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I am currently putting together an application for a long stay Visa for France, as anyone who is familiar with/has lived in France you'll know there is always so much paperwork I am finding/receiving conflicting information (also familiar). Would very much appreciate some advice.

I am an Australian, my (french) boyfriend and I were PACS'd in Paris in February 2015. I moved to Paris in November 2013 on a (12 month) working holiday visa, and spent 3 additional months in Paris on a tourist Visa, which is when we were PACS'd. My boyfriend and I lived together this entire period and have attestations of such from the landlord as well as a joint bank account and personal letters from friends, his family and my previous employer. So I'm hoping this is enough to prove co-habitation of 12 months prior to the PACS and allow me to apply for a carte de sejour and employment.

My understanding is that I'd need to enter France on a Longstay Visa D, then apply for a carte de sejour vie privée et familial at the OFFI within two months of arriving in france.

My confusion is; I do not qualify for a spouse visa based on my PACS and the long stay visitor visa has distinct restrictions on working (the consulate website lists a stat declaration stating that you will not engage in any work whilst in france as one of the required documents) It also has financial prerequisites, to show that you can financially support yourself during that period. I do not have means to support myself for an entire year. I intend to apply for a carte de sejour privee et familial based on our PACS and proof of 12 months prior co-habitation. I'm worried I don't meet the criteria of a visitor visa. Will the french consulate appreciate or frown on my intention to apply for a visa vie privee et familial? Should I simply apply for a visitor visa and change status once in Paris, can i do this?

If anyone has been through this process or has any information I would very much appreciate some clarity.
 

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You might do better applying for the vie privée et familiale from the start, based on the PACS. The "longstay visa D" is a catchall term for the one year long stay visa - but much depends on the reason you give for your stay in France. In your case, you want to indicate that you are requesting the visa in order to join your PACS partner, and use all the documentation you have (attestation from the landlord, your PACS contract, etc.). It wouldn't hurt to have a letter from your PACS partner, indicating that he is willing to support you while you get established in France. (Always carry a few "extra" documents - you may not need them, but they could come in handy.)

You'll still have to go through the OFII appointment (and possibly the contract of integration classes and evaluations) but once you have your titre de séjour, you'll be good to go. What you don't want to do is go over on a visitor visa (because that one does require you to show financial resources up front) because many prefectures will not consider changing your status to vie privée until you go to renew your titre de séjour at the end of the first year.

You should treat this as equivalent to a spouse visa, except that you don't have a livret de famille and the approval isn't automatic. What you want to show them is that you are legally PACS'd and that your reason for requesting the visa is to rejoin your partner and get on with your life.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Bev, thank you so much for your response! I couldn't find the application requirements for a visa vie privée et familial for my local french consulate I was starting to think there was a miscommunication and it doesn't exist. It's good to know that it is an actual visa category! I'm trying to established what other documents are required. I assume I need a police criminal record check for both France and Australia. Do you know If I require a return ticket at the time of the visa appointment? Comprehensive health/travel insurance? Proof of funds? Should I treat it as a spouse visa and gather the required document in that section? I have to fly from Melbourne to Sydney to attend the appointment with the consulate (which I've had to book two and a half months in advance) I'm really nervous of delaying the process further by overlooking an important document. Ah visa applications, so stressful!

I also wanted to thank you. During my first year of living in Paris I often referred to this forum, your advise often got me over the many hurdles that come with living in Paris. Thank you so much for your contribution. I'm sure it is valued by many
 

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I am currently putting together an application for a long stay Visa for France, as anyone who is familiar with/has lived in France you'll know there is always so much paperwork I am finding/receiving conflicting information (also familiar). Would very much appreciate some advice.

I am an Australian, my (french) boyfriend and I were PACS'd in Paris in February 2015. I moved to Paris in November 2013 on a (12 month) working holiday visa, and spent 3 additional months in Paris on a tourist Visa, which is when we were PACS'd. My boyfriend and I lived together this entire period and have attestations of such from the landlord as well as a joint bank account and personal letters from friends, his family and my previous employer. So I'm hoping this is enough to prove co-habitation of 12 months prior to the PACS and allow me to apply for a carte de sejour and employment.

My understanding is that I'd need to enter France on a Longstay Visa D, then apply for a carte de sejour vie privée et familial at the OFFI within two months of arriving in france.

