For any stay in France exceeding 90 days, you are required to apply in advance for a long-stay vis. In this instance your nationality does not exempt you from requirements.
Whatever the duration of your planned stay, the duration of your long-stay visa must be between three months and one year. In order to extend your stay beyond the period of validity of your visa, you must apply for a residence permit at a prefecture.
During its period of validity, the long-stay visa is equivalent to a Schengen visa, enabling you to move around and stay in the Schengen Area outside France for periods not exceeding 90 days over any period of 180 consecutive days, under the same conditions as if you held a Schengen visa.
Long-stay visas for Metropolitan France
First check that your nationality or the context of your stay in France do not exempt you from the visa application requirements (visa assistant) and seek information about issuance conditions for a visa that will enable you to:
- Stay for an extended period for tourist or personal reasons;
- Carry out a professional activity;
- Pursue education;
- Join family members.
In any of the above situations, you will be required to attach supporting documents specific to your situation to your application, and follow the respective procedures.
In special cases, travellers may be eligible for specific visas:
- In the event of successful entrance examination or admission upon interview to an institution of higher learning, under a short-stay visa bearing the specification "étudiant-concours" (student course) you may apply for a student residence permit from the prefecture;
- As a holder of a visa bearing the specification "mineur scolarisé" (school-going minor) to attend school or an institution of higher learning, you may stay 11 months in France, renewable for the duration of your studies;
- As a holder of a long-stay visa bearing the specification "vacances-travail" (working holiday);
- As a family member of a national of a European Union Member State, European Economic Space state, or Switzerland, subject to visa requirements, and holder of a short-stay visa, you will be able to apply for a residence permit once in France.
Citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican may stay in the European territory of France without a visa for longer than 90 days.
Long-stay Visas for Non-European French Territories
Most nationalities are subject to long-stay visa requirements to stay in said territories for more than 90 days, with the exception of:
- Citizens of the European Union, Monaco and Andorra, for all territories.
- Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, except French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis-et-Futuna and the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF).