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.
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.