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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am an English guy who has lived and worked in France for the past 3 years.
I have an English (EC) passport, and was born and raised in England.

I met a Vietnamese girl here in Paris 6 months ago who is here on a student visa.
She tried to extend the visa, and after over a year of waiting she finally received a letter from the Prefecture de Police yesterday saying that her extension has been denied and she must leave France within the next 30 days.

Obviously we are both devastated, especially as she's currently mid-way through the 2nd year of a university masters course (MSc) here in Paris.

What irritated me even more was that the postmark on the letter was for 19 March 2012, yet the stamp was for 8th March meaning she has only actually 2 weeks and 2 days to leave from a supposed 30 day period!

Anyway, what I really wanted to know was what options are open to us to enable her to legally remain in France.
We had planned on getting married in both Vietnam and France/England next year, but if we moved this forward and married in France would this make a difference?

Any help would be greatly appreciated on this matter.

Kind regards,
Sam
 

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Given the process for getting married in France, there is little or no chance you could manage to get married in only two weeks. (The paper chase alone takes probably a good month, with documents that need to be officially translated and all.)

If it's practical, you could follow her back to Vietnam, get married and then bring her back to France using the procedure for the spouse of an EU national. That would involve getting her a short-stay Schengen visa after the marriage, then applying for her carte de séjour when you return to France. You'd have to show proof of what you're doing in France (working, studying, whatever) and that you are "exercising your EU rights" here, but it should be fairly straight-forward.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: vietnamese student visa extension denied

Hi Bev,

Thanks very much for your reply!

Unfortunately I'm working for a bank out here in Paris and it would be quite difficult for me to get sufficient time off to go to Vietnam.

Would it at all be possible for us to begin the paper chase for us to get married in Paris (...no longer sounds quite as romantic!) and for her to remain here beyond the date at which she is supposed to leave France.
After we have the official documentation and everything has been done, she can then go back to Vietnam (without me) and then return with the short-stay Schengen visa?

Also, how long does it take to get the short-stay Schengen visa?
And if she stayed beyond the cut-off date that she was supposed to leave France will this in any way affect her application for the short-stay Schengen visa when she's back in Vietnam?

Kind regards,
Sam
 

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It's not a great idea to stay on past your visa expiration date. The French aren't as bad as some on holding it against you later on, but in the current political climate I wouldn't tempt fate.

You could go down to the local mairie and at least inquire about the requirements to get married "soon." It's a bit hit and miss, but some mairies have required a valid visa for non-EU nationals.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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In another current thread on this board...

Bevdeforges said:
AFAIK, the student visa is supposed to be for the duration of the course you're enrolled in [...]
... something that is absolutely correct, AFAIK, too.

But now, on this thread...

She tried to extend the visa, and after over a year of waiting she finally received a letter from the Prefecture de Police yesterday saying that her extension has been denied and she must leave France within the next 30 days.

Obviously we are both devastated, especially as she's currently mid-way through the 2nd year of a university masters course (MSc) here in Paris.
.... something which sounds strange given the fact that she obtained a student visa for a master course (MSc) there in Paris. She is now wanting to extend the visa while she is still mid-way through the 2nd year (with over a year of waiting)? If she's still mid-way through the 2nd year, isn't the visa still valid? The visa is supposed to be valid for the length of the course she applied for, right?

I'm a bit puzzled with the arithmetics of the situation...

jacques.
 

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In another current thread on this board...



... something that is absolutely correct, AFAIK, too.

But now, on this thread...



.... something which sounds strange given the fact that she obtained a student visa for a master course (MSc) there in Paris. She is now wanting to extend the visa while she is still mid-way through the 2nd year (with over a year of waiting)? If she's still mid-way through the 2nd year, isn't the visa still valid? The visa is supposed to be valid for the length of the course she applied for, right?

I'm a bit puzzled with the arithmetics of the situation...

jacques.

Maybe she took a chance and started the MSc without a visa, hence the current predicament?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe she took a chance and started the MSc without a visa, hence the current predicament?
Yes, that's exactly what she did.

@Bev - thanks for your response, we will go and visit the local mairie tomorrow to get further information on the marriage procedure.

Kind regards,
Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi,

We visited the local mairie over the weekend and were advised that it would be easier for us to marry in Vietnam.

However I am unsure as to the visa that she requires in order to gain entry back into France after we've married in Vietnam.

You say above that she will need a Schengen short-stay visa ("C": single entry 3 months) which she will apply for in Vietnam.
On the visa application she states that she's coming over to visit "family and friends", and puts my details down as the sponsor/inviting person.
She states that I will cover the cost of her visit during her stay, and she can adds my details, and her status as spouse for the "Family Relationship with an EU citizen".

