PACSing and the right to a Carte de Séjour in France

I get a lot of e-mails about PACSing and Carte de Séjours in France, so I wanted to clear up some things. These two are completely separate from one another – the Tribunal d’Instance takes care of PACSing and the Préfecture takes care of the carte de séjour. If you ask the Tribunal about the CDS, they will most likely give you wrong information, and if you ask the Préfecture about getting PACSed, they will most likely give you wrong information as well.

You can get PACSed whenever you want (similar to marriage – except marriage is still not an option in France for gay or lesbian couples.) Any two un-related people over the age of 18 can get PACSed in France, regardless of their nationality. (Two non-EU citizens – such as 2 Americans – are allowed to get PACSed as long as one of them has a carte de séjour already.) You may or may not have to prove that you live in France, so if you plan on getting PACSed soon, make sure both of your names are on an EDF or France Télécom bill. Check my PACS/Marriage page for more information on the paperwork needed to get PACSed.

You do not need to have a visa in order to get PACSed, but you need a visa in order to receive a carte de séjour due to being PACSed (or even married – the laws are the same). You must obtain a long-stay type D visa in order to stay legally in France, but it doesn’t matter if you obtain this visa before or after you get PACSed/married. If you obtain the visa before getting PACSed/married, you only have 40 days to actually do so after your arrival. If you obtain the visa after you get PACSed/married, then obviously this costs more because you have to return to your home country, but it might be easier to get because you can prove that you are indeed PACSed/married (with your certificat de PACS or livret de famille) which makes your application stronger than just having the intent to do so after your arrival in France.

If you are a PACSed foreigner, your partner is an EU citizen and you have a long-stay visa, you are entitled to the CDS visiteur – which gives you the right to stay, but not work – if you cannot prove un an de vie commune in France. This year of living together can definitely start before you get PACSed, as long as you were living in France legally at that time. (If you’ve been in France for more than 3 months without a visa, thereby surpassing the tourist limit in the Schengen space*, this time will NOT count towards your un an de vie commune. The year starts upon your LEGAL arrival in France, after you get the visa.)

If you can prove the un an de vie commune, regardless of when you got PACSed, then you are entitled to the CDS vie privée et familiale, which gives you the right to work in France. (This is the same carte you will receive if you are married to an EU citizen and have a long-stay visa.) I’ve heard horror stories of foreigners being denied a CDS even though they fulfill these requirements because some Préfectures don’t know the rules or don’t want to follow the rules. Even though PACSing has been around for almost 10 years, some fonctionnaires are still clueless as what it really means for foreigners in France.

I have found one organization, ARDHIS, that tries to help PACSed foreigners with their legal status in France. It’s actually an organization for the rights of homosexual and transsexual foreigners, but they have some legal information that is pertinent to any PACSed foreigner. (A few other helpful organizations for immigrants are GISTI and FASTI.) If you have been denied a CDS even though you are PACSed to an EU citizen and have a long-stay visa, here are some official documents that might help your case:

A circulaire from the Ministère de l’Intérieur (Villepin) dated October 30, 2004, specifically states your right to a CDS vie privée et familiale if you can justify un an de vie commune or to a CDS visiteur if you cannot. The PACS section starts on page 4.

Another circulaire from January 2007 reminds the préfectures that the first circulaire from October 2004 is still effective and PACSed foreigners should not be denied a CDS.

*Just a reminder about the Schengen space tourist visa: You can stay for 3 months, but then you must leave for 3 months! You can no longer leave for one day and come back without a visa. The original Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. As of December 2007, the eastern countries were added: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Switzerland & Liechtenstein (2008-9), Cyprus (2009) and Bulgaria & Romania (2011) will be fully implementing the Schengen laws during the years noted. Notice that the UK & Ireland do not implement the Schengen laws!

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  • Rebecca

    On getting a visa; you stated, “[it] might be easier to get because you can prove that you are indeed PACSed [...]”