My confusion is; I do not qualify for a spouse visa based on my PACS and the long stay visitor visa has distinct restrictions on working (the consulate website lists a stat declaration stating that you will not engage in any work whilst in france as one of the required documents) It also has financial prerequisites, to show that you can financially support yourself during that period. I do not have means to support myself for an entire year. I intend to apply for a carte de sejour privee et familial based on our PACS and proof of 12 months prior co-habitation. I'm worried I don't meet the criteria of a visitor visa. Will the french consulate appreciate or frown on my intention to apply for a visa vie privee et familial? Should I simply apply for a visitor visa and change status once in Paris, can i do this?

If anyone has been through this process or has any information I would very much appreciate some clarity.
I cannot really respond to the questions concerning your PACS - unfortunately, the PACS is really not as advantageous for foreigners who wish to live with their partners. It makes the paperwork (from at least what I've seen) a lot more complicated. It's always easiest to get married, unfortunately. But what's done is done.

I was looking on the consulate's website, and even there, it wasn't very clear about what visa to apply for, other than the fact that you aren't eligible for the visa for spouse of a French citizen.

From what you describe, the process sounds similar to what I went through when I decided to get married to my French boyfriend. Which means I applied for a long term visitor visa, with the intent of marrying, and once we got married, we changed my status so I could get my first CDS. But yes, during those first months while waiting to be able to change my status, I was not allowed to work.

Concerning the financial requirements, if you don't have the financial means to support yourself without working (that would be considered the SMIC, which at full time is 1458€, or 2150 AUD per month), then what I would suggest is an attestation signed from your partner stating that he has the financial means to support you, and paperwork that shows the amount he makes (ie less than 3 month old "bulletin de salaire," plus if he has money stored in the bank, it wouldn't hurt to include some of his bank statements) will be sufficient to support you both. In addition the the financial documents I provided, my husband and I also did that, because at the time I wasn't sure what would be considered sufficient in order to say I could support myself without working. If he is unable to, then in any case your application will be a no-go, because they will not allow anyone to enter who will need financial aid from the French government. They're already stretched thin covering the French citizens. I know how uncomfortable it is giving that information. I was far from happy about having to print out my bank statements to give them to the French consulate. But when you don't have a choice, you do what you have to do.

I will say it is not a good idea to go there on a short-term visitor visa (if I understood your question correctly) and then try to change your status once you arrived. They could end up telling you that you need to go back to Australia to apply for the appropriate visa. So be very, very careful. Apply for the visa you have been instructed to apply for. Trying to take a short cut to avoid the financial requirements is not a good idea.
 

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You might do better applying for the vie privée et familiale from the start, based on the PACS. The "longstay visa D" is a catchall term for the one year long stay visa - but much depends on the reason you give for your stay in France. In your case, you want to indicate that you are requesting the visa in order to join your PACS partner, and use all the documentation you have (attestation from the landlord, your PACS contract, etc.). It wouldn't hurt to have a letter from your PACS partner, indicating that he is willing to support you while you get established in France. (Always carry a few "extra" documents - you may not need them, but they could come in handy.)
Is she able to do this? From what I understood from the consulate website, people who have PACSed are not allowed to apply for the "spouse of a French citizen" visa, and instead are required to apply for a long term visa without the right to work

Long Stay Visa for Foreign Spouse of a French citizen - La France en Australie
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your response. The french consulate website for Australians lists a separate visa for intention to marry a french citizen. It is not a long stay visa it is short term visa (90 days) and does not allow a change of status within france, I would need to return to Australia in order to apply for spouse visa. Given there is a specific visa for this purpose, I have doubts i would be granted a long stay visitor visa for this purpose. Did you apply for a long stay visiter visa with the intention to marry? Can I ask what nationality you are and when you went through this process?
The long stay Visitor Visa requires me to supply a stat dec declaring I will not engage in work of any kind, it also requires me to have employment I will return to here in Australia. Given the intention is to remain and live in France with my partner, This visa by nature contradicts many of my application reasonings. Bev also displayed concern about applying for this visa and then trying to change status. It doesnt seem like this is the right visa for me either.
From my understanding the benefit of the PACS is that once you prove co-habitation for a 12 month period (can be before the date you were PACS'd) you can apply for a work permit as long as you enter France on a long stay visa D and got through the process with the OFII within two months of arrival. Proving I have 4000$ to support myself for a couple of months while i settle is not impossible but acquiring/proving enough funds for a 12 month period is a massive amount of funds and near impossible. I'm so confused!
 

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Is she able to do this? From what I understood from the consulate website, people who have PACSed are not allowed to apply for the "spouse of a French citizen" visa, and instead are required to apply for a long term visa without the right to work

Long Stay Visa for Foreign Spouse of a French citizen - La France en Australie
She isn't applying for the spouse of a French citizen visa. You apply for a long-stay visa and in the "reason" question on the form, you indicate that you are joining family (and that it's your PACS partner). Bring all the documents you can that are listed for the spouse visa, and get some sort of statement from your PACS partner that he intends to support you.

