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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I was wondering if anyone could help shed some clarity on my current situation. I've been emailing the consulate and they seem to only give me a generic answer. I'm going to visit my fiance in a couple of weeks. It seems like if we were to get married while I visit, I would not be able to stay with only my visitor visa. I've been scanning blogs and posts. Some people have been granted a carte de sejour but it seems that you have to be together legally for 6 months which is impossible on a 90 day short stay visa. I just wanted to know if I fly back to the states and apply for the marrying a french citizen visa would I be allowed back in the country within the 90 day time period? I also am curious as to how long it would take. The website says that it takes 2 months for us re entry. Would that mean I would qualify or would it only take two weeks? I appreciate any responses that are helpful.
 

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Hi,
I was wondering if anyone could help shed some clarity on my current situation. I've been emailing the consulate and they seem to only give me a generic answer. I'm going to visit my fiance in a couple of weeks. It seems like if we were to get married while I visit, I would not be able to stay with only my visitor visa. I've been scanning blogs and posts. Some people have been granted a carte de sejour but it seems that you have to be together legally for 6 months which is impossible on a 90 day short stay visa. I just wanted to know if I fly back to the states and apply for the marrying a french citizen visa would I be allowed back in the country within the 90 day time period? I also am curious as to how long it would take. The website says that it takes 2 months for us re entry. Would that mean I would qualify or would it only take two weeks? I appreciate any responses that are helpful.
As I understand it, if you marry in France whilst here, you will need to return to the US (with your livret de famille) to get your visa as the wife of a French citizen. One of our members, ieatfood, has recently been through this experience. You might care to look through her threads. Or perhaps she will reply to your post (she and her husband may be on holiday at the moment). Or there are other US citizens who are members, have been through the hoops and may reply.

It takes time to organise a marriage here, so perhaps the best thing you can do is immediately start the process.

There is no fiancée visa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was told by the consulate to apply for the long stay visa in order to marry a french citizen. I am just worried that I wouldn't be able to enter or re enter the country once I've already visited.
 

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You've got a couple of options.

If you apply for and receive a long-stay visitor visa, you can move to France, marry your French fiancé within the first six months you are there, and then when your visitor visa is up for renewal (at the end of your first year in France), you would apply for a change in status to that of spouse of a French national.

The down sides of this approach are that you can't work in France until you renew your titre de séjour and change your status (so, basically, for the first year you're in France) and you will have to scramble at the end of the year to get your OFII contract obligations out of the way (French language, "civics" classes and medical exam).

The other approach is to go over on a tourist visa, get married while you're there and then head back home with your livret de famille in hand. At that point, you can apply for a spouse visa, which should be forthcoming within a week or two after your Consulate appointment. On arrival in France, you'll have to send in the OFII forms, wait for that appointment and then go through the contract of integration formalities.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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You've got a couple of options.

If you apply for and receive a long-stay visitor visa, you can move to France, marry your French fiancé within the first six months you are there, and then when your visitor visa is up for renewal (at the end of your first year in France), you would apply for a change in status to that of spouse of a French national.

The down sides of this approach are that you can't work in France until you renew your titre de séjour and change your status (so, basically, for the first year you're in France) and you will have to scramble at the end of the year to get your OFII contract obligations out of the way (French language, "civics" classes and medical exam).
For the OP's information, whenever my now-husband and I decided to get married, we went for the first option. However, we decided to do a very low-key, uncomplicated wedding with only my husband's immediate family and a couple of our closest friends (sadly my family couldn't come). So, since we went this route, we got married within a month of my arriving in France (I arrived June 26th, and we got married July 28th). Since we got married so quickly into my 6 month visitor visa, we immediately applied for my carte de séjour, and because of that, I was granted the right to work through my CDS by September (I hadn't actually received said CDS, but I had a récipissé that stated towards the bottom that I could while waiting). I also got my formations all knocked out within about a 6 month period, but that just depends on your region's OFII.

Of course, the reason we were able to do this so quickly is because my husband had already started the marriage paperwork without me - there were just a couple things we needed to file jointly, which we did as soon as I arrived. I will say that this made the couple months before leaving and the first month after having arrived pretty stressful, but in a sense it was good because we were able to knock it out quickly and afterwards focus on enjoying ourselves and our newly-married life.

Anyway, my point is, if you have the option of getting a long stay visitor visa, it is definitely possible to get things done quickly so you can get your first CDS, but you guys need to carefully plan and time things right.
 

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One other small caveat: we've had reports that some consulates in the US are no longer doing the ersatz fiancé visas (i.e. a visitor visa with the intent to marry a French national). But, the procedure has also changed a bit over on this side of the pond, too. Take a look at this page from the Service Public site: Délivrance de la carte de séjour temporaire "vie privée et familiale" - Service-public.fr the section under Si vous êtes époux de Français

If you fit the requirements, it may be possible to simply get a carte de séjour after the marriage takes place - however, check first with your local prefecture because, as in all things, the individual prefectures tend to have their own interpretation of the rules.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We both have been looking at this option. However, it says we have to live together consecutively for 6 months which is impossible on a schegen visa. I do not understand how other people are allowed to do this without staying illegally in the country for the last 3 months. Do you have any insight to this?
 

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We both have been looking at this option. However, it says we have to live together consecutively for 6 months which is impossible on a schegen visa. I do not understand how other people are allowed to do this without staying illegally in the country for the last 3 months. Do you have any insight to this?
If you'd met your fiance while he was in the USA on a work visa, you could have lived together for the requisite 6 months, leased an apartment in both your names, and signed up for utilities in both your names. By the time you arrived in France, you'd have sufficient proof of all of that to suit the French government.

What you'll be doing if you follow the Visa de Longue Sejour approach is the same thing...only with you in France rather than him in the US.

Best of luck.

Ray
 

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We both have been looking at this option. However, it says we have to live together consecutively for 6 months which is impossible on a schegen visa. I do not understand how other people are allowed to do this without staying illegally in the country for the last 3 months. Do you have any insight to this?
What Ray said, plus there are a few cases I've heard of that involved student or other long-stay visas that came to an end, so the foreign partner re-entered France on a Schengen. It really comes down to the discretion of the prefecture you're dealing with.

If you have to return to the US anyhow, it might just be easiest to get married on the Schengen, stick around just long enough to get your livret de famille and then go back "home" to apply for the spouse visa - like ieatfood did. (Or plan a "honeymoon" with your French spouse back in the US to deal with the paperwork.)
Cheers,
Bev
 
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