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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HELP!!!

Here is my situation:
I am a 33yo American female. I have been to France cumulatively 7.5 months in the past 18 months. I have decided to study French at La Sorbonne for the next year starting this Summer. I just came back from France on March 9th. I pre-registered at La Sorbonne, sent the proof of pre-registration to Campus France ( after completing the online form) and I am now awaiting my attestation from Campus France in order to make my appointment at the consulate here in Chicago.

Now, this is where it gets tricky:

I have a boyfriend in Villebon sur Yvette. He will be my sponsor. We will also be getting Pacs'd when I get there as well. ( The only reason we did not while I was there this last time was because I did not have the papers that I needed in order to have it done. i.e. translated birth certificate and a paper stating I am not currently married.) We have, however, gone to his bank and filled out paperwork so we can have a joint account on his existing account. ( It will not be official until they have a copy of my Visa)

I have a friend in Cannes who is originally from Russia. She said that she could not mention the fact that she has a boyfriend because she is supposed to prove that she is intending on returning to Russia..... Is that the same for EVERYONE?!?! I need to show that I have intentions on coming back to the U.S.? If so, THIS IS NOT FAIR!!!! we just want to be together!! We are very sure that we will be spending the rest of our lives together. I am well acquainted with his family; have even taken trips with them. We just don't want to get married so I can live there! It takes the romance out of it all!!

So, we thought that if I signed up for French lessons, to learn the language better ( since I will ultimately have to learn it anyway), then we could be Pacs'd, get the same account, renew my student Visa while in France ( I want to take atleast 3 years of the language) , then do whatever else needs to be done in order to be together. Also, who knows at this time, but we might get married before the 3 years of language courses are completed.....I don't know.

Now, after all of this, I just want to know if I am not allowed to study in France if I have a boyfriend there and do not intend to reside in the U.S. anymore.

Should we have Pacs'd first? Should I fly back and get the Pacs and THEN make the appointment for the consulate for studies starting this Summer?

Please help...someone!!!

Thank you for your time in responding.
 

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You've put yourself in a somewhat awkward situation here. A student visa is supposed to be to allow you to study in France - and then go back home again. It's not really made for allowing you to come get PACS'd with your boyfriend, and anyhow it's very doubtful that they'll grant you a visa if you're going to be dependent on a "boyfriend" for support while studying in France.

But this is France, and you have no idea what they will or won't do in granting the visa. You're supposed to be already in France on a long-term visa, however when you do a PACS and there is a possibility that they will require you to return to the US to change your visa type from a student visa to a long-term visa. (You do realize that your ability to work is limited on a student visa, don't you?)

BTW, a PACS does not qualify you for a long-stay visa, although it will be considered as a factor when you apply for a long-stay visa. Being married will qualify you for the closest thing there is to an "automatic" visa - a spouse visa.

"Fair" is in the eye of the beholder, and there are very few immigration laws designed to be "fair." Getting married may not be "romantic" but it will make getting a visa a whole bunch easier!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much Bev for the quick reply. ( Though it is not at all what I wanted to hear :( )

I can speak intelligently on the fact that I can be Pacs'd on a student visa; atleast, in the prefecture of Palaiseau. We had a meeting with the Pacs lady ( there is only one there) and she walked us through step by step so I know they will not send me back for another type of visa. And with that being said, I could have Pacs'd him with my 3 month allowance on my passport. The only reason we didn't was because I didn't have my birth certificate and proof I am not currently married or had never been married. Since I was having to come back to the states to get my student Visa, I thought it best to just get those necessary documents whilst I am here in the U.s. as opposed to paying outrageous fees to have it expedited and sent to France in the time I was there........All of this information is just for others who might be wondering about the Pacs process.

Thanks again, Bev!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the quick reply, Bev. You rock!

So, here's a hypothetical:

I go back to France on a "Long stay visa to get married to a French citizen and reside in France" ( that is how it is listed on the Chicago consulate website ) . How long after we are married will I be able to work? Can I work on the Long stay visa alone until the marriage happens?

I have seen a lot of older material on the internet regarding this and I just want to know some 2011 answers.

Also, If i get married in France, do I have to come back to the states for any reason? Like change of status? Or any other frustrating reason?
 

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What is it about potential immigrants who, when they can't get their own way, shout 'Its not Fair" ?

How many time have I heard that from people trying to get into the US ???

The Immigration Authorities have created rules - abide by them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
........Really?!?!

