I moved, strike that, I came to Lille to be with my boyfriend Cyriaque on February 1, 2008. I can't say I "moved" here yet because technically I'm just a visitor. We were engaged on March 7th
When I arrived I had a job offer from a company in London, but alas it doesn't look like that is going to work out. Turns out that when I marry Cyr I can apply for a work permit that will allow me to work in any of the Schengen countries (see http://www.axa-schengen.com/english/schengen-countries.html if you want to learn more), but not in the UK (which is not part of the Schengen countries). Today Cyr is making some phone calls to see if we can PACS and get me a long stay visa. PACS simply put is a sort of declaration and contract put together that states you are living with someone. Many people do this that don't want to get married or are same sex couples. This way you get the same tax benefits married couples do but without having to actually get married. As you can guess...shacking up is huge here. If the PACS thing doesn't work then I am going to apply to be a full time student which will give me 6 months here. We are hoping to get married in October and once that happens I can of course get a spousal visa and apply for a work permit then.
Plans are for me to use the return ticket I have to Houston on April 26th. I have not booked my flight back to France yet, so I am not sure how long I will be in the US for this visit. I think we will shoot for me returning to France at the end of May to take some French language classes in June. This week will be spent trying to see if I will get a student visa or if I can get something through a PACS contract that will allow me to stay here. As a student I can work part time (19.5 hours a week), not sure about the PACS thing. I'm thinking of going to a teacher's supply store in Houston and getting some books to teach private English lessons here when I return. I'm hoping to get some answers this week on what my status will be to work here. I really would like to find a job I love. I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up, like many of you I know. I'm really torn between Broadway dancer and superhero, but I live too far from NYC and I don't think I look that great in spandex any more so I might have to keep searching for whatever I'm meant to do.
Yes...I know...we could just get married and I could work now right? Yeah...for those of you who know me; It took me 35 years to find the right man to marry. By the time I get married I will have waited 36 years to say "I do" to the man of my dreams. I am not going to do it with Jean-Claude the janitor as my witness. I don't want a big wedding, but since I have waited so long I think I actually need some people there I know. If it's just us it would seem like a dream. Like maybe I'm making this all up and blogging from a small Houston apartment living with a bunch of cats and fighting with them over who gets the lamb flavored Fancy Feast. At the very least I would like my Mom, Dad and Sandy (step-Mom) to be here. The plan is to have a reception and civil ceremony in the US in 2009 as well. So I guess worst case scenario it is that it is just us here in France and then we have people at the '09 deal in Houston. I guess that wouldn't kill me. I'll keep you all posted as to the happenings. I also promise to report something entertaining in my next blog. This one became more informational after reading it.