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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was born in France, to french parents so I have a french passport. I have been living in the US since the age of 11 (I am an American citizen). My husband, who is American and I would like to move to Europe (not necessarily France). How do we start the process? I know I need to up date my french passport, but do I need to do anything else? For my husband to be able to work, do we just need to get a spousal visa? Can we work anywhere in the EU or just France?
Thanks for the help
 

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For someone in your situation things get a little bit tricky.

If you were to move to France, you would have to get hubby a spouse visa, which would mean first getting your marriage registered in France (i.e. on your French birth record) and getting a livret de famille. This can take some time, and more and more the consulates seem to be insisting that you get your livret de famille through the consulate covering the area in which you were married (not where you are living now). Other than the time involved, though, it's probably the easiest way to get hubby a visa - but it's only good for France. (A spouse visa for France is all but automatic and grants full rights to work, etc. - once you get through the OFII sessions.)

For any other country in the EU, there is supposed to be a "facilitated" process to allow a non-EU spouse to join their EU spouse exercising their EU rights anywhere other than their country of nationality. What this seems to mean in most countries is that the EU spouse (i.e. you) needs to be able to show that you are settling in or residing in the EU country - either to work, to study, to retire or for some other purpose. I know France can be difficult if the EU spouse is not the breadwinner in the family. Some of the other countries have other types of "quirks" in their facilitated processes - and these can vary all over the board.

However, to move to any EU country other than France, your husband will probably not need a visa at all - just to enter on the Schengen 90 day stamp in the passport, then you carry out whatever the local process is for the non-EU spouse of an EU national.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If we move to a country outside of France, do I still have to get our marriage documented by France?
For me to work in the EU, do I just need a valid passport?
Thanks for the help
 

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Hello and welcome to our forum!

I will leave visa and US to France problems to Bev, she is an expert and I am not.

However, may I enter into the "why Europe?" question. You say that you are French and left at the age of 11. I'm sure you will appreciate that the French language and slang, culture, bureaucracy, money have all changed? I'm a Brit and I feel strange in the UK after 12 years in France. A1so remember that "Europe" is bigger now than 10 or 20 years ago.

May I suggest that you write down what you want to do, see, experience and understand when you come to Europe? Is it forever, or do you have a return date in mind?

I'm sure all the regular posters will help.

DejW
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Honestly my husband and I are looking to live somewhere outside of the US. We don't have kids and thought it would be fun to experience a different culture. Ideally, he wants to live in Switzerland. Posting on this site to figure out the process. I figured that since I am part of the EU, it would be easier for my husband to get a work visa/permit.
 

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If we move to a country outside of France, do I still have to get our marriage documented by France?
For me to work in the EU, do I just need a valid passport?
Thanks for the help
As long as you have your French passport up to date, there shouldn't be any need to get a livret de famille - unless you then decide to live in France for a bit.

But what Dej says is also relevant - are you looking to have him work in Europe/Switzerland? That could be trickier than it looks. As the spouse of an EU national (anywhere but France), he would be entitled to the same rights as you enjoy (as an EU national). Normally this is interpreted to be work, not work, study, whatever. These days, though, finding a job is a whole separate issue - he'll need the local language (ok, there are 3 of them in Switzerland) and a transferable qualification or line of work.

Not trying to put you off your plans. Just trying to give you an idea of what may or may not be do-able.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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As long as you have your French passport up to date, there shouldn't be any need to get a livret de famille - unless you then decide to live in France for a bit.

But what Dej says is also relevant - are you looking to have him work in Europe/Switzerland? That could be trickier than it looks. As the spouse of an EU national (anywhere but France), he would be entitled to the same rights as you enjoy (as an EU national). Normally this is interpreted to be work, not work, study, whatever. These days, though, finding a job is a whole separate issue - he'll need the local language (ok, there are 3 of them in Switzerland) and a transferable qualification or line of work.

Not trying to put you off your plans. Just trying to give you an idea of what may or may not be do-able.
Cheers,
Bev
These days, though, finding a job is a whole separate issue - he'll need the local language (ok, there are 3 of them in Switzerland)
There's four of them actually including Romansh. The Main languages also have a number of dialects. Not easy if you only have education in the Standard languages.

transferable qualification
- you would probably have to get any qualifications authenticated.

The other rain-cloud hanging over plans to find work (for either of you) is the high levels of unemployment in many European countries and they are exacerbated by governments raising the retirement age to help pay for the existing pensioners who are living longer. There is seasonal work in various agricultural fields (no pun intended) such as the vineyards, orchards, etc but it is not easy to break into such work because there are large groups of itinerant workers that move back and forth from country to country with the work. For example, there is a group from this village in France at the moment for work on the vines and they will move onto the apples soon before the winter pruning of the vines. Then they will return and some of the French workers will come with them for the olives, etc. In the last few years, the word has gone out to the Moroccans not to come for the olives because all the work has been taken up - some still do and you can see them hanging around outside the church, shivering, waiting for Caritas to do food handouts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I really appreciate all the info. My husband works IT but only speaks English. I work in the horse world and am lucky enough to have connections abroad, but I am not the bread winner so his job is what is important.
 

