French Long Stay Visa

We (non-EU citizens) have made an offer and it was accepted and signed off on on a property in France.  We were delaying applying for the long stay visa because we don't know exactly when we will be freed from responsibilities in present country of residence.  

However, we would like to expedite this because we'd prefer do start our French healthcare coverage as soon as possible.  I once had a problem that was never treated properly in my country and I got it treated properly in France in one appointment!

What are the disadvantages of applying and receiving the long stay visa when you are not sure when you can be physically present in France?  Adjusting Schengen health insurance is a small inconvenience.  Thanks in advance.
Hi, staying in France for more than 3 months requires a visa so you won't be able to get around that. To apply for the French medical system you'll need either a valid visa or a residency permit (carte de séjour) otherwise they won't process your application.

The VISA is also a requirement to get a residency permit so the first definitely is getting a VISA. If you intend to become a resident you'll need a VLS-TS visa.

That is an inevitable step and once you have the VISA you can move into your property. After 3 months there you'll be able to apply for both the residency permit and the French healthcare system. The residency permit will avoid you from renewing your VISA so you'll only need the medical insurance for the first 12 months if your file is accepted within that timeframe.

Beware as well, Schengen Travel Insurance (or equivalent) is NOT accepted. You need a "full" private medical insurance. You can have a look at https://www.fabfrenchinsurance.com/ for example.

Hope that helps,
Hello,

Your long stay visa needs to be validated within 3 months there was some leniency with this because of back up with Covid, you do need full health insurance and it is very expensive, however if you are in receipt of your pension you can get your national health card and that cuts down on time once here as the transfer is simpler, you will wait three months after your visa is validated for a reply and an appointment for a medical and them you take your documentation to the immigration office, We have been here since February and are still awaiting our appointments.

Check out Tracy Leonetti at LBS she is a great help you can mention me!



Kind Regards

Linda Miller
Hello,

We are moving over in May. Can I apply for long term visa in France directly or have to go back to UK to sort it? 

Many thanks, 

Andrea 

@AndreaIreland unfortunately that's probably the later but if you already have a visa maybe you can renew it from France (in some cases that's possible). If you don't have a visa you'll need to apply for a VISA VLS-TS in the UK indeed.

Hello,

We are moving over in May. Can I apply for long term visa in France directly or have to go back to UK to sort it? 

Many thanks, 

Andrea 
- @AndreaIreland


Sort it out before you arrive, contact the French Embassy in London.
Visas are gotten in Your Legal Home Country to go to countries that require a Visa for entry. You get a Visa from the Embassy of the country that you wish to go to. France has agreements with some countries that allow tourism for up to 90 days without a Visa. Check with the French Embassy in your County on the Internet. 
Hi all

Really useful thread. Can I ask what is probably a silly question - I know that you can't apply for a long-stay visa more than 3 months (90 days) ahead of your travel date, but is that 3 months from completing your application form or 3 months from the day of your visa interview? This is probably obvious, but for the life of me, from everything I've read, I can't tell which it is.

Thank you everyone and good luck with your move, jdh12
@cleoUK 

A long stay visa can be up to a year from the US so maybe from the UK also.  It normally starts on the 1st day of a month. So I set my flight for early in the month. But that is from the US and may not apply. You have to ask. But 6 months or 12  you can not start to get a appointment with the Prefecture until 1 or 2 months from the experation of the visa. And once you have the appointment you are safe. It will drag out for 3 to 6 months.
When you have your appointment with OFII. Every office does it their own way.
Bonjour,

In relation with visas, my student's visa was renewed for another 9 months which we all know goes by so quickly.  This is to finish my masters (trying to change fields which is not easy in France but I discovered a bit too late being here already) and to try to get employed.  My first two years was to learn the French language reaching B1 level.  I should have continued but took up masters instead.  

At the end of my my current visa, I will be 7 months short from being a resident of France for 5 years which will qualify me to apply for a Vie Privée et Familiale Visa.  Any suggestions how I could potentially stretch my visa to make it to 5 years?

I think the préfecture will not "buy it" if I enrol once again for language school in order to reach a higher level of French language and have a visa at the same time but I could be wrong.  

Thank you and enjoy the nice sunny day everyone.


Regards,
Ana
@cleoUK 
Yes, it gets confusing.  If it is much the same for people from the UK as it is for me USA. You make the application on the Internet. And they do not want you to push the button applying more than three months before your travel date. But You can go on the website and go step by step through the application any time you want and as many times as you wish.  Do not push the last button. But keep going until you see the last button.  I would start early.

It is step by step they want to know why you want a visa, and how long, The questions on each page depending on the answers you have already given. The application is well done but will drive you crazy. It will not let you go forward until you pick an answer. But you can go back and review the answers you have given. The first time I did it it took me 3 days trying to get where I wanted. And when I went to the interview I had all the documents I needed. But I was the only one there that did not get sent home for more documents. It is all about Documents. A complete, and in order file is the key to the door. 

Each page of questions is a branch on a tree.  I have a French wife and we were traveling together so I applied as part of her family. And thought that would be easy. I ended up as an emigrant. But we only stay for180 days because we both also have family in the US and that is where we work.

The first day was wasted trying to figure out the website. The logic of the form was not expected and I kept not getting the answers I wanted. So I printed (as a PDF File) each page and built the decision tree. After that, it was just trying to figure out what an approved document was. I had been going to France for years without a visa with no trouble. Even behind the Iron Curtain. We own a car and house and my wife had a bank account and phone, fixed and portable. And none of that counts. I had to have a form verified by the Mayor of the village that she had a house. And I had to have a French Marriage. Ours was in the USA 40+ years ago. And she had to sign a form that she was taking me into her home. A home that I own with her and her two sisters. But rules are rules and you have to fit.  It took a Visa for four years and I still only have a 2-year Carte Sejour.

The big thing is that the reason that you use to get a visa is final once you push the button. Changing the basis is very much something that is not to be done. So spend some time on this first step. And the Brexit thing is a real thing the UK said they are out and so the French really do not understand that you are not a flake.  

I would like to see what you have to go through. Just because government interests me since I come from a failing country. I have to go back to vote and try and save it in Oct.

John
@boatman1940 
Hi John

Thank you for your reply. It certainly sounds like there are some similarities between applying as a US citizen and as a Brit. I've had a trial run through the forms online and it is a bit frustrating, but I think I've got the measure of it and what documents I need...I also have a huge file in which I'm trying to gather everything I could possibly need, in triplicate! 1f602.svg

So, it looks like this:

Fill in the form - not too bad, all fairly straightforward questions. Maybe a bit easier as I'm applying for a long stay tourist visa and won't be working in France

Gather documents, and gather, and gather, and gather

'Submit' application and book appointment at visa processing centre - in the UK you don't go direct to the French consulate or anything

Attend appointment at the visa processing centre who review your application and take your docs then collect biometric data and send it all to London to be approved or denied

*Keep everything crossed*

Get visa 1f389.svg- I believe the wait time is around 15 days to 1 month / or, don't get visa 1f62a.svg

Go to France & live happily ever after...

..Oh wait, no, first you have to start gathering documents again, and again, and again...for everything else that needs doing once you're there 1f923.svg

The less said about Brexit, the better...the fact I'm hoping to move to France probably tells you what I think of it 1f620.svg
You got it!  And after I finished the last comment. I realized why it is so strange. The first question is what kind of visa do you what. And that was really the answer I was really looking for. Anyway, you got there fast. Really consider each document as the most important and make sure you understand what they are looking for. In USA speak, they want to weed out flakes, bums, and trouble. You are dealing with low-level bureaucrats that are trying to not get in trouble for passing on unacceptable paperwork. The list of documents is the key. It all gets scanned in so it has to be good quality A4 paper copies. They should be in the order of the list. No Staples. I take a folder with the list and document copies. And if an item is multiple pages I use a paper clip. My files are always more than a 1/2 inch thick. Then I have a separate folder with the originals and a copy of each in the same order. So I can respond to requests. My first trip to the Prefect was in 2014 to exchange my Florida Driving Permit for a French Driving permit. That is a real thing in a treaty with some US States. And it was because I wanted some kind of French ID and not have to buy an International Driving license each year. And I thought I had everything. The interview was a disaster.  The Interviewer had no interest in helping understand what was wrong. With my file. And my 10 mins was up he closed the window. It took a year to get it done. But I did get it done. And I have gone through the Cart Sejour, Carte Vital, OFII 4 times, and Socal Security. With no more trouble by really trying to think like them. Since Covid, most of it is done on the internet now and the forms and information is much better. Just read carefully and make sure you understand what they want. You can get certified translations on the internet. Next year I have to re-up my Carte Sejour and it runs out just when I come over for the Summer. So I will try to do it from the US. That should be interesting.  

Good Luck  Start early and read the instructions over 3 times more a week after you are sure it is right. 

Last year everyone was friendly and it went well. But he scanned the file and asked no questions. Just told me that the card would be mailed in three months and gave me a paper as a temporary Carte Sejour good for 4 months.
@jdh12
You have to live in France for a while to apply for health Insurance. 

Yes i need long term visa

@tangochica007 ok what i do?

Bonjour,

In relation with visas, my student's visa was renewed for another 9 months which we all know goes by so quickly.  This is to finish my masters (trying to change fields which is not easy in France but I discovered a bit too late being here already) and to try to get employed.  My first two years was to learn the French language reaching B1 level.  I should have continued but took up masters instead.  

At the end of my my current visa, I will be 7 months short from being a resident of France for 5 years which will qualify me to apply for a Vie Privée et Familiale Visa.  Any suggestions how I could potentially stretch my visa to make it to 5 years?

I think the préfecture will not "buy it" if I enrol once again for language school in order to reach a higher level of French language and have a visa at the same time but I could be wrong.  

Thank you and enjoy the nice sunny day everyone.


Find a job ;)

Regards,
Ana
- @analimjoco

@tangochica007 ok what i do?

- @Heshan Madhawa

What for?

@STEFFIFI hi dr i find a job from french. i think you are know about our country stuation now.