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Okay I'm seriously freaking out. Holy shiz balls. :confused2:

I am an Australian citizen wanting to apply for a Long Stay Working Holiday Visa for France. I have read through all the requirements and am on the verge of ripping my hair out. I had planned to travel around Europe for three months prior to settling in France and then have my visa go a year from this date. So I would leave Australia at the beginning of July but not hit up France until Octoberish.

I don't even know the etiquette with visas. The embassy says you should apply for the visa 3 months in advance to your departure date but also says you need a return ticket to your country of residence. If I am applying 3 months before I go, then not entering France for 3 months I won't be able to produce this as evidence because you can't purchase airline tickets that last longer than a year. And even if I didn't travel around for three months... if I have to apply three months in advance there still won't be an airline ticket in existence for me to purchase. Or can you? Can anyone help me with this.

Also if I enter France just for a few days within the first 3 months of my travelling period could I refrain from getting my Visa stamped? Or is it an automatic thing as soon as you enter the country? Oh mannnnn. Is a visa separate from your passport or is it electronically installed? This may be a stupid question but I've been so busy lamenting all this bureaucracy that I haven't had time to look this up.

I'm 22 and I have a university degree and I can speak French but I don't mind doing casual work. It also asks on the application form what will my address be when I am in France. But how can I possibly have this when I don't know if I'll even be granted a visa? And if looking for a place to live... well you can't really peruse property sites and "shotgun" a property 6 months in advance.

It just seems there are so many ridiculous loopholes. Is there any chance I could still apply and promise to send them a copy of my return airline ticket as soon as I have bought it so that it falls on an ideal date for me, ie. a year from when I want to start my year in France?

I have saved a lot of money and will be solidly doing so for another 5 months. But will the fact that I am holidaying for 3 months deter them? Make them think my funds will deplete? I mean it is a working HOLIDAY visa after all.

I don't know. I just want to live in Paris for a year but it seems the dream has been ruined by stupid ridiculous obstacles that don't make sense.

Any help would be greatly appreciated by my nerves.
 

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Ah, welcome to France! (well, metaphorically speaking at any rate)

France bureaucracy is famous (or is that infamous) for making requests that seem to defy all logic. I do think it's part of a "test" for getting a visa or doing much of anything in Bureaucracyland here.

OK, the first thing is that I'm not sure how well viewed it's going to be that you want to tool around in Europe for 3 months before starting your "working holiday" in France. You might want to consider putting off your European wanderings for the end of your year in France. (After you've lived here a while, you get used to the concept of trying to make things easy for the fonctionnaires...) I think they are figuring that your "holiday" is part and parcel of the one year visa, not added onto the beginning or end.

We've had a number of queries about the requirement of showing a lease or rental contract for your lodgings. I honestly don't think they mean this quite as literally as it sounds. Most people stay in a hotel for their first few days or weeks, or they make some arrangement for a furnished rental. Several people here have suggested that you need to make some serious inquiries about renting a place, and then get a letter from the agency stating that they are willing to rent you something based on your credit check, etc. Or, list the address of whatever hotel you're thinking of staying at those first few days or weeks.

As far as the airline ticket is concerned, that may be one of their controls to assure you don't overstay your welcome. I'm not sure, but I suspect they would accept an "open jaw" ticket - i.e. fully refundable ticket with an "open" date of return. It's also a way of checking to see that you have enough money to go home when you're supposed to, as those refundable tickets cost way more than the bargain flights. They actually used to tell you not to buy your airline ticket until you'd gotten your visa - but I guess that policy changed.

Living in Paris has always involved stupid obstacles that don't make sense. It's considered part of the "charm" of Paris (and France).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bev!

The only thing is though… when does the visa start? From the date I get it? Or the date I get it stamped in France? Or the date my travel insurance starts? Because if I don’t arrive in France til October and that’s when my year’s worth of travel insurance starts surely that is an okay way to start. I know they say don’t apply too early but are visas actually capable of expiring?

And they say to apply 3 months early to allow for processing time but sometimes you are issued it in a week but wouldn’t be leaving until 3 months later, which also leads me to believe it starts the day you arrive in France and get it stamped.

Could I show them an airline ticket from another European country as opposed to one from Australia? I spoke to a friend last night who just came back from 6 months in France and she said as soon as your visa has expired you tick over to the 3 month tourist visa. Is this true?

I will look into these open jaw tickets. I think when I have my appointment it may not look too good if I stand there arguing the silliness of the return ticket.

I don’t want to step on any toes. I want to do this the legit way it just seems very difficult. But thank you so much for your help!
 

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The only thing is though… when does the visa start? From the date I get it? Or the date I get it stamped in France? Or the date my travel insurance starts? Because if I don’t arrive in France til October and that’s when my year’s worth of travel insurance starts surely that is an okay way to start. I know they say don’t apply too early but are visas actually capable of expiring?

And they say to apply 3 months early to allow for processing time but sometimes you are issued it in a week but wouldn’t be leaving until 3 months later, which also leads me to believe it starts the day you arrive in France and get it stamped.

