Questions about long term visitor visa for American going to France

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Questions about long term visitor visa for American going to France


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Old 9th January 2012, 10:21 PM
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Default Questions about long term visitor visa for American going to France

So I am in the process of trying to acquire everything I need to get a long term visiter visa for France.

First off, how hard is it to get one? About me and why I am going to France. Well I am a 28 year old electrician living in Boston. I met a French girl and fell in love and we have been going back and forth over the last year but I want to try to get a long term visa so we can be together for a year and see if we want to get married. I don't have rich parents that can or will sign a sheet saying they will send me money every month to support me. But working a lot over the past ten years I have about 70,000 dollars saved up.

Trying to get ahold of the French consulate in Boston is not an easy task. The descriptions of what you need on their website is very vague and no one has answered my emails. So hopefully someone can help me on here.

These are the things the website says I need.

1. Status in the US. Thats no problem I was born here.

2. Letter promising not to engage in any employment in France (signature certified by a notary public) . Do I just write a letter saying that I won't work and thats it? Like one or two sentences and have it notarized

3. Letter of employment in the US stating occupation and earnings What does this mean. Can recent pay stubs work? Do I need a letter from my boss stating what I do and how much I get paid?

4. Proof of means of income - letter from the bank, investment certificates, pension slips, … What does a letter from the bank mean. Can I bring in some recent bank statements or do I need a letter from them? And if I need a letter, what should it say?

5. Proof of medical insurance. Your insurance letter must include : "Medical evacuation" et "Repatriation". Anyone have any recommendations on companies?

6. Proof of accommodation in France (title deeds, lease or rental agreement) I am going to be staying with the girl I know there. What does she need to give me. A letter saying I will stay with her? A copy of her identity card? Recent phone or gas bill?

7. One residence form duly filled out (upper part only) That is self explanatory

8. I saw someone else on here say they needed a police report. What kind. Local? Federal? Both?

Also on the website it says that you need to reserve a airplane ticket but not pay for it. Is that even possible to reserve a seat without paying for it? Or should I just buy a ticket with the insurance on it in case I get rejected.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to look at this. Any suggestions, recommendations, comments would be great. Also after knowing the whole story, how likely is it that they will grant me a visa. I'm sure it is not easy to get one since I am young and have a skill that I could easily work under the table with.

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Old 10th January 2012, 06:36 AM
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The list of requirements on the website is vague for a reason - they usually have a disclaimer saying that you can be denied a visa even if you have everything on the list and that they reserve the right to ask for further documentation. You're in a tough situation here, because you fit the demographic for someone most likely to simply disappear into the crowd rather than either returning home at the end of the year or extending your visa according to the rules (which, in your case would most likely mean returning back home).

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Originally Posted by bsoncini View Post
These are the things the website says I need.

1. Status in the US. Thats no problem I was born here.

2. Letter promising not to engage in any employment in France (signature certified by a notary public) . Do I just write a letter saying that I won't work and thats it? Like one or two sentences and have it notarized
Technically, all you need is the letter. Practically speaking, you need to be able to "prove" that you won't be tempted to work under the table. If you were 60 or 65 years old, that wouldn't be a problem. At your age, you're going to need to show some reason why you would be likely to return to the US at the end of the visa term without trying your luck on the French job market.

Quote:
3. Letter of employment in the US stating occupation and earnings What does this mean. Can recent pay stubs work? Do I need a letter from my boss stating what I do and how much I get paid?
Ideally, this would be a letter from your employer telling your job and salary, and indicating that you have a "leave of absence" or something and they're holding your job open for you on your return. The pay stubs are fine, but it's far better to show that you're leaving your current employer on good terms (i.e. not "running from" something).

Quote:
4. Proof of means of income - letter from the bank, investment certificates, pension slips, … What does a letter from the bank mean. Can I bring in some recent bank statements or do I need a letter from them? And if I need a letter, what should it say?
In France, they are not normally allowed to ask for "personal" documents like a bank statement. Instead, you pay the bank 15€ or so to write a formal letter, testifying to your status as a long-term customer, the nature of your accounts, or whatever else it is they are looking for. In France, the bank letter can validate the claim that you have your paycheck automatically deposited to your account and that the account is "normally active" (i.e. you haven't just dumped a wad of cash in the account, ready to withdrawn as soon as the visa is granted).

Quote:
5. Proof of medical insurance. Your insurance letter must include : "Medical evacuation" et "Repatriation". Anyone have any recommendations on companies?
Just to get an idea of pricing, take a look here: AARO?s Health Care Program for Expatriate America and click on the link to their 2011 list of premiums. You can only get insurance through AARO if you're a member, but they do publish their list of premiums and their policy is specifically constructed to meet the visa requirements. You can get similar policies through any of the big international insurers - AXA, Allianz, Swiss Life, or others.

