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US citizen - Stay in France longer than 1 year - how?

US citizen - Stay in France longer than 1 year - how?

Apr 9th, 2014, 11:57 PM
  #1  
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US citizen - Stay in France longer than 1 year - how?

I am a US citizen in my 60s and want to spend more than a year in France. I will not be trying to earn money there: I have savings and sufficient income to cover expenses. I would study French if I found an affordable program (ie, aimed at the young and penniless) and otherwise will find ways to live as cheaply as possible.

Is there any way to get permission to stay for longer than a year?

If not, what are some alternatives?

Does owning property in France help when it comes to getting permission to stay? (I do not own any property there at this time.)
gponym is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 12:14 AM
  #2  
 
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According to the French Consulate, you can extend the one year long stay visa: http://www.consulfrance-washington.o...php?article401
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 12:17 AM
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You need to apply for type D non-working long-stay visa for France. Your first port of call is the French consulate covering your state, where you ask for detailed requirement. While it varies slightly among consulates, generally you need proof of regular non-working income sufficient for your needs (so that there is no need for you to seek paid employment or self-employment), medical insurance, sometimes medical certificate of good health (e.g. freedom from contagious or mental illness) and suitable long-term accommodation, either rented or owned. It helps if you are of French retirement age (65 plus). Sometimes criminal record search is required (such as FBI rap sheet). There is likely to be an interview, and one of the questions they ask is why France, and any connection with the country, such as periods of former residence, any family and professional links. Speaking at least conversation-level French will help but is not essential (willingness to learn is a plus).
Alec is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 09:24 AM
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Thanks, Alec and Sparkchaser, for very helpful replies.

I read the DC consulate link and things look hopeful there as I appear to be able to meet all qualifications. I won't be doing this for a couple of years, so have plenty of time to get things in order.

My connections with France are thin but real: strong interest in learning the language, one 3-month visit in 2004 among rural folks, longstanding student of sustainable agriculture (of which France has many venerable exemplars), and fascination with the culture and architecture.
gponym is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 09:51 AM
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Owning property doesn't do a thing for you as far as getting a long-term visa. I've owned a house in France for 21 years, and it's irrelevant, though I do have EU citizenship so I can stay as long as I like. My husband is beginning the process of applying for a long-term visa, after which we'll try for a carte de résidence for him. It will be easier for him than for some, being married to an EU citizen.

The connections you cite really are thin. The French authorities don't care if you want to learn the language (in fact, they may require a test of your abilities in that regard) or whether you once spent 3 months there or whether you're interested in sustainable agriculture and are fascinated with the culture. They merely want to know how much income you have available, whether you have adequate healthcare, assurance that you won't be working there, and assurance that you don't have a criminal history.

Be prepared for the process to take a very long time. It can take months just to get the requisite appointment with the consulate.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 10th, 2014, 10:20 AM
  #6  
 
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This is a helpful read for dealing with the self appointed voices of doom

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/...tire-in-france
sandralist is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 10:27 AM
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That 'pie in the sky' article says nothing about HOW they qualified for their visas so not all that helpful for this discussion . . . dontcha think??

(zeppole/sanrda - you must you always be so 'charming'?)
janisj is online now  
Apr 10th, 2014, 10:28 AM
  #8  
 
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I also think the idea that you visited once a few years ago and think you are interested in learning French is not going to impress anyone. If you were really interested in living in France, you would have spent a lot more time than that there over the years, and you would have already studied French a lot.

Being interested in learning a language is not a reason that immigration officials care about, unless you are officially applying for a student visa, of course.
Christina is online now  
Apr 10th, 2014, 10:52 AM
  #9  
 
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OP, you could serve in the French Foreign Legion. It's the fast track to citizenship.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 11:22 AM
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They only take new recruit up to the age of 40.
Alec is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 11:23 AM
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He can lie about his age
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 11:24 AM
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While speaking French prior to your move will make your life 1000X easier and more enjoyable, my understanding (and please confirm) is that there is no language requirement upon initial entry, but France gives you 5 years to attain B1-level competency.

For anyone with the slightest bit of motivation, this is not a terribly difficult feat. I am well past the age of language acquisition ease LOL, yet I managed to attain my A2 certificate in Portuguese within a few months of my move here, with no prior knowledge of the language. I'm now working on B1/B2, which is the next level up.

Best of luck to you!
BomDiaLisbon is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 11:26 AM
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You'll be surprised how quickly you learn a language when you take the "sink or swim" approach.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 12:21 PM
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<>

You're right...I was mixing it up with the conversation I had with the consulate regarding obtaining citizenship, not a long-term visa. For citizenship, you have to be able to demonstrate adequate command of the language. As mentioned, though, life is SO much easier when you can communicate and read with facility.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 10th, 2014, 12:30 PM
  #15  
 
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StCirq - why doesn't your husband apply for an Irish passprt ? I got mine thru my husband. Easy-easy.
Bedar is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 01:29 PM
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When did you get yours, Bedar? Here are the current rules. We don't qualify.

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en..._marriage.html
StCirq is online now  
Apr 10th, 2014, 01:44 PM
  #17  
 
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No, I should think not. Too bad. Don't remember when I got it, but I have renewed it once so must be sometime ago.
Bedar is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 01:59 PM
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I got mine in 1987, when it was really easy to do it. They tightened up the requirements in 1999 and possibly have tightened further since.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 10th, 2014, 02:27 PM
  #19  
 
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I thought I saw that you can become a citizen of Malta for a mere $1.57 million US Dollars, which would allow you to stay for as long as you want in France.
Robert2533 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2014, 02:42 PM
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Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, and Spain as well...http://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliar...u-citizenship/
StCirq is online now  

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