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Open-ended trip to France? Entry and passport questions

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Mar 25th, 2011, 10:54 AM
  #1
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Open-ended trip to France? Entry and passport questions

My husband is retiring in September and we are planning to go back to France -- but this time wondering about just buying a 1-way ticket to France from Canada because he would really like to not have a pre-decided return date. We know that changing business class tickets is VERY expensive and buying an open ticket is REALLY expensive. I know we can only stay 3 months without needing to register in France and we aren't likely to be there longer than 6 weeks anyway.

I am wondering if we are allowed to enter with just a 1-way ticket. Of note is that my husband is a dual citizen (Britain and Canada) and can hold a British Passport. Does that make a difference?

I'd hate to arrive at CDG and be told we can't enter the country because we don't have a return ticket!!

Thanks for your help...
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Mar 25th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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can only say that I have landed at CDG many many times and they only quickly glance at passports and stamp them for entry into the Schengen zone to start your 90 day stay. Highly unlikely to look at anything else it seems. But in places like entering the U.K. I often have been asked if I have a return ticket.
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Mar 25th, 2011, 11:14 AM
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We've flown to various spots in France many many times over the last 35 years, and have never been asked about a return ticket at passport control - or anywhere else.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 25th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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A British citizen can stay in France forever if desired, with no additional formalities.
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Mar 25th, 2011, 11:21 AM
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Could it be that some kind of pre-clearance unknown to the traveler occurs and the airline provides names to French Customs about folks with one-way tickets - one-way ticket now being a warning sign of what terrorists have bought in the past? Unlikely I would think but...

and I believe airlines may ask for a return ticket before departure because they are required to fly anyone back, I believe, who is denied entry into Europe - say if the person does not have a passport, valid visa, etc. - perhaps not having a return ticket is the same as those and airlines would not want to be responsible for fare - ask you airline perhaps anonomously?
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Mar 25th, 2011, 11:21 AM
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Could it be that some kind of pre-clearance unknown to the traveler occurs and the airline provides names to French Customs about folks with one-way tickets - one-way ticket now being a warning sign of what terrorists have bought in the past? Unlikely I would think but...

and I believe airlines may ask for a return ticket before departure because they are required to fly anyone back, I believe, who is denied entry into Europe - say if the person does not have a passport, valid visa, etc. - perhaps not having a return ticket is the same as those and airlines would not want to be responsible for fare - ask you airline perhaps anonomously?
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Mar 25th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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Have you priced tickets three different ways -- fully refundable round trip that you can change without additional fee, restricted round trip plus the change fee, and separate one-way tickets? You might find one is much better than the others (or all may be prohibitive and you'll decide to set a return date and keep to it).
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Mar 26th, 2011, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for all your thoughts. Much appreciated!

We have indeed checked the 3 options and fixed date tickets are the cheapest. We are treating ourselves to Business Class and this longer trip as it is the retirement celebration for my husband, and so we are willing to absorb some extra costs such as more expensive 1-way tickets if we can do that. (When I retired I treated myself to an Alaskan cruise with a long time woman friend-- what a way to say goodbye to work!)

I hadn't thought of the airline itself checking us before we even left Calgary. Of course if that were a problem, we could buy a return flight at that point,I guess. I think I will check with British Airways to find out if a one-way ticket is of concern to them. Given our other data 'middle-aged Canadian couple' with multiple trips to Europe over the last 20 years, I suspect we don't set off alarms about terrorism.

I understand that my husband can enter and live in any EU country as he wishes as a British citizen, but what about his Canadian wife? And as we don't have the same last name, do I need to have a copy of our marriage certificate with us to prove I'm his wife??

Thanks again for your wisdom...
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Mar 28th, 2011, 11:34 AM
  #9
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Well I checked with British Airways (the airline we expect to use) and they would be quite happy to sell us a one-way fare. So I guess that would mean it's okay. I mean the airline doesn't want to have a passenger that gets refused by the country, right?

Have I missed anything?

thanks again
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