Quote:
6. Proof of accommodation in France (title deeds, lease or rental agreement) I am going to be staying with the girl I know there. What does she need to give me. A letter saying I will stay with her? A copy of her identity card? Recent phone or gas bill?
She can write a letter "inviting" you to stay with her and outlining whatever conditions you have agreed to (i.e. sharing of rent or running costs). A copy of both sides of her identity card would be a good idea and a gas bill or rental agreement showing that she is the legal occupant of the flat.

Quote:
7. One residence form duly filled out (upper part only) That is self explanatory
Yup

Quote:
8. I saw someone else on here say they needed a police report. What kind. Local? Federal? Both?
Normally only for certain long-stay visas or in the event that you are going for French citizenship. Don't offer anything they don't specifically ask for. For most purposes in France, if they ask for a police report, they will need an FBI "rap sheet" which involves getting yourself fingerprinted and the payment of a fee (currently around $20).

Quote:
Also on the website it says that you need to reserve a airplane ticket but not pay for it. Is that even possible to reserve a seat without paying for it? Or should I just buy a ticket with the insurance on it in case I get rejected.
Usually, you can book a reservation and they'll "hold" it for 24 or 48 hours until it's paid for. They basically want to see what your travel plans are.

Quote:
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to look at this. Any suggestions, recommendations, comments would be great. Also after knowing the whole story, how likely is it that they will grant me a visa. I'm sure it is not easy to get one since I am young and have a skill that I could easily work under the table with.
I think you're in a very tenuous situation concerning the visa. The Boston consulate is one of the consulates that seems to be willing to issue a six month visitor visa if you are planning to marry your French sweetheart within that time frame and then you can apply for a change in status based on six months of legal co-habitation with your gf.

If things don't work out for you in six months, you could always just come back home, but without some assurances that you're ready to marry her, they may be very reluctant to issue the visa - and you'll be out the visa fees.

You might do better to go over there a couple times on a regular old 90 day Schengen visa, which would establish a pattern of your being together. Then, you'd be more likely to be able to get a six month visitor visa (which functions as a fiancé visa) in a year or two when you decide that you want to get married and live in France full time. In the meantime, brush up your French and check out what it would take to transfer your qualifications to France.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 10th January 2012, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
The list of requirements on the website is vague for a reason - they usually have a disclaimer saying that you can be denied a visa even if you have everything on the list and that they reserve the right to ask for further documentation. You're in a tough situation here, because you fit the demographic for someone most likely to simply disappear into the crowd rather than either returning home at the end of the year or extending your visa according to the rules (which, in your case would most likely mean returning back home).
The thing is I really don't want to work while I am there. I am 28 and have been working almost 50 to 60 hours a week since I was 18 (except for vacations and trips to France obviously). I really don't want to do anything that would get me sent back here earlier. And I have money saved up so I won't have to work. I would really love some extended time of not working but I guess convincing them of that is another matter.


Quote:
Ideally, this would be a letter from your employer telling your job and salary, and indicating that you have a "leave of absence" or something and they're holding your job open for you on your return. The pay stubs are fine, but it's far better to show that you're leaving your current employer on good terms (i.e. not "running from" something).
That is too bad. I was hoping to not have to tell my boss about this until I was accepted for the visa and if I was rejected he wouldn't have had to know. The thing is I know I can get my job back if I go because we have had a lot of training at it is really hard for them to replace us.


Quote:
In France, they are not normally allowed to ask for "personal" documents like a bank statement. Instead, you pay the bank 15€ or so to write a formal letter, testifying to your status as a long-term customer, the nature of your accounts, or whatever else it is they are looking for. In France, the bank letter can validate the claim that you have your paycheck automatically deposited to your account and that the account is "normally active" (i.e. you haven't just dumped a wad of cash in the account, ready to withdrawn as soon as the visa is granted).
How do I ask for this letter? Will an American bank know what to say if I ask them for a letter saying this? Also I don't know if it matters but my money is in a few different things. Some is in stocks, some in cd's (certificate of deposits) and some in a checking acount but all can be withdrawn. I don't know if this will matter



Quote:
Just to get an idea of pricing, take a look here: and click on the link to their 2011 list of premiums. You can only get insurance through AARO if you're a member, but they do publish their list of premiums and their policy is specifically constructed to meet the visa requirements. You can get similar policies through any of the big international insurers - AXA, Allianz, Swiss Life, or others.
Do any of these allow me to purchase them and get the letter that I need but be able to cancel if I am rejected for the visa?



