Long Stay Visa France

France is a popular destination for Australian citizens, offering a rich culture, numerous areas of natural beauty, and easy travel access to the rest of the EU. However, if you wish to stay in France for longer than 3 months, you are likely to require a long-stay visa.

The process of applying for a French visa can be complicated and confusing. Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about how we can help your application process run as smoothly as possible.

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    Overview of France Visas For Long-Term Stay

    Australian citizens do not require a visa in order to visit France for up to 90 days.

    So they do not generally require a Short-Stay visa in order to visit France. However, if you are an Australian citizen and planning to stay in France for longer than 90 days then you will likely require a Long-Stay visa.

    Long-Stay visas are valid for between 3 months and 1 year. If you wish to stay for longer than the validity period of your visa, you will need to obtain a residence permit upon your arrival in France.

    There are a number of categories of French Long-Stay visas. Specifically, these are: staying for tourist or personal reasons, carrying out professional activity, pursuing education, and joining family members. The exact type which is best for you will depend on your circumstances.

    During its validity period, your Long-Stay visa will act as the equivalent of a Schengen visa. This means that you will be able to spend up to 90 days in the other Schengen countries within a 180 day period.

    In most cases, the Long-Stay visa is intended to allow you to legally enter France, at which point you will then be expected to obtain a residence permit.

    However, some Long-Stay visas also serve as residence permits, such as the VLS-TS. In this case, you will not need to obtain two separate documents; your visa will act as both.

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    Types of Long-Stay Visa and Your Eligibility

    There are a number of situations in which you will need to obtain a French Long-Stay visa, and the eligibility criteria vary depending on the type of visa in question.

    As a general rule, you will need to satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

    • Prove that you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay in France
    • Have a clean criminal record
    • Have an offer of work/study (if applicable)
    • If you have received a job offer, have a prospective income of more than the French minimum wage
    • Have accommodation in France
    • Have French health insurance

    There are numerous different situations in which you will require a French Long-Stay visa. These are as follows:

    • Posted employees on intra-company transfer (ICT)
    • Talent Passport (Passeport Talent) visas (of which there are 10 types). Note that some of the Talent Passport visas also act as a residence permit, whereas others require you to obtain a residence permit upon your arrival in France
    • Working Holiday visa. In the case of Australian citizens, this allows you to work in France for up to 1 year, from the age of 18-35. As an Australian citizen, you do not necessarily need to apply via French consular services in Australia specifically; you can apply via the French consular services in the country in which you currently reside
    • Study. The different study routes are:
      • ‘Student’ visa
      • ‘School-aged minor’ visa
      • Internship or training: ‘trainees or young professionals in training’

    You will also require a Long-Stay visa if you are visiting for tourist, family, or private reasons, providing that you are staying for longer than 3 months. However, as an Australian citizen, you will not require a visa for entry if you are staying for under 3 months.

    How To Apply For a French Long-Stay Visa: The Process

    There are a number of stages involved in applying for a French Long-Stay visa from Australia. Firstly, you will need to submit your application to one of Australia’s VFS GLOBAL locations. These can be found in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide. You will first need to book an appointment. You should book this appointment between 3 weeks and 3 months before your planned arrival in France.

    As part of your application, your biometric information (photograph and fingerprints) will also need to be collected. However, note that it is not necessary for children under 12 years old to provide their fingerprints.

    Your application will then be processed in Sydney by the Consulate General of France. Whilst the application is being processed, you will be able to track its progress on the VFS GLOBAL online tracking service. If you are successful, you will be granted a French Long-Stay visa. You can use this visa in order to enter France.

    Upon arriving in France, you may also be required to apply to your local Prefecture for a residence permit. The Prefecture is the local representative of the national government. If you do require a residence permit, you will need to apply within 2 months of your arrival in France. You can check if you require a residence permit in addition to your visa by seeing if your visa says: ‘residence card to be requested within 2 months of arrival’. Note that, if your visa permits professional activity within France, you will not be required to wait for your residence permit before you are authorised to start paid employment.

    In some cases, your Long-Stay visa will be the equivalent of a residence permit, meaning that you will not need to obtain two separate documents. Note that visas in the VLS-TS category act as the equivalent of residence permits, such as Student visas and certain types of Talent Passport visas.  In this case, you will not need to obtain a separate residence permit but will instead need to validate your VLS-TS within 3 months of arriving in France.

    Our expert lawyers can help you obtain a long-stay visa in France. Contact Us

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      What Documents Will I Require?

      The exact documents required for your stay will depend on the type of Long-Stay visa for which you are applying. However, generally, you will require a combination of the following documents:

      • Passport
      • 2 passport photographs (to the French specifications)
      • VEVO (Visa Entitlement Verification Online)
      • Statement that you will not conduct professional activity during your time in France (if applicable- this will not be necessary if you are visiting for reasons of tourism, for example)
      • Proof that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself during your stay (e.g. sufficient savings or an offer of employment which pays at least the French minimum wage)
      • Proof of accommodation in France
      • Proof of French health insurance
      • Proof of employment (if applicable)
      • >Proof of prospective income (if applicable)

      Application Fees: How Much Will My Application Cost?

