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Spousal visa for EU national

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captdave51
8/17/2016 18:08 EST

Using the French embassies and websites for information is almost useless. Can anyone tell me if my US born wife(I'm a UK national) needs a visa if we move to France? Can she just arrive with a tourist visa and apply for a Carte de Sejour after we arrive? We are currently living in Ecuador and we were married in the USA. We are both retired. Thank you for any help.

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MickandCJ
8/17/2016 20:17 EST

Hi,
We live in Cuenca and recently went through a similar process. We are both US citizens and retired, your wife will need to get a one year tourist visa (Visa D) before she goes to France. We have gone through this process and will be happy to share our experience (lot of paperwork but not as bad as Ecuador). Easier for us to talk or use FaceTime . Drop a line at nmekkelsen@gmail.com and we will be happy to let you know what we know. We are heading to France in early September.
Mick and CJ

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xantippe
8/18/2016 02:35 EST

My understanding is that your wife will need a longterm visa, before she embarks for France. When we came here my US born husband only needed to apply for a Titre de Sejour as soon as we arrived but that changed and my friend in California who was born in France said his american wife would now need the longterm visa in order to settle in France with him.. If you just turn up your wife would have to return to the US to obtain the visa.

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OldPro
8/18/2016 10:56 EST

Interesting question as well in light of the Brexit issue. Once that takes affect, your status as a national of an EU country will cease. So how will that affect both of you and your right to stay in France. At present, there are no guarantees by France whatsoever as to how they will treat more recent immigrants from the UK (which is the basis on which you will be there).

Chances are that there will be some cut-off date applied. Arrive before that date and be allowed to stay, arrive after it and have to apply to stay as any other non-EU national would. While the 'risk' may be low, it is something to be considered.

I wonder if at this point it wouldn't be better if your wife applied independently as a non-eu national. Then only your own status would be in question after Brexit.

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captdave51
8/18/2016 11:52 EST

Thank you for the reply. I had heard that tourist visa was all my wife needed in order to obtain the Carte de Sejour. I am going to France to check this out next month and will visit the local Prefecture and ask what their rule is. How long ago did this rule change? David

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xantippe
8/18/2016 12:34 EST

About eight years ago at a rough guess. If you ask for a long stay visa at the Embassy they will have the info. Check out this site, it is in French but not too difficult. https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F16162

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RubyTooz
8/18/2016 13:10 EST

Hi Capt Dave,

She does not need a visa to enter France but must go to the Prefecture upon arrival, with you, to request a Carte de sejour - membre de l'UE. While you do not offiically need a Carte de Sejour as a UK citizen, you may want to get one for yourself as well. Things are getting a little crazy with the Brexit and it wouldn't hurt.
Please make sure you get customs to stamp your passports upon landing in France.

Hope that helps,
Dennelle
www.renestance.com

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RubyTooz
8/18/2016 13:16 EST

I have just now seen the other replies to your post. My information comes from the Montpellier Prefecture, my partners in French immigration law, and my professional experience assisting English-speaking clients moving to France. Your wife does not need a long stay tourist visa if she can prove that she's married to and living with an EU national.

Best,
Dennelle
www.renestance.com

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captdave51
8/18/2016 13:30 EST

Ladygris, hope this rely gets to you. We are planning on perhaps living in Carcassonne. I have not lived in the UK since I was 14 so I don't think I'll qualify for an S-1 card. I do have a NHS health card from that era. Probably need to get private health insurance.

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RubyTooz
8/18/2016 13:36 EST

No, you won't be eligible for an S1, but after 3 months of legal residency in France, you may apply for a Carte Vitale (the French NHS card). It's not free, as you have not paid into French securite sociale, but the contributions run about 8% of your household income above 9600 euros. Depending on your and your wife's ages and medical conditions, this may or may not be less expensive than private insurance. In any case, the Carte Vitale does not take into account your age or medical condition when evaluating your application or calculating the contributions.

Best,
Dennelle

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captdave51
8/18/2016 19:13 EST

Dennelle, I hope you are right based on your experience. I have heard that rules, required documents may vary, depending on the Prefecture office. If I want to live in Carcassonne, I presume that I have to go to their office and not the one in Montpelier? Thanks for your assistance.

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RubyTooz
8/20/2016 07:21 EST

Yes, you would go to the Prefecture of the Aude department, which is in Carcassonne. I found this text on the site http://www.narbonne.fr.enligne2424.fr/m/vos-droits/F19315, which confirms what I said earlier.

"Les personnes majeures européennes de votre famille ne sont pas obligées de détenir une carte de séjour.

Les personnes majeures non européennes de votre famille doivent obligatoirement demander une carte de séjour dans les 3 mois de leur entrée en France. Peu importe qu'elles souhaitent travailler ou pas en France.

Durant les 5 premières années de leur séjour, la carte délivrée aux personnes de votre famille porte la mention de sa qualité de « membre de la famille d'un citoyen de l'Union ».

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captdave51
8/20/2016 09:24 EST

Thanks, Ruby. I know a tourist visa is good for 90 days. What if her appointment for a Carte de Sejour is scheduled after this time elapses?

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RubyTooz
8/21/2016 03:57 EST

Ah, excellent question! as often the biggest challenge is getting the appointment at the Préfecture! (have you been through this before, or was that just a lucky guess?)
Each Préfecture has a different system for booking appointments, but if you try to get one in the first month in France, you will not be penalized by their lack of giving you one. In all cases we've seen, the late fee is waived...although this is written nowhere, of course.

Regards,
Dennelle
www.renestance.com

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captdave51
8/22/2016 10:43 EST

Thanks, again. So what you are saying is that it is possible to stay beyond the 90 day tourist visa as long as you apply for an appointment with the Prefecture? Also, are they available to just get information from them when we are there on vacation?

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