France Focus on the Visitor Visa

France – Focus on the Visitor Visa
In France, we have no nomad / digital / remote/ working under the sun visa (yet?). One usually gets a visa for “classic” reasons: work, family, marriage, studies,…. and forget the visitor visa option! Statistics* published by the Ministry of the Interior confirm that: only 16,000 visitor visas were issued in 2021, out of the 229,095 long-stay visas requested.  This is relatively little for a visa that can be an interesting solution, if you meet its conditions.
What is it?

The visitor visa is a long-stay visa, i.e. it is issued for more than 3 months. It is a “long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit” (VLS-TS): once obtained, the holder has nothing to do but register upon arrival in France, where he can reside for 12 months. At the end of this period, a local renewal is possible, under the same conditions.

It should be noted that Algerian citizens will have to obtain a one-year residence certificate from the authorities, in accordance with the Franco-Algerian agreement.

For whom?

Any non-European person wishing to reside in France more than 3 months and meeting the conditions. It can thus cover a fairly wide range: retirees, long-term tourists, families,…

What conditions?

Two essential conditions:

  1. Provide proof that the applicant can live on his/her own resources
  2. Undertake not to carry out any professional activity subject to authorisation in France

Providing proof that the applicant can live on his own resources” is saying that the applicant must be able to support himself during his stay: the minimum monthly amount is the French SMIC (1 709,32 € gross per month), but it is strongly advised to demonstrate an amount higher than this.

To do so, documents justifying resources must be provided, including bank statements proving the existence of funds (ideally, on a French bank account). Resources may come from a professional activity carried out abroad, property income, pensions, pensions, etc.

In addition, insurance covering the entire stay will be required by the authorities, as well as proof of accommodation in France.

Undertake not to exercise in France any professional activity subject to authorization” means that the visitor visa is in no way a work authorization or a work permit: it is strictly forbidden under visitor visa to work in France and for a French employer, or to create a company.


The request is usually made abroad, via the Consulate of France. The average time depends on the Consulate, but once the file is accepted, the visa is usually released in around 10/20 working days.

What’s next?

The visitor visa can be renewed in France as long as the conditions are met, giving a long term residence horizon and, even further, access to French nationality.

Would you like more information on obtaining a visitor visa? Contact us!

The documents to be provided, the arguments to be supported and the speech to be made will be essential for this application, and the government is reportedly thinking about tightening the conditions for obtaining this visa – some of the few reasons to be accompanied by an expert!

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