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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I am American, my partner is French. We have been together for three years. When we met we were both going through divorces. I have since divorced, amicably. He is still going through a contentious process that has reached its fourth year, with no end in sight. (We got news of another delay today. Apparently, the courts in France are short-staffed.) In the meantime, we have both maintained jobs and residences in our native countries, with the intention of marrying and living in France once his divorce is final.

Neither of us is getting any younger and we'd like to live together. I would like to relocate to France; however, our inability to marry is an obvious hindrance at the moment. I have considered applying for a long-term visa, but am worried about two things: the amount of financial resources I will need to qualify for such a visa and ensuring that I'm able to keep health insurance without a break in coverage (the current debate on healthcare in the States has me worried).

In addition to my full-time job, I also maintain a freelance business with clients based in the States. I assume I can continue that work from France since it's not based in France?

In any case, I guess I'm looking for advice on any avenues I can pursue to live in France before we have the option to marry.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Yes, you're in a tricky situation, having to wait for his divorce to come through like that.

I have considered applying for a long-term visa, but am worried about two things: the amount of financial resources I will need to qualify for such a visa and ensuring that I'm able to keep health insurance without a break in coverage (the current debate on healthcare in the States has me worried).
On the financial resources question, you're on kind of thin ice. Technically speaking, even if you are telecommuting and/or freelancing, you are "working in France" if you are physically present in France while doing the work. This means you need to be registered for cotisations (social insurances) and taxes and to be working to French labor laws to be considered legal.

Some consulates will grant you a visa even if you are relying on earnings from telecommuting back to the US - but you are likely to run into problems with this when dealing with the French authorities, particularly the prefecture and possibly the sécu and Fisc (French version of the IRS, but much more reasonable to deal with).

On the health insurance side of things, once you establish French residence you are no longer required to maintain your US health insurance coverage. (You also get out of having to pay US Social Security because you should be enrolled in the French retirement system.)

Back to the visa issue - at this point, your only real option is a "visitor" visa, which would mean you have to swear that you will not work while in France, and will have to have adequate financial resources for your stay, plus a private health insurance that will cover you for the year (i.e. duration of your visa).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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An off the wall idea...please do further research before doing anything.

Have you thought of going to a country / US state where you can get a "quickie" divorce...and that is recognised in France. Nevada, Utah, Belize come to mind, but I AM NOT EXPERT. In my case in 2000 in the uk my amical divorce took 6 months with no hassle.... but we were both uk citizens.

I feel for you in what must be a very difficult situation.

DejW
 

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Unfortunately a "contested" divorce in France can take some time. And to go for the quickie divorce in the US, one would have to establish residence in the appropriate state. (Not sure about now, but it used to be something like 30 days to establish residence in Nevada before you could file.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your responses. I don't think a quickie divorce is an option. He has been physically living elsewhere for more than three years. He wasn't able to file until reaching the two-year mark. At that point, he filed for divorce. However, the issue is waiting for the courts to assign dates for hearings, etc. For example, his ex just filed a response to his petition for divorce . . . a year later. That was the deadline the court gave her. He has now been given a deadline in November to respond. His attorney thinks a court date before early 2018 is unlikely. The attorney's explanation is that the courts are short-staffed on judges. It's kind of insane how long this is taking, especially considering recent changes in the law, which were meant to simplify the process.

In any case, we've been patiently biding our time for almost three years. Now we're looking for alternative options.
 

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Thanks for your responses. I don't think a quickie divorce is an option. He has been physically living elsewhere for more than three years. He wasn't able to file until reaching the two-year mark. At that point, he filed for divorce. However, the issue is waiting for the courts to assign dates for hearings, etc. For example, his ex just filed a response to his petition for divorce . . . a year later. That was the deadline the court gave her. He has now been given a deadline in November to respond. His attorney thinks a court date before early 2018 is unlikely. The attorney's explanation is that the courts are short-staffed on judges. It's kind of insane how long this is taking, especially considering recent changes in the law, which were meant to simplify the process.

In any case, we've been patiently biding our time for almost three years. Now we're looking for alternative options.
ALL of the courts in France are overloaded - to such an extent that I think your partner will be dong well if he gets a court date in the first half of 2018. That unfortunately means you are both going to need to be particularly patient and that your only option (as posted by Bev) would seem to be the visitor visa - except, of course, visiting for 90 days in a rolling 180 days which does not require a visa. Still, one advantage is that, once the divorce is sorted in France, you will find that formalising your relationship (eg. PACS or marriage) will be far more straightforward than it might be had he been able to divorce elsewhere.
 
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