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There's four of them actually including Romansh. The Main languages also have a number of dialects. Not easy if you only have education in the Standard languages.
Though is Romansh an "official language"? Switzerdeutsch was always subtitled when I got the Swiss channels on the TV in Germany. (At the time, I thought it sounded like Dutch rather than German.)

- you would probably have to get any qualifications authenticated.
Depends on the qualification. Something like accounting or other business qualifications usually doesn't need any sort of authentication. Licensed professions (like medical ones, legal ones, or hairdressers) usually do.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Honestly my husband and I are looking to live somewhere outside of the US. We don't have kids and thought it would be fun to experience a different culture. Ideally, he wants to live in Switzerland. Posting on this site to figure out the process. I figured that since I am part of the EU, it would be easier for my husband to get a work visa/permit.
You need to consider whereabouts in Switzerland carefully. In Geneva and the South your French will be obviously be good but if your husband doesn't speak French then it could be more difficult.
Zürich and Basel have lots of Americans working there and in general "seem" to have less language skills than Brits. By British standards I'm fairly fluent in French but it's not much use in this part of Switzerland, they generally prefer English and in two and a half years have only met two or three officials with no English, and French was then OK except on one ocaasion. I'm learning German but only to understand technical docs and be more sociable with my colleagues. If you're going to learn German; High German is good enough all over German speaking Switzerland by the way, no need to worry about dialects
In the Zürich tax office and Work permit bureau, train stations, airports etc.all staff I've met or talked to on the phone, have spoken English when asked.
Qualification transfer is much less of an issue than in France in IT and Engineering generally, however you don't get the same job protection as in France. So you may get the job and the permit but if it doesn't work out after six months (or less) you'll be out, without the rights/protection you might expect in France.

Good luck
 

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Hiii to all.... I m an indian an working in UAE. I want to shift to Europe. I m working in a steel company as sales manager. Pls anybody can help me to get a good job there....
Thanks in advance
Finding a job in Europe is pretty difficult for anyone at the moment. You need to have the local language, plus some sort of "unique" skill, experience or qualification to allow a potential employer to justify hiring a foreigner rather than one of the local job candidates.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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FWIW.....I've not lived in Switzerland, but I've had extended business visits to Geneve, Zurich and Basle. For me there are 2 Switzerlands - French and German speaking - and it's not only the language - it's the culture too.

Given the unemployment situation in Europe generally, I repeat my advice to come over for an extended holiday to see what it's really like!

DejW
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oops....English speaking ppl. Would definitely not do a move without the prospect of a job. Does my EU passport give my husband the same opportunities? (Easier to get work visa) I thought that Switzerland wasn't part of the EU
 

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You'll have to check with the Swiss consulate to find out the exact requirements, but as part of the EEC (a "sister" group to the EU), Switzerland abides by many of the same rules regarding freedom of movement, etc. as within the EU (Norway and a few other country are part of this group as well).

But under the EU rules, your husband may not need a visa at all. Each country has a slightly different procedure for the non-EU spouses of EU citizens. In the end, they are entitled to the same rights as their EU spouses - so yes, he would be entitled to the right to work, probably without the need for a formal work permit.

You should get familiar with the Europa website: europa.eu especially the section on work rights: EU - Work permits and restrictions on access to labour markets in EU countries -Your Europe and on that site you'll find the following:

Working in Switzerland

All EU nationals need a work permit to work in Switzerland. This restriction will expire on 31 May 2014 - but may continue until 31 May 2019 for nationals of Romania and Bulgaria

Before you try working in a country that still imposes restrictions, you should seek information on the applicable procedures. Contact the public employment service in the country where you wish to work.

If you need further support, contact a European employment adviser.
(The original of the site has links to some of the services suggested.

It's a bit of a challenge to find work from overseas, though. Most jobs are posted originally for the local nationals or those with work privileges in the country. When contacting a potential employer (or headhunter) in Europe you should always include your immigration status - for example, you would include the fact that you are a French national, and your husband should state that he is married to a French national.

It also helps if you can state that you will be in Switzerland at some point in the near future (on vacation or something similar) so would be available to meet in person. You can schedule a quick run over there after someone has expressed interest, but realize that no employer is going to hire someone sight unseen, and flying someone over from the US for an interview is next to impossible.

But be very wary of any job site that "promises" jobs for foreigners, especially if there is a fee involved. You should be consulting the "usual" sites - Monster, LinkedIn, the local national employment service, newspaper sites in the country, professional journals in the country, etc. (This is where having the local language is vital.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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You'll have to check with the Swiss consulate to find out the exact requirements, but as part of the EEC (a "sister" group to the EU), Switzerland abides by many of the same rules regarding freedom of movement, etc. as within the EU (Norway and a few other country are part of this group as well).
Sorry Bev but I think you mean EFTA (European Free Trade Association), not to be confused with the EEA (European Economic Area). The EEC (European Economic Community, {previously the ECSF - European Coal and Steel Federation}) was what the EU European Union was before it renamed itself.
 

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Try

IT Jobs, Engineering Jobs, Healthcare Jobs

It's mainly UK based, but many jobs throughout the world - easy to use filters for type of job, industry etc. Both contract and permanent.

DejW


Oops....English speaking ppl. Would definitely not do a move without the prospect of a job. Does my EU passport give my husband the same opportunities? (Easier to get work visa) I thought that Switzerland wasn't part of the EU
 
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