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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Just a few questions I hope someone can help me out with.

I'm currently living and working with a CDI contract in France on a Holiday/vacances-travail visa which is running out soon.

I came here to be with my Girlfriend who i've been dating for now close to 3 years and we are PACSed. She is French and we both want to live here in France. Apparently, I need to leave when my visa expired even though we applied for a 'visa vie privee vie familiale' but haven't gotten a response yet. Also after my visa is finished can I just leave the Schengen area and return after one day? Like go to England for a quick visit? I have a working holiday visa as I said but it's also written long stay visa on my application form. I don't know if it's considered a titre long sejour here but apparently not.

My question is what's the best step to go from here?

My work is willing to help me out with a new visa through them, but that means that if I decide to leave that company after a year or so, I'll be in the same shoes as I am in now. "Seaching for the best way to live and work in France."
And doing this way can take up to 6 months and it's not guaranteed. Also I would like to return as quick as possible to continue my life here in France.

We've looked at the marriage option and getting married in France still means a lot of paper work from Australia and it also requires that i return to Australia which is fine, but what they say on the consulate website in Sydney is that i only get a "long stay visa" that requires a return ticket to Australia after a year. I thought that when you get married to a french citizen you could get a carte de sejour and work and stay in france for good. So why do i need a return ticket??? Can anyone explain this???

Also is it easier to get married in France or Australia?

And if we get married in Australia how do I have to still get a "Livret de Famille" to get my paperwork completed for my visa in France or is the Australian marriage certificate sufficient for the French embassy in France? They don't really specify on the website?


Any advice or help would be wonderful, I enjoy living here in France and am trying to do what's right to stay here in France without jeopardising any future chance of staying here.

Merci beaucoup.

Mike
 

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Mike had contacted me privately about this one, so I encouraged him to post here on the board to get a wider range of advice.

The main points I see here are:

In order to change status from within France, you need to be on a renewable long-stay visa (which the WHV is NOT), so for the time being it looks as if he'll have to return to Australia to apply for a new visa. (And doing that may or may not work if you're "only" PACS'd.)

Changing status to a spouse visa also requires that you are in France on a renewable long-stay visa - so a trip back home is probably going to be necessary.

Main argument for marrying in France is that you'll have all the paperwork done and the livret de famille in hand when you leave for Australia to apply for the spouse visa. Getting married in Australia will require "posting the banns" with the French consulate there (they seem to be getting sticky about this lately) and applying for the livret de famille from there, which can take "several" months.

Once the livret de famille is in hand, the spouse visa should be delivered in a matter of days from your consulate appointment.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I can't add to Bev's magnificent understanding of visas and livrets de famille.

As I Brit I married a Française in 2010. The paperwork was considerable, but we followed the rules and ALLOWED plenty of time for the papers to filter into the right department.

Anyway good luck for the future and for a happy married life.

DejW
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much,

It seems like marriage is what we are wanting to do. We have been together for more then 2 and a half years and have lived in the US, Australia and now France.
It definitely seems easier to get married in France, though i did notice that the visa i will be applying for in Australia is a "Long stay visa" which stats that i need a return ticket after a year even though i want to live in France and stay in France?
Can anyone help me put with this?

Also with this visa does it allow me to work when i return?

I apologise for all the questions it seem very unclear on the consulate website.

Thank you all once again.

Mike.
 

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The individual consulates seem to interpret the "official" rules (if such exist) each in their own manner. If they say you must have a return ticket, make sure to get a refundable one. (Technically, a one way ticket is usually more expensive than a cheap rate return ticket. If that's the case, you could just get the cheapie return and sacrifice the return part.)

Also with this visa does it allow me to work when i return?
Sort of. On your return, you will have a mandatory meeting with the OFII to set up your CAI (contrat d'accueil et d'integration). This is where you have to take a couple day-long "civics" classes, have your French evaluated and have a sit down with the Pole Emploi to advise you on job seeking.

Officially, you probably can work on a spouse visa, but practically speaking, you probably need the "vignette" which you get at the OFII session, and which serves as your initial titre de séjour. (Kind of like a carte de séjour for your first year.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I'm not au fait with visa questions but I second getting married in France. That's what I did (I'm French and spouse is a Brit) and back to the uk where we lived at the time there was no question asked from uk govt. now that we want to move to France I have my precious Livret de Famille and I'm hoping it will help with some of the admin faff.
 

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One way to do things to get the most "bang for your buck" (old American expression - substitute "euro" for "buck" I guess) is to get married in France, then do a nice honeymoon back in Oz for a couple of weeks, during which you get your spouse visa. On your return to France, there is all the fun and games with the OFII, but at least you've had a lovely honeymoon trip, your new spouse has been able to make the rounds of your friends and family back there, etc etc.

To collect all the paperwork and get married in France probably requires a good month to six weeks. If the French consulate in Oz does their visa appointments online (like most of them seem to these days), check into making your appointment while you're doing the other wedding paperwork here in France, scheduling your honeymoon around the visa appointment you can get. It will be a busy couple of months to get everything accomplished, but getting married can be a hassle no matter where and when.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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One way to do things to get the most "bang for your buck" (old American expression - substitute "euro" for "buck" I guess) is to get married in France, then do a nice honeymoon back in Oz for a couple of weeks, during which you get your spouse visa. On your return to France, there is all the fun and games with the OFII, but at least you've had a lovely honeymoon trip, your new spouse has been able to make the rounds of your friends and family back there, etc etc.

To collect all the paperwork and get married in France probably requires a good month to six weeks. If the French consulate in Oz does their visa appointments online (like most of them seem to these days), check into making your appointment while you're doing the other wedding paperwork here in France, scheduling your honeymoon around the visa appointment you can get. It will be a busy couple of months to get everything accomplished, but getting married can be a hassle no matter where and when.
Cheers,
Bev
Wow, you should set up a wedding planning business.
 
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