Applying for a long-stay visa

Applying for a long-stay visa

Print the page

 

The category of visa mainly depends on the duration of and reason for the stay.


Entry visas can be broken down into two main categories:

  • A short-stay visa authorizes foreign nationals to enter and stay in French territory for up to 3 months. Short-stay visas can be single-entry for one short stay or multiple-entry for several successive short stays.
  • A long-stay visa allows foreign nationals to stay in France for longer than three months, with the aim of enabling the holder to obtain a residence permit so they can live in France for a specified period.

Meanwhile, a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour – VLS-TS) allows the holder not only to enter France but also to live in the country for between 3 and 12 months without applying for a separate residence permit.

Eligibility


Foreign nationals wishing to reside in France for more than 90 days, whether for personal reasons (family reunion, retirement, etc.) or professional reasons (starting up a business, taking up paid employment, etc.), must submit a long-stay visa application to the French consular authorities in their country of residence.

Find the relevant diplomatic or consular authority

This type of visa allows the holder to live in France for a specified period.


During this validity period, it grants the holder the same rights as the holder of a temporary residence permit or multi-year residence permit. It also allows the holder to apply to the Préfecture in their place of residence for a residence permit so they can stay in France.

The appropriate type of long-stay visa depends on the reason for the stay:

  • To work or invest in France:
    • The ‘Posted employee ICT’ visa for intra-company transfers.
    • The ‘Talent Passport’ visa and its 10 categories, for the purposes of applying for a multi-year Talent Passport residence permit for all planned stays of over 12 months. For all stays of under one year, a VLS-TS is granted.
    • The ‘working holiday’ visa for eligible young foreign nationals.
  • To study:
    • The ‘student’ visa (VLS-TS).
    • The ‘school-age minor’ visa.
  • To undertake an internship or training: The visa for ‘interns and young professionals in training’ (VLS-TS).
  • For tourist, family or personal visits or business travel: The ‘visitor’ visa (VLS-TS).
  • For family reunification.

For further information on taking up paid employment, please see the ‘Working in France’ section.


Are you exempt from the long-stay visa requirement?

A number of other foreign nationals (‘third country nationals’) cannot usually claim exemption from the long-stay visa requirement.

Only the following are eligible for exemption:

  • Other foreign nationals (‘third country nationals’) holding a short-stay visa marked Famille de Français (‘Family of a French national’).
  • EU nationals.
  • EEA nationals (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein).
  • Nationals of the principalities of Monaco and Andorra.
  • Nationals of San Marino and the Holy See.

However, the following are exempt from the long-stay visa requirement:

  • Foreign nationals and their families who have acquired long-term resident status in another European Union Member State.
  • Students who have attended school in France without interruption from the age of 16 and are continuing their studies in the country.

Length of stay and validity


Long-stay visas allow foreign nationals to enter France with a view to staying for more than three months.

Typically, long-stay visas are valid for 3 months. In any event, they may not be valid for more than one year (as in the case of a ‘VLS-TS’ long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit).

Upon expiry of this period of 3 months (or one year where a VLS-TS is issued), foreign nationals wishing to stay in France must apply for a residence permit.


Further information can be found in the VLS-TS and Residence permit sections.

Helpful tip: A long-stay visa also allows the holder to move freely within the Schengen Area for 90 days in any 180-day period

Obtaining a long-stay visa


Where to apply

Applications must be submitted to the French embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.

Find the relevant diplomatic or consular authority

When processing visa applications, the visa authorities normally invite applicants to attend their premises in person. Some formalities, such as arranging appointments and submitting applications, may be outsourced to external service providers. Any fees they charge are in addition to standard application fees, and are payable by the applicant.


When to begin applying

Applicants are advised to apply relatively early, but no earlier than three months before the planned date of arrival in France.

Processing timescales can vary from one consulate or embassy to another. It is advisable to make initial contact with the relevant authorities as soon as the decision to move to France has been made.

