Once we had secured La Farigoulette, the planning started in earnest. We had to sell our car, arrange medical insurance, rent out our house, find out how to bring our dogs with us, and most importantly on the To Do List was the application for a French long-stay visa. As non-EU citizens, we can only visit France for a period of up to three months. So to be able to live in France for a year, we needed to apply to the French consulate for a long-stay visa. What was immediately evident was the innate love the French have for oodles and oodles of paperwork. We had to supply more information to live in France for a year, than we had to supply to immigrate to Canada and become citizens.
There were fourteen different categories on the application form. For each of these categories, the consulate required proof. The more the better. A mad scramble ensued over the next couple of weeks to assembled income tax returns, proof of employment, income, medical insurance, bank statements, accommodation in France, passport photos – the list was endless and confusing. And that was only part of the process. Once the visa was issued, a visit to the immigration office in France was required for a full medical examination before the final endorsement could be made by issuing a VLS-TS “vignette” in our passports.
Now luckily for our Scotties, Bella & Bono, the process was a lot simpler, and they only required a rabies vaccination and no quarantine.
The time flew by and at last in August we were ready to leave, saying goodbye to Vancouver on a beautiful summer's day and arriving in France with everything we thought we could need for a year-:)