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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I have my appointment with the French consulate in DC set up for a couple of weeks from now, and I'll be applying for a long-stay visitor visa. I'm planning to move to France to join my French partner, who has been living there for the past few years (time for long-distance to end!) I'm a US citizen.

One of the requirements for the visa application is proof of residence while you're there. It reads: "Notarized deed of your house/appartment or Rent contract for the stay in France (for a whole year if a minimum stay of one year is intented) with the address of the rented place, tenant contact information, montly rent amount."

Given that I will be living with my partner, I'm not quite sure what kind of documentation I should provide for this. He just bought an apartment (he was renting before). Is a letter from him stating that I will be able to live with him enough? Since we are not married, will they accept this? Or would we need to draw up a "contract" where it's almost like he's my landlord so it's guaranteed that he couldn't kick me out or something?

Any advice about how to maximize the likelihood of having my application accepted the first time around would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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If you're using the "visitor" visa as a fiancé visa (or even if you're not) there should be no issue about your staying with your French partner. Your partner should write a letter (in French) declaring that s/he is inviting you to stay with him/her, any "arrangement" you have regarding costs (splitting expenses, whether s/he is assuming your living expenses, whatever) and then include copies of his/her proof of ownership of the flat where you'll be staying.

It's fairly normal to do something like this if you are planning on getting married while you're "visiting." If not, you may want to give some thought to explaining what you'll be doing in France during that year and offering some sort of proof that you will be returning home at the end of the year. You aren't able to work during the year as a "visitor" but if you marry within the first six months, you will be able to change your status on renewal of your titre de séjour to acquire the full rights accorded the spouse of a French citizen. (You will have to go through the OFII processing at some point.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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In terms of the Long Stay Visitor Visa application...for retirement purposes...both U.S.citizens...prior to our appointment with the french Consulate in August we plan on making a month reservation of an apartment allowing us time after we arrive to shop around for a furnished 1 yr. lease. Based upon others visa applications will the consulate normally accept the monthly rental as a residence address in lieu of an actual one year leased apartment ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you're using the "visitor" visa as a fiancé visa (or even if you're not) there should be no issue about your staying with your French partner. Your partner should write a letter (in French) declaring that s/he is inviting you to stay with him/her, any "arrangement" you have regarding costs (splitting expenses, whether s/he is assuming your living expenses, whatever) and then include copies of his/her proof of ownership of the flat where you'll be staying.

It's fairly normal to do something like this if you are planning on getting married while you're "visiting." If not, you may want to give some thought to explaining what you'll be doing in France during that year and offering some sort of proof that you will be returning home at the end of the year. You aren't able to work during the year as a "visitor" but if you marry within the first six months, you will be able to change your status on renewal of your titre de séjour to acquire the full rights accorded the spouse of a French citizen. (You will have to go through the OFII processing at some point.)
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks, Bev! Regarding the piece about proof that I would be returning home at the end of the year... if I think it would be likely that I'd want to apply to extend my visa at the end of the year (or change it to a different type, e.g., to start my own business or if we were to get married at that point), should I include this information? I think it's unlikely that I'd actually want to return to the US at the end of the year (other than to visit) -- unless somehow things just go horribly -- but I don't plan to try to go and stay without the proper authorization.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Officially, you aren't supposed to be able to change your status from a visitor visa to anything else - except if you marry a French national (within the first six months you are in France). You can change from a visitor to a spouse status. But if you want to change to any other status, you usually need to return home to apply for a new visa altogether.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Officially, you aren't supposed to be able to change your status from a visitor visa to anything else - except if you marry a French national (within the first six months you are in France). You can change from a visitor to a spouse status. But if you want to change to any other status, you usually need to return home to apply for a new visa altogether.
Cheers,
Bev
Bev -- So it sounds like when you're saying "return to the US" that might just be returning temporarily (e.g. for a month or two) to reapply for a new visa. I'm totally prepared to do that. I will be planning to come back regularly to see family anyway. I just mean that I would probably not be planning to return for good (i.e. move back to the US). Is this something I should include in my letter of intent or just some indication that I would be planning to return to the US at that time, and then I could reapply for another visa? (In all likelihood, we would probably be choosing to get married at that point, but we're not going to get married in the first 6 months I'm there this year.)

Thanks again!
 

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Yes, if you are planning on changing your visa status through any means other than marriage to a French national, then you should plan on returning to the US for a couple of months to handle the new visa process. (Depends on the type of visa you'd be seeking.)

The issue with getting married within the first six months is that to change status to spouse, you normally need to be able to prove a full six months of co-habitation. If you'll be staying with your French partner, you will want to see about getting your name on the paperwork in some manner so that you can prove your cohabitation when the time comes.

But if you want the option to renew your visitor status at the end of the first year, you need to have some "purpose" in coming to France. It's not an issue for retirees, or if you're planning on getting married. But otherwise, you want to think about the reason you're giving. To renew as a "visitor" at the end of the year, all the conditions of your visa must still be in effect at renewal time.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, if you are planning on changing your visa status through any means other than marriage to a French national, then you should plan on returning to the US for a couple of months to handle the new visa process. (Depends on the type of visa you'd be seeking.)

The issue with getting married within the first six months is that to change status to spouse, you normally need to be able to prove a full six months of co-habitation. If you'll be staying with your French partner, you will want to see about getting your name on the paperwork in some manner so that you can prove your cohabitation when the time comes.

But if you want the option to renew your visitor status at the end of the first year, you need to have some "purpose" in coming to France. It's not an issue for retirees, or if you're planning on getting married. But otherwise, you want to think about the reason you're giving. To renew as a "visitor" at the end of the year, all the conditions of your visa must still be in effect at renewal time.
Cheers,
Bev
Ok, great! Thanks for the explanation!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually, I have one more question -- the application also asks for a letter from my current employer. (It reads: " if currently employed, a letter from your employer mentioning your current position and the duration of your work contract.")

I am currently employed, but my job will end at the end of this month (June 30) and I will not be employed while I am in France. I will still be employed at the time of my visa appointment, though. Do you think I need to include something from them or just indicate that I am currently employed but that I will not be employed for the duration of my stay?
 

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If they're asking for a letter from your employer, I'd include one. Partly, they're looking for where your money comes from, and partly they are looking to see if your employer knows you're looking to leave for France.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If they're asking for a letter from your employer, I'd include one. Partly, they're looking for where your money comes from, and partly they are looking to see if your employer knows you're looking to leave for France.
Cheers,
Bev
Ok, thanks for explaining. That makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just wanted to thank everyone for your help with my (several) questions about my visa application! I just found out today that my application was granted and I'm planning to go into the consulate tomorrow to pick it up!

I'm so thankful that this has worked out. My flight to France is scheduled for the 21st, so it's wonderful that it was approved in time -- otherwise, I was going to have to go and then plan to come back to reapply within a few months.

This forum has been incredibly helpful. I'm looking forward to continuing to have a little community of people in similar situations as I make this next big step!

Merci à tous!
 

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Congratulations! So glad things have worked out for you. And as further questions come up, you know where to find us!
Cheers,
Bev
 
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