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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi can someone who is an EU citizen with a non EU wife, please tell me when their non EU wife has been issued an entry visa in their own country to allow them to apply for residency once in France, what does the visa actually state?

I am trying to find out so my wife will obtain the correct visa as I’m concerned that if she’s given the incorrect visa she will have to return back to her own country to obtain the correct one.

Also as a matter of interest has anyone managed to obtain an entry visa for their partner when they are unmarried partners just living together as beneficiaries under the Directive 2004/38/EC

Thanks,

Phil
 
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Under the latest legislation whereby non-EU spouses married to French nationals now get long-stay visas and no longer need a carte de séjour, non-EU spouses married to Brits living in France like yourself are only given the three month Schengen visa. I queried this myself very recently, but it is correct. Once in possession of this visa, and having entered France, the non-EU spouse then goes through the carte de séjour application process which, assuming the husband is established in France and can demonstrate sufficient means, cannot be refused.

My prefecture told me my wife could apply through the local town hall, and that in theory a 10 year carte de sejour would be issued. However they also told me that the town hall wouldn't have a clue what to do in my case, and to make sure that we got the formulaire for the titre de séjour 'conjointe de communautaire'.

I started a thread on this recently - one positive thing is that whereas non-EU spouses of French citizens are to undergo compulsory language tests in their country of origin, with failure meaning that they have to follow a language course before reapplying for their visa, this doesn't apply to spouses of non-French Europeans living in France. No do they have to sit through citizenship awareness courses once they've entered France.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi frogblogger, I've just seen your post. Can I ask where you are now, France or Thailand? Also is your wife with you wherever you are?

I read your original post and wondered if you got your problem resolved?

Phil
 
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In Vaison la Romaine France now, my wife flew in last week with her 3 month Schengen visa. No problems on arrival at Lyon, the next step is applying for the carte de sejour. Have been too busy to go to the town hall this week, so visit pencilled in for next Tuesday.

One thing that will make the process easier is that I have had property here for 15 years, and lived and worked here on a permanent basis from the early 90s before going to Thailand late 2006. Plus I have already renewed my lapsed 'auto entrepreneur' (then travailleur independant) status.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
your reply

In Vaison la Romaine France now, my wife flew in last week with her 3 month Schengen visa. No problems on arrival at Lyon, the next step is applying for the carte de sejour. Have been too busy to go to the town hall this week, so visit pencilled in for next Tuesday.

One thing that will make the process easier is that I have had property here for 15 years, and lived and worked here on a permanent basis from the early 90s before going to Thailand late 2006. Plus I have already renewed my lapsed 'auto entrepreneur' (then travailleur independant) status.

Hi Pete congratulations son your wife getting her visa. Can I ask which type of Schengen visa she was given? I understand there are four types, a,b,c & d.

Where were you married and how long have you been married. With the correct entry visa you shouldn’t have any problems when applying for your wife’s residency permit.

Can I also ask what problems you had with the French embassy in Bangkok? I found them most difficult and unhelpful?

As I understand it, the long stay visas are for French nationals. A spouse visa is supposed to be a short stay visa, but is that a Schengen visa or is there a different type of short stay visa?

Phil
 
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Hi Pete congratulations son your wife getting her visa. Can I ask which type of Schengen visa she was given? I understand there are four types, a,b,c & d.

Where were you married and how long have you been married. With the correct entry visa you shouldn’t have any problems when applying for your wife’s residency permit.

Can I also ask what problems you had with the French embassy in Bangkok? I found them most difficult and unhelpful?

As I understand it, the long stay visas are for French nationals. A spouse visa is supposed to be a short stay visa, but is that a Schengen visa or is there a different type of short stay visa?

Phil
Hi Phil,

Married (in Chiang Mai) two months ago; we have a 11 month old daughter, who holds both British and Thai passports. There again in Chiang Mai my visit to the French honorary consul was quite amusing. I made an appointment to find out what the new language tests involved, as they were supposed to be implemented October 1st originally (now put back to the new year, I believe). He looked at me in astonishment and said that no one had told him about them!

The short stay visa is the one needed by wives of Brits living in France, ie the Schengen visa 'C' (90 days in 180, tourism/family/business).

On the whole the French Bangkok Embassy was ok - it's just that after the changes in legislation in June, they weren't being adequately updated by the Foreign Ministry in Paris, and the head of visa services in Bangkok couldn't give me the information I wanted because she didn't have it herself. It was only at the last minute that I learnt the spouses of Brits didn't have to undergo the language test, and the embassy had told us to complete a long-stay visa application, which my wife duly took along to the appointment, only to be told they'd got it wrong and this now applied solely to spouses of French nationals. Fortunately I had completed a short stay Schengen visa application as well, just in case :rolleyes:.

I've just been along to my local town hall, and the official who deals with carte de sejour applications went through her little booklet of information, only to discover it predated the changes in legislation in June, and she had nothing on the new procedures affecting spouses of non-French EU citizens. Pretty much as I expected!

