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.