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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Bev and everybody on this forum

This is my first thread and a fairly complexed one.

I am currently resident in France for the past 11 years on a 10 year Titre de Séjour (carte de resident) which s due for renewal in 2018. I am also in a PACS relationship with a french citizen for the last 9 years where all administration is in joint name eg accomodation, rates and city taxes, electricity and annual tax returns.

Due to personal reasons, there is a strong possibility that I may return to Cape Town indifinitely until my residency card is due for renewal for another 10 years. I will be making annual visits of 4 weeks because I most certainly want to preserve my French residency until the window perod of 2018 arrives. Obviously I wont be working in France until then and I wanted to know if this could be a HUGE problem to the prefecture regarding my renewal because I wont be submitting annual tax returns between 2014 and 2018, only my significant other would be.

When all personal issues are sorted in SA, I would definitely persue my french naturalisation, but as you already know, that is an entirely different ball game because the e TEF is now required to establish ones level of french skills. I can understand that this online test is required when entering France for the first time, but surely after being in France living and working, surely exceptions can be made by looking at the bigger picture! I am a law abiding resident, pay my taxes and contribute to the system, employed which obviously means I have an aduquate level of French!!!!!!

I would appreciate some feedback from anyone on the forum and BEV in particular because I am aware that one can be outside France for a maximum period of 3 years, but I most certainly would tempt fate because I will be doing annual visits in the interim. I would appreciate any advise you could offer to preserve my residency because in the perfect world I would like to eventually have dual citizenship and travel with my significant other between France and South Africa during retirement.

Thanking you for your time.

Regards

Chet Gordon
 

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I've been literally up in the air - flight to the US, which left a good 3 hours late. But, since I'm jet lagging, I'm online a bit early today (US time) and saw your post.

When you go to renew a 10 year carte de resident, you have to prepare a statement on your honor that you have not been non-resident in France for 3 years or more of the duration of the card. Coming back for periodic visits is not technically sufficient to retain your residency.

I would check the Service Public website, however, to see what the conditions are for renewing your carte de resident. I'm not sure if they are requiring the language test for those who got their 10 year card before the change in the rules. (Though they are requiring the statement about residency.)

But if you've been living in France for 11 years, you certainly have enough French to pass the test they require. They don't expect you to use subjunctive perfectly (most native speakers don't), just to be able to make yourself understood and to understand what people are saying to you.

Also, there is no telling how the rules may change for renewing a carte de resident between now and 2018. They've changed plenty in the last couple of years already.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Bev

Thanks for your response and I await further correspondence from you because the bottom line is I really, really don't want to lose my current status because it's literally an equivelant to French citizenship without voting. Going for naturalisation is now too stressfull because I have paid my dues going through early morning prefecture visits and french admin before I attained my 10 year card. Enough is enough!!!!!

Thanks

Chet
 

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Hi,

On the official page or renewing the resident card (Renouvellement de la carte de résident ou "résident de longue durée - CE" - Service-public.fr) it says that the statement of honour should be that you've not resided out of France for 3 'consecutive' years. Technically a year of residing here means to be here more than 183 days in that year so a one week's visit per year might not cut it am afraid.

Besides, what Bev mentioned is important as well: we don't know what the rules for the 10 year card (or for that matter the naturalisation process) will be in 2018. As is the grapevine among people applying for naturalisation: with the Socialists in power, this is the best time to apply! My 2 cents would be to apply for nationality immediately!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Attention Kevin Bacon

Hi Kevin

Thanks for your advice and information. Its well noted and I will just have to find a solution. However, I will make periodic visits annually of up to about 60 days per year. Can it still pose a problem! I am in a pacs relationship for many years now and while I am away, I am paying my monthly contributions for rent, electricity, city tax and monthly instalments to my service provider FREE, surely this is all sufficient because I can prove residency!

Thanks again for your qualified input.

Regards

Chet
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Attention Kevin Bacon

Hi Kevin

Thanks for your advice and information. Its well noted and I will just have to find a solution. However, I will make periodic visits annually of up to about 60 days per year. Can it still pose a problem! I am in a pacs relationship for many years now and while I am away, I am paying my monthly contributions for rent, electricity, city tax and monthly instalments to my service provider FREE, surely this is all sufficient because I can prove residency!

Thanks again for your qualified input.

Regards

Chet
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
French Naturalisation French Language Test

Hi Everyone, Bev and Kevin in particuluar,

I phoned the Alliance Français 2 days ago in Cape Town, South Africa to do some research with the test I have to do when submitting my application.

The language manager told me that they get these type of questions fairly often and confirmed that I need to do the e TEF electronic test online consisting of multiple choice questions.

However, reading on the forum with a thread marked in mid 2012 that B1 is required, however, what is the difference between the two!!!!!! Why is there never uniformity or consistency!!!!!! The e TEF generally is only an online indication to realise ones level of french, so it sounds like there is not a fail or a pass mark required for this test. After completion a certificate is issued, which the manager indicated for naturalisation to be in the ranch of B2 and not B1!!!!!!!!! And this test would cost about ZAR 1600 (160 euros) in Cape Town Alliance compared to about roughly 60-80 euros max in Paris.....why is there such a big gap in cost!!!!!!

