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Discussion Starter #1
I have read several threads similar to my situation. My boyfriend is French (I am an American). He spent 3 months with me in the US, and now wants me to try for a long stay visitor Visa to stay with him in France for 1 year (or more, when the time comes to renew).

Our issue is the likelihood of me being granted a long stay visitor Visa just to visit my "boyfriend." Rumor has it, the French consulate does not take too kindly to issuing this type of Visa for "boyfriends and girlfriends."

We do not want to get married yet. We don't want to get married just to be together, but rather, when we feel the time is right and it is in our hearts to do so... has ANYONE out there ever received a long stay visitor visa to France under these conditions? I don't want to lie or make up a "Fiance" situation to get a Visa.

Any advice? Also, if you DID receive your long stay visitor Visa under these same conditions, can you advise me on what your letter said as far as you stating what your intention was for wanting this visa, etc?

Thank you !!!
 

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You're operating in tricky territory here. Some consulates will grant a visitor visa for a year to someone seriously planning to marry their French boyfriend or girlfriend - but renewal is then contingent on their having gotten married within the first six months the foreigner is in France. Have heard lately, though, that they are really tightening up on this arrangement.

Any mention of your boyfriend is going to put your application in jeopardy if you're not planning on getting married during that first year. The other red flag to them is that on a visitor visa you are absolutely not permitted to work, and unless you're fast approaching retirement age and have adequate resources to support yourself (in the form of a pension, trust fund or some other arrangement), the assumption is that you're going to try and work under the table to support yourself.

In any event, you'll need a reason for wanting to go live in France other than to hang out with the boyfriend. Some folks go the student route, though this can be tricky if you'll be dependent on the boyfriend for your accommodation. If you're already established in a career, you could propose a "project" of some sort - research for a book or other publication - or see about going the competences et talents route (i.e. to set up a venture for yourself in France).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Bev. My boyfriend and I talked and have decided we will apply for the Long Stay Visa to Marry a French Citizen. We are gathering all of the required paperwork, etc. Oh I pray...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Above, when you say they are really "tightening up on this arrangement", referring to the Visa for marriage, what do you mean? Do you mean marrying within 6 months, or just granting this Visa for marriage altogether?
 

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Have had a couple reports of consulates no longer granting this visa at all. You'll have to take a long, hard look at the website for the French Consulate in San Francisco to see if they mention it.

On the other hand, they seem to have loosened things up a bit over here so that if you're in France, even just on a tourist visa, and then marry a French national you can sometimes get a change of status at the local prefecture. (I suspect not all prefectures are fully up to speed on this little change.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have read the San Francisco Consulate website on this type of visa. There is no mention of it being unavailable. It would certainly be nice to avoid this path entirely. So... should my boyfriend contact the local prefecture in France and ask them the procedure or requirements if he marries a US citizen on a visitor visa?
 

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Or you could just send your boyfriend this reference from the Service Public website: Délivrance automatique de la carte de séjour "vie privée et familiale" - Service-public.fr

Under the heading Conjoint de Français it says that you should be able to get the proper residence permit as long as you get married in France while you're on any long-stay visa and you have be co-habiting with your spouse for six months by the time you file to change your status.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Feel free to check out my blog (google "Keith and Croissants blog - it's the third link...I can't post a link because I have less than 5 total posts), as I was just recently granted a Long Stay Visitor Visa for a year and my blog details everything I did to get it from the consulate in SF. I'm not sure if I went "above and beyond" with my visa application, but the lady did make a comment about how large my file was, but when everything was said and done, I received my visa within a week. Hope this helps...
 

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Nice blog, look forward to reading more. All the best with your application.

When reading of your arduous visa process, I don't think it's any more so than my (and my wife's) application for long term working visas in the US. Different of course, and emphasis on different things, but most countries make it fairly difficult for any visa other than tourist or short-term business.
 

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Nice blog, look forward to reading more. All the best with your application.

When reading of your arduous visa process, I don't think it's any more so than my (and my wife's) application for long term working visas in the US. Different of course, and emphasis on different things, but most countries make it fairly difficult for any visa other than tourist or short-term business.
Thanks! I plan on updating it much more when I'm in France with photos, travel stories, food, and general day-to-day Breton life.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All great posts. Thank you so much! I read your blog and your Visa package that you presented to the Consulate. It is a bit time consuming, as I am currently getting MY ducks in a row. I will post on here, how this process goes for someone wanting a Long Stay Visa to marry a French citizen...which is what I will be applying for at the SF Consulate!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bev... do you recall the thread that you read about France loosening up a bit on changing your status while in France, if you get married in France during a regular 90 day or less visit? My boyfriend is calling the consulate in Toulouse to inquire, but if you, OR ANYONE reading this has been through this process, please reply. I do know that as it seems to stand right now, I must apply for a long stay visa to marry a French citizen, but if ANYONE has not had to go through this process, gotten married instead on as a visitor, and then did NOT have to return to their home country to then apply for a Visa as a spouse of a French national, please let me know. THANK YOU!!!!
 

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All I can do is to point you to the Service Public page where I first saw it: Délivrance automatique de la carte de séjour "vie privée et familiale" - Service-public.fr Take a look at the section headed Conjoint de français.

One small problem is that, while the requirements specifically state that you can get a carte de séjour if you were married in France and entered legally (even on a Schengen - i.e. 90 day - visa), they also require that you have lived with your French spouse for six months in France. Those terms would appear to be somewhat contradictory, but "welcome to France."
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Let's say we go this route. Should I register at the OFII, just like I would have to on a long stay Visa? or do you think that would make it confusing?
 

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Basically, you need to follow the instructions you get from the prefecture in Toulouse. (Inside France it's the prefecture you'll have to deal with. Consulates are only outside of France.)

If you get married in France, you'll still need to deal with the OFII in order to process that contract of integration (i.e. take the "civics" classes and have your level of French assessed). In some cases, the prefecture may contact the OFII for you in order to make the appointment, or they may give you some paperwork to send in yourself to the OFII.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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