Could I show them an airline ticket from another European country as opposed to one from Australia? I spoke to a friend last night who just came back from 6 months in France and she said as soon as your visa has expired you tick over to the 3 month tourist visa. Is this true?

I will look into these open jaw tickets. I think when I have my appointment it may not look too good if I stand there arguing the silliness of the return ticket.

I don’t want to step on any toes. I want to do this the legit way it just seems very difficult. But thank you so much for your help!
Your visa has 'valid from' and 'valid until' dates typed on it. You can enter any time between the two dates, and stay until the expiry date. You can normally specify the start date of your visa, up to 3 months in advance. So when you apply in July (which should be plenty early enough), just request the visa to start from a set date in October when you hope to arrive in France. And when you arrive, your visa will get stamped (if you enter from a non-Schengen country), but it stays valid until the 'valid until' date typed on it. So if your visa is of 12 months duration and you arrive a month into its validity, you will only have 11 months left on your stay. So it's in your interest to arrive on or very soon after the 'valid from' date. I hope I've made things clear!

As for wanting to stay on after the expiry of your WHV, the thing to do is to leave France for a non-Schengen country (such as UK), where you get a stamp to show you have left France, and then re-enter for up to 90-in-180 days' stay visa-free. The disadvantage of just staying on in France after your visa expires is that there is no record of having left France and your continued presence there can be interpreted as overstay of your working holiday visa, instead of a new tourist stay of 90 days.
 

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Could I show them an airline ticket from another European country as opposed to one from Australia? I spoke to a friend last night who just came back from 6 months in France and she said as soon as your visa has expired you tick over to the 3 month tourist visa. Is this true?
That's not really the case, but visas in France (and in most of the Schengen area) aren't tracked quite as carefully as they are elsewhere.

As Joppa mentioned, you may have problems if you enter France from a Schengen country, as there will be no one there to stamp your date of entry into your passport. I'm not sure what the current protocol is, but there is always the danger that the authorities will consider your date of entry for the visa to be the date stamp from the date you first entered a Schengen country.

You need to check with the consulate, but I believe there is a limited period of time after your visa is issued during which you much enter France. Asking for a delayed visa entry date is probably the best way to deal with this, but if you go this route, be sure to ask (during your interview at the consulate) where you can go to get your entry stamp for France - used to be you could go to a gendarmerie to "declare" your entry and get your visa stamped, but that was a few years back and they may make you go somewhere else.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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Your visa has 'valid from' and 'valid until' dates typed on it. You can enter any time between the two dates, and stay until the expiry date. You can normally specify the start date of your visa, up to 3 months in advance. So when you apply in July (which should be plenty early enough), just request the visa to start from a set date in October when you hope to arrive in France. And when you arrive, your visa will get stamped (if you enter from a non-Schengen country), but it stays valid until the 'valid until' date typed on it. So if your visa is of 12 months duration and you arrive a month into its validity, you will only have 11 months left on your stay. So it's in your interest to arrive on or very soon after the 'valid from' date. I hope I've made things clear!
I'm sure you're right Joppa, but I'm curious as to why, if correct, this isn't a universal rule. For instance, when I've had one year visas for Thailand, the one year validity kicks off from the date of arrival, not from the date of issue. It can be valid for use months before actual arrival - it just has to be used for the first time before a certain expiry date. Perhaps I misunderstand your point.

As Joppa mentioned, you may have problems if you enter France from a Schengen country, as there will be no one there to stamp your date of entry into your passport. I'm not sure what the current protocol is, but there is always the danger that the authorities will consider your date of entry for the visa to be the date stamp from the date you first entered a Schengen country.
When my wife recently entered France on a 3 month Schengen, the issue date was the end of September. She arrived in the Schengen area a month later, and the 3 month validity began at that point. However as you say, the visa is considered to be used from the date of first entry in the Schengen area, in my wife's case this was Austria. Her passport wasn't stamped on arrival in France.

I know of a similar case where the Schengen visa was stamped on arrival in Italy, but on driving into France there wasn't a customs officer to be found at the crossing point (Montgenèvre, one of the mountain pass links between the two countries).
 

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I'm sure you're right Joppa, but I'm curious as to why, if correct, this isn't a universal rule. For instance, when I've had one year visas for Thailand, the one year validity kicks off from the date of arrival, not from the date of issue. It can be valid for use months before actual arrival - it just has to be used for the first time before a certain expiry date. Perhaps I misunderstand your point.
It may be different with Schengen visa or a national long-stay visa (such as WHV), where provided you enter within the validity period you will be given the full term permitted. This may depend on obtaining a suitable carte or titre de sejour from local French authorities. I'm more familiar with UK visa rules, where the 'valid until' date is the last day of your stay in UK, regardless of when you've entered, unless you get your leave extended in-country (where permitted).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okayyyy. The only thing is, I already have my ticket to leave here on June 29. They say to apply 3 months before. So would they instantly refuse me if I wanted it to start in September/October to prevent me from having to come back to get it and THEN going back to France. Even if I had a year's worth of travel insurance from Oct 10 - Oct 11? Seems silly.

