Carte de sejour for a long-term stay in France
People who spend an extended amount of time in France often begin to wonder how they can stay even longer in this amazing country. Many will seek to extend their stay by taking language lessons in country or even begin to start the process of finding a job in France. Others marry nationals to stay in France, but whether or not you have any romantic interests in this country, you can still take the necessary steps to stay long term.
How to obtain a “Carte de séjour”
To do that, you will need to obtain a carte de séjour in France. To get that permit, you will need to take several other steps in preparation for that, particularly if you are a non-EU citizen, such as:
- Secure employment in France by obtaining an employment visa
- Register in accredited schools in France and obtain a student visa
- Obtain the proper visa de long séjour (long-stay visa) as part of this process
- Arrive in France, then apply for a carte de séjour
Here are greater details to explain this fairly confusing list of regulations:
- You will need a long-stay visa in order to get a residence permit. You can’t get one on a short-stay visa. Some long-stay visas (VLS-TS) are valid for stays between three months and one year.
- These long-stay visas also act as a “temporary residence permit” as long as the visa is validated by L’Office Francais de l’Immigration et de I’Integration (OFII).
- In most cases, students staying for 3-6 months don’t need to apply for a residence permit once they arrive in France. Their long-stay temporary visa acts as an acceptable permit. However, with this temporary long-stay visa, students can’t extend their stay in France. If a student originally applied for a long-term visa of 6-12 months by registering at recognized schools for higher education for that corresponding period, or for a work contract, for instance, they will usually receive a visa valid for 6 months AND they then have to apply for a carte de séjour within 2 months upon arrival in France.
As a reminder, if you live outside the European Union and come to France for more than 6 months, in order to remain in France, you must obtain a residence card valid for the period. Under certain conditions it can be renewed. Only students in possession of a “student long stay” visa may apply for this permit. Tourist visas or visas indicating “short stay” and “temporary long stay (stay between 3 -6 months) cannot be used to obtain a residence card. Click here to find out more about the different types of student visas.
The process of to obtain carte de séjour can France can be attacked with these action steps:
- Secure employment with a French multinational company (Total, AXA, etc.) and petition to spend time living and working in an office in France. This can put you on the road to getting a carte de séjour.
- Work for a multinational company of any sort that has offices in France and seek to be stationed there. This can also be a handy step to obtain a carte de séjour in France.
- Find an employment niche that a French national will not be as qualified to do, and seek to find a job in that field.
- Go to France on a student visa, and while there, work for a French company that can give you an internship during your student days.
Of course, throughout this process, your ability to communicate in French will be key. To get to that point, include time in a qualified language school in your action plan to obtain a carte de séjour in France.