    Note that the French consulate in New York City, in May 2007, was still insisting that your PACSed/nonPACSed status has no influence whatsoever on your visa application both in writing and at the application windows (I watched them argue with a French-American PACSed couple). You should be able to get a CDS visiteur anyway, but like nonPACSed visitors, you will have to prove you have a place to stay in France, medical coverage including repatriation to your country of citizenship, and independent means (in some cases a year’s worth of SMIC!) to cover you during your stay in France.

    I don’t know if that’s changed, since I’m hearing more and more that PACSed spouses need to get a visa if they don’t already have a long stay entry visa. If the consulates are having to respond more frequently to this type of situation, the requirements might be changing.

    Also: there are always shortcuts depending on your préfecture, but as I’m sure you know, trying to predict them can be a bit hazardous.

  • Rebecca

    On getting a visa; you stated, “[it] might be easier to get because you can prove that you are indeed PACSed [...]”

    Note that the French consulate in New York City, in May 2007, was still insisting that your PACSed/nonPACSed status has no influence whatsoever on your visa application both in writing and at the application windows (I watched them argue with a French-American PACSed couple). You should be able to get a CDS visiteur anyway, but like nonPACSed visitors, you will have to prove you have a place to stay in France, medical coverage including repatriation to your country of citizenship, and independent means (in some cases a year’s worth of SMIC!) to cover you during your stay in France.

    I don’t know if that’s changed, since I’m hearing more and more that PACSed spouses need to get a visa if they don’t already have a long stay entry visa. If the consulates are having to respond more frequently to this type of situation, the requirements might be changing.

    Also: there are always shortcuts depending on your préfecture, but as I’m sure you know, trying to predict them can be a bit hazardous.

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    It’s true that the situation at French embassies/consulates around the world regarding the visas is completely different. I haven’t yet found any official documents instructing the embassies to give visas to PACS partners. I don’t even know if it’s law that they must give a visa to spouses of French citizens!

  • http://www.ielanguages.com admin

    It’s true that the situation at French embassies/consulates around the world regarding the visas is completely different. I haven’t yet found any official documents instructing the embassies to give visas to PACS partners. I don’t even know if it’s law that they must give a visa to spouses of French citizens!

  • http://life-with-a-seaview.blogspot.com/ Astrid

    Hi Jennie,

    Just to answer your question on my blog. At the moment I only know about this eng-no dictionary: http://www.tritrans.net/indexno.html.

    Norwegian seems to be the language left out when it comes to dictionaries online. Maybe because we help ourself with the eng-swedish ones?? :)

    Good luck with your tutorials :)

  • http://life-with-a-seaview.blogspot.com/ Astrid

    Hi Jennie,

    Just to answer your question on my blog. At the moment I only know about this eng-no dictionary: http://www.tritrans.net/indexno.html.

    Norwegian seems to be the language left out when it comes to dictionaries online. Maybe because we help ourself with the eng-swedish ones?? :)

    Good luck with your tutorials :)

  • http://opalinthesky.vox.com/ Opal

    I love love love your new site. Super easy to navigate/read!!! Looks professional. Nice work lady and congrats on the right to work here finally. We r still trying to go figure out the how tos of the Pacs road….Opal

  • http://opalinthesky.vox.com/ Opal

    I love love love your new site. Super easy to navigate/read!!! Looks professional. Nice work lady and congrats on the right to work here finally. We r still trying to go figure out the how tos of the Pacs road….Opal

  • http://updatesfromsusan.blogspot.com/ Susan

    GREAT information!! I’m on the road to being married here and will fill you in on anything I find useful through my blog (http://updatesfromsusan.blogspot.com). I DID find out that when I, a US citizen, get married to a French citizen and live in France the CDS DOES NOT give me the right to work in the UK unless I live there with my spouse. I actually had to withdraw from a job because of this…
    Best of luck and I can’t wait to hear about your new job that I’m sure you will find!!
    -Susan

