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Comprehensive guide to obtaining a long stay family visa for France, the application procedures, required documents, and FAQs

The France Family visa is a French long stay visa has been established in order to permit foreigners to come to France and visit their family members, spouse, child or parent, for more than three months, up to a year.

The main eligibility criteria for those who wish to join a family member that is permanently or temporarily living in France, aside from the supporting documents, is that this relative residing in France must be:

If you enter France through a long-stay visa, then you will have to register and obtain a residence permit at the French authorities, upon your arrival in France.

What Are the Categories of the French Family Visas?

If one of your family members resides in France, either as a French citizen or EU citizen, and you have come to realize you need a visa to visit them, you just need to know that you will have to follow similar visa procedures depending on your situation, which still differs from each other at some point. That is why, before deciding under which family visa category to apply, it is better to figure out under which category your case falls.

France Family Visa for a family member of a French citizen

If a French national is married to a foreign national or has a non-French child or parent, they can apply to join them in France through a long-stay family visa for up to a year. The French national, as well as the applicant, must fulfill some eligibility criteria.

Firstly, a family member of a French national is considered:

  • Spouse.
  • Children under the age of 21.
  • An older relative or the older relative of the spouse.
  • Parent or grandparent of a French national or of the spouse.

Among the main requirements that the foreign national has to submit in this case is the French marriage certificate called “Copie Intégrale de l’Acte de Mariage”, children’s birth certificates, as well as information on the French citizen.

The spouse of a French citizen is eligible to obtain a 10-year residency card if the marriage took place three years before the visa application date.

France Family Visa for a family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen

This is more of a French residence permit since the spouses and children under 21 of the EU citizens that wish to join their parent or spouse in France for more than 90 days will have to enter France under the Schengen short-stay visa regulation. Then upon their arrival in France, they will have to apply for the Carte de Séjour directly at the Prefecture.

Evidence should be submitted to prove the family relationship between the EU citizen and their family member. Family members of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are considered the following:

  • The spouse.
  • The direct descendant or dependent under the age of 21.
  • The direct dependent older relative.
  • The direct dependent older relative or descendant of the spouse.

You will not have to pay any fee when applying for this type of visa.

France Family Visa for a relative of non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals (foreigner residing in France)

If you have a family member residing in France, that is not a French, EU or EEA national, you are still eligible to apply for a family long-stay visa to France. On this case, the family member residing in France should prove they have the financial means to support their relative coming to France, or the applicant shall show they have to financial means to support themselves.

France Family Visa for Family members of a ‘talent passport’ holder

If a foreigner residing in France, is there under a ‘talent passport’ or a French EU Blue Card, then his or her family members will automatically be granted with a residence permit known as a ‘private and family life’. Under this permit, the family members are not only allowed to remain in France but also to work.

France Adoption visa

This is a visa for French or foreign parents who reside in France, that wish to adopt a child in a foreign country and bring him/her to France. The international Intercountry Adoption Mission has the jurisdiction for deciding on the issue of a long-stay visa for adoption.

In case the child is adopted while the French resident or citizen is abroad, the case will be treated as a part of a family reunion of a French foreign minor with their parent.

How to Apply for a France Family Visa?

The application process for a France long-stay family visa does not differ much from the other France visas. The sole difference lays in the required documents. Follow the steps given below in order to successfully complete your France family visa application:

Check if you need to apply for a France Family visa

Whether you need a French long-stay Family visa or not, it all depends on your nationality and the part of France you wish to visit. There are some categories of foreign nationals who wish to enter France and remain for more than three months that do not need to obtain a long stay visa in order to be permitted to stay.

However, even those persons who are exempt from France long stay visa requirements will have to obtain a residence permit as soon as they arrive in France if they are planning to remain for more than 6 months in the country.

Fill the France long stay visa application form

You can find the application form online or require it through email from the French embassy or consulate in your country.

Collect the required documents

When applying for a France Family visa, you will have to collect some specific documents which you will have to submit on the day of your interview with a consular officer at the French embassy or consulate in your home country.

To apply for a French Family visa you should submit the following documents:

  • Completed France National Visa Application Form. You should complete the French national visa application form for a family visa.
  • Two passport style photographs. You should submit two photos alongside with the other documents. They must be no older than three months.
  • A valid passport with two blank pages. Before you apply, check your passport for its validity and date of issuance.
  • Copies of older visas. If you have ever held any visa to any country in the world, submit copies of those visas.
  • Certificate of criminal record of the home country– showing that candidate has no open crime case involvement
  • Proof of paid visa fee.

Additional documents for the spouse of a French citizen

  • Proof of nationality of the spouse living in France, which can be a passport or identity card.
  • “Livret de Famille” – which is a marriage certificate upon the French civil registry.

Additional documents for the foreign child /spouse of an EU citizen

  • Both biological parents’ passport
  • Authorization by a parent – if the child is traveling with only one parent.
  • Court decision – if only one parent, has the sole custody of the child.
  • Valid passport of the European citizen of the EU / EEA / Swiss National.
  • A sworn statement – from the EU family member, which states that the visa applicant is their dependent.
  • Proof of relationship – between the child/spouse and the citizen residing in France.

Additional documents for the foreign parent of a French child

  • Proof of the family ties between the applicant and the French child, full birth certificate.
  • Proof of the child’s French nationality, valid passport or CNIS.
  • Proof that you travel along or join the French national in France.

Book an appointment

Booking an appointment is a must in order to attend the interview that is mandatory for all applicants over 11. You can usually do that online through the website of the French embassy in your country, or if that option is not available for you then you will have to go at the embassy to book the interview.

Arrive at the interview

Make sure you show up on time at the French embassy or consulate, on the day of your appointment. Getting there late might result with the cancellation of your appointment, and then you will have to schedule another appointment and wait for your turn.

Try to wear something you will be comfortable with, but that looks a bit more official. Try not to be nervous and arrange your documents prior to your meeting with the consular officer. In general, this interview lasts less than 10 minutes. The interviewer will ask some questions regarding your trip to France, the purpose of travel, etc.

France Family Visa Fee

The application fee for every long-stay visa for France is 99€. However, a long-stay visa for France and other French territorial areas, for a foreign child legally adopted by French citizens the application fee is 15€

The family members of French citizens, as well as the family members of a citizen of another Member State of EU/EEA and Switzerland,  are exempt from the visa fee requirement.

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