Where do I begin?

Sometimes the beginning is just as hard because I don’t know where it is or what it looks like. My mind is so full of random thoughts that I’ve resorted to a notebook to try and keep them all straight, but it is still a mess! If someone were to take a look through it, they would not be able to make sense of it.

  1. Work visa? Long-stay visa?
  2. Acquire an apartment, bank account, and job before applying for visa.
  3. Set up appointment with the consulate.
  4. Translate my CV and cover letter.
  5. Figure out what other documents I’ll need to have translated.
  6. Look for a roomie to help split bills.
  7. Start selling my belongings to put money towards my move.
  8. Save money for trip over in April to open bank account.
  9. Reach out to friends to see what connections they have.

So many things to be done, what do I prioritize first? Figuring out which visa is best for me sounds like a good start! Right? One of the reasons I’ve started this blog is to document this process from beginning to end, with honest transparency, about anything and everything I need for this move because even after my days upon days of research, I still have questions.

Visas

Long stay visa options.

The most logical starting point for any and all information pertaining to visas is the French Consulate’s website. Since I am planning on completely relocating and starting afresh in Paris, it only makes sense to seek out a Long stay visa to work in France. That should be easy, right? There are 11 different types of long stay visas. Depending on what you’re going for will depend on which visa you need to apply for. Make sure to read the requirements and qualifications to see which best suits your needs.

In order for me to apply for my long stay visa for work, I first must find a job. If there’s one thing you ought to know about me is that I despise looking for a new job, but the thought of looking for one in Paris has me actually excited! (Looking for and finding a job will be a whole different blog post for a later date!)

Once I find an employer who is willing to hire me, they must draw up a work contract and send it to local employment office, orDirection Départementale du Travail et de l’Emploi, for approval. When it is approved at the local level, the contract is then sent to the Office Francais de l’Immigration et de l’Integration (OFII) for final approval. When the OFII has approved the work contract, it is then sent to my local consulate, which happens to be in Chicago. When the consulate has received the approved paperwork from the OFII, I can then schedule an appointment to appear in person. 

When I have scheduled the appointment, I must bring the following items:

  1. My original passport with one photo copy of the identity page (my passport must have been issued less than 10 years ago, must be valid for at least 3 months after I return to the US and have at least 2 blank visa pages free).
  2. Long-Stay Visa Application in English.
  3. The processing fee (currently $115.00 right now).
  4. A passport sized photo (white background, no glasses or hats, no smiling).
  5. Residency form, Visa de Long Sejour- Demande d’attestation OFII.
  6. A self-addressed, prepaid Express envelope from only the USPS.

Phew! The French are extremely specific on what they require and when! By the sound of it, looks like I need to get on brushing up on my resume and cover letter and translate it and start looking for jobs. So I will leave you to enjoy your weekend and I’ll be dusting off my resume and giving that a much needed facelift! Thanks for reading! Drop me a line, say hi, I’d love to hear from you!

Bisous et À plus tard!

Sarah

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