Last March, I entered into a Civil Solidarity Pact or PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité) with a French man with whom I have been living in the same household for almost two years. In my view, this is a great step to formalize our long-term relationship before we consider entering a full marriage.

We did our PACS in the Ville of Roubaix in the Haut-de-France region, where we both live as residents.

Requirements for PACS

To be eligible for PACS, the couple must meet the following conditions:

  • be of legal age (the foreign partner must be of the age of majority set by his country),
  • be legally capable (a person of full age under curatorship or guardianship can join a PACS under conditions),
  • not married or engaged in a PACS,
  • do not have direct family ties between them

Steps for the Filipino partner

  • Request an authenticated copy of Filipino birth certificate on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) website at: https://psa.gov.ph/civilregistration/requesting-civil-registry-document/birth-certificate
  • Request an authenticated copy of the Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) online on PSA website at: https://psa.gov.ph/civilregistration/requesting-civil-registry-document/cenomar
  • Wait for PSA to send the authenticated copies of birth certificate and CENOMAR documents in the Philippines and be received by an authorized family member or representative in the Philippines
  • Ask an authorized relative or family member in the Philippines to request for apostille of both documents at Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office. An Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document and is issued by a country that is a party to the Apostille Convention to be used in another country that is also a party to the Convention.
  • Once apostilled documents are received, send both documents to the Filipino partner’s home address in France using reliable couriers such as DHL.
  • Request a Certificat de Coutume (Custom Certificate) at the Embassy of The Philippines France in Paris. The requirements are:
    • Photocopy of the data page (with signature) of the valid passport of the Philippine citizen
    • One passport-size photo of the applicant
    • Original and photocopy of Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) issued by PSA and apostilled by DFA
    • If widow/er, original and photocopy of Marriage Certificate or Report of Marriage and Death Certificate issued by PSA
    • If annulled or divorced, original and photocopy of the Marriage Certificate or Report of Marriage with annotation issued by PSA
    • A fee of 22.50 euros in cash (plus 9 euros for expedited processing)
  • Once the documents are received in France, scan all pages and send them to a sworn French translator. Have all pages translated including the apostilled documents.
  • Photocopy Filipino partner’s Philippine passport and France-issued carte de séjour.
  • Once the translated documents are received from the sworn translator, then you’re good to go with Philippine-issued documents.

Steps for the French partner

There is a significantly fewer number of documents required for the French partner. These are:

  • Birth certificate or extract with parentage (- 3 months for French certificates)
  • Valid identity document, issued by a public administration (original + copy)

Where and how to conclude a PACS?

Once the documents of both partners are complete and ready, the couple can request for a rendezvous to conclude a PACS.

This can be done at the local mairie or town hall where either or both parties of the couple is/are registered resident(s). This has been my personal experience. I understand that PACS can also be concluded at a district court or through a notary.

To do this, we booked an appointment at the mairie of Roubaix and showed up together on the date and time of appointment with our documents.

The staff at the État Civil (Civil Service) welcomed us and scanned all our documents. After looking through each of them, we both signed our PACS convention as well as the staff et voilà… we are PACSÉd. If anything, I was pretty surprised just how quick and easy the process was. Ours lasted only for about 15 minutes.

Afterwards, we left the État Civil office and checked the atrium of Roubaix’s city hall for the first time. We were very impressed by just how beautiful and sophisticated the interiors of the building were.

We kissed and celebrated the milestone of our relationship and exited the halls of the city hall happy and satisfied.

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