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Just wanted to relay my experience at the French Consulate in San Francisco, California. A little background... My husband and I met while traveling, decided to get married in France, fought long and hard battle with the Mairie of Toulouse to be able to do so, and then applied for the visa in San Francisco because it was the last city in the United States where I had legal residency.

The building is super easy to find in downtown San Francisco and I brought all the required documents listed on the consulate's web page to file for a spouse visa on their website.

It's good to note that they actually do ask for proof of your French spouse's residence in France because they say nothing about it on the website. My husband is living with his parents at the moment because we were waiting to look for an apartment until once I received my long stay visa. The consulate accepted a signed statement from his father explaining that we would live with him, then a copy of his father's carte nationale d’identité, and a copy of his father's electric bill from France.

They also asked for a copy of my driver's license as proof of my residence in San Francisco's consulate jurisdiction.

Also, you should bring both your Livret de Famille *AND* your Copie Integrale du le Acte de mariage (French marriage certificate). The staff were very happy when I offered both.

BRING TWO COPIES OF EVERYTHING! They don't have a public copier at the consulate.

The whole appointment took a little under 15 minutes. They looked over everything in the dossier, accepted it, handed me back my husband's carte nationale d’identité as well as my livret de famille, and then took my picture / finger prints.

I turned everything in on a Friday at 9:30am and my visa was ready to pick up on Tuesday morning! Some other nice news is that if you live in the Bay Area, you can opt to pick up your visa at the consulate instead of having them ship it to you.

As a proud new owner of a French long stay visa, I want to encourage couples out there to keep on keepin' on with the agony of French bureaucracy. It was a long six months for us and I still have to jump through a few rings of fire with OFII, but you must stick to it. It's absolutely maddening at times, but don't let the paperwork overtake your relationship.

Good luck!
 
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