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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My French girlfriend and I plan to marry here in Paris (10eme) before my Titre de Sejour (visitor/temporary) is up next month. We have been living together since March of this year (6 months), with an EDF bill in our names dating from about 5 months. I have my titre de sejour stamped from OFII from Apr. 30th of this year with her address listed on it.
Like I said, we plan to marry and have all the necessary paperwork and go ahead from the mairie, but I'm not sure what I need to do to legally stay in France after we do marry. I'm having trouble understanding what exactly that means for me in regards to my titre de sejour and/or carte de sejour. Does my status change after marriage? Will I have to leave the country? Do I need to go to the prefecture to renew my titre de sejour*? Will I be eligible for the 'Délivrance automatique de la carte de séjour "vie privée et familiale"' if I haven't been here two years.?**

*I have the info and a 'convocation' for a rendez-vous at the prefecture in case I need to renew (even though I didn't do this 5 months in advance so I assume I will have to take my document that lists a Jan 2013 rendez-vous and stand in the waiting room, hoping that I get to see someone and that my documents are in order for the renewal)
** Found this on - Service-public.fr ---> 'Conjoint de Francais' "Elle vous est normalement remise à l'issue de la validité de votre visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour, la seconde année de votre séjour en France."


Any help is greatly appreciated. Look forward to any input.
 

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You may have left things a little late in the process if your titre de séjour expires next month, but this is what the situation is for most folks.

If you get married in France, then you are eligible for a change in status when you go to renew your carte de séjour (i.e. from visiteur to epoux) - BUT (and this may be the killer in your case) they normally require that you were on a one year visa/titre de séjour that is renewable. Some of the prefectures can be pretty hard ass about the requirement that you have lived together for 6 months before you apply for renewal of your titre de séjour.

There is also the little requirement that you apply to renew your titre de séjour at least 2 months before it expires.

Your status after marriage does not automatically change. (I'm convinced NOTHING happens automatically in France, at least not if it involves the Administration.) The "normal" route would (should?) have been for you to apply for a one-year "visiteur" visa and to have gotten married within the first 6 months of your arrival. Then, all the deadlines are met by the time you have to apply for your renewal and change of status.

If your visa was only for 6 months, you may run into problems with the préfecture. If they don't recognize your titre de séjour as renewable, then you may well have to return to the US and apply for a spouse visa (be sure to bring your livret de famille with you!). The process for that, however, is very quick - once you get the consulate appointment, you should have your visa in hand within a few days. (Maybe consider a honeymoon in the US and sign up for the consulate appointment now so you don't have to wait once you get there.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your prompt and informative reply Bev! You are a saint! I mistakenly read the time frame for my titre de sejour renewal as within the last two months of the visa. I will try the prefecture and see what happens.
Just to be clear, even if I leave married when my visa expires, say a border jump to London, and come back (on a tourist visa), there is no way that you know of that I would be able to obtain my carte de sejour?
 

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Nope, you can't get a carte de séjour on a visa of under 1 year. And you can't change status unless you're on a 1 year renewable visa.

The border jump to London hasn't worked since the days before Schengen.

However, if you look at the visa information on Service Public, you'll see that if you go back to the US after you are married, they basically can't deny you a spouse visa as long as you have all your paperwork together. (Only in the case of fraud - or if you refuse to learn French.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your wisdom is indispensable, Bev! No worries about fraud or speaking french, car je parle Français et il ne s'agit pas d'un mariage blanc... But the lady at OFII told me when I went to get my titre de sejour sticker/stamp that I could renew. I'm still of course not applying before the 2 month window... Like I said, I went ahead and booked a rendez-vous for Jan of next year (well past my visa expiration date), but a rather blase functioniare that I did manage to get on the phone told me to go to the prefecture with my mis-dated convocation and try to start my application anyways. So tomorrow I will head there, take a number and wait. Will be sure to keep you all on the forum up to date. Thanks again Bev for the help.
 

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Hey, if the OFII person told you to try and the prefecture told you to try, then try. (One small caveat is that when I followed the instructions given to me by the French consulate in Stuttgart, I found that they were basically misinformed.) See what you can do - and just be polite all the way through the process. That's the "up side" of this whole Administrative mess that is France - fonctionnaires do have a certain amount of discretion and may be able to tweak the rules a bit in your favor.

