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Discussion Starter #1
hello

I'm a South African married to a French citizen.We are currently living in SA,but planning on moving to France (Lyon) sometime next year.What is the best way for me to get a VISA and work permit?There are lots of info online, but very complicated and contradictory.

regards
crispin
 

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As the spouse of a French citizen, you need to get a spouse visa and that you have to do through the French consulate in the country in which you are currently resident (i.e. SA). This being France, each consulate seems to have slightly different procedures for visa applications so you should check the local consulate's website.

Basic process, though, should be much the same. You need to get a French livret de famille first (also through the consulate). It helps if your French spouse has been registered with the consulate, but if not, now is a good time to start the process. They'll want to have proof of your marriage, plus the usual i.d. and for the French spouse, their French carte d'identité and passport.

Most consulates these days require that the French citizen's birth record be updated for the marriage (the way they do it in France) so it can take a while for the livret de famille to be issued.

Once you have the livret de famille, getting a spouse visa is basically a matter of submitting the right paperwork (livret plus i.d. documents all around again) and turning up for the "interview" which is basically just a ten minute formality. They can't refuse you a spouse visa unless they can show that something is fraudulent about your application (or you refuse to learn French) and once you have that in hand, you're free to move to France.

With a spouse visa, you're also free to look for work, though you will have the contrat d'accueil et integration obligations to meet during your first year in France. If you don't speak French you can be required to take up to 400 hours of French classes provided by the state and it's probably far easier to get those out of the way before you start looking for work. If you already speak French - just start applying for jobs!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is a great help Bev. Thank you for taking the time to compose this.

Another question please, do you know of any good recruitment agencies in France?
 

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As far as recruitment agencies go, it can depend quite a bit on your line of work. Jobs in France generally pass through "a friend of a friend who knows someone" and I'm not so sure all that many companies make great use of recruiters except for upper level executive and management positions.

One way to at least get your foot in the door is to start off with the temp agencies - all the big European agencies do business in France: Manpower, Ada, Randstad, etc. Or just look for the big international recruitment firms: Michael Page, Robert Half (for finance related positions), etc.

Even as a new arrival, you can also use Pôle d'emploi, the national unemployment agency. They have job listings and by all accounts, they can be very helpful in organizing your job search. There is also a weekly compilation of all the job ads from the major newspapers, including Les Echos (the French business journal) - just check your local news stand once you get to France.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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