It’s actually happening. Almost 6 months after I was offered a job in France, we will actually be flying there to live. So much for the “it will take about a month” that I was told 6 months ago.
There was about a 2 month pause of not hearing anything new from my employer nor the OFII or consulate. Then out of the blue I received an email from the french consulate saying my visa was approved by the OFII and that I should come apply for the visa at the consulate. It’s ridiculous and expensive to go to the consulate for your state in person, but it’s also necessary as they insist on it. So we flew to California, handed in our paperwork, and 7 days later we received our visas in the mail. The only reason I can see that they have you show up in person is because they take your fingerprints. Obviously this could have been done locally and mailed in…
Now that we have our visas (the first part of them), we have to go to the prefecture after we arrive in France. They will also give us a medical exam apparently. I imagine this is to make sure we aren’t going to France just to take advantage of their health care system, but it’s just speculation.
My family’s visas were easier to get because mine was already approved. We did NOT use the “regroupement familial.” Although it might seem to make sense to use that to get my family a visa, one of the requirements is that someone has already lived in France for a minimum of one year. Nevertheless, getting the rest of my family a long stay visa was easier due to my visa having already been approved. We filled out the “retirement” type of long stay visa on the form, but they didn’t ask us for much of the paperwork (like proof of income) because they already had it.
We’ll be very busy over the next month or so. I’ve added most things to the to-do list page to track what was necessary. We’ll have about 5 days in France before I’ve agreed to start working. This probably won’t be enough with the time change and the two young kids, but I’m not too worried. Being in France will be AWESOME! I’m very excited about finding a new place and visiting my friends.