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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi forum,

I am an american citizen who started living and working in France three months ago. I came on the three-month long stay visa and applied for my carte de sejour. I received my recepisse de demande de carte de sejour just today from the prefecture but people at my work are concerned that it may be illegal for me to travel to US and come back in the next few weeks, since my three months long stay visa that allowed me to come work in France has now expired. I found some conflicting information online (I don't speak French well so I have not read official websites). Do you know if I will be allowed back in France (and Schengen area) with the recepisse de demande de carte de sejour and if not, what I would have to do to come back? I don't know if it makes any difference but I am married to a non-French EU citizen and have residency in her country (Portugal).

I had to submit my application through the university, where the person in charge assured me that I would be able to travel in and out of the Schengen area without any problem until I receive the carte de sejour. I hope I was not misinformed into taking this trip!

Thank you.
 

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Whew - I was wondering what you were up to until I got to the part about you being married to an EU national.

You should be ok. I assume your "three months long stay visa" was a standard Schengen "stamp in the passport." Chances are, if you re-enter France from outside the EU, they'll just stamp your passport again and off you go, but if they do ask about how long you've been in France, your recepissée should show them that you're legal. (The prefecture would NOT have accepted your application otherwise.)

I've actually never heard of anyone being turned away on entry to France. (I even re-entered France after they sent me a formal letter telling me to get the heck out within 30 days. They just stamped my passport like I was a regular tourist.) Where you're more likely to get into trouble is where you need a carte de séjour to establish your right to work or stay or whatever. But the recepissée is good until you get a response from the prefecture about your carte de séjour.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Bev,

Thank you for your reply. I was not married at the time when my employer started processing my visa last August so they got a Convention d’accueil from the prefecture and I entered France the temporary work visa (though it only says "France (+1 Transit Schengen)" on the large visa affixed to my passport). Do you think this changes things as far as entering France from outside the Schengen?

Now I think I understand that being married to my wife would have allowed me to enter the country and work without the temporary visa. I actually had to process my visa through a French consulate in Portugal because that's where I was living at the time. Knowing this would have saved us a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, I think neither employer nor the consulate knew about this (though they knew that I married a EU national).

Bests,
 

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I'm assuming that you applied for your carte de séjour as the spouse of an EU national - in which case, you're well within your rights to re-enter France on a passport (and a smile) as long as you have your recepissé with you (just in case).

What you've done, in fact, is to apply for a change in status (from temporary work visa to spouse of an EU national). The old visa is null and void anyhow - it's the open dossier that governs your situation now. I wouldn't elaborate if you are asked any questions, but the rule at Immigrations is always to answer only the question that is asked without volunteering any extraneous information. (Chances are you won't be asked, and I'm almost sure they'll just stamp your passport as though you were arriving for a tourist visit.)
Cheers,
Bev
 
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