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Sarala and Thad Terpstra moved to France on a long-term tourist visa with a child. They are too young to be retired and Sarala works as a freelancer. Few young families set out to do this, especially since they're not millionaires. But, as they explain, you can have a lovely life near the Mediterranean, you just have to choose the right part of France.
How did they do it? What was the process like? Was it long and painful? What tips can they share? Is it really cheaper than life in Michigan? What do they love about it? Click listen and learn how they did it!
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Foolproof French Visas, Complete 2022 Edition by Allisson Grant Lounes
Crédit Agricole International Clients in Toulouse: 1-3, Allées Franklin Roosevelt, 31000 Toulouse. It's not clear if other cities in France have such offices.
Adele Peters wrote an article titled In Paris, a new ‘quiet zone’ will ban through-traffic in the city center for FastCompany
Discussed in this episode
[00:00:00] A conversation about moving to France on a tourist long stay visa with a child
[00:01:38] Annie’s Boutique
Sarala and Thad Talk about Moving to France on a Tourist Long Stay Visa with a Child
[00:03:18] Why did you decide to move to France?
[00:04:14] Not allowed to work in France but must prove income
[00:04:57] You don’t need to be a millionaire to move to France
[00:05:22] Not wanting to wait to move to France after retirement
[00:05:49] Living in the Pézenas and Béziers area
[00:06:28] Pézenas: art galleries, artisans and the Molière festival
[00:07:14] Dealing with French administration is time-consuming
[00:08:53] Considering cities in France like Limoux and Montpellier
[00:10:19] Renting furnished rentals in France
[00:10:56] The lease and bank account catch-22 in France
[00:11:43] Getting a certificate of residence from your expat landlord
[00:13:01] Next they’ll go to the bank with their landlord
[00:13:44] Complications for people moving to France
[00:14:44] The French banks they tried so far
[00:16:27] Opening an account in a French bank in America will not help you
[00:16:57] In France you have to bank locally
[00:18:06] How their application for a Long-Stay Tourist Visa Type D is working
[00:19:25] Applying for the visa you can qualify for even if that means changing it later
[00:20:24] Different visas for different situations
[00:20:43] Moving to France as a freelancer
[00:21:48] Filling out the visa application on-line and working with VFS
[00:22:25] Breaking down the steps they followed
[00:24:21] Be prepared with all the paperwork!
[00:24:48] The interview process
[00:27:16] Bring more paperwork than they need
[00:27:29] Paperwork needed for children
[00:28:42] What language did you use for the paperwork?
[00:29:38] Cost of the long term tourist visa
[00:30:35] Covid vaccination
[00:31:44] No visit to the Préfecture
[00:32:22] Medical appointment
[00:33:20] Annie’s husband becoming a French citizen
[00:34:47] Were there any surprises about living in France?
[00:35:52] Fewer restaurant meals since going Vegan
[00:36:20] Best vegan cheese at French grocery stores
[00:37:13] Have you tried any medical care in France yet?
[00:37:38] What do you love about living in France?
[00:38:36] Celebrations in villages and small towns
[00:41:24] They don’t have a car so bigger towns are easier because of public transportation
[00:44:47] Beautiful Mediterranean climate
[00:45:57] You can go for it even if you’re not a millionaire!
[00:47:38] Some parts of France are really affordable
France Travel News
[00:52:42] Thank you patrons and donors
[00:53:50] Annie’s itinerary planning service
[00:54:23] Uptick in Covid numbers
[00:55:15] No more mask mandates or vaccine passes starting March 14, 2022
[00:56:20] Ukraine situation
[01:00:50] Annie’s personal update