I'm considering taking my family of 7 to live in Paris from August through the December 2012. We've vacationed there twice, most recently last spring and have a very superficial knowledge of the city and its districts from a tourist's point of view. Does anyone have any recommendations of where we might stay for an economically sound and family-friendly stay. Which neighborhoods should we avoid? Does anyone have specific recommendations on neighborhoods or housing? We don't need fancy--just clean, safe, and relatively convenient. We'll likely travel within and out of France 7-10 days each month during our stay so easy access to transportation would be nice. We have 5 kids: 17,15,12,10,3.
"I'm considering taking my family of 7 to live in Paris from August through the December 2012." If you haven't already done so, read up on the Schengen Agreement. In a nutshell, if you want to stay longer than 90 days, you'll need to apply for tourist visas.
Jeffrey, The first and most important question you'll need to resolve is staying for five months. Under the terms of the Schengen Accord, those travelling as tourists are allowed to stay in the member countries for NO MORE than 90-days in any 180-day period. While some people do "slip through the cracks", those caught violating the rules can face severe penalties, which can include hefty fines and deportation. Kent had an excellent Thread here on the HelpLine regarding the Schengen Accord, but I'd need to do some searching to find it. Good luck with your planning!
Adrian Leeds is an American in Paris with a company that helps people do what you want to do. Check out her website: www.adrianleeds.com
Please tell my you home school, otherwise your plan is going to be very very hard on your kids. Also places in Paris are all pretty small, finding any short term apartment rental( and it will only be for 3 months anyways) for the 9 of you,, well all I can say it good luck. Of course nothing is impossible, but you really will have some pretty intense homework to do.
Thankfull, there are only 7 of us (5 kids, two adults). Our school district has a wonderful (and free) k-12 online program with same curriculum they would have at school. Fortunately, they are all very disciplined. Thanks for everyone's input so far. I had not realized that we would need a tourist visa for staying longer than 90 days (I thought it was 6 months), so we'll start checking into that.
There is information about acquiring a "long-stay visa" for France that allows you to stay more than 3 months but less than 1 year on this website: www.consulfrance-washington.org/spip.php?article401 This visa does not allow you to work in France. It's only for visitors that want to stay longer than 3 months. I believe in order to get it you have to show proof of financial resources enough for the length of time you want to stay. Retirees that want to live extended times in their properties in Europe use this type of visa. Hope this will help.
For that time frame, you are going to have to chose a furnished vacation rental. Besides just the regular tourist websites, you can also check out "locations de vacances" at this website: http://www.leboncoin.fr/annonces/offres/ile_de_france/ I found a 3BR in the 12th for 700€/week. You may be able to negotiate a better rate for several months.
FUSAC may have something in their online newsletter. The visa process may seem daunting, but if you can show sufficient savings (not income, because you aren't supposed to be working on this visa) to cover the cost of your stay, health insurance, and that you have a place to stay (even if it's just a hotel reservation for the first week), it is not difficult to get the tourist visa. Have patience and be prepared to get everything translated into French (birth and marriage certificates).
Thanks for your replies so far. Regarding the tourist Visa, if I only spend 3 months in France, and then two months in a different country on the continent, do I still need a visa?
Yes, if the other country is also part of the Schengen Accord group of countries, which is most of western Europe.
A quick overview of the Schengen countries and the rules can be found at www.axa-schengen.com/en/schengen-countries if that helps. Disregard the buttons to the left; I find that the map is helpful but the words are not. Basically, looking at the map, the light blue countries are treated as one area under Schengen. In the absence of a different visa issued before you travel, and as long as the purpose of your travel is leisure and not business or work, you default to the Schengen acccords in the Schengen area. That allows you up to 90 days in any 180 in any part of the Schengen area. You could enter France, move to Spain, then back through France into Switzerland then Austria then Chech Republic then Poland, and you will never have left the Schengen area. That means no more than 90 days within. You could go outside to the UK (not a signatory to the Schengen accords but with its own immigration arrangements) for 3 months, but when you go back inside, if it is still within 180 days from your first entry the same 90 days aggregate still apply. Does that make sense?
Three months in Paris (not to exceed 90 days) and two months in the UK would work. Maybe not London, which is expensive, but someplace not far.
Hi Jeffrey, I realize this is a late reply, but I just found your post. I, too, would love to spend more than 90 days in France, mostly to hang out, perfect my French and eat and drink. I have become obsessed with going to France lately. I contacted the French consulate and they told me we'd need to apply to them providing 12 months of bank statements along with a letter from our health insurance provider saying they would cover all medical care in France. Obviously, not many USA health insurance carriers will do that, so that won't work. And they said that the French examiner would be the one to determine if the monthly or regular income would be sufficient to cover expenses for the area we would choose to visit. That suggests to me Paris might require more money than say perhaps a small town somewhere in the middle of France. And I suspect the examiner has his/her own discretion with regard to that determination. I did find out that we can go to France for three months as discussed before in this forum or go to the UK or Andorra. I think we might be able to spend 90 days in Andorra after leaving France (or Spain) but I'm wondering how they might treat us if we left Andorra for the day to shop, dine or seek medical treatment in France or Spain. I guess 90 days is 90 days, but wonder if they'll be strict with regard to a one or two day visit? I just read an article about spending time in Lyon the other day. Although Paris is my first choice in France, the cost might be high. I've been to the south of France and like the Cote d'Azur, but might consider Lyon for a month or two. The food is great and the cost of living there sounds pretty good. And I'm pretty sure studying French there would be excellent and again more affordable. Please let me know if you find more information regarding spending time there.
90 days in Andorra! I was there for a few hours once just to satisfy my curiosity about the place and could not wait to leave. 90 days. Oh, my.
For a longer term rental, try lodgis.com or sabbaticalhomes.com