How about you, when are you heading for France? Whereabouts?
 

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I've just been along to my local town hall, and the official who deals with carte de sejour applications went through her little booklet of information, only to discover it predated the changes in legislation in June, and she had nothing on the new procedures affecting spouses of non-French EU citizens. Pretty much as I expected!
Ah France - don't you just love it? Any time there is a significant change in rules like this, it's pretty much guaranteed that the minions in the mairies and at the prefectures are the last to be informed about it.

But once you accept the fact, life goes so much easier. :love:
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
your reply

I will post again as I have some links I want to include but am told I need a minimum of 4 posts to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
your reply

Hi Phil,

Married (in Chiang Mai) two months ago; we have a 11 month old daughter, who holds both British and Thai passports. There again in Chiang Mai my visit to the French honorary consul was quite amusing. I made an appointment to find out what the new language tests involved, as they were supposed to be implemented October 1st originally (now put back to the new year, I believe). He looked at me in astonishment and said that no one had told him about them!

The short stay visa is the one needed by wives of Brits living in France, ie the Schengen visa 'C' (90 days in 180, tourism/family/business).

On the whole the French Bangkok Embassy was ok - it's just that after the changes in legislation in June, they weren't being adequately updated by the Foreign Ministry in Paris, and the head of visa services in Bangkok couldn't give me the information I wanted because she didn't have it herself. It was only at the last minute that I learnt the spouses of Brits didn't have to undergo the language test, and the embassy had told us to complete a long-stay visa application, which my wife duly took along to the appointment, only to be told they'd got it wrong and this now applied solely to spouses of French nationals. Fortunately I had completed a short stay Schengen visa application as well, just in case :rolleyes:.

I've just been along to my local town hall, and the official who deals with carte de sejour applications went through her little booklet of information, only to discover it predated the changes in legislation in June, and she had nothing on the new procedures affecting spouses of non-French EU citizens. Pretty much as I expected!

How about you, when are you heading for France? Whereabouts?

Hi Pete, yes a language test only applies to spouses of nationals who are taking their spouse to their own country. i.e. a Brit taking his spouse to the UK.

For living in any other EU member state the only requirements you have to produce are a valid passport and documents attesting to your family link with a Union citizen

Consular officers issuing the visas may not ask you to produce any documents other than a valid passport and documents attesting to your family link with a Union citizen. Basically your spouse has almost the same rights as you have.
Regarding the Schengen visa. I thought a type ‘C’ was just for tourism and that a type ‘D’ was required for

On the site- theramblingtraveler. c o m /2009/07/schengen-visa-types-categories-and-requirements. p h p it states the following…

• Type C is a short-term stay visa entitling travelers to single continuous or multiple visits not exceeding three months during any 180 day period beginning with the date of first entry into the Schengen area. This type of visa is issued for reasons other than immigration.
• Type D is a national visa. Schengen participating states, in accordance with their own national legislation, can issue this type of visa to travelers allowing transit from a non-Schengen nation to their country within five days of issuance. The traveler may travel to other Schengen nations only after obtaining a residence permit after arrival in the initial destination country (or obtaining a different visa).
• Type D+C combines the functions of both types of visas. This visa is intended for long-term stay in the issuing Schengen state, but also allows travel within the Schengen Zone like a holder of a normal Category C visa.
I’m personally not sure which type of visa should be issued in order to allow the holder to apply for residency once in France.

We are living in Pattaya but hope to move to around Provence.

The problem is we live together as unmarried partners, however in accordance with Article 3(2) (b) of the European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/38/EC which states that the Beneficiaries entitled to a permit include, “the partner with whom the Union citizen has a durable relationship, duly attested.”

The problem with the French embassy in Bangkok didn’t seem to be that they had to verify our durable relationship, it seemed more that they wouldn’t accept the EU directive Article 3.2 (b) and kept saying only married people can be issued an entry visa to allow residency.

I attempted to explain that I wish to exercise EU Treaty Rights, pursuant to article 3(2)(b) of European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/38/EC for an entry visa/permit for my partner on the basis of Article 3.2 (b) but they either didn’t understand or perhaps chose not to.

Anyway I have made a complaint to Solvit although they don’t seem to be much use, so I’m waiting to see what they come up with.

What I would be interested to know is, has anyone been issued an entry visa on the basis of the 2004/38/EC directive?

Phil

P.S. I dont know what's wrong with this forum as it wont let me post URL's as it says, You are only allowed to post URLs to other sites after you become an Active Member and have made 4 posts or more.

However I have made 6 posts now including this one.
 
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On the contrary Phil, the forum software is so intelligent that it not only prevents spammers via the 5 post rule, but it detects attempts to circumvent the rule via successive one line posts!

No I haven't attempted the PACS (living together) route, although Bev has more information on this subject. The French are being increasingly difficult since Sarko came into power, with various 'tightenings' of immigration rules. Unlike the Brits who just come out and refuse to sign up to Euro legislation they don't like, the French sign up anyway, pretend to go along with it, and then do everything they can to make it unworkable.

