Steps we have to take:
- Apply to the French Consulate in San Francisco for Visitor Visas.
- 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
- 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.
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...