Family Visa Types in France

A Family Visa is a type of Long Stay Visa that permits foreign nationals with family members in France to enter the country for between three months and a year. There are different types of Family Visas depending on your particular circumstances.

To find out more about these Long Stay Visas and how you obtain one call Total Law today on 0333 305 9375 or get in touch via our online chat.

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    Who Needs a Family Visa in France?

    Foreign nationals, including UK residents who want to join family members in France for more than three months, will require a Long Stay Visa. If your visit is for three months or less you can apply for a Short Stay Visa instead.

    Long Stay Visas allow non-EU citizens to remain in France for a specified period of longer than 90 days and up to one year. This makes it ideal for family reunification with a spouse, parents or children. It is also a potential route toward taking the first step to becoming a French resident.

    Applicants must fully understand the visa application process and required documents when applying to stay in France for more than three months. Getting the process right means you are in the country legally and have complied with all the eligibility requirements.

    The holder of a Long-Stay Family Visa will have the same rights as a Temporary Residence Permit holder while the visa remains valid.

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    The Different Types of Family Visas Available in France


    Family visas are available to relatives of French nationals as well as family members of non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizens who live legally in France. Relatives of Talent Passport holders can also apply for a Long Stay Visa for France.

    Citizens of member countries of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), as well as Swiss nationals, don’t need a visa to enter France, but they can apply for a Residence Permit to join family members in the country.

    Children adopted by French nationals or legal residents from outside France are also eligible for a Long-Stay Family Visa.

    Family Visa for Family Members of French National or EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens

    Family members of French nationals can submit a Long Stay Visa application if they meet the eligibility criteria. This category applies to the children, spouse, dependent older relative or foreign parents of a French minor.

    Depending on the family reasons for the application, the family member may request a temporary Long Stay Visa or may intend to apply for long-term resident status through a Residence Permit.

    Relatives of EU/EEA or Swiss citizens can enter France by applying for a French Residence Permit as they are exempt from visa requirements to enter the country. The only requirement for EU/EEA or Swiss citizens entering France is a valid passport or identity card.

    French Long Stay Visa for Family of Foreign Nationals & Talent Passport Holders

    If you are a family member of a non-EU/EEA or Swiss national living in France you can still apply for a Long Stay Visa. This category applies to UK nationals as the UK is no longer part of the EU, EEA or the Schengen Area. Family members of UK citizens who have been legally residing in France for over 18 months can apply for a Long Stay Visa for stays of more than 90 days.

    As the receiving party, the French resident must prove that they can provide adequate accommodation for the person coming to France and that they can support them during their stay.

    Family members of holders of a Talent Passport, also known as a French EU Blue Card, will be given a Residence Permit. This is also known as Private and Family Life and holders of this permit are allowed to work in France. A Talent Passport holder and their family can remain in France for a maximum of four years.

    Long Stay Adoption Visa & Family Members of Refugees

    French nationals or foreign nationals residing legally in France who wish to adopt a child from another country can apply for a Long Stay Visa for Adoption. The jurisdiction for the decision on a Long Stay Visa for Adoption rests with the International Intercountry Adoption Mission.

    If the parents are abroad when the child is adopted the visa is treated as a family reunion.

    Suppose France has granted a foreign national over the age of 18 refugee status benefiting from subsidiary or stateless protection. In that case, their close relatives can apply for a Family Reunion Long Stay Visa.

    Our immigration lawyers have helped hundreds of cases secure a French family visa. Let us help you too! Contact Us

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      Eligibility Criteria of the Different France Family Visas

      The Long-Stay Family Visa requirements in France will vary slightly depending on the particular situation and family relationship.

      France Long-Stay Family Visa Requirements

      To be eligible to apply for a Family Visa you must have a family member in France who is one of the following:

      • French national
      • EU/EEA or Swiss National
      • Foreign national living legally in France

      The relationship requirements must also be met. Qualifying family members include:

      • Spouse or civil union partner
      • Children under 18 years of age
      • Foreign parent of a minor French national
      • Parents or grandparents of you or your spouse who are directly dependent on you

      If you are a UK national but you also have EU citizenship such as via an Irish passport, the process of moving to France to be with family members will be easier.

      Similarly, those who are married to French nationals or French citizens will typically find the process of obtaining a France Long Stay Visa much more straightforward.

      How to Apply for Long-Stay Family Visa France

      The application process for Long Stay Visas to join family in France is more or less the same as for other Long Stay Visas.

      First, you should gather all the required documents, which will form a crucial part of your application for a Family Visa.

      You must apply for your Long-Stay Family Visa through French online services. First, you need to create an account on the website. This is where you will fill in your visa application form and provide your supporting documents.

      The France Visas portal is also where you can book an appointment for your subsequent interview. You should allow up to three months between the date of your interview and your proposed departure date.

      Visa applicants must attend this interview at the French embassy or consulate in their home country. During the interview, your documentation will be checked and your biometric data such as fingerprints will be taken.

      Alternatively, this appointment may be held at a visa application centre, which is an external service provider. However, the French consular authorities retain full responsibility for processing and making decisions on all visa applications.

