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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I know this question has been asked in many different ways and at different times, but I am unclear as to what the correct answer is and I really need any help I can get.

I am an American trying to marry my French boyfriend of over 2 years. I want to move to France as soon as possible, and we intend to marry there. What is the first thing I need to do, so that I can stay permanently/as long as possible? Do I need to start the process here, and how? Is it easier to get the official marriage license in France so that I can remain living there afterwards? :confused:

I've heard many things about Fiance visas, but I can only find information about already married couples and their requirements for visas on the French Consulate website here in the US.

So, I'm really desperate for help, we want to start this process already as we know it can be lengthy, and it is difficult being apart. :( I really appreciate someone telling me the steps to do this. Again, I want to move there as soon as possible and then marry, so I'm curious if I have to make trips back/forth or not.

Thanks so much! :pray2:
 

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There is no such thing as a "fiancé visa" for France. But what the consulates do is to issue a visitor visa to someone intending to marry a French citizen. Check the website for the French consulate in New York and see what they require for a visitor visa (for one year). You will want to indicate in your application that you are planning to marry a French person, and it's best if you have at least started to check out that process. (Your French bf should go to his local mairie - town hall - and ask for their list of documents needed for a foreigner to marry. Each town has its own variation on the requirements, so you need to ask where you're going to be married.) It's even better if you can indicate that you have at least a tentative date in mind and have discussed that with the mairie.

You get your visitor visa and you go to France. You need to actually get married within the first six months you are there. (It's a real paper chase, including a few documents you will need to get from the US Consulate.) Then, a couple of months before your visitor visa expires, you apply at the local prefecture for a change in status to that of spouse and your carte de séjour (residence permit).

You have to go through a process with the OFII on arrival, and then again before you request your change in status (because for the spouse status, they need to evaluate your level of French, and you have to attend a couple of "civics" classes and talk to Pole Emploi about your working qualifications).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you SO much for your help. As you stated, we need to marry within a few months upon my arrival under a visitor visa. The papers you mentioned, I can get from the US Consulate before I leave? I did check the website but I don't see much information for people intending to marry, only already married Americans/French. Perhaps if I go physically toe the Consulate they can provide me with the initial visitor visa application/forms, and also the ones you speak of to marry in France?

Also, how strict is the language evaluation? I plan to learn French and have already started taking lessons. Do I need to be fluent?

You've been very helpful, and have taken the stress away from what seemed like an impossible process. This is more clear now, I hope it is just like you say it is. Merci!
 

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No, the papers you need from the consulate are papers you get from the US Consulate in Paris, not the French consulate in the US.

If you're planning on living in France, you should bookmark this page from the US Consulate in Paris: Resources for US Citizens | Embassy of the United States Paris, France

They have an information sheet here you can download about getting married in France that describes the general process. You still need to ask at the mairie where you will be getting married (i.e. where your bf lives) for their specific list of requirements, because it does vary by location. There are also information sheets on other stuff you'll need to know: doctors, driving licenses, etc.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
HI,

I've been starting to prepare my documents needed for the long term visa, and I had a few questions I was hoping you could answer.

It states I need:
Financial guarantee (+ 1 photocopy)
up-to-date bank statement showing that you have sufficient means to live in France (with the bank balance amounts),
or
a proof of retirement pension or personal income.

If I am leaving my job right before I go to France, I will not necessarily have the same income as I did before. The long stay visa also states you cannot work while in France, so how does one show sufficient funds for a year's stay in France? What if someone is supporting me while I am there?

It also states:
A Proof of medical insurance (+ 1 copy)
A letter from an insurance company stating that the applicant will have medical coverage valid in France.
My insurance is currently through my job which I won't have when I leave. How does one obtain insurance in France before living there/working there? Is insurance mandatory, as I could be without it.

Thanks for any advice!
 

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HI,

I've been starting to prepare my documents needed for the long term visa, and I had a few questions I was hoping you could answer.

It states I need:
Financial guarantee (+ 1 photocopy)
up-to-date bank statement showing that you have sufficient means to live in France (with the bank balance amounts),
or
a proof of retirement pension or personal income.

If I am leaving my job right before I go to France, I will not necessarily have the same income as I did before. The long stay visa also states you cannot work while in France, so how does one show sufficient funds for a year's stay in France? What if someone is supporting me while I am there?
Since you're asking about a fiancé type visa, it's perfectly acceptable to state that your fiancé will be responsible for your financial support during that first year in France. You'll need a letter from him plus evidence of his financial situation (bank statements that show his income being deposited each month in the bank).

It also states:
A Proof of medical insurance (+ 1 copy)
A letter from an insurance company stating that the applicant will have medical coverage valid in France.
My insurance is currently through my job which I won't have when I leave. How does one obtain insurance in France before living there/working there? Is insurance mandatory, as I could be without it.

Thanks for any advice!
You need to purchase a one-year medical insurance policy. The US expat association, AARO, makes insurance available to its members that meets the immigration requirements: AARO (be sure to check the rate sheet). You have to be a member of AARO to sign up for the insurance - but the rate sheet they put online gives you a good idea of what you should expect to pay for an appropriate policy.

Check with just about any international insurer (AXA, Allianz, Swiss, Bupa) and be sure to ask for expat medical insurance. Or, you can contact the insurance broker (advert on the lower right corner of the AARO page on medical insurance).

And yes, insurance is mandatory - especially for obtaining a visa.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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