Applying for a long-stay visa
Date of update
Citizen of a Third State to the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you wish to enter French territory for a long period?
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.
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.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. (VFS Global, TLS, etc.).
The request is initiated online via the official website france-visas.gouv.fr.
This first step allows the applicant to verify the need for him to obtain a visa using the Visa Assistant. The user can then apply for a visa via a personal account and then find out how to submit their file, often with the service provider from the Consulate or Embassy.
Thanks to the france-visas.gouv.fr website, visa applicants can now follow the progress of their application directly online.
When to apply
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.
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.
- Three standardized passport photos.
They differ for each category of visa and depend on the residence permit issued when the visa expires. For information, the Visa Assistant on the France-visas official site lists the specific documents by reason of stay.
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.
Find the amounts on France-visas website.
Fees are not refunded if a visa application is unsuccessful.
Helpful tip: France-visas provides the public with a precise list of documents to provide in support of a visa application, adapted to the purpose of the stay and the personal situation of the foreign national.
What to do if your application is rejected
Consular or diplomatic authorities can reject visa applications. The reasons for such rejection must always be given in writing.
Applicants may informally appeal such decisions free of charge and ask the relevant authority to reconsider their application.
Applications can also be referred to the French Visa Application Appeals Commission (Commission de recours contre les décisions de refus de visa d’entrée en France – CRV).