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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I'm new to the forums. In a couple weeks, my husband and I are applying for the new Passeport Talent visa (hubs is a dance teacher/performer/choreographer that wants to teach a specific dance technique and perform in the south of France). I know we're the "guinea pigs" on this new visa and haven't been able to get a lot of clear answers as to what they are looking for or what is likely to help us get this visa. However, I do know that, as in many things, presentation can count for a lot (i.e. Do you look like you have it all together?).

So, folks that have applied to visas for France (of any type, but specifically those requiring loads of paperwork and documentation), how did you organize your application? In folders, with divided tabs, sticky notes, in separate copies or with copied collated behind originals?

We've consulted with a lawyer regarding writing a project narrative (a la the now defunct CetT visa) and list of all possible documents they may think to ask for, but he's no longer in the picture to give advice on how to actually put everything together.

So, any ideas about how to make all this paperwork (probably several inches thick) look organized and neat and easy to look through?

Any advice would be so appreciated!

Thanks, Jessica
 

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Hi everyone!

I'm new to the forums. In a couple weeks, my husband and I are applying for the new Passeport Talent visa (hubs is a dance teacher/performer/choreographer that wants to teach a specific dance technique and perform in the south of France)...However, I do know that, as in many things, presentation can count for a lot (i.e. Do you look like you have it all together?).

So, folks that have applied to visas for France (of any type, but specifically those requiring loads of paperwork and documentation), how did you organize your application? In folders, with divided tabs, sticky notes, in separate copies or with copied collated behind originals?...
Jessica

I went all out with my T&C organization. I prepared a very large, expensive 3 ring binder (I'd have used a leather one if I could have found one) with clear plastic sleeves for questionnaires, photos, descriptions, business plans, identification, FBI reports, etc. The sleeves were subdivided into sections with tabs. We owned a vacation house in France by the time we applied and I included 8 x 10 photos of the exterior and our neighborhood, as well, hoping rural small village life would make the person to whom I presented feel like I "got it" about why France was great. I somehow anticipated that I'd be handing the binder to the consular official, followed by a dazzling explanation of my organizational acumen to that person's wonderment and awe.

Those were the good old days, before I arrived in France <s>.

I attempted to give the binder to the very nice woman who interviewed us, but she wasn't having any of it. She politely declined. Then she began to ask me for specific items which I then de-sleeved and handed to her one at a time until she said we were done.

MY ADVICE: You should have your stuff organized so that you can locate it immediately when you're requested to provide it. The consular staff have zero interest in your presentation skills. They simply need the various bits of your stuff in a specific order so that they can then put those items in your dossier in the order in which it will be reviewed. The same is true, by the way, when you renew your Carte de Sejour each year once you arrive in France.

When we renew our Cartes des Sejour, my wife and I use one of those accordion-file folders with 13 or 15 sections. Each section has a tab and label. We separate our documentation based upon what it documents, then name it on the tab. We can, within a moment, locate the paperwork that documents our address, marriage, births, income, health insurance, etc.

Organization counts! Presentation...not so much.

If you can speak enough French to get through the interview in French or mostly in French, I would do that. The consular official will speak excellent English, however, ours seemed to appreciate that we made the effort to speak French. And the photos of our house and village made our interviewer smile. As a result...we were more related, which is a good thing.

Best of luck.

Ray
 

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I met with an attorney in Paris and decided not to go that route as it is tied to a mandate to make a certain amount of money with my talent starting in the first year. I design and build and the lead time to establish a new shop killed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, RayRay! Your suggestion on the expanding file folder is really helpful. I've been struggling with figuring out how to corral everything. I think that might do the trick!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I met with an attorney in Paris and decided not to go that route as it is tied to a mandate to make a certain amount of money with my talent starting in the first year. I design and build and the lead time to establish a new shop killed it.
Hi, sTrout! I haven't heard about a specific mandated amount of money in the first year, other than that they figure you need to be making at least the French minimum wage (approx. 1,400 euros/month). Is that what you're talking about, or did your lawyer tell you something different?

In our application, we figure that he will be making the minimum monthly wage at least by the end of the 1st year, mostly by teaching dance workshops and classes. However, we also plan to show them that we have a significant amount of money in savings that would allow us to live in France for a couple years on that alone (plus some rental income from our condo in Chicago). I'm hoping that will be enough for them, as he can't really start scheduling workshops and lining up studios to teach in until he actually has the visa.
 

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Yep, I agree with RayRay completely. Do something that allows you to be able to find what they ask for quickly.

The first time I applied for a visa, indeed I used an expandable file folder and labelled each section (OFII form, financial guarantee, etc etc...) The woman even flickered her eyes in a way that showed me she was impressed at my organization, yay!

The last time I got a visa, I watered it down some but kept the same concept. This time I just used a regular boring folder and put them all in a stack. However, I still had each paper labelled with colorful sticky notes so that I could find what they asked for quickly.

So RayRay is right...being able to find stuff is the key.

I also had two stacks...one stack as the "main" stack, with sticky note labels....and then the "copies" stack, also wtih sticky note labels. They did not want any of my copies (in spite of asking you to make copies) but I bring them anyway, just in case. In fact. I have the originals and TWO sets of copies...but only have the first two sets labelled. ;)

Make sure you bring one (or two, or three) copy(ies) of your license, too. They take the real one when you enter the building and then ask for a copy of it once you meet with the officer inside to verify you are at the correct consulate (based on your state of residence).
 