  • http://updatesfromsusan.blogspot.com/ Susan

    GREAT information!! I’m on the road to being married here and will fill you in on anything I find useful through my blog (http://updatesfromsusan.blogspot.com). I DID find out that when I, a US citizen, get married to a French citizen and live in France the CDS DOES NOT give me the right to work in the UK unless I live there with my spouse. I actually had to withdraw from a job because of this…
    Best of luck and I can’t wait to hear about your new job that I’m sure you will find!!
    -Susan

  • http://expatraveler.blogspot.com/ expatraveler

    I think being able to get a work permit to legally work in France is definitely a great pay off. In my mind, I almost wish I knew about this one before I moved back…

  • http://expatraveler.blogspot.com/ expatraveler

    I think being able to get a work permit to legally work in France is definitely a great pay off. In my mind, I almost wish I knew about this one before I moved back…

  • http://www.kendalnite.wordpress.com/ Kendal

    Thank You for such an informative blog!

    Kendals last blog post..Russell Cave, Alabama

  • http://www.kendalnite.wordpress.com Kendal

    Thank You for such an informative blog!

    Kendals last blog post..Russell Cave, Alabama

  • Pauline

    Hi Jennie,
    Thanks very much for this information!
    I am french and my boyfriend is american, we are currently in the US but my visa is expiring and i have to go back to france… in 2 days! :(
    I am thinking of getting PACSed or married so he could join me in France. But i wonder when would he be able to legally find a job?
    Does he have to get a work permit? or is the married long stay visa sufficient? or is it after the obtention of the CDS vie privee et familiale?
    Thanks very much for your help!
    Take care

  • Pauline

    Hi Jennie,
    Thanks very much for this information!
    I am french and my boyfriend is american, we are currently in the US but my visa is expiring and i have to go back to france… in 2 days! :(
    I am thinking of getting PACSed or married so he could join me in France. But i wonder when would he be able to legally find a job?
    Does he have to get a work permit? or is the married long stay visa sufficient? or is it after the obtention of the CDS vie privee et familiale?
    Thanks very much for your help!
    Take care

  • Wendy

    Hi,

    I’m planning on pacsing my partner and had a more specific question to ask you. I’ve been in France for close to 4 years now (as a language assistant and/or student) – so I have been here, legally, quite a while, and most of it here in Toulouse. My partner and I do not live together but we have both been living in Toulouse for well over a year and a half (being together for just over a year now). Do you know off-hand if this counts for the “un an de vie commune” even if we have not shared the same residence? Thanks for your help!

  • Wendy

    Hi,

    I’m planning on pacsing my partner and had a more specific question to ask you. I’ve been in France for close to 4 years now (as a language assistant and/or student) – so I have been here, legally, quite a while, and most of it here in Toulouse. My partner and I do not live together but we have both been living in Toulouse for well over a year and a half (being together for just over a year now). Do you know off-hand if this counts for the “un an de vie commune” even if we have not shared the same residence? Thanks for your help!

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    @Wendy: The “un an de vie commune” needs to be at the same residence, and you would have to prove it with a lease, joint bank account, EDF bill, etc. with both your names on it. So if you have been living apart this whole time, then unfortunately it won’t count. You can try to get your name added to the bills before actually moving in together though. When I moved in with my boyfriend, we just called EDF and they added my name without any proof that I actually lived here, so it’s worth a shot!

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie

    @Wendy: The “un an de vie commune” needs to be at the same residence, and you would have to prove it with a lease, joint bank account, EDF bill, etc. with both your names on it. So if you have been living apart this whole time, then unfortunately it won’t count. You can try to get your name added to the bills before actually moving in together though. When I moved in with my boyfriend, we just called EDF and they added my name without any proof that I actually lived here, so it’s worth a shot!

  • Natasha

    Hi,
    I just found this blog when I was looking for more info about the CDS and how it’ll affect me. I’m Australian and have been PACSed with my French partner for over a year. Our vie commune is spread out over five years, over four different countries. I’ve had a rough time with the French embassy in Australia and I’m without a long stay visa. I was told I could get the CDS while on my tourist visa, so long as I applied before the end of it. Tomorrow I start the grey period between the finish of my visa and the second interview i a few weeks. I’ve been told thats ok. Now, if it’s a positive outcome I’m nervous what will happen if I leave France with no visa but with a valid CDS.
    This is a great blog!

