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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've seen this topic addressed numerous times in other threads here, but our situation has some unique particularities to it, and I was wondering if anyone here can lend some insight..

I'm American, my girlfriend is French. We've been living in Ireland together for over a year--I've been here on a student visa. This visa expires soon but I have an option to extend it for another year.

We're thinking about getting PACsed and moving to France (maybe not in that order). What we're puzzled over is whether I'm eligible for a carte de sejour after we've successfully PACsed. We have one year of documented vie commune, in an EU country, but obviously it wasn't France.

Recently we went to the prefecture at Cité in Paris, and the woman working there cautiously said that I need to extend my student visa in Ireland, then once we're PACsed in France, I'm entitled to the carte de sejour.

Then, later, we called that same office, and the woman working there said that our year of vie commune needs to be on French soil if I'm to qualify for the carte de sejour once we're PACsed.

Now we're confused. We're struggling to figure out if our year of living together is valid in qualifying for the carte de sejour. I'd be incredibly appreciative to anyone who has any knowledge or advice about our situation..
 

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Discussion Starter #2
just to be more specific, when I wrote 'carte de sejour', I meant to say that I'm hoping for a visa 'vie privee et familie' to go along with the PACS, i.e., a visa where I'd have the right to work

thanks again for any advice
 

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Just a note: a visa is a document that allows you to enter France, A carte de séjour is a document that allows you to stay (i.e. live) there.

If you get PACS'd to your girlfriend in Ireland, you have no inherent right to move to France. The same applies if you married your girlfriend in Ireland. The PACS allows you to change your existing carte de séjour status from whatever it was to that of a PACS partner of a French national - but only after showing proof of co-habiting in France for at least a year (i.e. on another form of long-stay visa/carte de séjour). Your one year of living in Ireland buys you nothing as far as residence permission for France.

If you were to marry your girlfriend in Ireland, you'd first have to register the marriage in France - a process that can take "a few" months. Then, you could apply for a spouse visa, which is nearly automatic and should be issued within a week or so from when you apply. On arrival in France, you would have to register with the OFII and go through a day-long processing, at which point they will validate your visa (so that it is now a titre de séjour) - and at that point you can start looking for work. There are still some classes and appointments you have to attend to complete your OFII processing and if you don't speak French, you may have to take French classes. All this does tend to interfere with finding and holding down a job.

If you are merely PACS'd, the process is similar, though the issuance of the visa is not nearly as "automatic" so may take a while longer and may require a few more documents. I'm fairly sure you will still be required to go through the OFII processing, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since you'll have a session with someone from Pole Emploi to assess and evaluate your employment possibilities in France.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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