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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm planning on moving in with my boyfriend's family on a long stay student visa. We plan on getting PACSed as soon as I arrive in France and I would like to change to the Vie Privee et Familiale status over the course of the year. I posted earlier about getting PACSed, and that cleared up a lot! Thank you all again! I understand that you need to prove one year's worth of living together, and my boyfriend and I read over an article by the Glittering Unknown (would post the link but I don't have enough posts) to see how the process went for other couples

It will be easy for us to set up a joint bank account and show our future phone bills, but my circumstance is a little different because I will be living with his family versus moving in with just my boyfriend. Therefore, our names aren't on anything like rent, the electricity bill, lease, and the internet bill. Neither me nor my boyfriend work, so we can't provide anything like payslips either. Because of this, what are some other forms evidence we can provide other than the phone bill and bank statements? I know that we're going to need more than just that. Perhaps his parents could claim a tax return on us or something like that and we could show that? Could there be some other types of evidence his family could provide? This has been a big struggle for me and I'd really appreciate some help, thank you! :confused:
 

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Probably best to take things one step at a time.

To get the long stay student visa, you first have to get accepted into a study program and show that you have the financial resources to stick out the program. If and when that is done, it's on to the next step.

To get PACSd you'll have to go through either the local tribunal or a notaire. This is the Service Public page on getting PACSd: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1618 and lists the documents you'll need - both for your French partner and for yourself as a foreigner (a couple of documents you'll have to get from the US Consulate). It's all in French so maybe your boyfriend and/or his parents can go through this with you to see what you need and what you already have.

Once you have your PACS, you will probably have to wait until your student visa comes up for renewal in order to change status. At this time, you may have to go through the OFII and attend their processing session, which includes a couple of sessions on life in France, plus some assessment of your level of French and a meeting with the Pole Emploi office to determine your ability to look for work.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello Bev, thank you for your quick reply! I've read over other posts on the forum and I've got to say, hats off to you for helping all of us out! :)

To provide further clarification, I'm currently in the process of getting a long stay visa for a study abroad program (I go to a university in the US) that I'm in for a year. However, for personal reasons, I would like to drop out and stay in France. In this case, I'm not quite sure how a renewal would work for me. As a back up plan, I would enroll in French classes at a local public university (which I actually wouldn't mind too much at all:) )

Also, does this mean that I would have to wait until the visa comes close to expiring before I can change status? Not too sure on what you mean here. Thanks!
 

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Also, does this mean that I would have to wait until the visa comes close to expiring before I can change status? Not too sure on what you mean here. Thanks!
Basically, yes.

You have to remember that a visa and a residence permit (carte de séjour) are two separate documents. The visa allows you to enter France, while the residence permit allows you to stay in France, based on the terms of your entry (visa).

If you aren't intending to do your study program, you should perhaps just look at getting a visitor visa for a year. (You'll need to have financial resources for a year and for whatever you say is your "reason" for going to France.) Some consulates used to issue a visitor visa for someone planning on getting married in France - though many consulates these days will not do this (and certainly not for someone to get PACSd).

There is also the question of why are you getting PACSd rather than married? For a foreigner, much of the documentation is pretty much the same and it gives you much more certain rights in living in France.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Bev,

To answer your question, one of the reasons my boyfriend and I are not leaning towards marriage is age. I'm 19 and he's 20. Additionally, while we are both committed, we would still like our assets to be separate for the long term.

I understand that both the CDS and visa are separate documents, and that the PACS alone does not grant me the right to stay.

My main question was that I was wondering about the difficulty of getting names on certain documents, and what types of documents we should try and get our names on. I have read that it's easy to get names on gas/ electric bills, and I'm also wondering which documents are of higher importance and more worth getting.

I will be arriving in France in mid August and I'd like to get started on getting the 12 months of proof as soon as possible.

Thanks!
 

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One thing you may find is that "getting your name on the documents" can be a tad more difficult here. You may have to show that you are actually contributing to the payment of the bills, etc. I say that because my husband and I are married with a separation de biens - to maintain our separate assets and all - and it has always been a bit of a hassle producing documents to "prove" our common residence, since the house and most utilities are all in his name.