  • Natasha

    Hi,
    I just found this blog when I was looking for more info about the CDS and how it’ll affect me. I’m Australian and have been PACSed with my French partner for over a year. Our vie commune is spread out over five years, over four different countries. I’ve had a rough time with the French embassy in Australia and I’m without a long stay visa. I was told I could get the CDS while on my tourist visa, so long as I applied before the end of it. Tomorrow I start the grey period between the finish of my visa and the second interview i a few weeks. I’ve been told thats ok. Now, if it’s a positive outcome I’m nervous what will happen if I leave France with no visa but with a valid CDS.
    This is a great blog!

  • ashley

    hi im ashley i got married in august last year with a french girl and i got my carte de sejour in france for one year,so i would like know if i can live in UK with that carte de sejour.
    thank you very much and do reply to my
    question please i need to know as soon as
    possible bye

  • ashley

    hi im ashley i got married in august last year with a french girl and i got my carte de sejour in france for one year,so i would like know if i can live in UK with that carte de sejour.
    thank you very much and do reply to my
    question please i need to know as soon as
    possible bye

  • Alley

    Hi Jennie, my boyfriend is French and I am South African. He moved to South Africa one year ago and has since obtained a Life Partner Visa which will be valid until June 2011. We only had a Life Partnership Agreement and proof of power of Attorney that he has access to my bank account, as proof of living together, as we live in a garden flat, that he rents from the lessor, and we had no proof of actually sharing the same residence. But the South African Home Affairs accepted this and granted the temporary residence visa to him. We are now considering moving to France at the end of the year for a year or two, maybe longer. Should we get PACSed? Will my boyfriend’s SA life partnership visa be enough proof for “un an de vie commune”? Can we get PACSed here in SA, before going to France? And do I still need to apply for a long-stay visa? Which one? What are the requirements? I will have to work once in France, as my boyfriend is a writer/musician and studied cinema and will only start looking for a new job, once he is back in France. He currently works at the Alliance Francaise. Hope you can help. Thanks!

  • Alley

    Hi Jennie, my boyfriend is French and I am South African. He moved to South Africa one year ago and has since obtained a Life Partner Visa which will be valid until June 2011. We only had a Life Partnership Agreement and proof of power of Attorney that he has access to my bank account, as proof of living together, as we live in a garden flat, that he rents from the lessor, and we had no proof of actually sharing the same residence. But the South African Home Affairs accepted this and granted the temporary residence visa to him. We are now considering moving to France at the end of the year for a year or two, maybe longer. Should we get PACSed? Will my boyfriend’s SA life partnership visa be enough proof for “un an de vie commune”? Can we get PACSed here in SA, before going to France? And do I still need to apply for a long-stay visa? Which one? What are the requirements? I will have to work once in France, as my boyfriend is a writer/musician and studied cinema and will only start looking for a new job, once he is back in France. He currently works at the Alliance Francaise. Hope you can help. Thanks!

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    @Ashley: Sorry for the late reply, but no, you can only live in France with the carte de sejour. It doesn’t give you any rights in the rest of the EU.

    @Alley: You can get PACSed in SA at the French consulate, which might make getting a long-stay visa easier. It will entirely depend on the consulate if they will let you get the spouse visa or make you do the visitor one (which requires you to have more money saved up) since PACSing is sometimes not considered the same as marriage for immigration purposes.

    And unfortunately, the time you spent living together in SA would not count toward the un an de vie commune because that needs to be in France. So you should be able to get a visa to live in France, but you cannot work there until you have that un an de vie commune.

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie

    @Ashley: Sorry for the late reply, but no, you can only live in France with the carte de sejour. It doesn’t give you any rights in the rest of the EU.

