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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I’m à US citizen, PACSed with a French citizen, currently on a visa visiteur (VLS) that expires Jan 2022. I’m hoping to change from my current visa to a visa vie privée et familiale, which I’m pretty sure I’m eligible for. On the main gov website it says to apply/drop off the dossier at your local prefecture by appointment. I tried to make an appt with my prefecture (Carcassonne, Aude) and they told me I need to return to the US and apply at my consulate in the US. I’m confused as this contradicts what the main government website clearly says. Any insight? Has anyone been through this process switching from visa visiteur to vie privée et familiale?

In addition, I’m also wondering if the visa vie privée et familiale grants you the right to a carte vitale/sécu? Having trouble finding that answer online.

Thank you to anyone who has any insight!
M
 

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The visa vie privée et familiale does not give you the right to immediate health cover. You have to be legally resident in France for 3 months before you can apply, unless you are working or have an S1. In the meantime you must have private health cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! When you say “3 months resident before you can apply” you mean apply for secu, correct? So for example, if I had the visa granted Jan 1, I could apply for secu by April 1?
 

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Technically speaking it's not the visa that you are changing status on, but rather your "titre de séjour" - or your residence permit. What you need to apply for at the prefecture is a change of status as you are renewing your titre de séjour. A visa is technically only obtainable outside of France.

A visitor visa is one of those that serves as your titre de séjour (or residence permit) for your first year in France. So what you are doing is renewing your residence permit. It's a minor point but very well could be why you're being told you have to return to the US (i.e. for a visa).

If you check here on the forum, you'll see that there is apparently a recently opened online method for renewing your titre de séjour. You may well want to try that route first to see if that will allow you to change your statut (i.e. to "vie privée et familiale") - it will certainly be easier than going through the prefecture. But in any event, you should be eligible to apply to CPAM for health cover once you have 3 months of provable residence (i.e. your name on a lease or utility bill). However, you will need to show your source of financial support and that you have had some form of health cover (usually private) for the time you have already been resident here. If you PACS partner has some form of health cover (from employment, for example), it may be possible for you to be included under his or her coverage until you are able to find a job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Technically speaking it's not the visa that you are changing status on, but rather your "titre de séjour" - or your residence permit. What you need to apply for at the prefecture is a change of status as you are renewing your titre de séjour. A visa is technically only obtainable outside of France.

A visitor visa is one of those that serves as your titre de séjour (or residence permit) for your first year in France. So what you are doing is renewing your residence permit. It's a minor point but very well could be why you're being told you have to return to the US (i.e. for a visa).

If you check here on the forum, you'll see that there is apparently a recently opened online method for renewing your titre de séjour. You may well want to try that route first to see if that will allow you to change your statut (i.e. to "vie privée et familiale") - it will certainly be easier than going through the prefecture. But in any event, you should be eligible to apply to CPAM for health cover once you have 3 months of provable residence (i.e. your name on a lease or utility bill). However, you will need to show your source of financial support and that you have had some form of health cover (usually private) for the time you have already been resident here. If you PACS partner has some form of health cover (from employment, for example), it may be possible for you to be included under his or her coverage until you are able to find a job.
Thanks Bev, this is helpful!
I have a few clarifications and follow up questions:

1) Are carte de sejour and titre de sejour essentially the same thing?

2) Am I supposed to have a physical card?? All I have physically is the visa stamped into my passport. I arrived in March 2021, though my visa was approved Jan 2021. I have never been to the prefecture since arrival in France. Only asking because I saw a mention of "picking up your carte" in this post: "Visiteur" Carte de Sejour Now Renewable Online

3) Does the new online process apply to vie privee et familiale too or is it just for visitors? When I log in to try to do it online, it shows the following as the only options. Those not in bold are grayed out on the site and cannot be clicked. My understanding is that vie privee et familiale would fall under "membre de famille" rather than visitor..?
JE SOLLICITE UN AUTRE TITRE DE SÉJOUR
En tant qu'étudiant
En tant que visiteur
En tant que passeport talent

En tant que salarié – Hors passeport talent (unavailable)
En tant que membre de famille (unavailable)
En tant que citoyen de l'Union Européenne (unavailable)
Pour motif humanitaire (unavailable)
En tant que jeune au pair, ancien combattant ou retraité ayant travaillé en France (unavailable)
Les seules démarches actuellement accessibles en ligne sont : « Etudiant », « Passeport Talent » et « Visiteur ». Pour toutes autres demandes, nous vous invitons à vous connecter au site internet de la préfecture dont dépend votre résidence pour vous renseignez sur les démarches à effectuer.
 

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1) Are carte de sejour and titre de sejour essentially the same thing?
A carte de séjour is a specific type of titre de séjour. Simply put, a titre de séjour is a residence permit in whatever form you have it. A carte de séjour is a physical card that serves as your residence permit.

2) Am I supposed to have a physical card?? All I have physically is the visa stamped into my passport. I arrived in March 2021, though my visa was approved Jan 2021.
Not at this point, no. The VLS-TS that people talk about is simply a visa where the visa in your passport serves as your titre de séjour for your first year in France. It's only when you renew your titre de séjour (residence permit) that you receive a physical card - so after your first year of residence.

3) Does the new online process apply to vie privee et familiale too or is it just for visitors?
From what I can tell, the new online process is only for renewal of certain types of residence permit (titres de séjour). You are not renewing a residence permit - you are looking to change your status from a "visiteur" to "vie privée et familiale" and that is going to take a visit to the prefecture. You'll have to provide documents to show that you have the necessary status - that you have indeed PACS'd with a French partner and that you meet the various residence and co-habitation requirements.

Take a look at this page from Service Public Carte de séjour "vie privée et familiale" d'un étranger en France and click on the drop down for Étranger pacsé avec un français. (Have your French partner translate the information or run it through a translation program like Google Translate or DeepL.) If you don't meet all the requirements, they may renew your visitor residence permit (assuming the one you have is renewable) and then change your statut when you go to renew in another year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A carte de séjour is a specific type of titre de séjour. Simply put, a titre de séjour is a residence permit in whatever form you have it. A carte de séjour is a physical card that serves as your residence permit.


Not at this point, no. The VLS-TS that people talk about is simply a visa where the visa in your passport serves as your titre de séjour for your first year in France. It's only when you renew your titre de séjour (residence permit) that you receive a physical card - so after your first year of residence.


From what I can tell, the new online process is only for renewal of certain types of residence permit (titres de séjour). You are not renewing a residence permit - you are looking to change your status from a "visiteur" to "vie privée et familiale" and that is going to take a visit to the prefecture. You'll have to provide documents to show that you have the necessary status - that you have indeed PACS'd with a French partner and that you meet the various residence and co-habitation requirements.

Take a look at this page from Service Public Carte de séjour "vie privée et familiale" d'un étranger en France and click on the drop down for Étranger pacsé avec un français. (Have your French partner translate the information or run it through a translation program like Google Translate or DeepL.) If you don't meet all the requirements, they may renew your visitor residence permit (assuming the one you have is renewable) and then change your statut when you go to renew in another year.
Thanks again, Bev. This is all super helpful and clarifying! Everything is making more sense by the minute :)
M
 
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