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Hi Janice,

I am about to commence an expat role living in Paris, my partner of 6-years (we are a same sex couple) will be moving with me but we are facing some barriers on him being recognised as my partner. We fear this will prevent him from obtaining a working visa, can you provide some advice on the subject?


by Mark on 17 Jan 2012
Janice Barnett

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Hi Mark,

Your question probably raises more questions than answers as you do not mention where you are from or what the legal status of your relationship is. Whilst same sex marriage cannot legally be performed in France at present, some foreign same sex marriages or civil partnerships are recognised and the rights that accompany these states would be available to you. This is more often the case if you are from within the EU. If you are both EU citizens, you have automatic rights to employment and residency regardless of your relationship status.

If you are planning to stay in France for some time and have residency status, you may wish to consider entering into the French equivalent of a civil partnership known as PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité). PACS were first introduced ten years ago to give homosexual couples some measure of legal and taxation protection.

Registering a PACS is relatively straightforward and involves drawing up a contract, detailing division of possessions, before the local tribunal d’instance. One of you must be a French national or living in France as a resident which I am not sure, from your letter, is the case. You will need to obtain a certificat de coutume, stating that there is no legal impediment to you entering into a PACS in France. The first port of call for this would be your embassy and, again, not knowing from where you originate it is difficult to speculate whether this will be available to you.

I hope this has given you some ideas and wish you both well.


by Janice Barnett on 03 Feb 2012

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