    @Alley: You can get PACSed in SA at the French consulate, which might make getting a long-stay visa easier. It will entirely depend on the consulate if they will let you get the spouse visa or make you do the visitor one (which requires you to have more money saved up) since PACSing is sometimes not considered the same as marriage for immigration purposes.

    And unfortunately, the time you spent living together in SA would not count toward the un an de vie commune because that needs to be in France. So you should be able to get a visa to live in France, but you cannot work there until you have that un an de vie commune.

  • Rachel

    Hello Jennie. Thank you for all the information you've provided about PACS. I'm a Canadian in Paris, in relationship with a French guy and we might be getting PACSed soon. The thing is that, I've heard from a friend living here that we need to prove 3 ans de vie commune instead of un an. I tried to search for info about it on the Internet but couldn't find any except for some public forum posts. I was wondering if you've heard any change regarding this or maybe it differs depending on where we are ? (I'm in Paris). I'd really appreciate if if you could reply. Thanks.

  • ielanguages

    Hi Rachel, 3 years was the old rule, but now it is one year. Some préfectures are still jerks about it though and refuse to give a visiteur CDS if you don't have the one year. If you've got the one year of vie commune, you should be able to get the CDS vie privée. It could depend on where you live too, which is really frustrating. The only way to know the answer for sure is to ask your préfecture.

  • Rachel

    Thanks Jennie. Hopefully, it still is just one year of vie commune here in Paris and not back to 3 years…

  • Annie

    Dear Jennie, Thank-you for this site, advice and tips to help others.
    I just got pacsed today! I thought it would facilitate things before I go back home to Canada to apply for my long stay visa, but know I'm worried.

    I've been in France for the past 10 years. First 4/5 were as a student and internship. The last 5 I've been coming and going as a tourist without needing a visa, and I travelled extensively during those years that I wasn't breaking any laws. But know they have changed the law that you can stay in EU without a visa for a total of 6 months in a calendar year. I only found this out Dec 2009, and I didn't dare leave for christmas in fears that I would be controlled. My life is settling down now and I don't want this 3 month stress on me or my partner anymore, so that's why we decided to get pacsed… hoping it would make things easier to stay together and get me under his mutuelle.
    My conjoint is UK citizen living and working in France for the past 8 years, home owner etc. We have been together for 3 years. My worry after reading your blog is that even though we are pacsed today, I may still have to apply for a regular long-stay visa rather then getting one that is “vie privée et familiale” , because I may not be able to legally prove “un an de vie commune”, unless that can be a sum of all the legal months I've been in France with my partner for the past 3 years.
    If I have to apply for a regular long-stay, It won't look good that I can't provide any work history papers or financial assets in Canada to support me for a whole year in France. I don't work. My partner and family have been supporting me financially and will continue to do so in the future. I have no immediate plans to work, but I need a social security number to be protected under my partner's mutuelle.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I will also post the rest of my story on your blog as it unfolds if it may help anyone else. Thanks Jennie.

  • ielanguages

    Hi Annie: Unfortunately you will need a long-stay visa first before you can apply for a carte de séjour, and it's even more complicated now that the visa rules have changed. You will probably receive a long-stay visa valid for 12 months and then you can change that into a carte de séjour vie privée after those 12 months of living together, while still in France. So it seems to me your major obstacle is getting the visa in Canada in the first place, but you may be able to try the spouse visa since some embassies consider PACSing and marriage to be the same for administrative purposes. Only your embassy can tell you what to do though. If you go to your local préfecture, they will most likely tell you to get a long-stay visa first before they can help you. That visa is the first piece in the giant residency puzzle. Good luck!!

  • Chadi

    Hey,

    I really enjoy reading your blog as it's a rich source of information. Thank you for sharing your experiences and advises that are very beneficial to all of us around the world. I have been coming here since I started to think about getting PACS and I always find this site so perfect.