If you have any queries, you can also contact us using our contact form.

Documents required

When applying for a long-stay visa, a number of documents must be submitted. Some are required for all categories of long-stay visa, while others are more specific.

 

Helpful tip: French consulates and embassies keep up-to-date lists of the supporting documents required for long-stay visa applications, including those required for all categories and those that are more specific. They can be obtained from the relevant consulate or embassy in person, or from their website.
 
Documents required for all long-stay visas
  • A passport (or other travel document) meeting both the following conditions:
    • Issued in the last 10 years.
    • Valid for at least three months after the planned date of departure from French territory.
  • Long-stay visa application form (Cerfa no. 14571*05), duly completed, signed and dated.
  • Two standardized passport photos.
  • Proof of accommodation, especially for foreign nationals undertaking family or personal visits.
  • Evidence of sufficient financial means.
  • Proof of a guarantee of repatriation to the foreign national’s usual place of residence.
  • Proof of insurance covering medical and hospital expenses up to at least €30,000.
Specific documents:

These are listed for each category of visa below and depend on the residence permit issued upon expiry of the visa.


For further details, please see the ‘Residence permits’ section and identify the circumstances that correspond to the reason for your stay in France.

Which type of long-stay visa to apply for

 

There are a number of categories catering for various different needs.


Visas for working or investing in France

 

Long-stay visa for posted employees on intra-company transfers (ICT)

 

Target audience: Foreign employees coming to France to take up a senior management position or to provide expertise in one of the group’s establishments or businesses.

 

Validity period:
There are two distinct situations:

  • Planned stays of between three and 12 months: Applicants are issued with a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) marked salarié détaché ICT (‘Posted employee, intra-company transfer’). This visa is valid for 12 months.
  • Planned stays of 12 months or longer: Applicants are issued with a long-stay visa marked salarié détaché ICT (‘Posted employee, intra-company transfer’), valid for 3 months.

Please see the ‘Taking up paid employment in France’ section.

 

Associated residence permit:

  • Holders of a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) marked salarié détaché ICT (‘Posted employee, intra-company transfer’) must apply for a multi-year residence permit upon expiry of their visa, i.e. at the end of their first year in France.
  • Holders of a long-stay visa marked salarié détaché ICT (’Posted employee, intra-company transfer’) must apply to the Préfecture in their place of residence for a multi-year ICT permit within three months of arriving in France.

For further information, please see the ‘Residence permits’ section.

 

 

Family: Family members accompanying the visa holder are automatically granted a corresponding long-stay visa or long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS). Their visa applications must be submitted at the same time as the foreign employee’s application.

 
Talent Passport long-stay visa

 

Target audience: Foreign nationals who meet the eligibility criteria and wish to stay in France in one of the following capacities:

  • Legal representatives or company directors
  • Highly skilled workers
  • Business investors
  • Employees on assignment
  • Skilled young graduate employees or employees of an innovative new company (jeune entreprise innovante – JEI)
  • Researchers
  • Founders of a startup business
  • Owners of innovative business projects recognized as such by a public agency
  • Performing artists
  • Foreigners nationally or internationally recognized as experts in their field (in the scientific, literary, artistic, intellectual, educational or sporting fields)

 

Validity period:
There are two distinct situations:

  • Planned stays of between three and 12 months: Applicants are issued with a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) marked Passeport Talent (‘Talent Passport’). This visa is valid for 12 months.
  • Planned stays of 12 months or longer: Applicants are issued with a long-stay visa marked Passeport Talent – X° du L313-20 (‘Talent Passport – category X of Article L313-20’), valid for 3 months.

Please see the details that correspond to your circumstances in the ‘Residence permits’ section.

