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Hello all. I am an American student currently completing an internship in Paris, and two years ago I studied abroad in Lyon for eight months. Once I am done with my internship in December, I will return to the States so that I can finish my journalism studies at my university and graduate in May. After that, I want to move back to France. So here comes the tricky part. My boyfriend is French (we met at my university in the States, and he is the main reason I am in France) and we are currently trying to find jobs for me in France, preferably Lyon (where is doing an internship until October 2010) or Paris (where he is from). It just seems to me almost impossible to find something! The only solutions we have found are to either get married so it's easier for me to be here (my boyfriend doesn't want to get married right now) or either we can get PACS'ed. Does this work and does it make things easier? I just want to be able to legally stay here and/or find a job. Has anyone been through the same thing? Any help/advice is appreciated! Also, I'm new on this forum, so sorry if I messed anything up! Thanks!
 

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You're caught in something of a double bind here. At the moment, few potential employers will want to talk to you because you have no right to work in France. If they were to hire you, they would have to get authorization to hire a foreigner (a messy and expensive process for them) in order to then "sponsor" your application for a visa with work privileges.

If you're married or PACS'd, you would have the right to work ok, but the ways the rules work now, you have to get a visa before coming to France. It's not too difficult to get a long-stay visa if you're getting married, but the consulate websites and other sources make a big point of telling people that getting PACS'd will only "be considered" as a factor in deciding whether or not to grant you a visa.

There is also the issue of whether or not you can meet the requirements for the PACS unless you are currently living in France, with the intention to remain there. In any event, the differences between being married and being PACS'd are not that great - and if you don't want to get married yet, it's kind of up for grabs whether getting PACS'd would help the situation at all.

The other "gotcha" is that, even if you were married or PACS'd, there is no guarantee you are going to be able to find a job - especially in something like journalism. Young people just out of school or training are the ones currently having the most difficulty finding jobs in France (other than maybe the over 50 crowd, freshly laid off).

In any event, you're going to have to go back to the US, if only to apply for a long-stay visa to return when you finish your degree. You can certainly keep up the job hunting efforts while you're still here - and try doing a long-distance job hunt from back in the US. You never know, you might get lucky - and it only takes finding one job where the employer is willing to take on a foreigner. You just have to give them a very good reason to do so.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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it's really difficult, i tried too, i met my ''now- husband' in London and we wanted to be together, the only way was for us to get married, maybe after you're done studying you'll be able to qualify for an english job here if you have a degree, but even then you still have to be under the mercy of the job, they may only contract you for six months, my husband and i just got married, in the end we decided that's what we wanted to do, i wish i had better advice for you but even after doing things legally its still difficult to get a job, well that's if you're not fluent in french, if you are, sure you'll be fine. good luck with everything
 
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