You're in an "odd" category because you're already PACS'd and have the necessary proofs of residence. If all else fails, you can apply for the visitor visa (using the PACS partner's statement regarding support) and negotiate with the OFII. But what you're actually after is a family reunification visa sort of like what foreigners get to bring their families to France (but only after they've already established themselves for 18 months!).

You will need to show that you have health insurance - either through your partner or private coverage. But be sure to bring your PACS documents and whatever evidence you have of your establishment of residence before and immediately after your PACS was granted.

It's not a slam dunk by any means. (And the Sydney consulate has the reputation for being particularly sticky about these things.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Thanks for your response. The french consulate website for Australians lists a separate visa for intention to marry a french citizen. It is not a long stay visa it is short term visa (90 days) and does not allow a change of status within france, I would need to return to Australia in order to apply for spouse visa. Given there is a specific visa for this purpose, I have doubts i would be granted a long stay visitor visa for this purpose. Did you apply for a long stay visiter visa with the intention to marry? Can I ask what nationality you are and when you went through this process?
The long stay Visitor Visa requires me to supply a stat dec declaring I will not engage in work of any kind, it also requires me to have employment I will return to here in Australia. Given the intention is to remain and live in France with my partner, This visa by nature contradicts many of my application reasonings. Bev also displayed concern about applying for this visa and then trying to change status. It doesnt seem like this is the right visa for me either.
From my understanding the benefit of the PACS is that once you prove co-habitation for a 12 month period (can be before the date you were PACS'd) you can apply for a work permit as long as you enter France on a long stay visa D and got through the process with the OFII within two months of arrival. Proving I have 4000$ to support myself for a couple of months while i settle is not impossible but acquiring/proving enough funds for a 12 month period is a massive amount of funds and near impossible. I'm so confused!
Yeah, I noticed that the process for marrying a French citizen seems to be different from what I went through as an American. What I was required to do was apply for a long stay visitor visa (that lasted for 6 months), and during those 6 months, marry my husband. Then, once we got the paperwork from our marriage, I was able to submit it in order to get my first carte de séjour, get the right to work and stay in France. It's bizarre that they require you to go back to Australia, especially considering the plane tickets must be rather expensive. Since I told my consulate that I was going to France to marry my then-boyfriend, I had to submit a few more papers, including a copy of his national ID card, and like I said, a copy of his pay stub and bank statement to prove he could financially support me while I couldn't work. I went through all of this 3 years ago, in 2012. For the most part, it was pretty straight-forward.

I know that I've also heard for getting a PACS CDS, you need to prove that there's already been a period of co-habitation, so it's good that you already have that, which is something that usually keeps other couples from going ahead with the PACS cds.

It sounds like this is all quite confusing. Bev may very well know something I don't, as she's been around here much longer than I have and has helped a lot of people on these forums. Personally, I think your best bet is to call your consulate and have things clarified by someone who works there. That's really the only way to be certain you have information that is up-to-date and accurate.
 

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She isn't applying for the spouse of a French citizen visa. You apply for a long-stay visa and in the "reason" question on the form, you indicate that you are joining family (and that it's your PACS partner). Bring all the documents you can that are listed for the spouse visa, and get some sort of statement from your PACS partner that he intends to support you.

You're in an "odd" category because you're already PACS'd and have the necessary proofs of residence. If all else fails, you can apply for the visitor visa (using the PACS partner's statement regarding support) and negotiate with the OFII. But what you're actually after is a family reunification visa sort of like what foreigners get to bring their families to France (but only after they've already established themselves for 18 months!).

You will need to show that you have health insurance - either through your partner or private coverage. But be sure to bring your PACS documents and whatever evidence you have of your establishment of residence before and immediately after your PACS was granted.

It's not a slam dunk by any means. (And the Sydney consulate has the reputation for being particularly sticky about these things.)
Cheers,
Bev
Yeah, I know she isn't applying as the spouse of a French citizen, but I linked to that because at the top, it said specifically,

"Also note that this visa is not open to people in a de facto relationship, who have signed a French Civil Partnership (PACS) or any other European Union Civil Partnership. In these cases you have to apply for a Long Stay Visa without Work for Metropolitan France or New Caledonia & French Polynesia ."

But perhaps that was the visa you were referring to? It's confusing because it doesn't sound very different from a long term visitor visa. And the consulate website doesn't seem to be particularly helpful in clarifying things.
 

