France’s Long Stay Visa: Do You Need it, and How Do You Get it?
November 23, 2017
When traveling abroad for business, there are specific requirements and documents you’ll need. Passport, identification, the essentials. But when do you need a visa, and how do you get one? This question comes up a lot for first-time travelers, but customs websites and government agencies can confuse the issue. Especially if the country isn’t English-speaking.
Here at Veem, we want to make operating your business internationally as seamless as possible. Whether its payments or travel, we give small businesses everything they need to succeed in the competitive global market. This means helping you through the details of the French customs department’s language, the visa process, and the payments that come with it. Check out our website, fill out an application, and start reaping the benefits of our international transfer system.
What is a “Long Stay Visa” in France?
Also known as a “visitor visa,” a long stay visa is stamped into your passport, and allows visitors to extend their stay in France past the three-month mark, or ninety days. With a standard passport, visitors can stay up to the ninety-day threshold, but must acquire a long stay visa to exceed it.
With a standard passport, visitors can stay up to the ninety-day threshold, but must acquire a long stay visa to exceed it
It isn’t recommended that you try to extend your stay during your trip, as long stay visas can take up to three weeks to process. However, applications can’t be processed more than three months ahead of your trip, so hitting the sweet spot is important.
Customs will also require information regarding your mode of income, as long stay visa holders must be able to fund their stay without working in France. Generally, this means that visitors are on sabbatical, retired, or have some other special circumstance such as a lengthy business trip. If working, a “work visa” is required and isn’t covered under the long stay.
Now that we know what it is, and who needs one, here’s how to get one. There’s a fairly uncomplicated process to apply, but France’s government may require more information than you think. Here are the eleven things you’ll need:
- An application form, fully filled out and signed by the recipient.
- An ID picture attached to the form.
- Your original passport plus another copy of your identity pages. Your passport must be less than 10 years old, have 2 blank pages left, and be valid at least 3 months after you return to the US.
- A letter promising not to engage in any work while in France.
- An explanation of your US employment. It explains your job and how much you earn.
- Copy of at least 2 bank statements as proof of income.
- Proof of medical insurance.
- Proof of accommodation, like a rental agreement, lease, or other proof of where you’ll be staying.
- $115, which is the price of the visa.
- A filled out residence form (only the top half).
- Confirmation of your date of departure to Europe (email, e-ticket, etc.).
And that’s it. The requirements aren’t too bad, considering the closed-nature of France and the EU to foreign nations. Once you’ve gathered everything, you’ll need a self-addressed prepaid envelope with a tracking number from UPS or FedEx only. French customs does not accept other parcel services. You don’t need this if you prefer to pick up your passport when it’s ready, but only if you want it sent to you before departure.
There’s some other important information about the EU, though. As France is an EU-affiliated nation, the long-stay visa also acts as a Schengen Visa. This allows the holder to travel between all 26 EU member nations without extra documentation. For those traveling to France on business, this makes the long stay even more valuable, as neighboring nations are great opportunities for networking, investment, and other ventures.
There’s some other important information about the EU, though. As France is an EU-affiliated nation, the long-stay visa also acts as a Schengen Visa. This allows the holder to travel between all 26 EU member nations without extra documentation
That’s all you need to know about the long stay visa for France. Other EU nations may have their own requirements when acquiring such a visa, however, and this guide should not be considered applicable to all countries. Safe travels.