France Long Stay Visa For Canadians

Canadians who intend to enter France for extended stays of more than 90 days must apply for a long-stay visa.

For more information on the France long-stay visa, including a detailed breakdown of the different visa types, how to determine if you meet the criteria, and steps to apply from Canada, speak to an immigration lawyer. Call us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.

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    An Overview Of The French Long-stay Visa

    The French long-stay visa is designed for non-EEA and non-Swiss foreign nationals intending to visit or migrate to France for a duration of more than three months.

    Note that if you’re a Canadian citizen, you typically can enter and live in France visa-free for 90 days. However, if your planned stay will exceed 90 days, you must obtain a long-stay visa.

    France has different kinds of long-stay visas, depending on the purpose of your trip. You can apply for a visa for extended visits or tours or to study in a French institution, get a paid job, do business, or join a family member living in France.

    Irrespective of the duration of your intended activity, your French long-stay visa can only be valid for up to 1 year. To extend your stay, you must visit the local prefecture to apply for a residence permit.

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    France Long-stay Visa for Tourism or Private Stay

    If you’re visiting France for tourism, vacation, or medical reasons and your stay will exceed three months, you can apply for a long-stay visitor visa.

    If your application is successful, you will be issued a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS). You must validate your VLS-TS online within three months of arriving in France to remain a legal resident.

    While on the long-stay visitor visa, you cannot take up any paid or unpaid professional activity.

    France Long-Stay Visa for Professional Purpose


    If you intend to move to France to engage in a professional work activity, there are different visas you can apply for. Your chosen visa will depend on whether you want a paid or self-employed job.

    Visa for Self-Employed Activity

    You can move to France to create or engage in an independent, liberal, or self-employed economic activity. This might involve setting up a business or investing in an existing one of a commercial, industrial, artisanal, or agricultural nature.

    To qualify for this visa, you must demonstrate the economic viability of your business. You’ll be required to submit a detailed business plan as proof.

    You must also show that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself. The required funds must be equivalent to the minimum legal wage in France for a full-time worker, which is €1,3083.08 per month.

    Visa for Paid Employment

    If you’d rather move to France to engage in paid employment, there are several routes you can take. You can either:

    • Be posted by your foreign employer to provide a service in France.
    • Be posted by your foreign employer to a French branch of your foreign company (intra-group mobility).
    •  Be hired for a fixed or indefinite period by a French employer or
    • Be sent by your employer to take training in a French organization.

    1. Employee Recruitment

    This visa category allows you to work for a France-based private employer in a domestic role or an organization in a professional capacity for a fixed or permanent job offer.

    Your employer might need to obtain work authorization from the French authorities before you can apply for this visa. If your application is successful, you will be issued a visa bearing “Salarie” (employee) if you were hired for a permanent contract or “Travailleur temporaire” (temporary worker) if you have a fixed-term contract.

    Note that you must validate your visa within three months of arriving in France.

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      2.Employee Posting

      You can get a work visa as an employee posted to France if:

      • Your non-EEA employer transfers or hires you to complete a one-off contract for a French client or
      • Your non-EEA company sends you to take a training program or conduct an assessment in the French branch of your organization.

      As part of the requirement, your employer or the French client must obtain work authorization to enable you to apply for the visa.

      Upon a successful application, you will be issued a temporary worker (“traveilluer temporaire”) visa equivalent to a resident permit. You must validate your visa at the local prefecture within three months of your arrival.

      3. Intra Company Transfer

      The Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visa applies if you function in a senior management role or one requiring a high level of expertise for a non-EEA company with a branch in France. It will allow you to enter France for an expert assignment or assessment based on your role or expertise.

      There are two kinds of the ICT visa. The first is the “stagiare ICT” (ICT trainee), which is equivalent to a residence permit. You’ll typically get this if your assignment in France is not more than 12 months. You should validate this permit within three months of arriving in France.

      The second is “salarie detache ICT” (ICT posted employee) permit, which is applicable if your assignment is over 12 months. It is valid for three years, but you should apply for a multi-year residence permit at a local prefecture within two months of arriving in France.

      4. Seasonal Work

      If you’d like to work in France during seasonal periods, the “travailleur saisonnier” (seasonal worker) permit might be a good option. Under this route, you can work in tourism, agriculture, and other seasonal jobs for six months within any 12-month period.

      As a seasonal worker, you can have multiple employers, but each must obtain work authorization from the French authorities to hire you. This authorization is typically only valid per seasonal period and can be reapplied for in the next season.

      5. Professional Paid Internship

      You can apply for a visa through the professional paid internship route if your non-EEA employer sends you to take a professional training program in France.

      Your training program must be in a French training institution with which your company has a commercial relationship and must be authorized by the government.

      If your application is successful, your visa will bear “stagiaire” (trainee), and you must validate it within three months of arriving in France.

      Long-Stay Visa for Studies

      If you intend to pursue higher education in France, you must apply for a long-stay study visa. France offers two types of long-stay study visas, depending on the duration of your course.

      You will get a temporary long-stay visa if your program is longer than three months but less than six. However, if your course is over six months, you will get a visa equivalent to a resident permit (VLS-TS).

      France’s study visa application process differs by an applicant’s home country. As a Canadian, you’re expected to apply through the Études en France (EEF) platform. The EEF platform allows you to manage your study visa application process, from securing admission at a French school to getting your student visa.

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        France-Canada Youth Mobility Agreement


        The Franco-Canadian agreement allows young Canadian and French citizens between 18 and 35 to travel between both countries easily.

        This scheme aims to simplify the visa application process for youths of both nationalities to increase their knowledge of each country’s language, culture, and society. Visa applicants will be allowed to work, study, intern, or visit.

