Saturday, January 28, 2012

Welcome to France..

Some of you might think that because I'm French we can just show up in my dear country and stay. Well, NO! You have to go through a "little" immigration process before leaving the States and once you're in France. But no worries this was not as intense/heavy as the American one...If you had to go through that without a lawyer you know what I'm talking about! (maybe in an other post)

Here is a "non exhaustive list" of the French Immigration Process for American spouses of French nationals.
1- First of all, make sure you have your "livret de famille" this is the proof that your marriage is "real/legal" in France.
2- You need to get a Long stay visa for spouses of French nationals to do so, you have to set up an appointment 3 months before leaving with your French Ambassy. Hubby had to go to San Francisco...round trip day! They'll send you back the passport with the visa in it. Now you have your visa in hands, Attention! it is written that you can stay and work for a year but it is not quite true... 
3- You still have to register at the OFII  by sending l'Attestation OFII within the first 3 month of your stay in France. Make sure to read that document carefully and follow directions (Passport Stamped when you entered in France or Schengen Zone, no travelling in Europe before receiving La Vignette OFII). Why do they want you to register if you already have a visa? In my opinion, they want to make sure you are really living in France and they want you to go through the "intégration" process. 
4- Which starts by giving you an appointment "La journée d'Accueil et d'intégration" where you'll watch a film describing the values of France, they'll make sure you're healthy (Xray's) and will test your French. At the end you 'll have to sign a contract CAI "Le contract d'accueil et d'intégration" which summarizes the film and states all of your "obligations" as a temporary resident de La République Française. Once you've done that they'll add in your passport accross the page of your visa "La Vignette OFII". Now you are legally allow to be here, (Visa long séjour + Vignette OFII = Carte de séjour) you can stay, work and travel for the duration of your visa. Attention.. another trick, if you want to renew your Carte de Séjour or apply for Carte de Résident you'll have to do it 2 months before your visa ends and make sure to fulfill the "Obligations" stated on the CAI. 
5- Which Includes to be present at "La Journée de Formation Civique", "Une Journée d'Information sur la vie en France", "Une journée d'information spécifique sur l'accès au service public". I think "La formation Linguistique" is the most important one, depending on your level you can get up to 350hrs of french language class with a test at the end : DILF  (Diplome Initial de Langue Française). You must pass this test to renew your "Carte de Séjour" or apply for "Carte de Résident"...

As you can see it has been a journey... We arrived in France mid September, Hugh got his Vignette OFII at the start of November and he'll do the DILF test mid February = 5 Month

It is faster and cheapper to get your carte de séjour in France vs USA, but here you can't really work untill you're comfortable with the language! 

Happy 2012 & 2011 Updates

Ok, so it has been almost a year since my last post, I know what a shame! Well.. not that I want to find excuses but I've been pretty busy working on... moving to France. Et oui les amis! Hubby and I decided in September 2010 to go for it and see what happens. We're young (?) without children, it's now or never! Bye bye Seattle friends and family, Nordstrom, Glass Art Scene and cozy life... 
Bonjour la France, et une nouvelle vie in Nantes to be more precise. What an adventure or nightmare it depends how you want to take it! I swear, I never had a 'to do list' that long in my whole life and it requires some skills to manage everything. So 2011 has been busy working hard / budgeting / saving pennies / travelling / getting organized and ready to move. There are a few things you need to take in considerations when you want to do something like this:
How can we afford it? What to do with our stuff? How to move? How can we bring our cat? What do we want to do before leaving Seattle/USA ? How to manage my anxiety and stress level? Can you as a married couple do that w/o ending it in a divorce? What about immigration, taxes and languages? Changing countries is an Adventure and a big deal you should not take it lightly and better be ready for it! So we tried to, but of course nothing is perfect so you always end up having to deal with desagreements (like having our shipped boxes stuck at the French Customs, with no way to contact them directly...). At the end material things are not that important what is important is that we managed to do all of that together in 1 year (09/15/10 - 09/15/11). We are in France now!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Petit frere devenu grand.

Le temps passe et je ne suis pas tres assidue. Voici un temps fort de notre ete. C'etait en Septembre, retour aux sources pour 10 jours. Le soleil en poche nous avons passe de supers moments en famille.
Voici les jeunes maries...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Avant/Apres * DIY *

Cela fait pres de 3 ans que Hugh habite l'appart, j'ai emmenage en Fevrier 2008 et cet ete durant le mois d'Aout nous avons finalement decider de mettre un peu de couleur sur nos murs (Lowe's), investir dans du mobilier (Ikea est la) et un vrai canape (Merci Craigslist)!
Jeter un coup d'oeil aux videos cela vaut le detour.



Bon, c'est pas parfait mais c'est pas mal pour une premiere fois.

If you are on a budget and you need help with your interior design let me know!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Nouvelle peinture sur les murs, new and old furniture!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Before the show

The Opening was Thursday August 5th.
Here are few pics of the process.

Enorme merci a Far 4 (Jenny & Yuri) et Sean Welch sans qui cette petite expo n'aurait pas eu lieu.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Bon Anniversaire Lincoln