If not, then you need to be prepared to make a quick run back to the US.

Good luck, in any event and do keep us posted how things go for you.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi Bev,

I am in a similar situation, but different enough that I'm not sure that everything you told
panurge applies to me. I'd be happy to start a new forum post if that is preferable.

In any case, I am in France on a 1 year long stay visa that expired in June. Before it expired, I made at appointment at the prefecture for October 5, and also got a temporary extension so that I could stay in France until my appointment.

Since then (Aug 31st) my French fiancée and I got married here in Paris.

My question now is it better to wait for my appointment on October 5th and tell them that my status has changed or is there something I can do before to move the process along.

Also, based on my case, do you see anything that would require me to go back to the US to get my spouse visa?

Thanks in advance,

DC


You may have left things a little late in the process if your titre de séjour expires next month, but this is what the situation is for most folks.

If you get married in France, then you are eligible for a change in status when you go to renew your carte de séjour (i.e. from visiteur to epoux) - BUT (and this may be the killer in your case) they normally require that you were on a one year visa/titre de séjour that is renewable. Some of the prefectures can be pretty hard ass about the requirement that you have lived together for 6 months before you apply for renewal of your titre de séjour.

There is also the little requirement that you apply to renew your titre de séjour at least 2 months before it expires.

Your status after marriage does not automatically change. (I'm convinced NOTHING happens automatically in France, at least not if it involves the Administration.) The "normal" route would (should?) have been for you to apply for a one-year "visiteur" visa and to have gotten married within the first 6 months of your arrival. Then, all the deadlines are met by the time you have to apply for your renewal and change of status.

If your visa was only for 6 months, you may run into problems with the préfecture. If they don't recognize your titre de séjour as renewable, then you may well have to return to the US and apply for a spouse visa (be sure to bring your livret de famille with you!). The process for that, however, is very quick - once you get the consulate appointment, you should have your visa in hand within a few days. (Maybe consider a honeymoon in the US and sign up for the consulate appointment now so you don't have to wait once you get there.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Salut expats,
Today I went to the "Centre de reception des etrangers" next to the "Centre de police du 17eme" to ask about my titre de sejour. I recommend others who have similar problems to go there with their questions. Might wait an hour or 45 min, but someone will be able to give you some info. The nice lady I saw gave me a récépissé which extends my visa until I can go to my Jan 2013 rendez-vous at the prefecture. She also told me that I should bring my translated birth certificate, passport, acte de marriage, an original justificatif du domicile datant moins de 3 mois and my fiancee/wife. I assume from there that we will be starting the process for a carte de sejour as we will have multiple proofs of having lived together for 6 months. Is this accurate? Would this prevent having to go back to the US?
 

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Sounds really good. At least you're legal until your appointment in January - and then you can take it from there.

The new government has announced that they want to "simplify" the immigration procedures this fall, so it's very very possible you will benefit from the wait. So glad to hear you've found a receptive administrative office! Congrats.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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The new government hasnt been able to simplify the procedures yet, i am saying that because i am the so called victim :)
 

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Salut expats,
Today I went to the "Centre de reception des etrangers" next to the "Centre de police du 17eme" to ask about my titre de sejour. I recommend others who have similar problems to go there with their questions. Might wait an hour or 45 min, but someone will be able to give you some info. The nice lady I saw gave me a récépissé which extends my visa until I can go to my Jan 2013 rendez-vous at the prefecture. She also told me that I should bring my translated birth certificate, passport, acte de marriage, an original justificatif du domicile datant moins de 3 mois and my fiancee/wife. I assume from there that we will be starting the process for a carte de sejour as we will have multiple proofs of having lived together for 6 months. Is this accurate? Would this prevent having to go back to the US?
They can do it all from here in France. The only problem is your process won't begin until January. If you can wait it out, then wait it out. If not, schedule a trip back to the US and schedule your appointment with the French embassy so your OFII process can begin a bit sooner. You must have all your documents translated but if you have your family book, that is truly your ticket to staying here. Have you lived together more than six months? Are both of your names on a lease (if you rent)? These are important. Please don't forget your translated birth certificate (and possibly the Apostille). Best of luck to you!
 
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