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Long-stay visa (stay of more than 3 months to 1 year)

Verified 25 janvier 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

To enter and stay in France for more than 3 months, an alien must hold a long-stay visa (type D). This visa is granted by the French consular authorities. It is issued most often for education, work or family reasons. Several types of long-stay visas exist depending on the reason for the stay, the duration of the stay and the intention to apply for a residence permit in order to settle permanently in France.

General case

  Please note : you do not need this document if you are a citizen European, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Holy See/Vatican.

A visa is a sticker affixed by the administration of a country to a person's passport in order to allow them to enter and stay for a specified period.

Long-stay visa, type D, allows you to enter and stay in France from 4 months to 1 year.

If you are an adult, you must apply for a long-stay visa even if your nationality waives your short-stay visa.

There are different types of visas depending on the reason and duration of your stay and your intention to settle in France.

  FYI : it also allows you to move around (without any other visa) in the whole space Schengen, subject to not exceeding 90 days during its period of validity.

Long-stay visa valid for residence (VLS-TS): valid for 4 to 12 months

This visa says VLS-TS, is valid as a residence permit and you will not need to apply for a residence card in the prefecture upon your arrival in France.

You are concerned in particular in the following cases:

  • Student
  • Employee (indefinite contract holder)
  • Bride of French
  • Talented passport

  FYI : if you are married to a Frenchman, the VLS-TS is issued to you without conditions. You may be refused if your marriage is fraudulent or cancelled or if you pose a threat to public order.

VLS-TS Validation

Within 3 months of your arrival in France, you must validate your VLS-TS and pay a tax (except temporary worker) in addition to the visa fees.

The online approach allows you to regular stay and to be able to cross the Schengen Area.

Validate a long-stay visa valid as a residence permit (VLS-TS) and pay the fee

Ministry of the Interior

Visa mention "residence card to be requested within 2 months of arrival"

This visa shall be marked residence card to request within 2 months of arrival. It allows you to enter France and obtain a residence card in the prefecture.

You will be given a residence card (annual, multiannual or 10 years depending on your situation), in particular in quality:

  • family of French people (child aged 16 to 21 or dependent on a French person, ascending to the care of a French person and his or her spouse),
  • professional or independent (trader, artisan, etc.),
  • of worker (employee on mission, European blue card, seasonal worker, talented passport) or family of worker,
  • pensioner or pensioner's spouse,
  • artist.

Work holiday visa: valid for 1 or 2 years

This visa can only be issued to you if your country is bound by a bilateral "holiday-work" agreement with France .

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Argentina

This visa is for young people aged 18 to 35. It has a maximum duration of 12 months and you do not have to apply for a residence card.

Canada

This visa is for young people aged 18 to 35. It has a maximum duration of 1 year and you do not need to apply for a residence card.

Russia

This visa is for young people aged 18 to 30. It has a maximum duration of 12 months and you do not have to apply for a residence card. But you have to apply for work permission.

New Zealand

This visa is for young people aged 18 to 30. It has a maximum duration of 12 months and you do not have to apply for a residence card. But you have to apply for work permission.

Other

This visa is for young people aged 18 to 30. It has a maximum duration of 12 months and you do not have to apply for a residence card. But you have to apply for work permission.

Minor visa in France: valid for 11 months

You can benefit from this visa under the following conditions:

  • You must be under 18
  • You must follow your education in France for more than 3 months
  • Your parents must reside abroad.

This visa has a maximum duration of 11 months. It allows you to enter France as many times as you wish during its period of validity, without having to apply for a new visa.

  Please note : as a minor, you do not have to hold a residence card.

Temporary long-stay visa: valid for 4 to 6 months

This visa has a duration of between 4 and 6 months maximum. It is valid temporary authorisation to stay in France. It can be issued to you if you come to France:

  • to follow a short course,
  • or to engage in artistic activity,
  • or as a visitor (you must be able to live off your own resources).

During the validity of your visa, you are exempted from applying for a residence card in the prefecture. When it expires, you must return to your country of origin.

The long-stay visa allows you to settle in France. The documents to be presented vary according to the reason for your stay: as an employee, a student, a family of French or a foreigner who is regularly settled in France, etc.

You should consult the France-Visas portal to find out, depending on your situation, the list of documents to be provided.

France-Visas - Visa Assistant - List of documents to be provided

Ministry of the Interior

You must submit your visa application (no more than 3 months) before departure to the French consular authorities of the country where you live:

Passport validity

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Application for a "residence card to be requested within 2 months of arrival"

  • Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after your visa expires.
  • Must have at least 2 blank pages
  • It must have been issued for less than 10 years.

VLS-TS Request

  • Your passport must be valid for 1 year from the date of arrival in France,
  • It must have been issued for less than 10 years.

Registration of applicant data

Your biometric data is saved in a file called Visabio.

These data are scanned images:

  • your photo,
  • and your fingerprints (except for children under 12).

You cannot object to this record (you have right to access and correct the file).

Visa fees vary. It is expressed in euros or CFA francs depending on the country.

To find out, you need to go to Rate from the France-Visas Assistant country pages:

France-Visas - Visa cost by country

Ministry of the Interior

However, some applicants are exempt from visa fees, including:

  • Bride of French
  • Non-European family member a European (other than French) or Switzerland
  • Seasonal worker
  • Turkish, Serbian or Montenegrin salaried worker and his family receiving family reunification
  • French teachers
  • Foreign Language Assistant or Reader
  • Some recipients of a work-holiday visa
  • Diplomatic or service passport holder
  • Scholar of the French government or a foreign government or a foreign foundation
  • Guest of an intergovernmental organisation based in France
  • Veteran with a free medical treatment log coming to France

Reason for refusal of visa 

Reasons must be given for any refusal of a visa.

Appeal against a refusal of a visa

If you refuse your visa application, you can ex gratia to the Consulate, asking it to review its decision:

You can also appeal to the Board of Appeal against decisions refusing entry visas to France (CRRV):

This remedy is mandatory before any appeal to the administrative judge. You must present it in 2 months next:

  • notification of written refusal,
  • or implicit refusal of your visa application (if the consulate did not reply to you within 2 months).

You must state your reasons for appeal (set out the elements of law and fact). You must write it in French, sign it and attach any useful documents.

The CRRV can be seized by yourself, your lawyer, or by any person with an interest in challenging the refusal of a visa (for example, a member of your family).

The CRRV can:

  • reject your appeal (in the absence of a reply within 2 months, this is an implicit rejection),
  • or recommend that the foreign minister and the interior minister grant you the visa.

  Please note : if your appeal is manifestly inadmissible or unfounded, the President of the CRRV may reject your appeal alone, without convening the CRRV.

If the CRRV rejects your appeal, or if the ministers confirm the refusal of the visa despite the favourable opinion of the CRRV, you can file an appeal for cancellation within 2 months. This appeal must be filed with the Administrative Court of Nantes:

Your long-stay visa valid as a residence permit may be repealed for one of the following 3 reasons:

  • Obtaining your visa fraudulently
  • Entry into France for installation for purposes other than the issue of your visa
  • Public order disorder.

The prefect responsible for deciding whether to revoke your visa is the one where you are staying or the one where you have been checked.

You can file a case against the repeal decision ex-gratia appeal to the prefect or/and a hierarchical appeal to the minister of the interior.

Who shall I contact

You can also refer an administrative judge appeal :

  • if your administrative appeals have not been successful,
  • or directly without these administrative remedies.

If stay in France, you must file application for a residence card within 2 months of the expiry of your visa the prefecture or sub-prefecture of your home.

Find out more on your prefecture's website.

Student

  Please note : you do not need this document if you are a citizen European, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Holy See/Vatican.

A visa is a sticker affixed by the administration of a country to a person's passport in order to allow them to enter and stay for a specified period.

Long-stay visa, type D, allows you to enter and stay in France from 4 months to 1 year.

If you are an adult, you must apply for a long-stay visa even if your nationality waives your short-stay visa.

  FYI : it also allows you to move around (without any other visa) in the whole space Schengen, subject to not exceeding 90 days during its period of validity.

Long-stay visa valid for residence (VLS-TS): valid for 4 to 12 months

This visa says VLS-TS, is valid as a residence permit and you will not need to apply for a residence card in the prefecture upon your arrival in France.

VLS-TS Validation

Within 3 months of your arrival in France, you must validate your VLS-TS and pay a tax (except temporary worker) in addition to the visa fees.

The online approach allows you to regular stay and to be able to cross the Schengen Area.

Validate a long-stay visa valid as a residence permit (VLS-TS) and pay the fee

Ministry of the Interior

Minor visa in France: valid for 11 months

You can benefit from this visa under the following conditions:

  • You must be under 18
  • You must follow your education in France for more than 3 months
  • Your parents must reside abroad.

This visa has a maximum duration of 11 months. It allows you to enter France as many times as you wish during its period of validity, without having to apply for a new visa.

  Please note : as a minor, you do not have to hold a residence card.

