1 Year in Europe with Family

Old Jul 13th, 2016, 01:50 AM
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"know many long-time expats who have never gotten a French license. I thin that the only time that this would be an issue if if you were to buy a car in France. "

No, it is illegal. If caught, they could be fined and jailed.
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Old Jul 13th, 2016, 05:06 AM
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I took a flying leap to France in 2008 - knew nothing and nobody, made a lot of costly mistakes, and wish I would have had the benefit of up-to-date factual information, instead of relying on ex-pat blogs, last year's trip-of-a-lifetime reports and anything not having to do with harsh reality.

I'm glad I have finally settled in, because things are getting much tougher than ever before.

Some people have gotten away with giving the apartment owner a year's rent in advance - usually in cash, by credit card or direct bank transfer - but the law ALUR forbids this, and many individuals are skittish about accepting money up front. This also opens the door for property owners who will just take your money and throw you out at the first available opportunity - and yes, they can.

If you rent from an agency, or owners who abide by the law, you can expect to be turned down hundreds of times, even if you offer them a trillion euros in advance.

If you do not work in France, cannot produce French pay stubs and cannot prove that you earn 4 times the rental fees in France, you will not get an apartment unless you can prove that your French bank or a close friend will block a year's worth of rental fees in your behalf. Even then, you might not get an apartment, since nobody wants to deal with all the paperwork.

Due to the acute housing shortage in major cities such as Paris, you will be lucky to find any acceptable housing at all.

F1racegirl has not seen any problems, yet. But the longer one stays in France, the more complicated the situations will become. There are plenty of US expats who will give advice about how to lie to the authorities and cheat the French system, but dumb luck doesn't last forever, unfortunately.
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Old Jul 13th, 2016, 07:10 AM
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-Croatia applies Schengen rules, since it is a candidate member-

Croatia is not a member of Schengen, though they have applied. For the citizens of the US and Canada you do not have to count the days in Croatia as part of the 90 in 180. But, as I said the the above post, that could change in four years. Or less. Or more.
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Old Jul 13th, 2016, 07:22 AM
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Not only is driving with a US licence past the allowed time illegal and liable to a fine it also means you are almost certainly driving uninsured, since you must hold a valid licence to get insurance.
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Old Jul 13th, 2016, 07:41 AM
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<<Not only is driving with a US licence past the allowed time illegal and liable to a fine it also means you are almost certainly driving uninsured, since you must hold a valid licence to get insurance.>>

Absolutely true.

And no, you don't have to take 20 hours of driving lessons. Maybe if you're a novice driver, but if you arrive in France with a valid license and sign up with an auto école, which you must, your driving instructor will determine how many hours you need. But yes, it costs about 1600 euros on average to get your license.

And August, no one's trying to kill a dream, just telling it like it is. But if your husband has Irish citizenship, how did he obtain it? Through the Irish Registry of Foreign Births, which I believe expired for Americans in 1999, or was he born there, or how? At any rate, you'd have to consult the Irish Consulate to find out what your privileges are with respect to your husband's citizenship. Like every other EU country, they have cracked down in recent years on immigration issue. I got in in 1987, when it was dead easy.
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Old Jul 13th, 2016, 07:46 AM
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Of course there's paperwork involved but it's entirely possible. Lots of people do it, no reason the OP shouldn't if they decide it's what they want to do. The French embassy website lists the requirements for a long stay visa:

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Old Jul 13th, 2016, 08:19 AM
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@STCirq, yes the Registry of Foreign Births, which appears to be alive and well: https://www.dfa.ie/passports-citizen...-descent-faqs/

He did it in 2000.
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Old Jul 13th, 2016, 08:20 AM
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In fact, it reminds me to enter my children in the Registry of Foreign births. Thank you!
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Old Jul 14th, 2016, 11:40 AM
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db613, I'd like to offer you encouragement in pursuing your dream and finding a way to make it a reality. It may end up being quite different than what you envision today, but I'm sure there's some way it can happen. You've gotten a reality check and some good info from people on this forum. But I can promise it can be a life-changing experience for you and your family.

My husband, daughter and I took a 14-month sabbatical in Europe back in 2004-2005, the year our daughter was 11. We spent 6-1/2 months of that time living in Provence, and our daughter attended the elementary school in our small village. We lived off savings and investments, including $$ from renting our home back in the USA. We applied for long-stay tourist visas, and yes-- it's a complicated process.

Originally I was like you and thinking about planning for several years, but a good friend (a psychologist) encouraged us to go sooner vs. later. We also talked to the director of our daughter's school, who also encouraged us to go sooner. This was great advice. She skipped 6th grade in the USA and based on her age was in CM2 in the ecole elementaire. I would not have wanted her in the local "college," as it's much more complicated in every perspective... and harder to re-integrate an older child back in the USA. We know other people who chose to stay in a larger town/small city where their child could attend an international school. (You might consider Aix-en-Provence.)

I would be happy to offer you other input or answer questions if you want to email me.

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Old Jul 14th, 2016, 11:57 AM
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I would have discouraged you until yesterday for all the reasons everyone else discouraged you.

Not after yesterday.

I was serving burgers at our Church Fair yesterday with an old friend who was visiting here for the summer.

Two years ago, he and his wife made their first visit to Barcelona on a cruise and fell in love. They came home from their cruise, sold their house, moved to Catalonia and bought a smaller house in a beach village outside the city. They don't speak Spanish very well and don't speak Catalan at all. They have a long term visa and permanent residence status is just around the corner.

I don't know how they did it, and I'm not sure I want to know, but they did, and it's in a real place, not one of those apartment empires outside Gibraltar.

