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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I am a 26 year old from New Zealand, at the beginning of last year I met my French partner and we travelled around New Zealand together. We fell in love, at the end of the year his visa ran out so he went back to France. A few months later I decided to live with him in France for a while to see if I would like to live here long term. I had obtained a long stay visa (6 months) and I'm currently in the middle of it (nearly 4 months in).

Since being in France with him we have decided that it would be best if I could somehow settle here. There is no other option for us to still be together. since we made our decision we have gotten some advice from the ofii office that I would be able to change the "visitor" stature on my visa to a "working" one if I was able to firstly find a job and get a contract. Since then I have been frantically looking for a job in my field (early childhood education) and have found a lot of native English speaking teaching jobs. I've been to a few interviews and seen a few offices, each one was interested until they found out about my visa. It feel impossible to get a job that would sponsor me because of the paper work and the waiting time involved.

The man from the ofii office also told us about pacs, but that's also an impossible option (unless I want to renew my visitors visa for a total of 5 years to then maybe get accepted, then to wait another year to be able to work).

I was wondering if anyone could possibly give me advice on how to be able to live and work in France, different possible options. Especially options that would eventually lead me to live here long term. I love my partner very much, surely it's possible to be able to be with him?
 

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Despite the remarks from Smeg, getting married is probably your best option. It's pretty paperwork intensive, but once you are married, you can change status when your current visa expires and, though you'll have to go through the OFII processing (contract of integration, complete with language assessment and classes on life in France, etc.), you'll wind up with working privileges that should allow you to pursue those jobs you've mentioned.

The penalties are pretty harsh for an employer who hires someone not authorized to work - and it's a somewhat cumbersome process for the employers to obtain work authorization for a foreigner so that they can sponsor you for a visa.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hello everyone,

Since being in France with him we have decided that it would be best if I could somehow settle here. There is no other option for us to still be together. since we made our decision we have gotten some advice from the ofii office that I would be able to change the "visitor" stature on my visa to a "working" one if I was able to firstly find a job and get a contract. Since then I have been frantically looking for a job in my field (early childhood education) and have found a lot of native English speaking teaching jobs. I've been to a few interviews and seen a few offices, each one was interested until they found out about my visa. It feel impossible to get a job that would sponsor me because of the paper work and the waiting time involved.

The man from the ofii office also told us about pacs, but that's also an impossible option (unless I want to renew my visitors visa for a total of 5 years to then maybe get accepted, then to wait another year to be able to work).
That's because there are huge numbers of native English speakers here, including with education qualifications, who are already legal to work (eg. EU citizens, spouses of EU citizens, etc) and the employer has to demonstrate that they are unable to fill the position with those people before they can hire you (a complex and lengthy process).

What do you mean by renewing your visa for a total 5 years? Never heard of such a requirement and I believe you are mistaken - although geting PACSed is not an automatic route to being allowed to stay and to work in France. Frankly, if you were legally in France for 5 years, you would be able to stay and to work anyway, PACS or not.

As mentioned above, easiest route is to get married.

BTW your best bet is to enquire at the Prefecture, not OFII.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you everyone for the information, maybe that is my only possible option. Unless, by a miracle I'm able to find a job which would sponsor me but as you said, it is a slim possibility.

I have heard that you need to prove that you have been living together for 5 years to get pacs? Then after we get pacs I would need to apply for a card and wait a year to be able to work? But you're right it's not the best route to go down.

We will go to the prefecture and see, again, thank you for you're advice.
 

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Thank you everyone for the information, maybe that is my only possible option. Unless, by a miracle I'm able to find a job which would sponsor me but as you said, it is a slim possibility.

I have heard that you need to prove that you have been living together for 5 years to get pacs? Then after we get pacs I would need to apply for a card and wait a year to be able to work? But you're right it's not the best route to go down.

We will go to the prefecture and see, again, thank you for you're advice.
No, you don't have to wait 5 years to get PACSed.
 

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whether you get married or PACSed, I would recommend that you start to ensure that you will subsequently be able to demonstrate that you are living together (even if you marry, you will need to do so to renew your CDS) by getting both names on the lease if you rent, and getting at least one utility bill in both names.

I would also suggest that your partner goes to the Mairie to get the details of the paperwork required to marry a foreigner, so that you can start getting it together, which can take a while, and to determine when the Mairie could book your wedding.

It would also be worthwhile for you both to see a notaire to get an understanding of what the various marriage 'regimes' would mean for you (you will have to choose one) and/or what is required to get PACSed and what a PACS actually means (i.e. what you are and are not getting yourselves into). Should you decide to get PACSed, it would likely be quicker for you to do so through a notaire.

I notice you say you are on a 6 month visa and are almost 4 months in. I'm not at all sure that a 6 month visa is renewable, and in any case you may well be running out of time - that could mean that you would have to return to NZ to get a new visa, even if you get married. The Prefecture will be able to tell you if your current visa can be extended.
 
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