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Subject: Got my Visa, But...... Help me to Understand
Date: Saturday, September 30, 2006
Name: Joel
Message: I just got my Visa back from the Consulate General Miami. I have a few questions for anyone who has been issued a long stay visa because I'm not sure if I'm understanding this thing correctly.

I applied for a 1 year visa. The visa I got back has a valid date from 9/24/06 to 12/24/06. Does that mean that my visa is only good for 3 months??? Or is this just a grace period to get my Carte de sejour for one year upon arrival in France?? At the bottom of the visa it says, "Carte de Sej. Solliciter des L'arrivee"

What does that mean? Am I good for a year, or only 3 months??

Can someone please explain to me?

Replies Posted 8.

Name roberto
Message Hello Joel: Friday Oct 27, 2006 9:10 PM Just saw your post about receiving the Long-term Visa from Miami... The Visa is an authorization for you to enter France with a view to staying there in excess of the --no visa needed 3-month period. The requirement is that you MUST apply for a CarteSejour WITHIN SEVEN DAYS of your arrival in France... You must prersent all documents to the Prefecture of the Department where intend to stay, and in case you do not live in the same location as the Prefecture or a SousPrefecture, then you must file ALL relevent papers at the LaMairie, and the La Mairie will foward your papers to the Prefecture for processingf. On receipt the Prefecture will issue you a Recipisse (valid for 3 months) through the La Mairie. That Receipisse allows you to go about your business, because it an official Authorization for you to be in France. Of course the La Mairie would like to see all ORIGINAL documents, make copies and require you to also provide 3 passport-size photoes. If you are going to stay in a place, you may have to produce the rental agreement, the Electricity & Gas company papers (EDF & GDF), and proof of financial resources [ I think it is now over 1200 euros per month, for nearly 18 month period] In case you are employed, your employer could possibly help you. If you need additional information, you could send a PERSONAL e-mail, and I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability -- in my case, I have gone through the process more than once, and I shuttle between USA and France quite a few times a year. Good luck to you.

Name mcdevo
Message joel: i agree with the info provided here so far ... also every préfecture is different in the way they handle this issue ... i have spoken to people who had relatively normal/pleasant experiences to get the paperwork completed. i had a rather unpleasant experience at my préfecture (94th dept). my advice: if you don't speak french very, very well, find someone (pay someone) to help you understand what is needed, and to accompany you thru the préfecture. best luck. and remember ... if the fonctionnaire experiences are confusing/irritating .... it just makes all the truly wonderful things about france seem that much more enjoyable, for the contrast. bol. a summary of my day(s) at the préfecture is here:

Name chris
Message P.S. They will tell you that you can't leave the country while waiting for your Titre de Sejour.

Name chris
Message I didn't stay in France the 4 months. I still had my job in LA for a couple of months. It's a long story about what happened, a change of plans if you will. But I had no problems entering or leaving France.

The only time I have had a problem was last Feb when immigration called someone about the visa in my passport. I don't know why because by this time it was already expired. He wasn't interested in my current Titre de Sejour.

Name Joel
Message Chris, did you have to leave France to wait the 4 months or did you stay there?

Name chris
Message Go to the Prefecture as soon as you can once you are in France. They will want tons of paper from you, depending on who is at the desk when you go. Also, take all the papers that you submitted to get your visa. Just because you got that visa doesn't mean that the Prefecture will give you a Titre de Sejour.

It took me 4 months to get mine, and in the end I ended up giving them a stack of paper I had cleaned up from my computer desk.

A couple that bought a house in my village also had gotten a visa for a long stay permit. The Prefecture refused to honor it and told them they had had to have 30,000 Euros in a French Bank Account.

Name Joel
Message Thank you Samantha.

Best wishes, Joel

Name samantha
Message Don't worry, you are fine, you are right in thinking that the three month time period is to allow you to apply for your carte de séjour.

It should also say on your visa that after the three months are up, they should refer to your cds to see the expiration date.

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