Why is it that when people have such miserable lives, they go on the internet to try and make others unhappy as well by posting useless, nonfunctional, and counterproductive replies in a forum overflowing with USEFUL information? :confused2:

I am sure :focus: was made for the miserables like you.

This site has rules- abide by them.


* Due to the lack of vocal tonalities in a posting, some phrases or words ( like"not fair" ) may not come across as the way they were intended. But, it still does not warrant a reply of off-subject ridiculousness.

Thank you, Bev, for your insight and professionalism on this site:clap2:
 

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Thanks for the quick reply, Bev. You rock!

So, here's a hypothetical:

I go back to France on a "Long stay visa to get married to a French citizen and reside in France" ( that is how it is listed on the Chicago consulate website ) . How long after we are married will I be able to work? Can I work on the Long stay visa alone until the marriage happens?

I have seen a lot of older material on the internet regarding this and I just want to know some 2011 answers.

Also, If i get married in France, do I have to come back to the states for any reason? Like change of status? Or any other frustrating reason?
If you go over on a fiancé visa, you will have to get married within 6 months of arrival. As I understand it (but these things tend to change) you can't work until you are married, but at that point it's just a matter of getting the paperwork updated. It can easily take 6 months to find a job in France, so that isn't really much of an impediment - and there's nothing to say you can't start looking for work before you actually get married.

If you get married while on a titre de séjour that is renewable (and you have to check with your préfecture to see what they consider a "renewable" carte de séjour), you can get your change of status in France. On any other sort of visa (i.e. a student visa), you would have to go back to the US to apply for a spouse visa, though issuance of a spouse visa is as close as it gets to automatic as long as you have the right documents.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
This is what we decided....

This might need to be moved to a student visa thread?:confused2:


After much thought, my boyfriend and I decided for me to go for the student visa. For about a week we were going to go for the " Getting married to a French citizen" visa, but it was going to take so freaking long to get the papers together, then get the "publication des bans et de non opposition" ( 10 day waiting period before he would even get a rendez-vous)

Sooooo, I went to the Chicago consulate today. I had all of the required documents needed EXCEPT for the pre-paid postage envelope needed for the return of my passport. I had read on another thread from "ohioguy" that there was a post office near the consulate. Thank goodness I was about an hour ahead of schedule because THAT particular post office was closed due to remodeling and isn't slated to be finished until the end of the Summer 2011. :doh: I then walked about 20 minutes to the post office on Clark and Monroe. It , too, is being remodeled on the outside so it is a bit of a pain to access from the street. Once I received my envelope, ($18.60) and my label ( $0.00 and located on the small table before you wait in line to get the envelope prepaid) I hailed a taxi ($4.25) to make sure I arrived at my appointment early. It was originally for 10:10am and I arrived at 9:50am. There was no one else in the lobby waiting, so I poked my head around the tempered glass dividers separating the seating area from the appointment window, made eye contact and said " Bonjour!" I explained that I was early and she told me that I could start now.

She asked me, in English, my purpose for my visit to France. I said it was for studies. She rifled through my papers while she made little notations to the side column of my online application that I printed and filled out. Then she asked me to step over to the biometric fingerprint machine where I proceeded to have my fingerprints copied. Then she took a picture of me and I paid the $70 for the service. That was it! The whole process took about 4.5 minutes.

She said that because I live in Chicago that I should have my passport back by next Wednesday - Friday. That is only 5-7 days away!! I am super anxious and I will let you know what the outcome is. Thank you for all of your help, Bev. And, we WILL be getting married at some point ; just not with all of the rush-rush business.

Also, as a side note:

I had pre-inscribed at L'Alliance Francaise from May 22 - August 28th (9 hours a week), 2011, La Sorbonne for the Fall of 2011 (15 hours a week) and then the Spring course at La Sorbonne that will last until May 28th of 2012 ( 20 hours a week). They asked me at the appointment when I wanted my visa to start. ( It also asks on the application form) I told her that I wanted it to start April 27th, 2011. I also said that the application has an option for ticking a box for a visa up to a year or another box for a visa OVER a year. I went on to explain that I did not know which box to tick since the student visa page on the consulate website says that they issue student visas for up to a year. So , technically, I would need a visa for 13 months and about 5 days. I still had ticked the box for the visa up to a year and she said it was fine. ( I had read on another site that they will usually issue a visa for an extra month after a year of studies so one can have time to travel and enjoy the wonderful country. ) In my case, I was wanting the extra month BEFORE my year of studies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I received my visa today! My appointment at the French Consulate in Chicago was on Friday April 8th and I received my passport with the attached visa today, April 14!! :clap2:
 

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Update please Shadina on your PACS situation

Hi Shadina,
I saw your post about your PACS situatio and wondering what you've found out about pros of getting PACS? I am in the same boat and would like to find out the most I can about it. I only know that I will have insurance through my boyfriend but not sure how it can help me change my visa status so that I don't have to be the eternal student. Thanks in advance for your input.

