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My girlfriend and I have been looking into moving to Paris by Spring of 2018. We've been looking at the requirements needed to gain a "long stay visa". Our local French Consulate (In Atlanta, Ga) states that we need One application form, Two (2) recent ID pictures, Original passport, Status in the US, Letter promising not to engage in any employment in France, Letter of employment, Proof of means of income, Proof of medical insurance, Marriage certificate, Proof of accommodation, Processing fees, and One residence form... Does anyone have any experience with all this?

What if we don't have current medical insurance? One paragraph said we need to show proof of medical insurance that will last all year (the year of us living in Paris) that has a $40,000 minimum. And do we really need to show our bank statements, a letter from our current job, etc...?

It also states that we need to show proof of accommodation? Yet it tells us not to buy a plane ticket? Why would we lease an apartment, yet not get a plane ticket?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

Bryce
 

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Without looking up the page on the Atlanta Consulate that you're referring to, what I suspect is that the consulate is listing the range of documents you may need to support your visa application.

The specifics may very well depend on what type of long-stay visa you are requesting, which relates to your answer to the question on the form about "What is your reason for wanting to come to France?" (or something similar).

Obviously, if you have a letter of employment, you won't be needing a letter swearing not to engage in employment during your stay. The letter of employment is for either a job visa or something like a scientific./researcher visa, where you're going to France on a contract or post-doc position or something similar. Similarly, if you have a France based job, you won't need proof of your means of financial support (assumed to be your job), nor of medical insurance (since you'll be covered by the sécu system through your salary withholdings).

If you aren't going with a job lined up (and work authorization obtained by your employer), you will need to have medical insurance ("roughly equivalent to the national health care program"). Whether you need "expat health insurance" or "travel health insurance" comes back to the reason you give for wanting to go and live in France - and whether or not you'll need repatriation coverage (i.e. to fly you back home should you fall seriously ill or be seriously injured and require prolonged care and treatment).

If you're going to be living off your savings, then yes, you'll need to show your bank statements. A letter from your current job is critical if you'll be returning to that job after your time in France is done. (Or, to know if you got fired from your current job and don't have that option.) Proof of accommodation also depends a bit on the reason you're coming to France. Normally, it's OK to have something arranged for the first month or two on arrival - people often rent a holiday home (i.e. furnished) or stay in an apart hotel (suites hotel) for a couple months while they are arranging longer term more permanent accommodation. Basically, they want to see that you have a plan consistent with your reason for coming to France (as well as an address where you can be contacted after your arrival).

Basically, they are simply looking for proof of what you say you are going to do while you're in France, plus proof that you'll go back home when you say you will. If you're not going over there to work, they also need/want proof that you have the funds to support whatever it is you're going to do while in France without being tempted to look for work "under the table" without the proper registrations and cotisations.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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