      Generally, the cost of a Long-Stay visa application is around €99, although there are certain circumstances in which you may be exempt from paying this fee.

      There may also be other costs associated with your application. For example, you may need to get your documents translated into French, in which case the exact cost will depend on the translating service which you use.

      You may also choose to pay for legal assistance with your application. Many applicants choose to do so in order to make the application process as smooth as possible. Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about how we can help you with this.

      Processing Time

      The exact processing time for your visa application will vary based on a number of circumstances. Generally, it should be processed within 15-20 days. However, in some cases, it might take up to 2 months for your application to be processed. If you do not receive an answer on your application within 2 months, this will generally mean that your application has been unsuccessful.

      In order to minimise the waiting time, make sure to submit all of your documents correctly and to include all necessary information in your application. If you are asked to provide further information, make sure to do so as promptly as possible. Failure to do so will lead to delays in your application and may also lead to your application being rejected.

      What If My Application Is Unsuccessful?

      There are a number of reasons why your visa application may be unsuccessful. This could be because of missing information, insufficient evidence of your personal circumstances, delays in sending further information which has been requested, or failure to meet the eligibility criteria.

      In the event that your visa application is unsuccessful, you can appeal to the consulate to which you applied and ask it to review its decision. You can also appeal to the Board of Appeal Against Decisions Refusing Entry Visas to France (CRRV).

      After this, you can then also appeal to an administrative judge. This must be done within 2 months of the refusal (or of the implicit refusal, if you have not received a response to your application within 2 months).

      In your appeal, you must detail your reasons for appealing the decision. You must also make sure to write it in French.

      Note that you must have legitimate grounds for appealing the decision in order for your appeal to be seriously considered.

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        Can The Long-Stay Visa Be Revoked?

        It is possible that your Long-Stay visa may be revoked. There are three main reasons why this may happen:

        • If you obtained your visa fraudulently, e.g. if you used fake documents or included incorrect information in your application
        • If you entered into France in order to engage in activities which were not covered by your visa, e.g. working on a visa which only covers tourism
        • If you disturb the public order whilst in France

        Your local Prefecture will generally be in charge of deciding whether or not your visa is revoked. In the event that it is indeed revoked, you can submit an appeal to the Prefecture itself or to the French Minister of the Interior.

        How Our Team Can Help You

        France is a country which offers numerous benefits to its residents. It has a strong economy, a rich history, a thriving cultural scene, and numerous areas of natural beauty. As such, it is a popular destination for many Australians. Australia and France have strong ties and many Australian citizens choose to relocate to France, a number of whom choose to eventually settle there.

        If you are an Australian looking to live and work in France for longer than 90 days, you are likely to require a Long-Stay visa. However, applying for a French visa can be a complicated and confusing process. At Total Law, our immigration experts have years of experience in advising on cases exactly like this. We provide a range of services, including helping you to gather the correct documents, submit the application, and obtain a residence permit upon arriving in France. Contact us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more and to receive bespoke legal advice on your own immigration journey.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  No Australian citizens do not generally require a Short-Stay visa in order to visit France for up to 90 days. This also extends to visiting the other countries in the Schengen area.

                  You can engage in a number of activities in France during that 90 day period, including travel and tourism, visiting family and friends, business purposes, and receiving medical care. However, if you intend to stay in France for longer than 90 days then you will likely require a visa. You must obtain the right visa for the activity which you intend to conduct in France, otherwise your visa may be revoked.

                  Generally speaking, if you intend to stay in France for longer than 90 days then you will require a Long-Stay visa. This is true of Australian citizens, for example, who require a visa if they intend to visit France for longer than 90 days.

                  However, there are certain cases in which a Long-Stay visa will not be necessary in order to stay in France for longer than 90 days. If you are a citizen of the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland, for example, you will not require a visa in order to remain in France for longer than 90 days. You are free to live, work, and study in France, as well as the other member states of the European Union.

                  After living and working in France legally for 3-5 years (depending on your specific circumstances), it may be possible for you to obtain a French resident card. This card allows you to live and work indefinitely in France. In order to be eligible, you will generally need to have been living continuously in France for the last 5 years, under an eligible residence permit. You must also have French health insurance, financial resources which are at least the equivalent of the French minimum wage, and have integrated into French society. The resident card is valid for 10 years and can be renewed, providing that you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

                  After living in France legally for 5 years, you may also be eligible to apply for French citizenship through naturalisation. You will need to satisfy a number of eligibility criteria in order to do so, such as being sufficiently proficient in the French language and having integrated into French life.

                  Generally speaking, you will need to apply for your Long-Stay visa before arriving in France. This is the document which allows you to legally enter the country for an extended period. However, once in France, you can apply to your local Prefecture if you wish to switch to a different visa type. In order to do so, you will need to make sure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria and are able to provide sufficient evidence.

                  Note that, if you engage in activity whilst in France which is not covered by your visa type, your visa may be revoked. This is also the case if you gain a visa through fraudulent means.

                  In most cases, your spouse and dependent children will be able to join you in France.

                  Generally, they will be able to join you through the ‘family reunion’ route after you have been residing in France for at least 18 months. You will need to prove that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and any family members who join you, and that you have acceptable accommodation for you and your family members.