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...I also had two stacks...one stack as the "main" stack, with sticky note labels....and then the "copies" stack, also wtih sticky note labels. They did not want any of my copies (in spite of asking you to make copies) but I bring them anyway, just in case. In fact. I have the originals and TWO sets of copies...but only have the first two sets labelled.
Copies are key, along with the original. The Consulate will verify that the copies are from the original, and then accept that the copy is an accurate representation from then on.

Make sure you bring one (or two, or three) copy(ies) of your license, too...
As Bev says, always have more copies than you need, they're cheap, and they'll save you a lot of time. Rather than having to return, you can pop out a copy and be complete! Our French Consulate was 85 miles away, which translated into half a day or more, depending upon traffic, for driving, parking, and wait time at the Consulate.

At a minimum, 2 copies of everything. The French love, love, love paper. And having paper, rather than electronic copies, makes your dossier hack-proof...an interesting concept in the current age.

One of our first purchases in France was an All-In-One scanner, copier, fax printer. It's saved me tons and tons of time to have that at my fingertips. And our neighbors have liked having a copier / printer nearby, as well <s>.

Just knowing enough to ask about how to present means you're thinking about the right things, I think.

Best of luck.

Ray
 

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Just a note regarding the "presentation" issue. It doesn't pay to get too overly organized - at least not to the point of preparing a binder. In many administrative functions, the various bits of paper are going to get shuffled, stamped, written on and circulated for whatever it is they do with your dossier during the time it takes to "process" it.

If you give them a binder with documents attached (ring binder or each set of documents in a sleeve or something like that), they're going to have to take it apart to work with it.

You want to do everything you can to make it as easy as possible to mark up, stamp and file your documents as possible. Stack them in the order they were requested or whatever, but let them shuffle them around to their hearts' content.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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You have the $ right. I am not sure about whether they will accept the savings thing. I just know it could take me three years before I had anything.
 

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The first time I did it, I had papers all spread out entirely covering my big queen sized bed. Lol. You'll get there though :)

(ps, even though it costs money, it's infinitely less time consuming to go to Staples or something to make your copies, versus a home printer)
 

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The first time I did it, I had papers all spread out entirely covering my big queen sized bed. Lol. You'll get there though :)

(ps, even though it costs money, it's infinitely less time consuming to go to Staples or something to make your copies, versus a home printer)
I guess that depends on the printer you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
(ps, even though it costs money, it's infinitely less time consuming to go to Staples or something to make your copies, versus a home printer)
LOL. You must have overheard the conversation I had with my husband last night about how we were going to get everything printed. He can copy stuff at work, but doesn't have access to a computer that is hooked up to a printer (it's a weird set-up...) so can't print from electronic files. Our home printer is woefully inadequate, so it looks like we will be going to a print shop.
 

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Haha, yes, based on my multiple experiences doing this...the time that I did NOT use a copy/print center, it was 10x more ridiculous. It's so easy just to go in and have it done, trust me. You walk up to a machine, it works, boom, done. Two sets of copies, three...20 pages, 200 pages...it's so easy using a copy center. Definitely recommend lol. And yes if you have things on a USB thumb drive, you can bring that to the Staples or whatever I believe. Sooooo much easiiiiier
 

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Of course it all depends on having a handy dandy "copy center" somewhere in the vicinity. They aren't quite as ubiquitous out here in the countryside in France. (Not to mention those of us who keep a copy of many of our more "useful" documents on our home server, to be printed off as needed.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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FYI, one of the most important criteria for this type of visa (per the immigration attorney we met with) is that your creative project(s) be "France specific" that is, they couldn't be done anywhere else (or there is a unique aspect to the work(s) that requires being in France). Be prepared to answer this type of inquiry during your presentation..."why France specifically?"

Bon chance!! (btw sTrout is my wife)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
FYI, one of the most important criteria for this type of visa (per the immigration attorney we met with) is that your creative project(s) be "France specific" that is, they couldn't be done anywhere else (or there is a unique aspect to the work(s) that requires being in France). Be prepared to answer this type of inquiry during your presentation..."why France specifically?"

Bon chance!! (btw sTrout is my wife)
Merci! Yes, (I hope) we are able that question to their satisfaction. There is a dance company that he wants to work with in Toulouse that is a very good fit for the specific style of dance that he teaches and performs. He could teach dance from anywhere in Europe, but working with this company and their artistic director would be the best fit for him to continue his professional development. And this way, France gets to be the home base for the teaching of this unique dance technique in Europe.
 

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Hi everyone!

I'm new to the forums. In a couple weeks, my husband and I are applying for the new Passeport Talent visa (hubs is a dance teacher/performer/choreographer that wants to teach a specific dance technique and perform in the south of France). I know we're the "guinea pigs" on this new visa and haven't been able to get a lot of clear answers as to what they are looking for or what is likely to help us get this visa. However, I do know that, as in many things, presentation can count for a lot (i.e. Do you look like you have it all together?).
Hi Jessica, how did your appointment go? My wife and I have one at the Chicago consulate next week.

Jason
 
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