I mentioned in early April, I was accepted to TAPIF!
I haven’t written anything about it since, so I thought I would give a few updates surrounding TAPIF and my visa paperwork.
The official work contract does not start until October 1st, but, as time goes on I am discovering there is a lot of preparation that goes into it.
There are a few official documents that are needed both for TAPIF and my spousal visa, one of them being an official copy of my birth certificate. I also needed to complete a FBI Identity History Summary request—which takes 13 to 15 weeks to get back to you. I’m not sure which is more frustrating—the wait time for all of these official documents or the expenses that go into them.
But one of the documents that is stressing me out the most is our marriage transcription! While TAPIF gives you the documents you need to apply for a visa as a teaching assistant, I will be applying for a visa of a spouse of a French national instead. The assistant visa is not renewable and your legal work hours are quite limited—and seeing as I now am the spouse of a French national, it makes the most sense!
BUT OH MY GOD THIS VISA IS A PAIN IN THE BUTT.
In order to apply for the visa of a spouse of a French national, one needs to request a marriage transcription—unless you were married in France. However, if you were not married in France, your marriage must first be transcribed by the French consulate closest to where your marriage took place. One of the documents needed for the request is a “Copie intégrale de moins de trois mois de l’acte de naissance du conjoint français à demander auprès de la mairie du lieu de naissance en France ou auprès du Service Central d’Etat Civil à Nantes (www.acte-naissance.fr)”
Parlez-vous français, anyone?
Basically, what this means is your French honey must request a copy of his or her record of birth through their French préfecture. (I think!?)
Jean Philippe originally requested this document months ago—and it never came! I had read on blogs and heard by word of mouth that French documents get lost in the mail or just get lost quite often, but I didn’t really believe it until I experienced it! So, Jean Philippe requested the document again and it came to us this time within about a week and a half. It was the last piece we were waiting on so I was finally able to mail out the marriage transcription request. I’ve been researching online and supposedly the marriage transcription takes as long as month! Not only does that worry me but getting an appointment at the French Consulate seems nearly impossible right now. Some countries have more relaxed visa procedures, but for any French visa you must show up to the French consulate closest to you, in person. And you need to have a scheduled appointment to do so! Every time I check the webpage I get a “we are at full capacity right now, please try again later” *sob*
I really am learning about all of these visa requirements as I go along—something I wish I had researched further a few months ago. I originally thought I would have all of my documents in order by the time I would leave for Australia (which is June 22!)—but that is definitely not going to happen. Even if I do get the marriage transcription back to me before I leave for Australia, the visa processing time takes up to three weeks! And I need my visa if I leave the country since they keep your passport while the visa is processing ;(
So, I had to book another ticket booked for the US from late July to late August. The added expense was a bummer, but on the bright side I’ll be able to spend some time with my family before I leave for a long time. The fact that I don’t really know when I’ll be back in the US makes me a little nervous—but I’m also incredibly excited. I cannot wait to see Australia for the very first time and I am constantly missing France. I saw “A Midnight in Paris” last night (for the millionth time) and was close to the point of tears seeing the beautiful shots of French architecture and alley ways.
I guess that’s it for now! Sorry–I know this post was a bit scattered, but so is my brain at the moment…heh. I’ll be posting a lot more about TAPIF and moving to France as things come up, so if you have any requests or questions, be sure to let me know!