Long stay visa for non professional purpose "visitor visa"

1 - Information

Please read carefully the "General information" section before applying.

The applicant has to apply for the visa and obtain it in his/her country of residence prior to leaving for France.

You may apply with the French Consulate in Washington DC if you reside in one of the following states :

Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia.

If you do not reside in one of those states, you have to apply with another French Consulate, depending on where you live in the United states. In order to know where to apply, please click here.

You may apply for this long stay visa or "visitor visa" if you intend to settle in France (for example as a retiree) and live there more than 90 days per semester.

CAUTION: this visa DOES NOT allow you to work in France. As a consequence, the proof of sufficient funds and assets to support your stay in France without working for more than a year will be crucial to qualify you for this visa.

If granted, the visa issued is valid as a "Long Stay as Resident Card visa" for a maximum of one year.

The visa in your passport will also be your permanent resident card for France for the whole first year.

Should you then wish to stay more than a year in France, you will then have to contact the French local state authorities ("Préfecture") to apply for an extension of your stay by a permanent resident card ("Carte de Séjour") separate from your passport.


PERSONNAL APPEARANCE IS MANDATORY : you cannot apply by mail.


The procedure takes around 2 weeks for US citizens and around 2 months for others nationalities.

2- Requirements

You have to apply with all the required documents in original and 1 copy for US citizen, 2 copies for other nationalities. The visa section does not make any copies.

- Your passport needs to be valid for a minimum period of 3 months beyond the last day of stay intended in France (a year and 3 months minimum for a stay of one year) (+ 1 copy of the identification page).

- A proof of residence in the Washington jurisdiction : either DC, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

- 2 long stay application forms signed and clearly filled out (only 1 application form for US citizen). Please print in black.

- 2 photographs (only 1 if you are American) (more information about the photograph). All photos must be recent, identical, passport size - 1,4" x 1,7" (3,5cm x 4,5cm) and showing face front the forehead hairline and ears on a white background, the face must take up 70-80% of the photograph.

- if currently employed, a letter from your employer mentionning your current position and the duration of your work contract.

- a letter/statement explaining the ==purpose== of your stay in France.

- The OFII Form (this form is only available in French) that you will have filled in all the first superior part (above the middle section). If your visa is granted, the consulate will stamp this form and give it back to you. You will then fill in the last portion of it upon your arrival in France and send it to the closest local branch of the OFII of your home in France.

- For Alien residents in the US, a proof of residency status in the US ( e.g. , visa, I-94, IAP66, I-20, resident card ).

- Financial guarantee such as :

  • At minimum, bank statement of bank accounts (Checking, Savings, CDs...) that you own with detailled transactions among the past 3 months and daily balance.
  • And any relevant supplement documentation about any fundings or assets you would have as for example justification of retirement or pensions...
    (or A notarized declaration of your sponsor stating that he/she will be responsible for all your expenses and a proof of his/her complete assets.)

- A note, dated and signed by the applicant, stating that he/she does not intend to have in France a paid professional activity which requires a work permit.

- Proof of medical insurance with coverage for medical expenses up to 40,000$ (or the equivalent in euros) valid during the whole stay in France. Letter from the insurance company only: cards or full coverage contracts will be declined. The insurance should state that under your policy you are covered for medical expenses, emergencies and hospitalization for a long stay in France, with the limit amount of coverage if there is one (or "unlimited" if there is no limit of coverage)

- Notarized deed of your house/appartment or Rent contract for the stay in France (for a whole year if a minimum stay of one year is intented) with the address of the rented place, tenant contact information, montly rent amount.

- if the deed of your house in France has been acquired more than a year prior to your application, provide also your local French tax return "Taxe Foncière".

- Processing fees: payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard) ONLY.

- the visa cannot be issued on the day of your interview. If you want the consulate to mail back your passport, please bring a self-addressed prepaid EXPRESS MAIL envelope from the US POST OFFICE ONLY.
Please fill out the mailing label as follows :

Your full name
Your address

Your full name
Your address

3- For future procedures in France

Although the following documents are NOT requested for your visa application, the French General consulate advises you to prepare :
- a birth certificate and a full translation in French. The translation can be then certified by the consular offices in Washington, to be valid in front of any French authority that would request them. (you will need to provide the translation with the document, the consular offices do not make the translation). Without certified translation, US documents are not valid in France. Fees apply.

- a change of residence certificate ("Certificat de Changement de Residence") can allow you to be waived for customs fees for your properties moving. This document can be obtained after the issuance of your long stay visa with :

  • for US Citizen, your US passport and long stay visa applied in it;
  • for Aliens permanent residents in the US : your passport and long stay visa applied in it plus a proof of a minimum of one continued year or residence in the US (proof of deed of rent lease contract with utility bills of gas, water, electricity or resident phone for a whole full past 12 months)

The Consular services have full authority to appreciate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant. The latter is hereby informed that submitting the aforementioned documents does not ensure automatic issuance of the visa.

Last modified on 12/05/2014

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