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Unfortunately, the matter of immigration is a constantly moving target. Some consulates, it seems, are backing away from the visitor visa to get married in France thing, and there was recently something on the Service Public site indicating that you no longer needed to be on a long-stay visa to get married in France and change status to that of spouse of a French national. But, as always, what you can actually get away with can vary by consulate and by prefecture.

Also, the Sydney consulate has a rather "tough" reputation for not answering inquiries by phone or e-mail. Those who have tried report that the usual response is "it's on the website."
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Unfortunately, the matter of immigration is a constantly moving target. Some consulates, it seems, are backing away from the visitor visa to get married in France thing, and there was recently something on the Service Public site indicating that you no longer needed to be on a long-stay visa to get married in France and change status to that of spouse of a French national. But, as always, what you can actually get away with can vary by consulate and by prefecture.

Also, the Sydney consulate has a rather "tough" reputation for not answering inquiries by phone or e-mail. Those who have tried report that the usual response is "it's on the website."
Cheers,
Bev
That's the truth! Seems like the procedures for foreigners change constantly.

That is unfortunate, but I guess it shouldn't be surprising. The service you get also seems to depend largely on your consulate. It's amazing how much we are at the mercy of our consulates.
 

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Yes, the Sydney consulate is notorious for being difficult, but I suspect there is a bit of tit-for-tat going on in terms of visa requirements between the 2 countries. Do as Bev says, provide as much paperwork as you possibly can, even if it hasn't been requested, anything at all that might support your application and/or the information in it, and persevere. And remember, an additional flight or two between Melbourne and Sydney to submit any additional documentation costs far, far less than a return flight to Paris. At the interview, be absolutely polite, ask for any advice they can provide you if they have an issue with your application, and generally kow-tow :D With a bit of luck you will have your interview with someone who is having a good day.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Unfortunately, the matter of immigration is a constantly moving target. Some consulates, it seems, are backing away from the visitor visa to get married in France thing, and there was recently something on the Service Public site indicating that you no longer needed to be on a long-stay visa to get married in France and change status to that of spouse of a French national. But, as always, what you can actually get away with can vary by consulate and by prefecture.

Also, the Sydney consulate has a rather "tough" reputation for not answering inquiries by phone or e-mail. Those who have tried report that the usual response is "it's on the website."
Cheers,
Bev
Yes Bev, you're very much correct, the french consulate in Sydney won't discuss anything regarding visa's via phone or email, to discuss these issues you need to make an appointment. As average waiting time for appointments is 8 weeks and you can only hold one appointment at a time, this makes for a very lengthy and expensive process. Include that unless you live in NSW you will need to fly interstate to attend these appointments makes the entire process very tough. Flying Melbourne-Sydney doesn't take very long and generally only costs 120$ return but I really feel for people living in Perth who have to go through the process as flights are long and expensive. So it is really best as you've advised to come prepared as possible and gather as many supporting documents (even those not yet requested) prior to your appointment.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, the Sydney consulate is notorious for being difficult, but I suspect there is a bit of tit-for-tat going on in terms of visa requirements between the 2 countries. Do as Bev says, provide as much paperwork as you possibly can, even if it hasn't been requested, anything at all that might support your application and/or the information in it, and persevere. And remember, an additional flight or two between Melbourne and Sydney to submit any additional documentation costs far, far less than a return flight to Paris. At the interview, be absolutely polite, ask for any advice they can provide you if they have an issue with your application, and generally kow-tow :D With a bit of luck you will have your interview with someone who is having a good day.
I've attending the french consulate in sydney before to apply for my last visa (a much simpler application which was pretty straightforward and thankfully submitted on the day) Though I have witnessed others having a really hard time during their appointments. Having lived and worked in France for a year, i quickly became used to supplying more documentation than requested. The french official departments do seem to really like paperwork (i remember opening my french bank account and signing a 100 page document requiring initial on each page!) And I couldn't agree with you more about being polite, manners will take you a long way in France!

You're also correct, the expense of flying to sydney again to attend another appointment is minimal. However given that average waiting time for appointments is 8 weeks and you can only hold one appointment in advance. Having to do so becomes a very lengthy process. Also adding in the expense of adjusting dates on international flights and extending health insurance. Plus paying to replace documents required (that need to be less than two months old at the time of appointment) makes doing so a very very expensive process.

I very much a agree, It really comes down to being fastidiously organised and diligent with paperwork and being extremely polite. It then depends greatly on who you have your appointment with, how you approach them and sometimes simply whether or not they are having a good day.

Thanks for all your advise, wish me luck!
 
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