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January 27, 2015 at 12:35 pm
Hi Noel and Jackie,
Thank you both so much for your very informative article on obtaining a Carte de Sejour. We are in a similar/same situation, my wife and I live in Australia, wife has dial passport, British (born in UK) and Australian.
We want to live in France for more than 3 months, most likely 4 to 5, whilst there travel to other EU countries and eventually spend months ( more than 3 as allowed on my Australian passport).
We have been trying to obtain information from various sites plus the French and UK Embassy’s without a great result!
French Embassy in Sydney is telling us that I (Aussie passport) must come to Sydney and obtain a Visa prior to going to France, this seems to conflict with your experience and other info we have read/researched.
Our question is:-
Do you believe that we need to obtain a French Visa from the French Embassy in Sydney prior to travel/arrival in France?
It seems that we can either apply for a Visa or Carte de Sejour once in France, not sure which one but as my wife has UK passport we believe that I can apply for residency (permanent) once in France and that as the spouse of A UK passport holder that the French Authorities must grant it. Unless i had criminal convictions, which i do not.
We are hoping to remain in the EU for at least 1 to 2 years, on that basis we would be sincerely grateful if you could tell us which Visa you would recommend in our circumstances?
I should add that we may very well return to the EU after a short period of being
Back in Australia. Eg 6 to 12 months.
We will be initially in the South of France, we note you suggest Agen to apply, guess
It may be the luck of the draw, we would go to Agen, back and forth if it meant
We would get through the system easier, however Agen may not accept our
Application if we are residing in Nice?
Look forward to hearing from you.
January 27, 2015 at 1:26 pm
These are mostly my opinions based on what we went through, whether it is ‘right’ is a different matter! Firstly, I believe that going to an Australian embassy in any country for this query is a mistake. A friend of ours was in contact with an Australian embassy (for a different reason) and just happened to mention our circumstances (we were still trying to figure it out at this stage). Apparently, the Embassy advised our friend to tell us to ‘get out right now, before you end up in trouble!’ the other advice was, that applying to stay meant full medicals for us both – we had been here over 3 months by that stage)). In our case neither was true or correct. I think the Australian Embassy would not know the arrangements France and UK has between them regarding spouses being allowed to remain. The other problem is that different regions in France have different rules. The two forms I referred to in our blog, for our application were not the forms we chose. We were given them. Note they are different for Dijon and for Agen. When Agen saw the form that Dijon had provided they rolled their eyes and tutted! The point is, they chose for us. We said we wanted to stay for at least two years – to both Prefectures. I had read that we had to apply after two months and before three, other people have read (and I have since seen) that some Prefectures require you to apply earlier…. so, who knows. If you are coming near Agen at the start of your travels I would recommend going to Agen Prefecture – however, they need a note to say you are staying wherever you are staying. They really just want to tick all the boxes, so if your accommodation owner would just write you a short note (to whom it may concern) concerning you are “resident” for the ‘foreseeable future’ then I am sure that will be fine – we asked our marina to give us a letter – we could leave at any time – they just want to tick the boxes. Insurance seems to be a big thing and all the other items on the blog that I listed out. If you have all this (Agen asks for originals and copies – Dijon asked for just copies – that said some of our paperwork at Agen was just copies) – then it should go smoothly. One person at Agen said they’d mail the card, another said we’d have to collect it – we are still waiting to hear when it arrives! So in answer to your first question, if your wife has a EU (UK) passport you can both come and as her spouse you are entitled to stay, it’s just a matter of applying – the time when people have to apply prior to coming here is when neither has a UK passport. I too have dual passports, I didn’t show anyone my Australian one – I felt it would just confuse the issue (especially considering at Dijon they scanned my UK passport and nearly threw me out asking why I didn’t have a visa!!). As for question B – as I’ve said, they selected the application form for us, we had no choice, I have no idea what the difference is! If you have your ‘visa’ in whatever form, I can’t imagine it would make a difference if you come and go. If your address is in Nice you may have problems with applying in Agen – if you can get any sort of letter with an Agen address on it – then it will definitely help and may well work. We were asked to return two weeks after our first appointment at Agen…. so it was quick… I ‘May’ be able to pick up a form (carte de sejour) form from Agen when we next go and send it over to you if it helps speed things up, if you like, I can ask…. you could probably find one on the net anyhow. I hope all that waffle helps – it really is tricky. The one thing you are right about is that they cannot separate you. Also the EU help site I mentioned on my blog was ready to do battle in our corner when Agen thought about fining us – so there is plenty of help! Does that help? Ask away if you think of anything else… Jackie – PS let us know how you go!