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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Although I have been a member of this forum for some time, I haven't posted much. But I appreciate the advice given when I did. Hopefully you can help me again.

I am a US citizen, born in the US. My husband is a naturalized US citizen, born in an EU country and living in the US for several years.

We are hoping to retire in the next couple of years and had planned to retire to France as US citizens. However my husband is now considering moving there on his EU passport if this will make things easier for us.

I'm very familiar with the requirements if we retire as US citizens, but I have some questions if he moves to France on his EU passport.

Are there any disadvantages for him or me to his moving to France on an EU passport?

I understand that he will not need a visa in that case, but I'm not sure whether I will need one or not, as the spouse of an EU (non-French) citizen.

We live in a state with the driver license reciprocity. Could he still exchange his US license in France if he uses his EU passport?

Thank you in advance for your help!
 

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Honestly, I don't think they give you a choice in a situation like yours. The fact that your husband has an EU nationality means that the French consulate probably won't give him a visa - because he doesn't need one. But the good news is that that means you won't need one, either!

As long as he has some sort of pension (US social security or other) then he will be "exercising his EU rights" in moving to France. You will then be entitled to a carte de séjour (resident permit) based on your "joining him." You just need to apply as the spouse of an EU national exercising his EU rights and provide the usual scavenger hunt worth of documents. The main ones are proof of your marriage, proof of his pension (or other source of income), proof that he has established a place for you to live (lease agreement, utility bill, other proof of residence) and proof that you both have health insurance.

Going that route just makes life a whole bunch easier for both of you - and you won't have to give up any of your US benefits or entitlements. You will still be able to exchange your licenses, travel on your US passports and continue to file and pay US taxes.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As long as he has some sort of pension (US social security or other) then he will be "exercising his EU rights" in moving to France. You will then be entitled to a carte de séjour (resident permit) based on your "joining him." You just need to apply as the spouse of an EU national exercising his EU rights and provide the usual scavenger hunt worth of documents. The main ones are proof of your marriage, proof of his pension (or other source of income), proof that he has established a place for you to live (lease agreement, utility bill, other proof of residence) and proof that you both have health insurance.
A few more questions, Bev. When would we need to provide the documents you mention and to whom? Since I would be "joining him", will he need to move to France before me, or can we move together? What would he need to do when he arrives to let someone know he plans to retire there?

Thanks.
 

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A few more questions, Bev. When would we need to provide the documents you mention and to whom? Since I would be "joining him", will he need to move to France before me, or can we move together? What would he need to do when he arrives to let someone know he plans to retire there?

Thanks.
Actually, it's one of the simpler "immigration" processes in France. - unless you get a particularly unpleasant clerk at the prefecture and/or manage to inadvertently honk him or her off.

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F19315 is the Service Public information in French. (Good practice for your French!)

But in a nutshell, you enter France just like you were a tourist (on a Schengen "stamp in the passport" visa). Within three months (safer if you do it within the first two months you are there), you go to the prefecture in your departement and ask about applying for a carte de séjour as the spouse of an EU national. (If you're lucky, the prefecture website will have the information you need. Otherwise, you usually have to go in person to get the info. Getting this sort of thing by phone can be a hassle.)

Usually, you make an appointment (often online) and they should tell you the documents you need to bring with you. (These things always vary a bit from one prefecture to the next. Part of the "charm" of France. :rolleyes: ) Normally it is i.d.s for both of you, proof of nationality for both of you (may be your i.d.s or passports), proof of your marriage, proof of your place of residence, proof of the EU national's status (i.e. source of income), and proof that you both have health insurance. The "status" stuff in your case would be some proof of his pension - perhaps the award statement and/or a recent statement of payment of the pension (ideally into a French bank account - so that may be the first thing to do on your list on arrival).

As long as your husband's EU nationality isn't French, you're good to go. The spouse of a French national has to do the visa route - and that includes getting your marriage registered in his French birth record. But I'm assuming from what you've said that he isn't French.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you very much, Bev! This is very helpful. You are correct - my husband is not French.
 
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