 

Associated residence permit:

  • Holders of a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) marked Passeport Talent (‘Talent Passport’) must apply for a multi-year residence permit upon expiry of their visa, i.e. at the end of their first year in France.
  • Holders of a long-stay visa marked salarié détaché Passeport Talent (‘Posted employee, Talent Passport’) – X° du L313-20 ICT must apply for a multi-year Talent Passport permit in the category that corresponds to their circumstances. Applicants should apply to the Préfecture in their place of residence within three months of arriving in France.

For further information, please see the ‘Residence permits’ section.

 

Family: Family members accompanying the visa holder are automatically granted a corresponding long-stay visa or long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS). Their visa applications must be submitted at the same time as the foreign employee’s application.

 
Long-stay visa marked carte de séjour à solliciter dans les 2 mois suivant l’arrivée (‘residence permit to be applied for within two months of arrival’)

 

Target audience: Foreign nationals not eligible for the aforementioned multi-year permit wishing to stay in France by applying for one of the following temporary residence permits:

  • Temporary residence permit authorizing the holder to work in one of three categories:
    • Employee
    • Temporary Worker
    • Business Activity
  • Temporary residence permit marked visiteur (‘Visitor’)

 

Validity period: Two months.

 

Associated residence permit: Temporary residence permits.

 


Visas for studying in France

 
School-age minor visa for a young person attending school in France

Target audience: Foreign underage children authorized to attend school in France whose parents reside outside France.

Validity period: Up to 11 months.

Associated residence permit: Underage children are exempt from the residence permit requirement.

 

Student visa

Target audience: Foreign students authorized to attend a French public or private educational institution. The student visa is a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) that allows a student to stay in France without applying for a residence permit.

Validity period: Up to 12 months.

Associated residence permit: At the end of their first year of residence, students must apply for a multi-year residence permit.

 


‘Working holiday’ visa

Target audience: Young nationals of a country that has a bilateral working holiday scheme in force with France. Further information on ‘Working holiday’ programs.

Validity period: Up to 12 months.

Associated residence permit: Those who qualify for the program are exempt from the residence permit requirement throughout the visa’s validity period.

 

 

Visitor’s temporary long-stay visa

Target audience: Visitors coming to France as tourists or for personal or family reasons. This category also covers business trips where the applicant does not serve in or actually participate in the life of the host company and/or does not have an employer-employee relationship with the host company. 
Holders of this category of visitor’s visa equivalent to a residence permit are exempt from the residence permit requirement. There is no need to formally register with the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration – OFII). This visa does not authorize the holder to work in France.

Validity period: 4-12 months.

Associated residence permit: Visitor’s temporary residence permit 

 

Cost of a long-stay visa


Application and visa fees totaling €99 are charged upon submission of an application, regardless which visa category is chosen.

 

Nationality

Adult

Child aged 12-18

Child aged 6-12

Child aged under 6

All nationalities

€99

€99

€99

€99

Family of a French national

Free

Free

Free

Free

Family of a EU/EEA or Swiss citizen

Free

Free

Free

Free

Child adopted by a French citizen

N/A

€15

€15

€15

Source: Service-public.fr


Fees are not refunded if a visa application is unsuccessful.

Extending your stay

 

Upon expiry of a long-stay visa, the holder must leave the country. Failure to leave France upon expiry of a long-stay visa makes the holder an unauthorized resident in France, and thus liable to a fine. Failure in this instance will also be taken into account if the holder applies for another visa.

The visa also allows the holder to apply for a residence permit to settle in France. Foreign nationals wishing to extend their stay must contact the Préfecture in their place of residence 2 months before their visa expires to obtain a residence permit authorizing them to stay in France.

 

  Helpful tip: Some Préfectures require a longer notice period. It may be advisable to arrange an appointment with the authorities three to four months before your visa expires. For further information, please contact the relevant Préfecture. Find the relevant Préfecture


For further information, please see the ‘Which type of residence permit should I apply for?’ section.

Completing the long-stay visa application form


Completing the long-stay visa application form

Cerfa no. 14571*05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For further information


Useful links:


Legal and regulatory texts: