One year Visa about to expire....

I hold a US passport and a visa for a one year stay in France that is about to expire.

My question is:

If I don't renew my long stay visa and my visa expires, can I stay any longer? I ask this question based on being an American citizen holding a US passport where I'm allowed 3 months visits without the requirement a visa.

I appreciate if anyone has knowledge of this... I've asked and researched this question, but to no avail.

Thank you / Merci !

Yes you can stay 3 more months you can always go the local prefecture.

Where did you get the information that you can stay beyond your 1 year visa by going to the local prefecture?  Does the question come from a student? The rules are different for them. Someone who has been hospitalized in France or injured and unable to travel? He/she must be careful that they do not become an illegal resident subject to fines and deportation with the possibility of being denied reentry  into EU countries in the future.  Contacting the local prefecture to learn the rules before your visa expires is the best answer. Most sites recommend 3 months to get anything official done in France.

Thank you for your reply
...however we have tried to contact to prefecture and the French Embassy and no one replies.
Also I have been researching it on official sites and can not find an answer.

My expiring visa is a one year long stay visa. When we tried to apply for a residence visa to continue our stay, we were told we have to go back to the US to do it and we can't do it in French territory.
So it is because of this that I am basically frustrated and giving up with the bureaucracy of all!
However I'm committed to a lease where my rent is paid up through one full month past my visa's expiration date. 
So that is why I'm asking my question.

Thank you for your reply.
Do you know where this is stated on an official website?
I don't want to take a chance on being stopped, fined, or blocked from future entries.
My husband and I are retired, with a long stay Visa but have not entered France yet because of an accident. The rules for over 65 are different.
We bought a house there and are planning on becoming permanent residents.
I am getting a lot of current information from a book. How to buy a cheap house in France by Guillaume Teillet and Sabrina Servatius,  2022 edition. Chapter 8 on how to move to France has a lot of information on Visa requirements, some confusing but I don't know your personal details. Have you tried going, in person,  to your local Mairie (city hall)?  Did you register with them when you arrived, if they do register foreign citizens?  Did you validate and register your long term Visa within 3 months of arriving in France?  " If you fail to validate your visa within the first 3 months following your arrival, you will no longer be considered a legal resident in France and will be unable to re-enter the Schengen (EU) Area. "  (A quote from my Visa that shows you just how serious the French and EU are about their laws)   Are you injured and unable to travel?  My best guess is that if you overstay your Visa without some form of official government permission, you are illegal and subject to whatever consequences that might bring.

If the only reason that you want to extend your stay is that you don't want to lose a months rent, you could be out of luck.

Sorry that I can not be more helpful.
I'm a US citizen and was previously in France on a short work visa. I was told that when my visa expired at the end of my short work contract, I could stay in France for up to 90 days as a tourist. This was a handful of years ago, but I would imagine the same applies now since we get 90 days as a tourist in any 180 day period.
Currently in France again on a 1-year long-stay visa like you, and hoping to be able to renew it in the spring. Hopefully won't have to return to the US, but alas, one never knows
Let me know if you can stay as a tourist after a 1 year long stay visa.  My visa is a VLSTS and I will be delighted if it is possible and that I was wrong.  My husband had an accident and we were not able to head to France on time.  Time is passing to use that Visa and I don't want to have to reapply.
Did some more research.  I can apply for a residence card in France before my VLSTS visa expires, even if I am not there for the full year. As long as I am in France on that long stay  Visa,  I can apply 2 or 3 months before it expires, giving the authorities time to authorize the residence card.  This rule  applies to retired, over 65, moving to France permanently and not working.

I checked my visa to see what it is more specifically. On the visa itself it says "visa de long sejour temporaire V2 VLST Dispense TS". And I had forgotten this paper that was inserted next to my visa, which reads "The visa you have received is a 'long sejour temporaire' visa. This exempts you from registering with the OFII and from applying for a residence card. You have to leave France by the expiration date."

So that may complicate or even negate me applying to extend or renew it in the spring. Will have to see what I can find out before then.

@ChadDavid I have another question for you!  I, too, have the "visa de long sejour temporaire V2 VLST Dispense TS."  However, the paper that was inserted with mine instructed me that I needed to validate the visa within three months of arrival and gave me the website to do this.  However, when I used the website, it turns out that my visa type did not match any of the options.  So, it was with some relief that I read your description of a paper that says this sort of visa is exempt from registering.  I'm guessing maybe they just inserted the wrong slip of paper into my visa?  Fingers crossed...

My Long Stay visa reads:  LONG Sej. Temp  DISPENSE C. SEJ

This is about to expire and that I was surprisingly told that I cannot apply for my residence here in France and I will have to return to the US to apply.

Also FYI, I had validated my visa

Does anyone have this exact Visa?

@Robare Is it temporaire? If so you have to leave Schengen and not come back for 6 months or get a VLS visiteur visa. If not temporaire, did you register within the first 3 months and did you get the medical meeting.? If not then you are illegally in France and may run into trouble with passport control when you leave Schengen.

@Robare Unfortunately you always need to come back to your home country to apply for a visa indeed.

@CeeLuck Let's hope so for both our sakes!

Thank you @kegbold for providing this information to us , i'm also unaware to this.


Jozef Behr

@ChadDavid @CeeLuck

Hello, can you finally solve this issue? Because I have the same question and the same type of visa.




where did you get the book about buying a house in France pls? I've looked for it but can't find it. TIA