So if this is what you want to do, go for it. You will at least be going for it informed about the obstacles!
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Old Jul 14th, 2016, 12:32 PM
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But someone's experience in Spain is not all that relevant for someone who wants to move to France. I suggested Portugal way up-thread, because I think it would be a good bit easier than France, but the discussion here has been about France, because that's where the OP said he wanted to go.
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Old Jul 14th, 2016, 12:48 PM
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<<it's in a real place>>

How do you know? I sure hope so. Property deal scams are absolutely rife in Spain at the moment. They're all over the mainstream news in Europe, and the internet. I hope they didn't get scammed.
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Old Jul 14th, 2016, 01:27 PM
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Hey guys,
Db is not really intensively present.
So we're all commenting on how we supposed he wants to do it, peppering it ith our own fantasies, and in the best of times of our experiences.
I hope Db is also getting info from consulates...
If not good luck...
Because for example when I read some saying it is no big deal not having a proper license to drive in France, I just hope Db has some brains.
The issue would not be to buy a car, but to stay out of jail in case of a car accident.
Mais bon, il y a tellement de gens qui savent comment il faut vivre en France...
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Old Jul 15th, 2016, 08:29 AM
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Wow, what a really informative thread. DH and I work from home and tossed about trying to see if it would be possible for us to work in France for a few months. We didn't get any farther than discovering that my company won't allow me to work outside the US. I'm kind of glad that's the case now, as I would have been really disappointed to get further in the process to discover it's not just so easy as showing up and logging on.
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Old Jul 15th, 2016, 05:05 PM
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I think you've all discouraged err I mean answered the OP's questions and he has left the building.
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Old Jul 15th, 2016, 09:50 PM
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Seems like folks are explaining how he should do it , not how he want to do, which is apparently just go and have an adventure, which to me is fine except with kids.When you have children "adventures" are not so funny.
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Old Jul 15th, 2016, 10:47 PM
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<i>"At any rate, you'd have to consult the Irish Consulate to find out what your privileges are with respect to your husband's citizenship." </i>

To summarise this issue for anyone pursuing it.

The Irish Republic offers citizenship to virtually anyone with a grandparent born on the island of Ireland. This requires the trail of paperwork demonstrating the birth (and the applicant's descent) to be deposited with the Irish Registry of Foreign Births, then turning into a passport. The country's bureaucracy for dealing with this is currently swamped with UK applicants, and is likely to remain so for several years. So it's a slow process.

Ireland does NOT automatically grant citizenship to spouses. Irish citizens have a right - ultimately conferred by the European Convention of Human Rights - to live and work anywhere in the EU and bring their partner with them. The definition of partner is now quite strict: the paperwork for an accompanied partner is laborious in Ireland, and even trickier if an Irish citizen is trying to import a non-European partner into another EU country.

For most non-Europeans simply accompanying a European partner on holiday or business, none of this really matters. But the moment they start doing things residents do (like enrolling children in school, or visiting a GP) the Kafka-esque stuff starts hitting

A slightly outdated summary in plain English at http://www.movetoireland.com/movepag/papnoneuspouse.htm

For most people on this board, the partner of an Irish citizen is eligible to apply for Irish citizenship ONLY after that partner has legally lived in Ireland for three of the previous five years. There are some exceptions for people in need of asylum, but for most of us it's now impossible to get Irish citizenship for a spouse without both living in Ireland for a substantial period.

Official site: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en..._marriage.html

If a relationship breaks up before a spouse acquires Irish citizenship, that spouse faces deportation.

<i> " pull this off as a perpetual tourist (90 days in Schengen, 180 days in UK, 90 days in Schengen" </i>

This stunt works for planning holidays: it's totally unreliable as a device for long-term stays in Europe.

Present yourself at a UK border without a UK visa, and it's entirely at the border agent's discretion whether you're allowed in or not. Show a passport that looks as if you're effectively planning to work in Britain (telecommuting from a UK base is regarded as working, not a holiday and not "on business") and you'll be denied entry. Border agents are there to deter illegal immigrants: not to boost the tourist industry.

Since you can't be deported back to France, you'll be put - at your expense - on a plane back to your home country.
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Old Jul 16th, 2016, 06:38 AM
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<I am amazed at Americans' entitlements--here AND abroad.>

Wow, Gretchen. Bitter much?

This man wants his family to learn about other cultures, not just American culture. He has no plans whatsoever to become dependent on French taxpayers, unlike the hoards currently overrunning your system with, apparently, no requirement to even provide a legitimate ID. Wow. That's a far bigger problem than an educated, employed, culturally sensitive man who wants to share he world with his kids.
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Old Jul 16th, 2016, 07:30 AM
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I don't get that "entitlement" thing, either.
If someone is curious enough to investigate another culture and possibly decide to end up living in another country for a certain period of time, I think that's a good way to broaden their horizons.

If someone is willing and able to invest the time and money it takes to actually complete this task, more power to them.

Anyone who says that this will be simple, either doesn't plan to stay long in a foreign country, or doesn't understand what will be required from him, the longer he remains there.

Many people manage to stay for a year or two in a foreign country, but do not become fully invested in the local community - this is especially true for those who make little or no effort to speak the local language. As such, they are just taking a nice, long vacation while pretending to "live like locals".

It sounds like the OP has the right idea, and if he and his family get their act together, it sounds like they will benefit immensely from this journey.
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Old Jul 16th, 2016, 09:29 AM
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Take a chill pill Gretchen! Bitter much is right, I hope you find happiness one of these days

Good Luck db613, I hope everything works out and I you are able to do this with your family. Please report back and let us know how things are going with the planning.
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