I was assured type 'C' was the one we needed. Basically seeing as soon as the non-Euro spouse arrives on his/her short-stay, s/he has to apply for the carte de séjour, which once granted makes the visa redundant anyway.

My wife was let into the country on a 'C', without having a return flight booking, so far so good.
 

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Like Frogblogger says, the French follow EU regulations in their own manner. I have yet to hear of anyone who has managed to bring in a non-EU "spouse" to whom they are not officially married. If the European regs really require this of the member countries, I suspect your only recourse might be through the EU Ombudsman.

And I wouldn't parse the various categories of Schengen visa too closely. The Schengen visa is, by definition, a short-term visa (i.e. 90 days). Once you get to France, the only concern will be that your wife was admitted on a valid visa. Of course it will definitely help if the local prefecture has been notified of the latest change in procedure - but these things take time in France.

The fact of your not being married is more likely to cause the problems. In order to get PACS'd outside of France, one member of the couple must be a French national. And AFAIK, the PACS is the only kind of unmarried partnership the French will recognize.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Pete, thanks for the info on how the French work, and for your info also Bev.

I hope the ‘C’ visa does the trick. Please let me know how you get on and good luck with it all.

I did email the EU Citizens signpost today asking if they know what documents France require to see to verify our durable relationship and if they know if they have implemented the directive correctly.

I also emailed about 8 prefectures asking them the same question. So hopefully at least one will answer but we’ll see.

Bev, when you say,

Of course it will definitely help if the local prefecture has been notified of the latest change in procedure

Do you mean regarding the directive 2004/38/EC? If so they should do as it came into force over 5 years ago.

As regards the PACS being the only kind of unmarried partnership the French will recognize, well I hope Solvit will change that as they are in breach of EU legislation.

If anyone else is in the same situation as me then make a complaint to Solvit or the EU Citizens signpost, or both. This is the only way things will change if there are so many complaints about France, or any other member state for that matter.

Phil
 
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If/when Signpost gets back to you Phil, can you post the reply here? (For me they took about two or three working days).

A word of warning ref the prefectures, especially if you are in a hurry. It took a month for mine to get back to me; after the initial email on Sept 30th, a follow-up on October 15th, I eventually got a response - not an email, but a telephone call - on October 30th.
 

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The other thing about surveying various prefectures is that you're considerably less likely to get a response if you aren't resident in the prefecture. Consistency across differing jurisdictions is not a common attribute of la belle France.

It's also unlikely that prefectures would receive information about applying a European directive. If I understand the process correctly, each member nation has to adopt European directives into their national law. It's the national law that the prefectures are concerned about and it has only been since this latest change in the immigration process, starting in June this year, that the "non-EU spouse of an EU national" rules seem to have changed.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Pete, I’ve just been rereading what you said about your trip to your local town hall.

I've just been along to my local town hall, and the official who deals with carte de sejour applications went through her little booklet of information, only to discover it predated the changes in legislation in June, and she had nothing on the new procedures affecting spouses of non-French EU citizens. Pretty much as I expected!
What do you mean about the new procedures affecting spouses?

Is it not simply a case of proving that you’re married, as well as showing your address etc?

Phil
 
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The recent legislation I was referring to affects the spouses of French nationals who now receive long-stay visas, with no need of a carte de séjour. They also complete the OFII form at the embassy in the country of origin, which has to be forwarded on arrival in France, to initiate the various procedures that take place once on French soil.

As this is not the case for spouses of migrant EU nationals living in France, who arrive with their short-stay Schengen visas and still have to apply for a carte de séjour, but do not have to report to OFII, a new form has to be completed, the 'demande de titre de séjour pour conjoint de communautaire'. This form/status didn't even exist in the bulky but outdated documentation they had at my mairie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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The recent legislation I was referring to affects the spouses of French nationals who now receive long-stay visas, with no need of a carte de séjour. They also complete the OFII form at the embassy in the country of origin, which has to be forwarded on arrival in France, to initiate the various procedures that take place once on French soil.

As this is not the case for spouses of migrant EU nationals living in France, who arrive with their short-stay Schengen visas and still have to apply for a carte de séjour, but do not have to report to OFII, a new form has to be completed, the 'demande de titre de séjour pour conjoint de communautaire'. This form/status didn't even exist in the bulky but outdated documentation they had at my mairie.
That’s interesting. It seems like they don’t get many EU citizens spouses applying for a carte de séjour at your local mairie, assuming these changes were implemented in June 2009. Can I ask, is this a main mairie, or just a small one?

As a matter of interest, did the French embassy in Bangkok ask to see any documents apart from your wife’s passport and your marriage certificate?

Also when arriving in France, did the officials only want to see her passport?
This could be useful for other forum users also.

For other who are interested, information about the different types of Schengen visas can be read about here.

Phil
 
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