have your Livret de Famille.

Check back through the archives here on the forum. There are a few threads dealing with the process for getting a livret de famille in the US. Most of those seem to indicate that the delay in the process is getting the appropriate certification for your foreign marriage certificate. You can't just show them the certificate they give you after your marriage - it has to be stamped or certified by some authority in Australia to make it acceptable to the French Consulate.

Technically, they should be able to issue the livret on the spot - but they may have to send things back to France to be officially recorded in all the places this needs to be done. (The French update a person's birth certificate when they get married - I guess to guard against bigamists.)



You can't apply for any sort of carte de séjour until after you get to France. And basically, you just apply for a carte de séjour. They give you whichever one they choose to give you. The fact that you qualified for your visa based on being the spouse of a French citizen means they'll give you the appropriate carte de séjour (i.e. with working privileges more or less right away).



According to the OFII, you may not even need a carte de séjour - just to have a stamp placed in your passport. Unfortunately, the English translations on the OFII website OFII - Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration leave alot to be desired. You're better off if you can read all this stuff from the French part of the website. And there is always the little matter of variations in procedure you may run into as you work your way through the administrative maze.

Cheers,
Bev
Thanks so much. You are truly amazing. What would all these expats do without you? We're all nervous wrecks here. But obviously you see that every day via the emails you receive...all that angst. Cheers Tanja :plane:
 

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Thanks so much. You are truly amazing. What would all these expats do without you? We're all nervous wrecks here. But obviously you see that every day via the emails you receive...all that angst. Cheers Tanja :plane:
Gee, thanks. I only wish I'd had me to help myself back when I was a newbie in France. :confused: I'm just trying to keep other folks from finding themselves in the main lobby of the préfecture, screaming English obscenities for all to hear. It's momentarily satisfying, but it doesn't do you any good in the long run (as I found out).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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In order for me to stay here in peace... we wanted to get married, but discovered we cant because my partner doesn't have a Tax file number as he works overseas... mostly the middle east and hasn't paid taxes for years. So that's out.
Is this really the case ?

Certainly I'm no expert in the field but surely as a French national tax matters are between him and the French tax authorities and not a bar to marriage ?

Regardless of working overseas if he is tax resident in France then I think he should still have been completing an annual return and hence have a tax reference number.

Of course if he has been avoiding paying tax in France when he should have been then it turns into an entirely different situation.

Bonne chance
 

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Long stay.

Tanja,

Hello fellow Australian beating your way through french bureaucracy!

I've been living in France with my partner for 1 year (yesterday), we were pacs'd 3 weeks ago, and yesterday we went to the Prefecture with my documents for a carte de sejour vie privée et familiale. All went smoothly and now I just have a doctors visit, and several hundred euros to pay and I'm home and hosed as it were.

Now, my situation is a tiny bit different from yours so I'm going to explain what I did and you can take it or leave it.

Basically if you've lived in France for a year and are pacs'd you have almost the same rights as someone who's married to a French person (so the lovely lady at the prefecture told us).

To start with, I spent my first year here legally on a visa vacances travail (working holiday visa), which meant that I'm legal. So this may be an option for you if you're under 30. France offers 1 year working visas to Australians (for $150), but you do now have to be in Australia to apply for one. Mine took a total of 3 weeks to complete, though, so it was rather swift. You also have to prove funds, but a total of 2000E instead of a whole year worth of money to support yourself with. This visa has no particular restrictions on the type of work that can be done, it just doesn't give you any access to the social security services.

When I was at the prefecture they were very particular about seeing that I'd had a visa for the entire time I was here, so I'd be rather wary about normalising your situation after being here semi-illegally.

Not really sure if this is a road you want to go down, or if any of this info is of help, but do let us know what happens in the end.

Glen.


Dearest Bev
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It's so nice that there are people out there who actually care. Let me know when you finish your book, because I'll be the first one to buy it. :clap2:

I guess we have been living together legally...during the times I have been allowed to stay on my tourist visa....the 90 days....on and off for over a year now.
The phone bill is even in my name.
So not sure about that one. That remains a mystery.

As far as the appointment on the 27th of Nov; That's at the Tribunal D'Instance De Marseille. It's the day we need to bring in our papers etc.
But honestly, I'm not sure we'll go through with that one.
If we PACS it means I have to go back (have to go back to Australia either way) and prove that I can support myself for one year...and I just don't have the 20 000 euro they're asking. Also I read that you can't apply for a spouse visa if you're PACSed...
so then I'm not sure I'm allowed to work the first year or not? Probably not if I have to show them how much money I have.

Whereas if we're married I'm pretty sure I can.
Hence, I feel the best and easiest way is to get married either here or Australia and then go back to apply for the long-term visa once I have the livret de famille.
My only concern is that by the time all of that is organized - perhaps in another month or two, I would have long overstayed my welcome here, and I don't want to get into any trouble or possible jeopardize my application.
Not sure if I can organize it all from here if I'm not even supposed to be here? Do they even care? Do they want to see the long-term visa before they marry us?
I'm not sure anyone can answer that? :juggle:
Thanks so much for your support.
Cheers
Tanja
 
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