A long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit, or VLS-TS, is a specific type of long-stay visa that exempts its holder from the requirement to apply for a residence permit for the first year of residence.
This type of visa, valid for up to one year, allows the holder to enter France and reside in France throughout its validity period, without any need for the holder to apply to the Préfecture for a residence permit. A sticker is affixed to the holder’s passport.
Holders are simply asked to submit a declaration to the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration – OFII) within three months of arrival.
After the first year of residence, foreign nationals wishing to extend their stay in France must apply for the residence permit that corresponds to their circumstances.
Available categories of VLS-TS include the following:
- The ‘Employee’ VLS-TS, aimed at foreign nationals recruited by companies located in France, for a period of one year or more.
- The ‘Temporary Worker’ VLS-TS, aimed at employees who are allowed to work in France for between 3 and 12 months. For example, this is the case for employees posted by a foreign company to provide a service at a client company’s site in France.
- The ‘Research Scientist’ VLS-TS, issued to foreigners undertaking research work or teaching at university level.
- The ‘Student’ VLS-TS.
- The ‘ICT’ VLS-TS, for intra-company transferees and their families for stays of less than 12 months.
- The ‘Talent Passport’ VLS-TS for all stays of less than 12 months in the following categories:
- Business investors
- Company directors
- Employees on assignment
- Highly skilled workers (European Union Blue Card)
- Skilled young graduate employees or employees of an innovative new company (jeune entreprise innovante – JEI)
- 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)
The following are excluded, even if they fall within one of the above categories:
- Algerian citizens
- Citizens of overseas territories (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna)
Are you exempt from the VLS-TS requirement?
Apart from Swiss and EEA nationals, citizens of the following are exempt from the VLS-TS requirement:
- The Vatican
- San Marino