Temporary long-stay visa: valid for 4 to 6 months

This visa has a duration of between 4 and 6 months maximum. It is valid temporary authorisation to stay in France. It can be delivered to you if you come to France to take a short course

During the validity of your visa, you are exempted from applying for a residence card in the prefecture. When it expires, you must return to your country of origin.

The long-stay visa allows you to settle in France.

You should consult the France-Visas portal to find out, depending on your situation, the list of documents to be provided.

France-Visas - Visa Assistant - List of documents to be provided

Ministry of the Interior

General case

You must submit your visa application (no more than 3 months) before departure to the French consular authorities of the country where you live:

Special case of certain foreign students

Foreigners from 43 countries must apply for their visa on the site Studies in France at the time of online pre-enrolment in French higher education.

Application procedure for student visas by countries of large regional areas

Regional

Nationality

Application procedure

Africa

Benin

Studies in France

Burkina Faso

Burundi

Cameroon

Comoros

Congo Brazzaville

Côte d'Ivoire

Gabon

Guinea

Madagascar

Mali

Mauritius

Mauritania

Nigeria

Democratic Republic of Congo

Senegal

Togo

Other

Apply for a visa

Asia / Oceania

China

Studies in France

South Korea

India

Indonesia

Japan

Singapore

Taiwan

Vietnam

Other

Apply for a visa

Europe

Russia

Studies in France

Turkey

Other

Apply for a visa

America

Argentina

Studies in France

Brazil

Chile

Colombia

United States

Haiti

Mexico

Peru

Other

Apply for a visa

North Africa / Middle East

Algeria

Studies in France

Djibouti

Egypt

Iran

Kuwait

Lebanon

Morocco

Tunisia

Other

Apply for a visa

The request is made on the site Studies in France at the time of online pre-enrolment in French higher education:

Registration in French higher education / application for a "student" visa procedure "Études en France"

Campus France Agency

Passport validity

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Application for a "residence card to be requested within 2 months of arrival"

  • Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after your visa expires.
  • Must have at least 2 blank pages
  • It must have been issued for less than 10 years.

VLS-TS Request

  • Your passport must be valid for 1 year from the date of arrival in France,
  • It must have been issued for less than 10 years.

Registration of applicant data

Your biometric data is saved in a file called Visabio.

These data are scanned images:

  • your photo,
  • and your fingerprints (except for children under 12).

You cannot object to this record (you have right to access and correct the file).

Visa fees vary. It is expressed in euros or CFA francs depending on the country.

To find out, you need to go to Rate from the France-Visas Assistant country pages:

France-Visas - Visa cost by country

Ministry of the Interior

It should be noted that scholarship students from the French government or a foreign government or a foreign foundation are exempt from visa fees.

Reason for refusal of visa 

Reasons must be given for any refusal of a visa.

Appeal against a refusal of a visa

If you refuse your visa application, you can ex gratia to the Consulate, asking it to review its decision:

You can also appeal to the Board of Appeal against decisions refusing entry visas to France (CRRV):

This remedy is mandatory before any appeal to the administrative judge. You must present it in 2 months next:

  • notification of written refusal,
  • or implicit refusal of your visa application (if the consulate did not reply to you within 2 months).

You must state your reasons for appeal (set out the elements of law and fact). You must write it in French, sign it and attach any useful documents.

The CRRV can be seized by yourself, your lawyer, or by any person with an interest in challenging the refusal of a visa (for example, a member of your family).

The CRRV can:

  • reject your appeal (in the absence of a reply within 2 months, this is an implicit rejection),
  • or recommend that the foreign minister and the interior minister grant you the visa.

  Please note : if your appeal is manifestly inadmissible or unfounded, the President of the CRRV may reject your appeal alone, without convening the CRRV.

If the CRRV rejects your appeal, or if the ministers confirm the refusal of the visa despite the favourable opinion of the CRRV, you can file an appeal for cancellation within 2 months. This appeal must be filed with the Administrative Court of Nantes:

Your long-stay visa valid as a residence permit may be repealed for one of the following 3 reasons:

  • Obtaining your visa fraudulently
  • Entry into France for installation for purposes other than the issue of your visa
  • Public order disorder.

The prefect responsible for deciding whether to revoke your visa is the one where you are staying or the one where you have been checked.

You can file a case against the repeal decision ex-gratia appeal to the prefect or/and a hierarchical appeal to the minister of the interior.

Who shall I contact

You can also refer an administrative judge appeal :

  • if your administrative appeals have not been successful,
  • or directly without these administrative remedies.

If stay in France, you must file application for a residence card within 2 months of the expiry of your visa the prefecture or sub-prefecture of your home.

Find out more on your prefecture's website.