      Long-Stay Family Visa Documents France

      To ensure that your Long Stay Visa application is successful you should make sure that you have all the correct supporting documents.

      You will require the following:

      • Valid passport issued within the last 10 years with at least two blank pages
      • Three recent passport photographs which meet French government requirements
      • Completed and signed visa application form
      • Proof of financial subsistence e.g. bank statements
      • Clean criminal record certificate
      • Evidence of comprehensive health and travel insurance
      • Receipt for visa fee

      In the event of a visa refusal, your fees will not be refunded. The cost is for processing your application and is not dependent on that application being approved.

      During your visa interview your French Long Stay Visa application will be checked along with the additional documents supporting your request.

      Contact us for help applying for your long stay family visa today. Contact Us

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        Typical Application Processing Time for Family Visas France

        The processing time for your Family Visa in France is approximately two to three weeks. This timescale may depend on the precise Long Stay Visa applied for or the time of year.

        In some cases, the processing time can take up to 45 days if the French consular authorities deem the application worthy of extended examination. It may also take longer if you have not submitted all the necessary supporting documents or if the application form is incomplete or incorrectly filled in.

        Total Law’s specialist team of immigration advisors are familiar with visa applications and can expertly guide you through the process. Document checking is one of many services that we offer. Contact us today on 0333 305 9375 or get in touch online so that we can help you achieve your goal of a Family Long Stay Visa.

        Long-Stay Family Visa Fees France

        The fee for the majority of Long Stay Visas is €99, which covers the cost of processing your application. This fee is non-refundable and you will not be reimbursed if your visa is refused.

        For a Long Stay Visa for a child adopted by a French citizen, the cost is €15.

        There are some exemptions from paying the Family Visa fee in France including:

        • Non-European family members of a citizen of another EU country
        • Spouse of a French citizen
        • Children under the age of six years

        The Rights and Benefits of Family Visa Holders in France

        With a Family Long Stay Visa in France, you will have access to a range of services including healthcare, education and employment opportunities.

        While anyone can access the French healthcare system it is not free at the point of access and you will have to pay for any medical treatment, consultations and prescriptions. After three months and once you are part of the Social Security system as a French resident, you can apply to be covered by the country’s universal health protection.

        You will be issued with a Carte Vitale which holds all of your information. This card is used for all medical appointments and will allow you to be reimbursed for a portion of your healthcare costs ranging from 60-100% depending on the circumstances. French residents typically have additional insurance which repays the portion of the medical cost not reimbursed by the Social Security system.

        As a Long Stay Visa holder, you can also take advantage of France’s education system from pre-school to university depending on your family’s needs. France operates both public and fee-paying private schools and education is compulsory up to the age of 16. There are also many international schools which offer a bi-lingual education.

        France offers many employment opportunities whether you want to work for an employer or set up your own business. The latter is particularly encouraged in France and many people set up as auto-entrepreneurs owning and operating their own businesses.

        Extending or Renewing Family Visas in France

        A Family Long Stay Visa is valid from three months up to a year. If you wish to extend your stay in France you must apply for a Residence Permit at the Préfecture closest to where you are living before your visa runs out.

        Residence Permit

        To apply for a Residence Permit or Carte de Séjour you must do so from within France, unlike a visa application which is done in your home country. You will need to go to your local Préfecture or if you live in Paris to the Police Préfecture.

        You have to take the following documents with you:

        • Your passport containing your Long Stay Visa stamp
        • Photocopy of the main pages of your passport
        • Birth certificate
        • Two recent passport photos
        • Proof of residence in France e.g. electricity bill
        • Evidence of income e.g. tax notice
        • Proof of medical insurance

        If any of the above documents are not in French you must provide certified translations. There are many different Residence Permits but the average cost is around €225. The fee is paid in tax stamps, which can be purchased online or at a tobacconist shop.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        As we have seen there are different types of Long-Stay Family Visas in France. The one that is most suitable for you and your family will depend on your circumstances.
        It’s important to understand how to go about applying for a Long Stay Visa including all the necessary documents that you must provide for your application. This can seem like a daunting task and you may feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that is needed.
        Total Law can help make the process of applying for a Family Visa a lot less stressful and more straightforward for you and your family. Our knowledgeable professionals are well-versed in the French immigration system and know exactly what you need to provide to the French authorities.
        Let us help you with your Long Stay Visa so that you and your family can get on with enjoying life in France. Call us today on 0333 305 9375 or get in contact online to discuss your particular situation and tell us how we can help make your French dream a reality.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Yes, there are two routes to French citizenship. Citizenship by declaration applies to someone who has a familial tie to France through marriage or birth. Naturalisation or citizenship by decree is something you request. For the latter you must have lived legally in France for at least 5 years, be able to speak French to B1 level and show that you have stable and sufficient resources.

                  You don’t need a medical certificate to apply for a Long-Stay Family Visa in France but you do need to have adequate medical insurance up to a minimum of €30,000.

                  The validity period of a Long Stay Visa is between three and twelve months while a Short Stay Visa is only valid for three months. You can apply for a Residence Permit with a Long Stay Visa but you cannot with a Short Stay Visa.