Quote:
I think you're in a very tenuous situation concerning the visa. The Boston consulate is one of the consulates that seems to be willing to issue a six month visitor visa if you are planning to marry your French sweetheart within that time frame and then you can apply for a change in status based on six months of legal co-habitation with your gf.

If things don't work out for you in six months, you could always just come back home, but without some assurances that you're ready to marry her, they may be very reluctant to issue the visa - and you'll be out the visa fees.

You might do better to go over there a couple times on a regular old 90 day Schengen visa, which would establish a pattern of your being together. Then, you'd be more likely to be able to get a six month visitor visa (which functions as a fiancé visa) in a year or two when you decide that you want to get married and live in France full time. In the meantime, brush up your French and check out what it would take to transfer your qualifications to France.
Cheers,
Bev
How do I prove to them that we are serious about getting married. Would I need a letter from her stating it. Would we actually have to plan a wedding for them to believe this?

We have been back and forth a few times for anywhere between a few weeks to two months. I don't know if this is enough to prove we are in a relationship.

It is just frustrating that this is so tough to be with someone that you wanna be with. I wish I could go there for an extended amount of time to learn French good. Last time I was there a few companies told me they would hire me if I knew better french and could legally work. The company I work for now exists in France and the store there said that if I could learn French well they might possibly help me get work papers. But, to learn the language well I would really need to be there for some time.

Anyway Bev, thanks for your time and your responses. You have been more helpful than anyone and anything I have seen on the internet.

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Old 11th January 2012, 06:32 AM
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Have you considered going over to France to learn French? There are a couple of programs that run for 6 months or a year and would give you a really good "reason" for wanting to be in France for that period of time.

Check the Campus France website CampusFrance - Education en France - Study in France - Estudiar en Francia - Etudier en France - Study abroad in France - Centre pour les Etudes En France - CEF to see what might be possible in that direction. It's a much easier visa to get - and you can work a fixed number of hours while you're a student, which would give you an entrée into the French work force.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 11th January 2012, 10:04 AM
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[That is too bad. I was hoping to not have to tell my boss about this until I was accepted for the visa and if I was rejected he wouldn't have had to know. The thing is I know I can get my job back if I go because we have had a lot of training at it is really hard for them to replace us.

I contacted my firm's HR Dept and said I needed a letter stating my salary and length of service. They were accustomed to such requests and didn't ask the reason. So I was able to avoid lying to or involving my boss. Had they asked the reason, I suppose I would have said I was thinking about making a co-op application.

Do any of these allow me to purchase them and get the letter that I need but be able to cancel if I am rejected for the visa?

I used the company below. The president, Mr. Perez, is very helpful and well informed. I believe there was a way to cancel (your coverage won't start until your arrival date), but you can ask him directly. You may also wish to take advice about continuing your US coverage via Cobra, for example, until you are certain about remaining in France.

GlobalInsuranceNet.com - US $ Insurance made easy

Bonne chance, Charlot

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Old 11th January 2012, 08:44 PM
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I did look into getting a student visa. I am not really interested in learning anything but French. So my options were pretty limited and language schools are pretty expensive. I calculated it to about $10,000 dollars for a year in a language school. Which obviously is pretty expensive. Do you know of anything that might be cheaper than that?

And thanks for the input Charlot. I never thought of asking my boss in that way. Do you think when/if I go for the visa they will actually contact my boss about it? I would really rather have it be me telling him than finding out from the french consulate.

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Old 12th January 2012, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoncini View Post
I did look into getting a student visa. I am not really interested in learning anything but French. So my options were pretty limited and language schools are pretty expensive. I calculated it to about $10,000 dollars for a year in a language school. Which obviously is pretty expensive. Do you know of anything that might be cheaper than that?

And thanks for the input Charlot. I never thought of asking my boss in that way. Do you think when/if I go for the visa they will actually contact my boss about it? I would really rather have it be me telling him than finding out from the french consulate.
I think it's unlikely that a reference typed on company letterhead would be checked (doubt there's the manpower), unless your overall application has generated some red flags.

I don't know how close you are to your boss, but I respect that you don't want to jeopardize a good relationship with him. If he somehow learns of your application, perhaps you could explain that you didn't want to say anything until you were sure you were going to see it through.

You'll have to weigh the pros and cons of keeping your plans secret. But, if you find you have to lie, my advice: keep it short and simple. It's easy to forgive a fib (especially when the motive behind it is love!), but no one likes to feel they've been played for a fool.

Best, Charlot

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