Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
Resource for people that would like to live or travel in France.



Daily Life



Moving Planner


Q & A

Reading List

Travel Planner


Expat Store

Driver's License



Disposal Units


Learn French

Tax Services


ForumRead Message

Subject: For Anyone Applying for a Long Stay Visa
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2006
Name: Joel
Message: I just returned from the French Consulate in Miami and wanted to post this little message for everyone so others won't have to face what I just faced; A 400 mile drive just to be sent home!

Requirements: (Notarize anything with a signature! Don't even question it. If you or someone else signed it, Notarize it! Or at least have an official stamp or letterhead paper.)

- 4 Long Stay Visa Applications (I filled mine out in French and brought 4 copies of an English version just in-case.) - 5 Recent Passport Photos on white background pasted to the application in the appropriate box.

4 Copies each w/ original document:

- Letter from your bank showing sufficient funds - Letter from Sponsor stating he/ she will care for you in France - Sponsor's proof of finaces and housing with contact information and address. - Deed to house or proof of where you will be staying or renting. ie: Rental agreement, lease, etc... - Your Passport (Valid 6 months after your stay) - Your sponsors Passport or residency card (copy only) - Your Police record - A letter stating that you won't be working while you are staying in France. - Letter from your Insurance Company saying that you have medical insurance covering you in France for the duration of your stay.

Now for the stuff they don't tell you on the website (or anywhere else for that matter).

- A written essay by you stating WHY you want to go to France for the amount of time you requested. - A letter from your Employer stating your job description and function there. (Why they need this, I have no clue.)


Nowhere do they tell you that an appointment is needed for Long Stay Visa interviews. Nowhere do they even tell you that you require an interview. They will send you Home! Trust me... I'm back home.

Replies Posted 11.

Name Joel
Message The bureaucracy makes me nuts. The left hand never knows what the right hand is doing and they all have horrible attitudes.

Name Ann
Message I'm an american working in Paris (for a french company that has an american branch, where I am perminently employed). Anyway, HR says I have been approved for my work permit and Visa, and that the French Consulate has mailed a letter to my home address, after which I just have to return to the states and pick up my visa. It has been almost 3 weeks and the letter has not arrived yet. Does anyone know how long this is supposed to take, what the letter says exactly and what I have to do now? Its already taken months for the approval, so I am relieved that has happened, but I cant find any clear information on what is supposed to happen next. As I am on a project here I cant afford (nor can the company) to go sit around in the US for a month or more and do nothing... should I except the letter soon and be clear to work here for the next 9 or so months???

Name angel
Message Hello, I live the same experience but on the other side. And i'm as frustrated as you can be. I'm french, my husband is american we've been married for 5 years, living in the US for 3 years, had a baby in the US, and i'll be going to my 2nd trip to Atlanta (4 hours driving from home)in order not to be deported...The immigration doesn't know themselves what they want from us. Once the officer says we have to prove we still live as a married couple, the minute after she says we have to prove the bona fide of our marriage, which is not the same at all. Anyway, whatever we present her she's not satisfied and wants more and more... She even asked us a copy of our will!!! I thought that was the most confidential paper ever. You know it's easy for them. If the lose a paper, they'll say you never provided it, if they try to intimidate you, they say they never said such things. And of course, there is only 1 officer in the office, no other witness...They know they can tell you whatever, you'll be the one to blame any way. So be patient, you might have done nothing wrong in your own papers.

Name Joel
Message I'm happy to hear that it went so well for you. Can you believe that the lady in Miami still hasn't contacted me? I've tried calling and emailing her. She just doesn't answer back. I'm starting to fear that my paperwork has been shredded. I don't understand why she is behaving this way. All my papers are in order and I have enough savings to live there for 5 years. I don't get it.....

Name Aria
Message Well, I just returned from the Los Angeles Consul and everything went smoothly. It was annoying I had to travel and spend loads of money just for a 15 minute meeting - but hey it will be worth it in the end. They told me their decision would be given in 1-2 months. They asked for loads of copies on the consul website but she didnt even take them all. I guess each consulate is different. Just follow everything they want on the website. That is what I did. Hopefully my Long stay visa is coming soon. Oh does anyone know how they contact you to let you know if you have received a visa? Do they just send it to you? Is it a card or a letter?

Thanks! Aria

Name Joel
Message Yeah, the hoops are a real drag and I'm beyond tired of getting the run-around from everyone. But in that, I will never give up! In an essance, this has become a quest for me. I have even contacted the French Foreign Ministry about it. At this point, I could write a thesis on the subject and help them with their immigration reform.

Foreign Governments need to realize that it's the 21st century now and people travel; meet other people; fall in love. They need to understand that the world has evolved and with it, the laws need to evolve as well. The laws of the past just don't work anymore.

Name cris
Message Joel:

My now husband started the process at the Perfecture, then they handed the file over to OMI. It took eight months for the visa to be approved and another 3 for me to actually get the visa. He brought me here under Family Reunification.

I am into my second year here. The first year I received a 'titre de sejour temporaire' sticker in my passport, good for one year. This last time I received a 'titre de sejour temporaire', but it is actually an identity card, valid for one year. I have to start the re-application business again in December. I have heard that I will get a permanent residence card good for 5 years. I do not know if that is true as I have heard so many different stories. I do know that I can apply for naturalization. This next time when I apply, I will only have to do it at the Mairee in my village.

Name Sharon
Message Hi Joel,

I find it strange that you had to have a letter from your employer in France when you signed a letter saying you will not be working there. Its kind of ironic.

I was also wondering if you had to write your essey for the long stay visa in english or French and how many words?

In the near future, I will be applying to Pacs my lover(gay), and I simply dread the hoops I have to jump through to get a long stay visa.

I was just wondering if you are already married before you apply for the long stay visa or you plan to get the long stay visa before going to France to get married? If you are not yet married, it could be the cause of your problems.

When my lover rang up her prefacture, they adviced me to go on a tourist visa to France first to PACS, and with the PACS, apply for the long stay visa.

Best Regards, Sharon

Name Joel
Message Cris,

What exactly did your future husband apply for? How long did it take? How long of a stay was it good for? 3 months? 6 Months? A Year?

Name Joel
Message I don't know how it was so easy for you. They've been putting us through hell. Everything we have tried has been denied. I had a job there and they denied my work visa. Now they are giving me a hard time about my Long Stay visa. All of our paperwork is in order. We have enough savings combined for me to live there for over 3 years with no work, she has a wonderful apartment, a steady job and yet they still refuse us. I don't get it. Our records are spotless. All we want to do is finally be together after 14 years. We don't want to get married for papers. We want to have the time to set up our wedding together, find the right place, and enjoy the whole experience like everyone else does.

Name cris
Message Joel

I thought you were going to France to get married.

I didn't have to go through what you did. My future husband had to do all the paper work here in France through OMI. Once immigration was happy with his house and satisfied with his earnings, a letter was sent to the los angeles consulate and all i had to do was show up, at my convenience, the a new passport.

Follow @jeffsteiner

Sign-up for the FREE Americans in France newsletter.
Just type in your e-mail address and click 'Subscribe'.





Search Site

Travel Store


Auto Rentals


Cell Phones


Phone Card


SIM Card



Terms &

This site
uses Cookies!

Terms of Service


Follow me
on Twitter.

Facebook Page

RSS Feed