    Today I decided to contribute by asking a question:
    I am French and PACSed with an Australian. We have been living together for 2 years in Australia (but I understood that it doesn't count toward my vie commune thingy).
    As he is under 30, he is technically eligible for a Working Holiday Visa (this being a 12 months work visa). I was therefore wondering if it was possible for him to come to France with me under the WHV and apply for a CDS after living there with me for 12 months??

    I really hope my question is clear and I can get an answer from you.

    Thank you again for your blog.

    Au plaisir de vous lire…

  • ielanguages

    Hi Chadi, your PACS partner could get a WHV and go to France for 12 months, but it is not possible to change that type of visa into a CDS. He would have to return to Australia when the WHV expires and apply for a new (long stay, type D) visa in order to get a CDS later on and stay continuously in France.

  • Alison

    Hello,
    I am PACSed since August 2009 and I have recd a long term visa (visiteur) from the French Consul in Mauritius, however, we were not informed that I was not going to be able to work in France. My partner is a French national and we have only arrived about one month ago for good,,,,,, visa duration from Feb 2010 to Jan 2011. I have done all the required formalities at the OFII. My question is do I have to wait 11 months in order to apply for a vie privee, vie familliale carte de sejour (after reading yr un an de vie) or I can always apply in Nov 2010 upon renewal of my visa? We were PACSed in Mauritius in Aug'09. Please help as I am used to working and I feel really depressed now that I cannot work at all.
    Alison

  • Oyiza nazifa musa

    I NEED HELP PLS

  • Edmundchristian

    hi Jennie,

    I chanced upon your site and think you might be someone to ask advice from. I’m a Singaporean and so is my boyfriend (who works in Paris with a carte de sejour issued for 3 years until 2011). I came to paris 2 years ago and have been living with my bf during this while and was a postgrad student for these 2 years. but my postgrad degree has just ended and my CDS is up for renewal and I don’t have an option other than to change to a vie familiale. I PACSed with my bf in Mar this year but can prove that we’ve been living together for the past 2 years – I’ve always used his attestation to prove that I am living in his apartment for the past 2 years.

    I went to various govt agencies to ask about how to change my stature from etudiant to vie privee but they’re rejected me, giving stupid reasons like “oh, only people who’ve married can apply for a change in stature to vie privee et familiale’… I am at my wit’s end because every agency, including the police prefecture has been telling me this and i don’t know who else to approach.

    Please help! Could you be so kind as to write me at edmundchristian@hotmail.com?

    Best regards
    Edmund

  • At my wits end

    Im an australian living in london with my french girlfriend. next year we want to live in paris together and I would like to work. We are applying for a PACS through the french consulate in London, and I’m a little confused because we have not lived together in France for a year, therefore I assume I cannot work in France for the first 12 months.
     
    I’m curious to know if anyone knows if our time (1 year) living in london together can count as our year of cohabitation, or if the year of living together has to be in France before I can get my visa vie privee et familiale?
     
    Complicated I know, but the lady at the consulate couldnt answer me, nor any of the French governmental departments that I ask.
     
    I thought people that have been through this might be able to help
     
    Cheers
     
    Nigel

  • rm

    Hi Jennie,

    the second link “Another circulaire from January 2007 reminds the préfectures that the first circulaire from October 2004 is still effective and PACSed foreigners should not be denied a CDS.”

    is not longer a valid link, do you know if there anywhere else i can find this document as today I called the prefecture and the lady on the phone wont even let me make an appointment because she was like you HAVE to be PACSd for more than one year etc etc.

    thank you so much for all the advice you have given already!!

  • Barbara

    Hi, I am just PACSed with my French boyfriend and I wondered if I can ask for CDS? because now  I am holding a student visa (long stay) 
    (I have been a student studying language for 11 months now and planning to continue Master degree here) 
    Please give me some advices.
    Thank you
    B.

