PACS in France: The Ultimate Guide For A Smooth Experience

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Are you and your partner looking to get PACSed in France? PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité or Civil Solidarity Pact) is a legal partnership agreement that provides certain rights and benefits to couples who are not married. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get PACSed in France.

oui pacs in france

Who can conclude a PACS in France?

Personal situation

Both partners must meet all of the following imperative conditions:

  • Be of age
  • Not be married or in a civil partnership
  • Not have any direct or close family ties with the other partner

The non-French citizens must have reached the age of majority in their country.

The civil union doesn’t need to be concluded with the purpose of starting a family or a romantic union.

Living together

By entering into a PACS in France, you commit to living together.

You must choose a residence: the place where a person actually lives on a stable basis, but which is not necessarily his or her common domicile.

You declare your joint address with a certificate of honour (included in the joint declaration of civil partnership form).

You do not have to be living together at the time of the Pacs declaration.

PACS in France vs marriage for non-EU nationals?

Legal status

Marriage is a legally recognized partnership in France, while PACS is a civil union. This means that marriage provides more legal protection and benefits than PACS, such as inheritance rights and the ability to sponsor a spouse for immigration purposes.


Yes, the PACS in France can help to grant the Visa Vie Privée et familiale – Conjoint de français, commonly called the French spouse visa.

But it is in no way the same as being married.

You’ll ask me, what difference does it make in terms of visa to be married or Pasced under French law? You may even know people that got their French spouse visa by getting Pacsed with their French partner!

To simplify, the marriage gives the unconditional right to be granted the visa and the Pacs (under certain conditions) facilitate the possibility to be granted the visa. The big difference that implies the French administration’s subjectivity in the case of the Pacs!

Now de facto relationships (long-term unions without French civil registration) are not even a thing in terms of immigration rights, with some very tinny exceptions. So even if you’ve lived with your partner for 10 years, this will not grant the possibility to request any visa linked to this relationship.


Divorce is more complicated and time-consuming for married couples in France, as it requires a court process. PACS partners can dissolve their union more easily by filing a joint statement of termination.


The requirements for getting married in France can be more strict and time-consuming than those for PACS in France. For example, non-EU nationals may need to obtain a “certificate of non-marriage” from their home country before getting married in France.

same sex union in France

Step-by-step instructions on how to get PACsed in France?

Decide if you want to draft an agreement in front of a notary.

This can be recommended if you want to add specific clauses to separate real estate from the basic convention templates that you can find online, for example.

Make an appointment with the local French town hall (mairie)

This must be done at the City hall where you and your partner live. You can do this online or over the phone.

Both partners need to attend the appointment together, along with original copies of their birth certificates and a piece of identification (passport or national identity card).

Please note that if one of you is seriously unable to attend, a notary can come to your home or hospital to register the Pacs.

Fill out a PACS declaration form (Convention de PACS)

At the appointment, you will fill out the PACS declaration form and sign it in front of a French civil servant. You will also need to provide proof of address (such as a recent utility bill) and pay a fee.

Receive the PACS declaration

Once the PACS declaration is signed and registered, you will receive a PACS certificate (Certificat de PACS) which will serve as proof of your partnership.

couple in front of the Eiffel tower

What are the required documents for non-EU citizens to conclude a PACS in France?

You must provide:

  • a birth certificate with an indication of parentage that is less than 6 months old.

If the document is in a foreign language, you must have it translated by a sworn translator.

Depending on the country of origin, the following formalities may be required:

Apostille: A formality consisting, after verification of the quality, seal and signature of the author of a document, of affixing a stamp, called an apostille, to the document. This formality certifies the origin and signature of the document but does not confirm its content.

Legalisation: Nationals of certain countries are exempt from these additional formalities.

  • Joint declaration of a Pacs, which contains the certificates on honour of non-relationship, non-alliance and common residence (cerfa form n°15725*03)
  • PACS agreement (personalised agreement or completed form cerfa n°15726*02)
  • Valid identity document (identity card, passport, etc.) issued by a public authority (original + 1 photocopy)

You must also provide documents specific to your nationality.

  • Certificate of non-Pacs less than 3 months old
  • Certificate of custom issued by the competent authorities or the diplomatic representation of the foreign country (it indicates the legislation in force in the State and the foreign civil status documents proving that you are of age, single and legally capable: Ability of a person (natural or legal) to have rights and obligations and to exercise them themselves (examples: right to conclude a contract, right to take legal action))

If the country of origin does not issue a certificate of custom, you must provide a certificate from the competent authorities of the foreign country stating this.

Alternatively, you can provide a certificate from a lawyer or jurist stating the rules applicable in your home country.

If the document is in a foreign language, you must have it translated by a sworn translator.

You can find out more at the town hall or consulate.

To wrap up

Overall, while both marriage and PACS are options for non-EU nationals in France, marriage provides more legal benefits and options for immigration. However, PACS can be a good option for couples who want a simpler and less formal partnership.

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