Long stay visa and residence permit


Last update:05/31/2013

1. Do I need to apply for a residence permit in France ?
2. How do I register in France ?
3. Does it concern all long stay visas ?
4. Does it concern all nationalities ?
5. What shall I do when my long stay visa expires ?



1. Do I need to apply for a residence permit in France?


From the 1st of June 2009, long stay visa holders will be allowed to reside in France for up to 12 months according to the validity of their visa and purpose of stay. They will no longuer be required to obtain a residence permit ("carte de séjour") from the French local authorities ("Préfecture") as long as their visa is valid.

However, long stay visa holders will have to register to the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) during the first three months of their stay in France.

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2. How do I register in France?


As soon as you will arrive in France, you will have to send by registered mail to the local offices of the OFII :

  • the residence form stamped by the consulate and duly completed with
  • your visa number,
  • your date of entry in France or the Schengen area,
  • and your address in France.
  • a copy of the ID pages of your passport and of the immigration stamp received at the border.



You will then be requested to appear for an interview and medical examination with :

  • your passport
  • a proof of accommodation in France,
  • one ID picture
  • means of payment for the processing fees of 55 € for workers and students or 300 € for visitors.

When the file is complete, a registration stamp will be added to your passport.

3. Does it concern all long stay visas?


No. These new regulations only concern :

  • long stay visa to work in France (excepted for scientists, researchers, university teachers and internships),
  • long stay visa to study in France (student, au pair)
  • long stay visa for visitors
  • long stay visa for spouses of French national

Other long stay visas holders have to apply for a residence permit in France at the local administration called "préfecture" within 2 months of their arrival in France. Minors are not required to follow any of both procedures.

4. Does it concern all nationalities?


No. It does not concern the citizens of :

  • the European Economic Area
  • Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and Vatican
  • Algeria. France has a bilateral agreement with this country regarding immigration matters.

Also special rules apply for family members of an European Union citizen.

5. What shall I do when my long stay visa expires?



- If the purpose of your stay is extended, you should apply for a renewal of your residence permit at the local French administration called "préfecture" two months before the expiration of your visa.

- If the purpose of your stay in France has ended, you should leave France before the expiration of your visa.

-  If the purpose of your stay has changed, you should contact the local French administration called "préfecture" to apply for a residence permit according to your situation two months before the expiration of your visa. Please be aware that a change of status might be refused.

Dernière modification : 31/05/2013

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