Foolproof French Visas: Complete 2020 Edition
The process of applying for a visa to relocate to France is a minefield. Knowing what kind of visa is most appropriate for your situation and getting the most up-to-date information on how to apply can be difficult when there's so much information up there and it's hard to know what's accurate and up to date. Plus, the regulations and procedures change every few years, so relying on someone else's prior experience can be risky.
Fortunately, I've been helping people move to France since 2012, and I've successfully guided hundreds of clients through the shifting requirements and constantly moving goalposts of getting a French visa. Whether you're planning to spend a year, or want to move permanently, this book will help you to understand each available visa type, how to know if you're eligible for it, and what you need to do to apply successfully.
This book is for nationals of countries that do NOT have special bilateral agreements with France for visa applications. Citizens of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom (pending Brexit), the United States, or Uruguay will benefit especially.
By the end of this book you should:
✓ Understand the different vocabulary related to the visa application and renewal process.
✓ Know which visa type is most appropriate for you and what documents you will need to submit to apply for it.
✓ Know the timeline of when you should begin acquiring documents and submit your application, and when you expect to arrive in France.
✓ Understand how to maintain and renew your selected visa type.
✓ Understand if you will ever have to change your visa status and whether or not you will become eligible for residency or naturalization
✓ Know what documents you need to include in your visa application and how to maximize your chances for success.
Version Information: Complete 2020 Edition
Because you need to have the most up-to-date information for your visa application, it is important to know when the most recent changes to French legislation regarding visas went into effect, and when the information contained in this book was most recently updated.
This Complete 2020 Edition is completely up-to-date as of its publication date of August 1, 2020 and contains information on procedures and legislation currently in effect. The most recent changes to the visa application process went into effect through October 2018 in the United States (visa applications though VFS Global in all US jurisdictions, and the ability to go to any VFS office). The most recent changes to legislation regarding visa types went into effect in January 2020. It includes some minor edits and clarifications, as well as an expanded Brexit section, as the Brexit rules were clarified in early 2020.
Please note that at the time of releasing the second edition, the French borders are currently closed to Americans and only student visa applications are being processed in about half of the VFS Global facilities. Other visa types are not being processed at all. Some préfectures in France have temporarily modified their procedures and have backlogged appointments. Please check your local préfecture’s guidance for renewals prior to scheduling your appointment or submitting your renewal dossier. At this time, there is no evidence that these temporary changes in préfecture procedures will become permanent, and this edition of Foolproof French Visas cannot cover the individual procedures of each French department.
It is likely that France will open its borders progressively and begin processing certain categories of visa applications prior to opening up to general tourism. As of the publication of this edition, there are no significant permanent changes to the visa application procedures outside of France.
The first edition of Foolproof French visas was published on October 1, 2019.
The second edition was published on August 1, 2020.
Changes for Version 2:
- Clarified the “Working Remotely” Section
- Updated and expanded the “VLS-VTS” and “OFII Vignette” sections to reflect new online procedures and provide clarification.
- Added information on procedures for foreign children turning 18 in France
- Expanded the Brexit Section to include carte de séjour request procedures and add details about the procedurs for TCN spouses of British citizens.
- Updated cost of timbre fiscal for OFII procedures and renewals to reflect 2020 prices
- Updated au pair visa section regarding renewals
- Edited weird stuff in TAPIF section
- Updated required documents to remove background check (now done by VFS) and remove the now-defunct paper OFII form
- Updated Microentreprise income limits to reflect current figures
- Clarification of PACS procedures and visa options
- Added details about the visa for the non-French parent of a French child
- Added tips for making the VFS website work properly
- Clarified details about submitting your passport
- Moved information for after arrival into a new section
- Added section “The Visa Application Submission Process”
- Expanded information on applying for residency (a 10-year card) and naturalization
- Updated and expanded materials on clarifying your next steps
- Updated links and details about scheduling a consultation