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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 11th, 2014, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,910
The process can be daunting and takes time. You´ll need to submit a lot of personal information and be very patient. You do not need to own property in France but you will need an address or place of residence to obtain a visa. When you finally do obtain an interview at the Embassy or Consulate, have everything they ask for ready. It still can take a lot of time.

Once you arrive, there are still a lot of formalities that must be completed. One of the most important items you will need is a copy of your gas or electric bill. Without this, you will be unable to open a checking account or firmly establish you are a resident and obtain other needed services such as phone service, internet service, sometimes liability insurance.

Doing this all on your own without being fairly fluent in French can be difficult. There are paid professionals, realtors or attorneys, who can help you make the transition and take out much of the guesswork.
Sarastro is offline  
Apr 11th, 2014, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,205
Of course this was a long time ago (1972), but my parents had no trouble at all moving to France as retirees, even though they were 55 and 48 at the time. Obviously, their retirement revenue was sufficient. As for insurance coverage, my father was covered by U.S. military insurance, but I don't even know if that was taken into consideration. My parents were remarkably naïve compared to how smart I always thought they were, because my mother was born in France, and even though she had been naturalized in the U.S., she never lost her French nationality. If she had just said that she wanted to return to France with her American husband, there would not even have been any of the medical visits (a useless formality) or some of the other documents. They were delighted to live in France but returned to the U.S. in 1981 due to a dire plunge of the exchange rate of the dollar (something not to forget when you make plans like this).

After my father died and I brought my mother back to France since she was beginning to be submerged in Alzheimer's and could not remain alone in Florida, it took a grand total of one week for me to obtain her French papers again.

The French authorities are extremely helpful if you know how to deal with them, but not everybody is able to learn the technique.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 12th, 2014, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,763
Wow! This is interesting. I'm curious what a French citizen would have to do to stay in the US for over a year - legally- or at least without hiding.
Sue4 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2014, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,373
What do you mean, I know lots of French citizens who are in the US legally over a year. They have jobs that allowed them to get a visa, and some were married to Americans. They don't have to hide. However, if it is someone who doesn't intend to work and just wants to be in the US for over 90 days, they have to prove they don't intend to stay forever, as the presumption is someone is trying to emigrate.

So they have to prove funds to support them for their entire stay, some ties to a foreign country so they are likely to return (in fact, having a foreign residence is a good thing as it means you are likely to return to your home, it is better than having property in the place you are visiting which could easily mean you did NOT intend to leave), and to have some definite plans you can prove as to when you plan to leave. You should also have a reason to explain why you want to be in the US a year but not permanently. If you had a job that had granted you a year's sabbatical and you would have that in writing, for example, that would be good.
Christina is offline  
Apr 18th, 2014, 11:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3
(Back home after a roadtrip.)

@StCirq: Thanks for the pertinent feedback. If you are on the money about the irrelevance of owning property there, it will be a great help as I can cease any pursuit of property. In fact, it sounds from @Christina's post like it might hinder a visa application; granted, she's talking about a French person coming to the US, so it may not apply in reverse.

I also found the Forbes article interesting, though not likely to plunk down 150k pounds in Bulgaria quite yet.

@Sarastro: practical tips (and dose of reality) appreciated
gponym is offline  

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