Mailbag: Long-term stay visa questions and answers

So as I was getting ready to go back to the States in December I started corresponding with a Lauren L. who had some visa questions for me which originated from this article.  Here were her questions:

– I have an appointment for the long stay visitor visa in New York in three weeks and I’m noticing differences in the requirements between the NY and Chicago consulates. Is this normal? NY seems to require fewer documents and doesn’t mention needing notarized statements or forms for my application.

This is totally possible.  There isn’t a uniformity of observing standards, even though there are universal standards.  If there are fewer documents, that’s great.  If you feel you need backup, there’s nothing wrong with having that with you as well.  Just don’t give stuff you’re not asked for.

– I’m only 24 and am coming to join my French boyfriend, travel around Europe, and improve my French. Is this going to be a red flag if I write this in my personal statement as I am still young? I worry they will have a hard time believing I won’t be working or trying to find work.

No I think this is fine.  Remember you are applying as a visitor so they don’t necessarily expect you to be looking for a job.  Remember that it’s illegal for visitors to even think about getting a job so they take you at your word – that you are “visiting,” which dovetails into your last question…

– My “means of income” will be coming from my parents, who are submitting three months of their bank statements along with letters stating their intent to fully support me financially while I am abroad. Is this enough proof?

This should be fine.  Those of us not in such a situation will generally want the funds to be in our own name, but I think for you this will work.

Lauren was actually visiting Paris in December but we weren’t able to meet before my vacation stateside.  I told her by email that based on what she told me she should be fine but here are the specific answers for anyone else who has the same concerns.  (And happy ending: Lauren got it!)

When I was already stateside I got this tweet.

I wrote her back and come to find out that she had some of her own visa travails and some of my articles helped out.  Part of why I wrote some of these articles was precisely to help others as I found the content out there not the most helpful or up to date.  It’s really neat to see some of those exact people thanking you for the advice.

Photo courtesy of m43photos, via creative commons.

8 thoughts on “Mailbag: Long-term stay visa questions and answers

  1. Hi!! I have a question. I understand that you need a letter of employment. Do they contact your place of employment after submission of this letter. I’m planning to leave my job for this trip and would like to know if there is a way to prove income. I’ll have savings for this trip with bank statement

    • April – you don’t need a letter of employment. You need proof of income. However, the French government do not have the resources to verify these things. If you give them a bank statement that says you have lots of money in the bank, they aren’t going to call your bank. If you provide them with a letter of employment, they aren’t going to call your company. They simply don’t have the manpower to do this. You’re attesting that everything you are saying is true and as long as the paperwork holds up, the paper pusher is happy 🙂

  2. Hi Stephen,

    it is great site, so thanks,
    minimum period of stay(presence) in france for long stay visitor visa for one year ? in other word how long clients can stay outside of france in order there is no problem for renewal process?is there any minimum stay requirements(presence physically)?

    • Hi Mohammed

      You might have figured out that the site is moderated, so in future, you don’t need to leave the same comment multiple times 🙂

      The answer to your question is simple: the minimum period is not one year, but six months. As far as physical presence requirements, there is no way for them to really enforce that, but you are expected to be there for the majority of the time, since you are applying for such a visa.

  3. Hi there,

    Thanks for all the info on your blog…super helpful.

    I’m here on a visa Long Sejour Temporaire that’s marked « dispense temporaire de carte de séjour ». My understanding of this is that I’m not required to register with OFII which also means that I’m not able to renew the visa here in France.

    Do you know if this is the case?

    Many thanks

  4. hi stephen,
    wow, i am really impressed how you got your visa. my french is really really bad so i am not up to doing that yet.
    my question is i want to buy an apartment and so need to transfer a big amount of money(it’s my money) to buy it, do you know if i need to pay french taxes on it, like VAT or something? i’ve been trying to search on the net and have found nothing about it. I thought i saw something where i don’t have to be taxed as long as the i am buyiing it for myself. thanks a lot.

    • Julie

      You don’t need to pay VAT to transfer money here but you also don’t need to transfer money to buy the house. That is to say, if you want to close the transaction you can wire the money from a foreign account. You don’t have to have a French bank account to do a French real estate transaction.

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