Bureaucracy

Staying In France with the Vie Privée et Familiale Visa

I’ve had quite a few people direct message me on Instagram and through my blog asking how I’ve stayed here before since I was on a student visa it was rather simple. I’ve recently switched my status from etudiante to vie privée et familiale. I’m going to walk you through the steps of how I did this. Before I went through this process this caused me quite a deal of stress, so I want to walk you through how I did it in case you’re interested in doing this too. With this visa, you do have the right to work full time here in France.


NOTE: THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, I AM NOT A LAWYER, I AM SIMPLY EXPLAINING MY EXPERIENCE AND GIVING YOU THE TIPS THAT I CAN. IF YOU HAVE ANY LEGAL QUESTIONS PLEASE CONTACT A LAWYER, I REPEAT I AM NOT A LAWYER.


Now that I’ve gotten my disclaimer out of the way, let’s jump in. Back in 2016 when I was on my first student visa, I wanted to stay in France and my boyfriend and I talked about how to make that happen. I knew about getting PACSED but I didn’t quite understand how that would help me stay.

BEING PACSED DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO A VISA. I REPEAT BEING PACSED DOES NOT GRANT YOU THE RIGHT TO HAVE A VISA.


To obtain the status vie privée et familiale there are few ways you can achieve it, for example you either marry a French person or you become pacsed to a French person. However, while being married to someone french would give you the right to stay in France, being pacsed however does not. For couples married you’ll need 6 months of living together in France before switching your visa to vie privée et familiale and for couples who are pacs-ed it’s 12 months. Since at the time we weren’t living together, we needed to figure out a visa for my second year in France.
In March of 2017, we moved in together into an apartment in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to be put on our lease. I made sure that Edgar put my name on our gas/electricity bill, and as many things as possible.

IF YOU ARE LIVING TOGETHER, PUT BOTH BILLS IN BOTH NAMES. THIS IS CRUCIAL FOR PROVING YOU’VE BEEN LIVING TOGETHER FOR 12 MONTHS. YOU WILL NEED SOLID EVIDENCE THAT YOU ARE REALLY LIVING TOGETHER. SIMPLY HAVING BILLS AT THE SAME ADDRESS IS NOT ENOUGH OR A FRIEND TO SWEAR THAT YOU LIVE TOGETHER NO.

YOU NEED BILLS WITH BOTH NAMES EX: EDF(ELECTRICITY), INTERNET BILL, PHONE BILL, APARTMENT INSURANCE, LEASE AGREEMENT, BANK STATEMENTS. IN BOTH NAMES.


In June of 2017, we opened a joint bank account and took out a loan for me to go to Sorbonne for full-time French courses for the Autumn 2017 and Spring 2018 courses. Because we moved in together in March of 2017, we needed a visa that would go past March of 2018. My second-year visa was just a renewal of my first-year student visa.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A VISA IN FRANCE, OR YOUR VISA EXPIRES BEFORE YOU HAVE 12 MONTHS LIVING TOGETHER, YOU WILL NEED ANOTHER VISA. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS.


I would recommend calling the prefecture at least 4 months before you’ve lived together for a year, most appointments will be at least 3 months in advance. Check out this link that asks you about your current status and what city you live in (https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2209). Different prefectures handle the change of status differently, call your prefecture to see if you can make an appointment over the phone or if you to come in for a pre-appointment before your real appointment. If you live in Paris the number is 34 30, they will speak in French so if you don’t speak/understand French well ask your partner to do this for you.

YOU MUST HAVE A VALID TITRE DE SEJOUR/ CARTE DE SEJOUR. They will ask you this on the phone and they CANNOT make an appointment without this.


After you have made your appointment they will email you with the receipt along with your convocation and a list of documents that you must provide at your appointment.
Here is the list of documents they asked me to bring based off my nationality and when I entered France, it may be different for you.
Premiere demande
DOCUMENTS COMMUNS (entire section)
DOCUMENTS SPECIFIQUES AU TITRES DE SEJOUR (2.3 Liens personnels et familiaux)
IT ASKS FOR COPIES AND ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS. THEY WILL ONLY TAKE THE COPIES. ALSO, PRINT YOUR CONVOCATION, THEY’LL NEED TO SEE IT.

DOCUMENTS COMMUNS

  •  a copy of your passport (your photo and expiration, when you entered France, and your visa). If your visa is a Titre de Sejour make sure to take a photocopy of your card.
  • a copy of the passport to your french pacs partner
  • your birth certificate & certified translation
  • apostille of your birth certificate & certified translation
  • his/her birth certificate
  • justificatif de domicile under 3 months (ex. gas/electricity bill, internet bill, phone bill)
  • if you’re not on the lease of your pacs partner, you’ll need them to make an attestation de l’hebergeant datee, signed, and with a copy of their french ID on the same page.
  • 3 photos of yourself, use the photomoton in the metro for 5euros

DOCUMENTS SPECIFIQUES AU TITRE DE SEJOUR (2.3 liens personnels et familiaux)

  • copy of your pacs document or marriage license
  • work contract, fiches de payes (12 months of fiches de payes)
  • copy of your titre de sejour
  • proof that you have a relationship with your significant other. ex: train tickets, plane tickets, any type of document that proves that you’re really in a relationship. NO PHOTOS. THEY DONT CARE
  • Proof of applying for a visa, have a recepisse of a different titre de sejour, documents from your school if you’re a student, proof you paid for health insurance
  • proof of 12 months of living together: ex: joint bank accounts, lease agreement with both names, phone bill with both names, internet bill with both names, gas/electric with both names
  • proof that your family is staying in your country of origin(ID Photo of your photo and a document with their address like a phone bill, mortgage, internet, bank account bill, etc.)
  • Your fiches de paie, his/her fiches de paie, bank statements
  • proof that you’ve immigrated into french society(written statements from French friends, employers, school diplomas, French language school diploma)
On the day of your appointment, remember you will need your passport, his/her passport, and your carte de sejour! Make sure you have them with you.

We called in March of 2018 and the appointment they gave us was in mid-June of 2018. Our rendez-vous was at 14:30 at the prefecture on Ile de la cité, we showed up 45 minutes early to our appointment. When you go through security and get into the area listed on your convocation you will then wait in line for your number. A woman or man will go through a list and ask you for your copies. They’ll then give you a few sheets of paper to fill out in the meantime along with your number. We waited 90 minutes before being called, the entire appointment took around 15 minutes. We presented all of our documents, she asked us a few questions, she asked for documents not listed on the sheet, but it ended up being ok.
I walked out with my recepisée which allows me the full rights to work full time while my new card is being processed. Check on the bottom of your recepisée, some people don’t have the right to work while theirs is being processed. You’ll wait a few months before it’s ready, they’ll send you a text message. The cost of the visa is 269 euros as of June 2018.

I hope you this information helped you, if you have any questions please leave a comment below! My friend Emily has a post on her blog explaining her experience, make sure to check it out!

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