France Spouse Visa

For US citizens looking to live with their French partner or spouse in France then the correct visa permission is needed.

Are you hoping to join your loved one in France but concerned about how to make a visa application? If so, contact the Total Law team today on +1 844 290 6312 or use our online chat.

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    French Spouse Visa Overview

    For those planning to live in France with their partner or spouse, the Long-stay Family Visa route (VLS-TS) is the most suitable option.

    This visa allows family members of a French citizen or settled resident to move to France for family reunification. The route is suitable for partners and children aged under 21 and older dependent relatives.

    It is often referred to as a Spouse Visa when partners are immigrating to France using this visa, even though it is not officially called this by the French immigration services.

    Being granted, a Spouse Visa enables US citizens married to French citizens to stay in the country for up to one year.

    After this, they can apply for a residence permit to continue living in France.

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      France Spouse Visa Requirements And Eligibility

      If you are married to a French citizen and are a US citizen, then you will need to apply at the local French embassy/consulate in the United States for long-stay permission.

      The VLS-TS is issued for one year and on arrival in France, you will need to have your visa validated via the General Directorate of Foreigners in France (DGEF) website once you are in the country.

      After living in France for 12 months, you can then take the step to apply for a residence permit as long as you meet the criteria to do so. It is possible to apply for a residence permit two months before the VLS-TS is due to expire to allow for processing.

      Once you have lived with your partner in France for a certain number of years, you can apply for a residence card lasting for ten years and also apply for French citizenship if you wish to, as long as you meet the required criteria.

      The exact time you have to reside in France before being eligible for permanent residence depends on your spouse’s status and nationality.

      Spouses of French citizens may be eligible for a ten-year resident card after staying three years in the country and meeting the relevant conditions.

      They can also apply to become a citizen of France by declaration, provided they meet the relevant specific conditions.

      If you are married to an EEA or Swiss citizen who is settled in France, then you will need to apply for a residence permit which will be valid for five years and must be renewed at the local Prefecture two months before it expires.

      For those US citizens married to a third-country national who has continued residence in France for at least 12 months and has held a residence permit for at least one year or a ten-year resident card or long-term EU resident card, then it may be possible to move to France via the Spouse Visa route.

      The criteria for this option are that the French-based partner must meet financial and accommodation requirements and be able to demonstrate they can support their US spouse.

      The local prefecture will assess whether the visa conditions are met and decide where to issue a VLS-TS.

      France Spouse Visa Application Process

      An application for a French Spouse Visa must be made online, and you should apply when resident in the US.

      When applying for a visa, you must provide supporting documents to demonstrate you meet the criteria and prove your identity.

      After submitting the online application, you must book an appointment at the nearest visa center. It is possible to apply up to three months before your planned arrival in France.

      It can be difficult to get an appointment, especially during periods of high demand. Therefore, it is advisable to make the appointment well before your travel plans to join your partner in France to avoid any potential delays.

      You must attend the appointment at the local French embassy/consulate or visa application center. As well as submitting your documents at the appointment, you must pay the visa fee, if applicable, and provide biometric data, including fingerprints.

      In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview as part of the visa application process. The interview aims to assess the genuineness of your relationship with the French citizen or resident and your intentions for moving to France.

      The consulate will retain your passport so they can add the visa if approved and let you know when it can be collected. It is possible to track the progress of your Spouse Visa application online.

      Documents Needed for a French Spouse Visa

      Providing the correct documentation is an important part of the Spouse Visa application process, and it is vital to ensure you submit all the necessary evidence otherwise, it could lead to delays or even possible rejection.

      Documents must be original or certified copies, and they must also be in French otherwise you will need to submit officially translated versions. The typical paperwork requested for a Long-Stay Family Visa France will include:

      • A valid passport or travel document
      • Completed visa application form
      • Three recent and color passport-style photographs
      • Marriage certificate
      • Documents proving the status of the French spouse/partner, such as a passport or resident card
      • Proof of address in France, e.g. utility bills dated within the last six months
      • Copies of older visas, if applicable
      • Criminal record certificate
      • Visa fee receipt (if applicable)

      Attending a French Spouse Visa Interview

      In some cases, you may be required to attend a Spouse Visa interview as part of the application process as a United States citizen.

      It is important to view attending this interview as very important and prepare fully for the experience.

      Part of the interview will focus on the required documents for the visa application, so you should ensure you have all the necessary paperwork together, including your passport, marriage certificate or proof of partnership, proof of accommodation in France, evidence of financial stability, medical insurance, and any other supporting documents requested by the consulate.

      The interview is an opportunity for the consular officer to assess the genuineness of your relationship with your French spouse and your intentions for moving to France.

      Be prepared to answer various questions about your relationship plus your planned living arrangements and ties to the US and France.

      You may wish to practice answering common interview questions related to your relationship, such as how you met your spouse, your shared interests, and your plans for living together in France.

      Above all, it is important to be honest during the interview and you should answer all questions with clear and truthful answers. If you are found to be lying or misleading the consular officer, it could have significant long-term consequences.

      Speak to our advisors for guidance on obtaining your French spouse visa. Contact Us

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        French Spouse Visa Processing Time and Cost

        The processing time for spouses of French citizens or EEA/Swiss nationals is around four weeks due to the fast-tracking of this route. In addition, there are no Spouse Visa fees for such applicants.

        However, if your partner is living in France with a Talent Passport or ICT Residence Permit, then a visa processing fee of 269 euros is required, and the processing time will likely increase.

        For the latest information on the current processing time and costs of applying for a French Spouse Visa, reach out to Total Law today on +1 844 290 6312 or use our online chat.

        The Rights of a French Spouse Visa Holder

        A Spouse Visa holder can live with their partner in France and can also undertake paid work or run their own business during this time.

        Holders are also able to access the French healthcare and education system, which is seen as a major benefit.

        A Spouse Visa allows the approved applicant moving to France to stay with their partner for up to one year. On a Spouse Visa, you may take up salaried employment or carry out professional activities as a self-employed person in France.

        After one year, you will be eligible to apply for a multiyear residence permit, provided you fulfil the requirements. Eventually, you can apply for a 10-year resident card or become a French citizen, depending on your circumstances and whether you meet the respective criteria.

        Extending or Renewing a Spouse Visa in France

        It is important to apply to extend or renew a French Spouse Visa if you wish to continue living in the country with your partner.

        When renewing your visa, you will need to provide the key documents again and demonstrate that you are still in a relationship with your partner.

        The next step is to make an appointment at the local préfecture or sub-prefecture so you can provide your paperwork and answer any questions related to your Spouse Visa renewal.

        It can take a few weeks to extend your visa, so it is best to apply for an extension before your current visa expires so that you are not forced to leave France. There is no cost for renewing a Long-Stay Visa if you are married to a French national/EEA/Swiss national.

        Spouses of other qualifying citizens will have to pay a visa processing fee of 269 euros, and the fee is 99 euros for spouses of people with refugee status or subsidiary or stateless protection in France.

        If you are concerned about renewing a Spouse Visa, then reach out to Total Law for support in ensuring you do not unknowingly break French immigration laws.

        Spouse Visa To French Citizenship or Permanent Residency

        The French Spouse Visa offers a pathway to both permanent residency and French citizenship.

        Holders must ensure they fulfill residency requirements, usually living in France for at least five years with a valid residency permit.

        For those wanting to make France their permanent home it is important to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the French language and participate in local cultural activities.

        Spouse Visa holders must also provide evidence of sufficient income or financial stability.

        Spouses can apply for a Long-Term Residency Permit (Carte de résident) after residing in France for several years. This permit allows individuals to stay in France for an extended period and does grant rights similar to French citizens apart from those related to voting.

        Spouses can apply for naturalization after meeting specific requirements to be granted citizenship.

        The criteria for becoming a French citizen include demonstrating integration into French society, having a stable income, and passing a French language and culture test.

        In some cases, if the spouse is married to a French citizen, they may be eligible for accelerated naturalization after just four years of residency in France, provided they can demonstrate sufficient integration and meet other requirements.

        Switching from a Spouse Visa to permanent residency or citizenship in France requires careful planning, and you may wish to seek advice from immigration professionals to help navigate the process.

        Bride and Groom holding hands

        What Happens If My Spouse Visa Application Is Rejected?

        It can be a worrying time if your visa application is rejected. However, even if you are notified of a denial, it may be possible to get the decision overturned or submit another successful application.

        The first step is to understand why your application for a French Spouse Visa was refused, as this can influence what your next options are.

        In most cases, a visa may be rejected because of incomplete documentation or a failure to provide the right evidence to support your application.

        It is possible to reapply for a Spouse Visa if you can provide the missing or additional paperwork. Still, you may wish to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer first to increase your chances of success.

        An alternative is to submit a formal appeals process, which must be done within 30 days.

        This option can be complex, especially when dealing with a non-English speaking system, so you may wish to employ a lawyer with expert knowledge of the French immigration and legal systems.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        If you are looking to join your partner in France as soon as possible, then it can be a worrying process, and you may wish to seek the help of lawyers who have experience dealing with European immigration systems.

        At Total Law, we have supported many US citizens applying for a Spouse or Partner Visa in France by ensuring they submit the correct documentation, are prepared for interviews and understand the application process.

        To find out more about the many services Total Law provides and how our team of knowledgeable lawyers can help you with your immigration case, call on +1 844 290 6312 or use our online chat.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Non-EU citizens with a visa for a European country, including France, may have the right to travel within the Schengen Area, which is a group of European countries that have reduced border control, allowing for unrestricted travel.

                  In most cases, the Spouse Visa holder will be able to travel to other Schengen countries for tourism, business, or family visits, but you are advised to seek legal advice to clarify individual restrictions.

                  There is no official distinction between a Spouse Visa and a Partner Visa and they both allow holders to reside with their partners in France.