You may want to give some thought to what your long-term goals are before you lock in to joint bank accounts, study programs or one sort of visa over another. I can tell you from experience that many offices that want "a utility bill" as proof of residence will NOT accept a mobile phone bill, others won't accept any "Internet bill" (like, who gets physical bills in the mail these days???) or they have other weird requirements. If your goal is to work in France, you'll need the vie privée et familiale CDS, but doing a year on a student visa may well improve your job hunting chances by showing that you have enough French to study (and work, at least part time) in France. In any event, finding work in France is not easy for any young person just now - especially for a foreigner. So tailor your plans around what's really important to you, not just what gets you what you think you want at the moment.

Just getting your name on a bunch of documents or accounts may wind up being an even bigger hassle to "fix" if your plans change after a year or two in France. (Or if the rules change over time, which they have a tendency to do - and will do, given the change in government here.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I have to echo Bev about the visa, though...maybe you should try the long stay visitor visa. I don't know what happens on the French end as far as if you go in on a student visa and want to drop out and switch. In general, though, I feel like the French consulates in America issuing visas are "on the hunt" for people trying to beat the system by getting a student visa in order to be with a boyfriend/significant other instead of going about it the right way (whatever that might be exactly, I have no boyfriend or fiancé so I haven't looked into that lol). I guess yours probably seems "legit" because you're doing it through a study abroad program in a university where you are already a student, so they might not even question it/you. Buuuuut yeah, they look for that kind of thing. (using a student visa just as a ticket to stay with a boyfriend)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Would it be possible for me to change to a visitor visa while I'm there? I'm in the process of getting an online business off the ground, but in the worst case scenario where that doesn't work out, would I be able to change over? Thanks!
 

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Note that the delivery of a titre de séjour mention "Vie privée et familiale" is a discretionary decision by the prefect ; unlike marriage, you do not have immediate access to the residence card as a corollary to your relationship.

The 12 months of shared residence are a minimum to apply (they were set out in a ministerial circular in 2012, I believe. If your French is good, I'd be happy to post the links.)

The prefect is also going to examine the rest of your application with regards to integration, future plans, et cetera: what do you plan on doing in France -- working or studying? Will you be able to support yourself, or do you risk being a "financial burden" on the state? More or less, the prefect will examine whether your request is "serious." As the circumstances have it, it seems that your plans are not strong enough to ensure that you will be able to live in France.

Note that moving abroad for a relationship places you in a precarious position, both financially and socially: you become dépendant on your relationship and the social/family bonds that are born from it. I wouldn't recommend putting yourself in a position where you have to choose between a relationship and your own independance (ending the relationship would mean losing your residency -- therefore limiting your own ability to plan your life.)

This post is a mix of administrative and personal advice, so take the latter as you'd like it. I personally wouldn't recommend dropping out of an American higher-education institution to pursue university studies in France for a number of reasons, language and international recognition being one among them. That's an entirely different subject, however.
 

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Would it be possible for me to change to a visitor visa while I'm there? I'm in the process of getting an online business off the ground, but in the worst case scenario where that doesn't work out, would I be able to change over? Thanks!
I wouldn't count on it. Technically speaking, you can only change your "status" (i.e. titre de séjour category) from one long-stay category to vie privée et familiale - and that mainly if you have gotten married during your first year in France. It's possible if you get PACS'd , but as trotskor has pointed out, it's not guaranteed (certainly not to the extent it is if you are married). Because the titre de séjour (residence permits) are handled by the local prefecture, your experience can and will vary from one departement to the next.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bev, how does changing over to the Vie Privee et Familiale visa work for marriage in comparison to PACS? Thanks again!
 

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Bev, how does changing over to the Vie Privee et Familiale visa work for marriage in comparison to PACS? Thanks again!
The spouse of a French national has a nearly automatic right to a "spouse visa" - and thus to a vie privée et familiale residence permit. Depending on the type of visa/residence permit you're on, if you get married while in France on another form of residence permit, you generally can change status with no problem.

The "automatic" aspect of changing statuts doesn't apply if you get PACS'd - although many prefectures will allow you to do so, as long as they are convinced you didn't come to France on another type of visa to get PACS'd (or just to be with your partner). If you come to France on a tourist visa (i.e. 90 day visa) and then go back home to get a visa based on your PACS, it's much more of a question whether or not you'll get the visa, in part due to the co-habitation requirement but also because you aren't supposed to use a PACS as your sole reason for wanting to come to France. It boils down to, you might be able to change status, but there is no guarantee you'll be able to do so.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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