        If you intend to move from Canada to France under the youth mobility agreement, there are four categories through which you can do so:

        • Young professionals
        • Practical internship
        • Interuniversity exchange
        • Working Holiday program

        The youth mobility visa is usually valid for 4 to 12 months; you can extend it for an additional 12 months. If you’re applying for a practical internship or inter-university exchange program, you can stay in France for up to 36 months.

        Young Professionals

        This category applies to you if you are a young professional who wants to gain experience in your field through a limited work contract in a French organization.

        To be eligible for this visa, you must already be working in a Canadian company in line with your profession.

        If your application is successful, you will receive a long-stay visa bearing “jeune professionnel” (young professional). It is equivalent to a VLS/TS residence permit, and you must validate it in the three months following your arrival in France.

        Inter-University Exchanges

        You can apply through this category if you are enrolled in a Canadian university and want to complete part of your university studies in France. Your application must be as part of an inter-university agreement between your school in Canada and the visiting school in France.

        Practical Internship

        You can enter France to take part in an internship as part of your studies or training.

        To be eligible under this category, you must provide a three-party internship agreement between you, your Canadian school, and the French institution that details the conditions of the internship.

        Working Holiday Program

        The working holiday program allows you to visit France primarily to tour and learn about France’s culture. During your stay, you’ll be allowed to take up temporary work on a secondary basis to supplement your finances.

        You do not need to have a formal job offer to apply for the working holiday program. If your application is successful, you will get a visa bearing “vacances travail” (working holiday).

        France Long-Stay Visa For Family Reunification


        If you have family members residing in France, you can apply for a family visa to join them. The application process will depend on the nationality of your France-based family member, such as if they are:

        • An EU/EEA national
        • A French national
        • A non-EEA national residing in France.

        Applying Through an EEA National

        You can apply for a family visa under this category if your France-resident family member is from an EEA (other than France) or Switzerland.

        To be eligible, you must be related to your family member as:

        • Their spouse
        • Their direct dependent or descendant under 21
        • Their direct dependent older relative
        • A direct descendant or dependent older relative of their spouse.

        If your family member is on a France student visa, you can only apply to join them if you are their spouse or direct descendant under 21.

        Applying Through a French National

        If your family member is a French citizen, you can apply for a family visa under this category. To be eligible, you must be related to them as:

        • A spouse,
        • A dependent child of any age or one of another nationality under 21,
        • A parent, grandparent, or dependent older relative,
        • A parent, grandparent, or dependent older relative of their spouse,
        • The foreign parent (if the French national is a minor).

        If you’re applying as a spouse, you must prove your marital relationship to your spouse and your willingness to maintain that relationship while in France.

        If you are applying as a dependent child and you’re under a joint custody arrangement, you must also provide consent from your other parent permitting you to move to France.

        Additionally, if you’re a foreign parent of a French minor, you must prove that you have contributed to their upbringing since birth or within the last two years and that you are not in a polygamous relationship.

        Applying Through a Non-EEA National

        If you are a family member of a non-EEA national residing in France, you can apply under this category. However, you can only be their spouse or dependent child under 18.

        If your French family member is a refugee or stateless person, you may also be able to join them if you are:

        • A spouse
        • A child under 18 or that of their spouse
        • A child under 19 when they submitted an asylum application
        • A parent (if the refugee is a minor).

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          France Long-stay Visa Requirements For Canadians

          To apply for a long-stay visa, you must have:

          • A valid travel document
          • An ID photograph
          • Proof of your legal status in Canada
          • A letter explaining the purpose of your travel
          • Proof of sufficient funds with bank statements
          • Proof of accommodation

          If you’re applying for a family visa, you should also provide:

          • Proof of your family member’s nationality
          • Proof of your relationship with your family member with documents such as birth or marriage certificates

          If applying for a paid work visa, you must also provide:

          • Your employment contract
          • Copies of your certifications and qualifications
          • A work permit from your employer

          Likewise, if you’re engaging in a self-employed activity, you must provide:

          • A business plan
          • A copy of the sales agreement or contract of a business buyout.
          • A tax clearance certificate

          French Long-Stay Visa Step-By-Step Application Process

          To apply for a France long-stay visa from Canada, you must visit the France Visas portal, create an account, and complete an online application.

          You must book an appointment at a visa application center (VAC) to submit your online application. There are four VACs located in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa.

          The French consular authorities in Montreal will examine your application, and if they are satisfied with your submission, you will be granted a visa.

          France Long Stay Visa Fees

          The France long-stay visa costs €99. You may also need to pay a service fee of 31.5 at the visa application center.

          France Long-Stay Visa Renewing/Extending Process

          You can extend or renew your visa if you intend to stay in France longer than the initial validity period.

          To renew your visa, visit the local prefecture to complete an application and provide your passport, proof of address, and residence permit. Note that you must initiate the renewal process three months before your current permit expires.

          Our Total Law Team Can Help You

          France has different categories of long-stay visas, and deciding which is right for you might be challenging.

          However, our dedicated immigration lawyers at Total Law can help. We are experts in French immigration law and have helped several individuals with their immigration situation.

          We will analyze your circumstances and help you determine the best immigration route. We will also assist in preparing your documents and submitting your application. Our lawyers will answer any questions you have and provide you with legal advice throughout the process.

          To get started on your immigration journey, call us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    It usually takes 15 days to decide on a France visa application in Canada. However, it can take up to 45 days, depending on the complexity of the case.

                    The France long-stay visa is usually valid between 3 months and one year.

                    You might face immediate deportation, fines, or an outright ban from entering the country in the future.