Known as French national visas or “D visas”, France long-stay visas are issued to foreigners who wish to enter and stay in French territory for more than three months and up to 1 year.
There are different types of the French long-stay visas, depending on one’s purpose of entry. One can obtain such a visa under the following purposes:
- To enroll in studies in a French educational institution.
- To get a paid job in France.
- To join family members already living in French territory (family reunion).
- To settle permanently in the French territory.
Who Should Apply for the France Long Stay Visas?
Whether you need a long stay visa for France or not, it all depends on your nationality and the part of France you wish to go to. There are some categories of internationals who wish to enter France and remain for more than three months that do not need to obtain a French long stay visa in order to be permitted to stay.
Only the following are eligible for the exemption:
- Third country nationals that hold a short-stay visa marked as Famille de Français (‘Family of a French national’).
- EU/EEA nationals
- Nationals of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican.
- Foreign nationals and their families who have acquired long-term resident status in another EU country.
- Students who have attended school in France without interruption from the age of 16 and are continuing their studies in the country.
Every other national, no matter which part of France is planning to visit, will have to obtain a long-stay visa in order to be permitted to enter and remain in the country.
Where and When Should I Apply for a France Long-Stay Visa?
The application for a France long stay visa is done at the French consulate or embassy in your country of residence. You are advised to apply for this visa at most 3 months before the intended travel date.
What Are the Types of France Long Stay Visas?
If you have decided to apply for a French long-stay visa, then the first thing you have to do is to decide what type of visa you need. French authorities have established a few long stay visa types, depending on the purpose of one’s entry to France.
Depending on your purpose of travel to France you might fall under one of the main categories listed below:
- France Family Visas
- France Professional Visas
- France Study Visas
- Other French long stay visas(training, working holiday, religious orders, visitor, etc.)
France Long Stay Family Visas
The France long stay Family visas are issued to applicants who wish to join their spouse that is a legal French citizen.
France Long Stay Professional Visas
The French work visas are for people who intend to come to France and remain for a period longer than 90 days, with the single purpose of engaging in a paid activity.
France Study Visas
The France long stay study visas are for students who wish to study in France for a period longer than three months, either in public or private institutions, attend a French language course etc. Below find explained every category of applicants that fall under this visa, as well as some of their specifics.
The talent passport card is established especially for foreigners, who wish to enter and remain in France for up to one year, and engage in a paid activity, especially in competitive environments as global talent. It includes a whole range of 10 categories with an internationally recognized reputation. After obtaining this visa, its holder is eligible to apply in France for a card similar to a residence permit that allows them to remain in France for up to four years.
French Working holiday visa
The France Working Holiday visa is a multiple-entry non-extendable visa valid for 12 months. It is granted to the nationals of 13 countries that participate in the working holiday program with France.
The main idea behind the program is to give the chance to the youngsters of these countries to come to France, learn and discover its culture, history and tourist destinations while making money.
French long stay Religious Orders Visa
Members of the Christian confessions, Catholic or Protestant, can apply for this visa in order to enter France to carry religious duties. The applicant for such visa needs to submit a letter of invitation from the appointed representative of the religious order or institute, alongside the other documents.
Can my French Long Stay Visa be Revoked?
Holders of French long-stay visas have to:
- Register at the Immigration and Integration Office (OFII) in the first 2 months of arrival into the French territory.
- Or apply for a residence permit at the respective French prefecture, immediately after entering the French territory – if the visa is marked “carte de séjour à solliciter” (residence permit to be applied for).
- Apply at the OFII immediately after entering the French territory to make a medical examination and pay the residence fees. After the first year of stay you have to apply to at the French prefecture to renew your residence permit (not later than 2 months before the visa period ends) – this rule is for some sub-categories of French long-stay visas that in the first year of stay are recognized as residence permits: Long-stay study visas, Long-stay work visas (not all of them), Spouses of French nationals long-stay visa and Visitor long-stay visa.
What Can I do in Case of France Long Stay Visa Refusal?
If your France long stay visa application gets rejected, you can submit a request for a re-evaluation of the visa application to the French embassy or consulate in your home country from where you have applied. Such a request should be done if you have strong reasons to believe that the French visa refusal was unjust.
The appeal against the decision should be submitted 2 months since the day of the refusal, in French, and the supporting documents attached to the case file. The results of the appeal could be an indirect refusal (no answer in 2 months), or a direct refusal by the commission.