  • markito1959

    Hi Jennie,
    Thanks for the useful information. My partner and I want to move to Paris next year and we are thinking of getting PACsed this year. I’m an Italian citizen and he’s american, so we’d wanted to get PACsed and begin the application for the visa de long sejour, so eventually he can apply for his carte de sejour in order to work. We’re going to France this summer for a visit and to get PACsed, but my question is, can he apply now for the visa type D, return to the US for work purposes, and then return next year to France when the 12 months are up to apply for the carte de sejour?
    The reason being that we can’t afford for him not to work for a year. Do the french allow people with the type D visa to not be physically in France during the 12 month period?

    Thanks in advance for any  more information you could provide.

    Mark

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    Hi Mark,

    No, your partner will need to stay in France for those 12 months. The un an de vie commune must be on French soil after the visa is granted.

  • Anna

    Un an de vie commun can be done anywhere, but I believe one of you has to be a French Citizen for this way. Best to check at your city hall. I vaguely remember that being Canadian and my partner British, we could have had our official pacsed year in Canada, for example. Remember to have official bills in both of your names (rent, electricity, bank, etc.) for EACH month.

  • Anna

    I believe that the un an de vie commun can be done anywhere. As long as you have been pacsed and can proove living together, even abroad for a year. However, you can not apply for a visa in France and not live in France. You can get pacsed, live abroad, then start your visa application from your country, then come back to France to live in France with a CDS. Please check in with your city hall in France. One of you may be required to be French citizen, but I may be confusing that with something else. Good luck!

  • markito1959

    Thanks for responding Anna,
    since we’re not in France yet, it’s very confusing. The application for visa de long sejour states that once one has the visa, it must be stamped with a certain stamp when leaving and re-entering France. That made me think it would be possible to come and go during the first year of un an de vie commun. The French Consulate here in San Francisco is fairly useless, only telling us we could start the application process here even before we PACS. Since we’re not planning on moving until next year, we’ll probably just get PACsed this summer, then deal with the visa situation later.

  • Lisa

    Hi jennie,

    I really enjoy your blog since i have alot of questions about pacs that need your answers.l’m cambodian and my boyfriend iq french citizen and we are planning to pacs now but my visa will be invalid this month. So l’m wondering after i get paced contract and go back to my original country. Is any problem for me to ask for a long stay visa at french ambassade in my country by using this pacs contract? (l’m very worry if i go back and cannot get a visa back because my country is very diffecult for asking a visa to europe countries).

    Thanks in advance for your answers

  • French Kiwi

    Hi Jennie,

    I’m not sure if you will still be updating or checking this still however I thought I would give it a shot. I am a New Zealand citizen and my boyfriend is an English citizen. He wants to go and work in France for 2 years and I would like to work there also. What is the best way you would recommend going about this? I know I can get a 1 year Working Holiday Visa but that is obviously not enough. I’ve read that although I can get PACS’ed while on my WHV, I will not be allowed to stay and work after my one year is over. Do you think it would be better to go to France on a long stay visitor visa, and get PACS’ed then apply for a CDS vie privée et familiale? Also, do we have to prove one year of living together in France or will living together in New Zealand count? Obviously, I won’t be able to get PACS’ed in France for a year after we arrive if the former is the case. What would you recommend is the best way to go about this?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    Best way is to enter France on a long-stay visitor visa and get PACSed. You could do the WHV just to get to France to get PACSed, but you would definitely need to return to NZ to get the long-stay visa anyway before the préfecture would consider giving you a carte de séjour. The one year of living together is supposed to be in France, so you wouldn’t be able to work for one year. You can definitely get PACSed whenever you want though; the one year of living together starts from the entry date on your visa. It doesn’t really matter when you get PACSed. However, you wouldn’t be able to apply for the vie privée CDS until you could prove one year of living together in France.

    If you get married instead of PACSed, you could work right away without having to wait a year and you wouldn’t need to get a visa to enter France since only spouses of French citizens need the long-stay visa. Spouses of other EU citizens aren’t required to get a visa.

  • Nev

    Does the vie privée et familiale visa allow me to travel to the UK for a holiday. I am South African and my partner is French. We live in France and want to go on holiday to London.

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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