I can speak intelligently on the fact that I can be Pacs'd on a student visa; atleast, in the prefecture of Palaiseau. We had a meeting with the Pacs lady ( there is only one there) and she walked us through step by step so I know they will not send me back for another type of visa. And with that being said, I could have Pacs'd him with my 3 month allowance on my passport. The only reason we didn't was because I didn't have my birth certificate and proof I am not currently married or had never been married. Since I was having to come back to the states to get my student Visa, I thought it best to just get those necessary documents whilst I am here in the U.s. as opposed to paying outrageous fees to have it expedited and sent to France in the time I was there........All of this information is just for others who might be wondering about the Pacs process.
 

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There isn't really a whole lot of difference between a PACS and getting married. (You certainly need most of the same documents to get PACS'd as to get married.) For immigration purposes, it's similar, but not the slam dunk that a marriage certificate would be. Plus, you have to consider carefully the requirements of your particular prefecture/departement for getting PACS'd as a foreigner. (You have to do your PACS in the departement in which the French national is resident.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Already PACSd, now what?

Bev, I already am PACSd, just wondering how I go from there to Carte de Sejour so I can change my status from being a student so that I don't have to forever be in school while I am in France. Any idea?

There isn't really a whole lot of difference between a PACS and getting married. (You certainly need most of the same documents to get PACS'd as to get married.) For immigration purposes, it's similar, but not the slam dunk that a marriage certificate would be. Plus, you have to consider carefully the requirements of your particular prefecture/departement for getting PACS'd as a foreigner. (You have to do your PACS in the departement in which the French national is resident.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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You need to stop by your local préfecture and ask what the requirements are for changing your carte de séjour status. It's always safest to go in and ask them for their list of documents required first, but as long as you're on a student visa that lasts for a year, you should be able to make the change without having to return back home.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I will definately have to go soon and see how that's done. Thanks again!


You need to stop by your local préfecture and ask what the requirements are for changing your carte de séjour status. It's always safest to go in and ask them for their list of documents required first, but as long as you're on a student visa that lasts for a year, you should be able to make the change without having to return back home.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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Hours for a french student visa

Hello,

I was wondering if you have to have a certain amount of hours a week to qualify for a french student visa, my boyfriend called alliance Francaise and they said that in order to qualify for a student visa I needed minimum of 20 hours a week for 36 weeks to have a student visa

Is this true?
 

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Hello,

I was wondering if you have to have a certain amount of hours a week to qualify for a french student visa, my boyfriend called alliance Francaise and they said that in order to qualify for a student visa I needed minimum of 20 hours a week for 36 weeks to have a student visa

Is this true?
It's safest to check with either Campus France or the French consulate you'll be dealing with in the US. Alliance Française has been known to give out information that may not always be up to date.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I received my visa today! My appointment at the French Consulate in Chicago was on Friday April 8th and I received my passport with the attached visa today, April 14!! :clap2:
Did you put your boyfriend as your source of financial support? I am applying for a student visa for a graduate program in Paris and I was planning on having him sign a statement that he will be supporting me since I don't have that much money in the bank right now and he has a good job.

I don't want my visa to be denied for something like that since I will be working in a company that will pay a stipend during my program and this graduate program is a great opportunity for me. Please advise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Financial support

Hi Amanda,

I was able to show that I had $8,000 ( USD ) available to me and in my name. I had 2 debit cards and a credit card. I had my boyfriend wire me some money then I took the cash and put it on a debit card in my name. Then , he wrote an 'Attestation d' Hebergement. He had the hand written letter notarized and then he sent it to me air mail so I would have the original to give at the appointment. I can send you a copy if you want to know exactly what information they are looking for.

Hope this helps,

Shawna
 

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Hi Amanda,

I was able to show that I had $8,000 ( USD ) available to me and in my name. I had 2 debit cards and a credit card. I had my boyfriend wire me some money then I took the cash and put it on a debit card in my name. Then , he wrote an 'Attestation d' Hebergement. He had the hand written letter notarized and then he sent it to me air mail so I would have the original to give at the appointment. I can send you a copy if you want to know exactly what information they are looking for.

Hope this helps,

Shawna
That would be great! Thank you.
 
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