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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I am new to this forum - so sorry if going over old ground - I have looked and found many useful tips on this site but still have some questions I hope someone might be able to help with.
We own a house in France and for the first time are going to apply in 2014 for long stay french visas (previously we have just relied on the 90 days in 180 days visa exemption which applies to Australians). I understand we can apply for a long stay visa for periods between 4 to 12 months. I understand we need to show proof of accommodation, proof of financial resources, proof of health insurance, proof of air tickets, clean police check. I do not anticipate any problems in satisfying those requirements. We are retired lawyers and have no intention at all of working while in France. We just want to live there for some months, and also do a bit of travel through Europe, using our house as a base. (We would like to do this for probably the next 5 years - and understand we will need to apply for a separate visa each year to enable use to do this.)

My questions are:
1. are they more likely to grant the shorter visa (ie one for say 4 months rather than 12 months)?

2. If we obtain a visa for say 4 months, do we still need to go through the process on arriving in France of lodging the OFII?? form and having a medical examination, and paying the fee of around 300 to 400e?? each?

3. Also, is it sufficient as a reason for wanting the visa to say we want to participate in french life and culture, and learn the language (through day to day living there rather than formal courses)?

Any help will be GREATLY appreciated.
 

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My questions are:
1. are they more likely to grant the shorter visa (ie one for say 4 months rather than 12 months)?
Depends how they are feeling when you apply, but given that you have a reason for going to France, they are probably as likely to grant you a visa for 4 months as for 12.

2. If we obtain a visa for say 4 months, do we still need to go through the process on arriving in France of lodging the OFII?? form and having a medical examination, and paying the fee of around 300 to 400e?? each?
For visa terms shorter than 12 months, you have to register with the OFII (i.e. send in your paperwork) but they don't have you do the OFII visit, medical exam, etc. For a stay of less than a year, you don't need a carte de séjour, so there is no 300€ fee.

3. Also, is it sufficient as a reason for wanting the visa to say we want to participate in french life and culture, and learn the language (through day to day living there rather than formal courses)?
Most likely - and the fact that you are retired and have a house there just adds to your case. It should fly with little or no trouble. Individual consulates have their "discretion" as always - but unless you give them some reason to be suspicious of your motives they should process your visas with little or no fuss.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many thanks for all that information - and such a prompt reply - we really appreciate it!
Also - another question - we would like to buy a car next year in France. I have read there may be difficulties in registering and getting insurance if we are not residents. In view of our circumstances as explained above - what do you think?
 

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I'll have to let those with more experience in this area handle the car and insurance question. I think you may run into some difficulties here because if you aren't residents, it's that much harder to contact you in the event of a problem.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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hi there, firstly - thanks for your visa questions as it matched mine almost exactly- meant I had answers b4 even posting.
regarding buying a car in france, my husband and I bought one from a dealer close to our town with absolutely no problems. The dealer organised everything to do with the registration and we were able to just go and pick it up a couple of days later, as you would have read, it is illegal to drive in france without insurance but once we had the registration paperwork in our names we visited a local assurance company and were fully reg'd and on the road within the hour. NB we were only in france on the schengen visa rules at the time.
We already had our french bank account as well which made life easier as well.
 
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