Is this correct?

And then, assuming everything is ok with this and the visa is granted, when she arrives back in France we go to the mairie to apply for her "carte de sejour" and I specify that I am "exercising my EU rights" here.

Thanks again in advance!

Kind regards,
Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi,

We visited the local mairie over the weekend and were advised that it would be easier for us to marry in Vietnam.

However I am unsure as to the visa that she requires in order to gain entry back into France after we've married in Vietnam.

You say above that she will need a Schengen short-stay visa ("C": single entry 3 months) which she will apply for in Vietnam.
On the visa application she states that she's coming over to visit "family and friends", and puts my details down as the sponsor/inviting person.
She states that I will cover the cost of her visit during her stay, and she can adds my details, and her status as spouse for the "Family Relationship with an EU citizen".

Is this correct?

And then, assuming everything is ok with this and the visa is granted, when she arrives back in France we go to the mairie to apply for her "carte de sejour" and I specify that I am "exercising my EU rights" here.

Thanks again in advance!

Kind regards,
Sam
Hi (again),

Please disregard the above as I spoke to a lawyer this morning who provided me with all the information required, including the required visa for my fiancee when applying from Vietnam:

-->Visa pour visite familiale ou privée
Visa pour un membre de la famille d’un ressortissant de l’Union européenne ou de l’Espace économique européen

...and also how to fill in the Schengen visa form, making sure that she won't fill in certain fields that are asterisk marked when she exercises the right to free movement as a family member (i.e. spouse) of an EU citizen.

Once again thanks for all your help!

Kind regards,
Sam
 

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You'll need to check with the French consulate in Vietnam for the exact documents required for the short-stay visa. I would think that she should state on the visa that she is going to France to join her EU national spouse. They may ask you to get a statement from the British consulate in Vietnam stating that your marriage in Vietnam is recognized in the UK.

When you apply for her carte de séjour back in France, you should go in with her to the prefecture and expect to have to show documents proving that you are exercising your EU rights - lease or rent receipts, payslips or job contract.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You'll need to check with the French consulate in Vietnam for the exact documents required for the short-stay visa. I would think that she should state on the visa that she is going to France to join her EU national spouse. They may ask you to get a statement from the British consulate in Vietnam stating that your marriage in Vietnam is recognized in the UK.

When you apply for her carte de séjour back in France, you should go in with her to the prefecture and expect to have to show documents proving that you are exercising your EU rights - lease or rent receipts, payslips or job contract.
Cheers,
Bev
Just wanted to give you an update!

We actually managed to get all the documents together to get married in Paris in the end.
The date is next Friday 20th April, and we've had our annoucement in the Banns since the 4th April.

The mairie were incredibly helpful, and let us go ahead with the application and booking even though we were still waiting for my (less than 3 months old) translated birth certificate and certificate de coutume, and my fiancees certificate de coutume.

Thanks to an incredibly understanding person at the British Consulate, the certificate de coutume arrived must faster than the expected 21 working days and I wanted to say that the whole process has been incredibly painless and easy to follow.

If anyone needs any further information on how I went about the process, please don't hesitate to ask.

Bev, just wanted to thank you for the speed with which you answered my queries and all your help!!

Kind regards,
Sam
 

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Hey congratulations on the upcoming wedding! And further congrats on having negotiated the mairie successfully - someone there likes you.

Tread carefully when going to the prefecture to apply for her carte de séjour. They may hesitate a bit, but if you're "friendly," polite, and firm it may just work out as you want. Way to go!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wanted to give you all a final update!

We married successfully on 20th April, and then my wife went back to Vietnam the next day having already booked an appointment at the Vietnamese embassy for a week later.

She went to the enbassy and was granted a 3 month visitors visa (EEA Family Member), waiting only a few more weeks to receive it and to return to France.

We immediately went to the Prefecture and were given an appointment for 3rd August 2012, although we were a little worried as her 3 month visitors visa was due to expire on 10th August 2012.

On the 3rd August we went to the Prefecture and she was immediately given a Recipisse, and then this weekend we received a letter for the Prefecture to say that the Carte de Sejour was ready to pick up.

We went this morning, and she now has a 5 year Carte de Sejour and there was no fee at all for this.

If anyone needs any advice I will be more than happy to oblige, as this has been quite a longwinded procedure (with many emotional ups and downs!) from early March until now.

I just wanted to thank the forum and especially Bev for giving me some great advice in the first place which definitely helped us to obtain the visa.

Kind regards,
Sam
 

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Congratulations! And thank you for coming back to tell us how things worked out. Hope you'll stick around to help some of the other folks looking to do something similar. Sounds like you have some valuable experience to share.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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