I was just starting to bask in the idea of being engaged when we took our first visit to the prefecture. It is something that I prefer to think of as an ambush which I wrote about here. We are in love, we were in love. We are pathetic apart. Really badly, Sebastien’s friends don’t like him anymore when I am not around. And me? I can’t stand being away. Our decision to get married was compulsory. We could no longer handle being apart.
However after that episode I continued down our set idea and path. Originally we started looking at marrying in France. I was caught up in the romantics of a French wedding. The real reason was that I would get the marriage paperwork straight after the wedding. Taking less time than being processed in an Overseas French Embassy. There was also the bonus of using it to hide from a case of family politics. Who would I invite, who I would forget and who I would deliberately forget. That was a very lovely bonus.
However at that point in time we realised a few things. The amount of paperwork, apostilles, translations I would need would be utterly crazy and ridiculous let alone the time constrictions and the massive cost. Some people have Daddy behind them but we did not. And I was completeing full time uni in the process.The French Embassy in Australia didn’t help at all. The marriage office could barely speak English and never replied to any emails that I wrote.
To summarise the marriage process in France:
- I would need to apply for a marriage visa with required paper work, translated, apostilled. Applying for this visa would require a flight to Sydney from Brisbane to get it then endorsed by the French Embassy.
- I would then fly to France and we would lodge a Banns and also the Australian version of the Banns (Notice of Intent to Marriage). This process would take about 4 months to complete if the French were in a good mood and if all paperwork arrived on time. (More about this later)
- Please do remember that at this point I could arrive at the Mairie of my husbands townn and even though I have the Visa permission he may or may not accept our Banns on various conditions such as a of a lack of paperwork. I may not have enough sufficient identity, or proof of relationship. If I flew over there was still a risk of rejection.
- After the required time had passed of 4 weeks Australian, and 3 Weeks France. We would then have permission to marry.
- We rush to marry and collect required marriage paperwork. Of marriage certificate AND livrette famille.
- THEN I would return to Australia and apply for my spousal residency visa. In France, they have phased out the Fiance visa for Australian’s. The choice was this or marriage in Australia.
Because of this run around. We chose to marry in Australia. It still was stressful but cost wise, translation and apostille wise it was a lot easier to do and more economical. We basically cut out the whole step of the Marriage Visa including flights.
Next time I’ll let you know about the actual marriage paperwork from France to marry in Australia. That’s when the fun/mess/anger/stress truly starts 🙂