Thursday, October 6, 2011

Looking Like Paris!

It seems that S's company got a verbal "YES" from a Senior French Official about the girls and I being able to move to Paris! Yahoo! We  have moved from 70% chance of France being the winner, to over 90% chance. Now we need to go through the bureaucracy of getting residence permits for myself, R & C. S will just be on a tourist visa every time he comes to see us. There will still be plenty of hoops to jump through but it's looking good that we will get our 1st choice of living just outside of Paris!

Steps we have to take:
  1. Apply to the French Consulate in San Francisco for Visitor Visas.
  2. To apply, we need the following
    • Provide copies of bank statements showing I have sufficient means to live in France
    • Proof that I have private medical insurance for us
    • Proof that I have accommodation in my name in France
    • Proof that the children are registered for school in France
    • A "Letter of Motivation" from me written in French
    • Original marriage certificates and birth certificates with Apostilles on each
  3. Once we get our Visitor Visas we will then request a French residence permit
    • This process isn't entirely clear yet. My current understanding is that we can move to France when we have the Visitor Visa and then apply for the permit there.
    • Need to get a French bank account in my name.
Luckily for me, Ernst & Young's people are helping me with the whole process. I have given them the bank statements and the acceptance letters from the American School in Paris for R&C. NXP needs to provide the proof of insurance since we will be covered under S's insurance with them. We are not currently enrolled in his insurance as we are still in the US - we are doing Cobra here. So they need to enroll us. NXP also has to provide a letter about housing as we can't really rent a place there until we know for sure we are going & when! E&Y will be writing my Letter of Motivation - hope they make me sound great!
The apostille situation has been frustrating but we are almost there. First we found out that we were never officially married! Somehow the paperwork was lost. So we had to go to the County Recorder's office with 2 witnesses and our checkbook and swear that we were indeed married many moons ago. We then got our official marriage certificate. I sent that off to the Secretary of State of California along with my original birth certificate and the girls' to request an apostille for each document. About a week later they all got sent back to me because I had forgotten to include my payment of $20 each document. Dumb me! So I sent them all off again - with the $. Another week goes by and I get my birth and marriage certificates back with the attached apostilles, but apparently they couldn't verify the signatures on R&C's birth certificates, so those got returned to us with a promise that they would refund the $40 fee for those. We then had to go to the County Recorder's office again to request new "more official" copies of their birth certificates. Sent those off with another check for $40 - hopefully will receive good news in the mail any day now. S's birth certificate had to be sent to Massachusetts with only a $6 fee, and that came back fine.

OK, got to go off to get some sleep now. Update on the monumental task of moving soon...


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