Very annoyed about this....Can you see I am not infavor of Naturalisation!!!!!

Regards

Chet
 

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I'll be honest with you - I decided to go for my French nationality as I came to the end of my first carte de resident, in large part because I didn't want to go through the whole degrading (and expensive) process of renewing the flipping card. I lucked out and completed the process before the formal language test came in. But other than the language test, I don't think there is anything else that costs much involced in the naturalization process. If you're eligible to do so now, do it and take all the worry out of the situation.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks bev. I have some serious thinking to do.....I am still awaiting more information regarding my first thread. You said you needed to do more research regarding an answer. Kevin replied to my tread, however, he mentioned that I need to be about 183 days a year out of the country regarding the 3 year story....I think I can only manage about 60 days a year until 2018. Can that still be a problem with the prefecture! Frankly, this should not concern them because its personal issues......as long as I am paying my rent, city taxes and electicity, its none of there business what I am doing in SA because its exactly that, PERSONAL and it should be of no concern to them.

Thanks again for your insight.

cheers bev
 

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The 183 day "rule" is more a rule of thumb - however, I think that 60 days a year is really cutting it extremely thin. The other issue you mentioned is taxes. If I were you and looking to validate a somewhat thin claim on residence, I would be absolutely scrupulous about continuing to declare and pay your French taxes if you're going to claim French residence for all that time.

What you are doing and why you are forced to return to South Africa is of no concern to the French authorities in this type of thing. But maintaining your French residence may simply not be possible - combined, too, with the risk of future changes to the rules.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Bev

Thanks for all the advise which I am very aware of, however, I am in a PACS relationship with a french citizen where everything we pay monthly is in joint name. Surely due to A PACS relationship they simply in principle can't refuse my renewel because I already have a long history here in France and besides, it would be segregation. Its a legal and binding french document. Are they now going to decide for ourselves that we are not allowed to be together anymore. If thats the case then I am sorry to say that France and its rules are much more oppressive than what I thought and believe you me I come from a country where we were the champions of the world regarding such issues during the old regime.

Thanks again and I will be very diligent.

Have a great weekend

chet
 

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The problem is that the PACS relationship is still fairly new and many prefectures are unwilling to commit to recognizing it in the same way as marriage. However, you could get around the problem by getting married before you have to leave France. By law, a married couple must maintain a home in common (and by extention, they must file a joint tax declaration, declaring worldwide income for the household). The fact that you would be returning on a regular basis to the marital home in France would certainly support the notion that you are still resident in France. (How you deal with South Africa is another question - but one that you can probably better look into than I can.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi bev

Via the PACS, thats exactly what we have been currently doing all the years. We produce a joint annual tax return, however, between 2014 and 2018 we would continue producing the annual tax return, but bear in mind I will not be declaring my annual salary, so despite being in a joint name, the prefecture will see that I have nothing officially to declare, hence a nil balance, despite being in a joint name.....

Thanks bev.

chet
 

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Hi Chet,

This is regarding your question about the French language test for the naturalisation application. I assume you looked at this thread, right?

http://www.expatforum.com/expats/fr...language-test-acquire-french-citizenship.html

The threads has some good info on the structure of the test and to my knowledge there has been no change in the requirements since last year, i.e. the prefecture WILL ask for the test results attestation showing your score, which they will then match against the minimum needed score. But if you've been here for 11+ years, one assumes that it'll be a breeze for you since the test if quite simple. And if you're planning on taking it, I would suggest to do it in France.

I also read somewhere that beginning Jan 1st 2014, anyone who has a degree of a course that was taught in French, will be exempt from the test requirement, but to be checked further.

Hope that helps and all the best.
 

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Sounds to me like you're already breaking the law. In a few posts you've said you pay your dues, yet in post number 14 you say you won't be declaring your income because "what you do outside France is your business" (paraphrased).

As a PACS'd couple, your tax declaration SHOULD and MUST BY LAW include the worldwide income for the household.

You can't have it both ways ... and there's no reason why France should make it easy for law-breakers to "naturalize" themselves. Basically, tuff titties - if you can't play by the rules, go find another playground!

To be honest, if I knew your name/address, I'd be shopping you ....

h - disgusted
 
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I must agree with hils. You can't have it both ways. The laws are in place for good and valid reasons. If you do not wish to comply, then you have another option open to you. Leave. This is not a personal comment. It is a comment directed at the issue.
 

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Just a quick reminder - these are open message boards. Although you have to be signed in as a member of the forums to post messages, your posts can be read by just about anyone wandering by. In this age of Wikilinks and that guy Snowden holed up in Russia, there is no telling who might be reading what's posted here - or just processing them through some sort of mass data processing filter.

Posting questions here means that you're looking for a variety of input and opinions, but ultimately you're responsible for what you ultimately choose to do (including ignoring everything anyone here has told you).

We now resume our regular programming....
Cheers,
Bev
 
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