Could I get a Schengen Visa and a Working Holiday Visa to go after it?

Bev, this delayed visa entry date... is it for real? If so, can anyone ask for one? Or do you need to have special circumstances? It seems a little bit ridiculous that entering another Schengen country would activate my visa when the consulate website states so clearly that the Visa is only for long-stays in France.

If only I could apply a week before I went and get it then!!! Knowing my luck I'll apply 3 months early and will get it a week later but to gamble and do it later... gah it's a gamble. Hmph.
 

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The problem you'll run into is simply that there usually is no border control at all if you enter France from another Schengen country. (That's basically the cause of my 20 months of immigration hell 15 years ago.)

What you need is to find out if there is a way to validate your long-stay visa on entry from a Schengen country. I suspect you can probably "declare" yourself arrived at either a gendarmerie or a préfecture and get them to stamp the visa in your passport. In that case, you'd just have to make sure on entry to Europe that the person stamping your passport understands that this is a holiday trip to Europe and that you're not (yet) coming to start your French long-stay visa.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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The problem you'll run into is simply that there usually is no border control at all if you enter France from another Schengen country. (That's basically the cause of my 20 months of immigration hell 15 years ago.)

What you need is to find out if there is a way to validate your long-stay visa on entry from a Schengen country. I suspect you can probably "declare" yourself arrived at either a gendarmerie or a préfecture and get them to stamp the visa in your passport. In that case, you'd just have to make sure on entry to Europe that the person stamping your passport understands that this is a holiday trip to Europe and that you're not (yet) coming to start your French long-stay visa.
Cheers,
Bev
Normally, type D visa (national long-stay visa like WHV) has printed on it something like '+1 trans.05 schengen', meaning you can first enter through another Schengen state but must enter France within 5 days. So, for your purpose, apply for your visa in late March and ask for the start date to be postdated by 3 months (i.e. put your anticipated entry date for France for working holiday). Enter Schengen in June, and as the type D WHV isn't valid till September, you will enter on Schengen visa-waiver of 90-in-180 days. Your passport may or may not be stamped - but this is immaterial. Then near the start of your WHV, leave Schengen and then re-enter (so you get your passport stamped - insist on it!), either France or another Schengen state and travel on to France within 5 days. That second entry stamp, placed near your WHV, will act as activation of your working holiday, and all you need to do is to apply for your resident permit (titre de sejour) at the prefecture or mairie of the place you are staying.
 

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The system in France is such that your visa becomes active on the Valid From date, regardless of whether you're here or not. This may have changed in the previous year, but when I entered (very late 2008) the customs officer scanned my passport and stamped a random page, didn't bother to look at the visa. After arriving I went through the other steps necessary (titre de sejour hunting, temporary work permit finding) and it all went off fine. The piece of paper in your passport seems to be the only thing they care about.

What I would do is call the consulate in Sydney and ask them quite frankly, if you get the visa - can you enter before it's valid as part of the Schengen agreement. They'll either have an answer and then you'll know, or they'll hum and ah about it and make something up, in which case it should be fine. :)

Enjoy,

G.
 

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What I would do is call the consulate in Sydney and ask them quite frankly, if you get the visa - can you enter before it's valid as part of the Schengen agreement. They'll either have an answer and then you'll know, or they'll hum and ah about it and make something up, in which case it should be fine. :)
The only caveat I'd add here is that if they make something up, it may not be right and could cause you difficulty on arrival. (Story of my life - or at least the first 20 months here in France.) But I would definitely call the consulate in Sydney and ask if you can request a delayed active date on the visa - and explain that's why you need to apply for the visa earlier than usual.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Lost my Passport and Working Holiday Visa HELP

Im a little late on this one but I think I have some useful details to add and some questions of my own that perhaps some other members can answer.

I am an Australian and I am currently in France and I have a Working Holiday Visa.

I found the website of the French Consulate in Sydney, Australia to be utterly confusing. Different documents contradict each other and the information is constantly changing. I had a lot of trouble working out the details for my visa application towards the end of last year but got there in the end.

I have been in Europe for 3 months now but only 6 weeks in France. I was able to specify a date for the start of my visa which was beyond the date I was leaving Australia by about 6 weeks. The website tells you that it will take between 4 weeks and 3 months so I needed to apply more than 3 months ahead of time to ensure I had it before leaving Australia. The guy actually commented on this when I went to the consulate so I explained the situation and he said that was fine but he wouldnt be able to process it until 3 months before my leaving Australia date. I ended up getting it about 5 weeks later, plenty of time before I left.

With regards to the address to put on the form, this really confused me as well. In the end I organised my first night in France, couchsurfing in Carcassonne, and put their address on the form. I didnt end up even staying there because my plans changed but it didnt affect me getting the visa.

Now, the return ticket to my country of residence, this was a little more tricky. My flight was Australia- London and then I was traveling through the UK then Spain then catching a train from Barcelona up into France so I didnt have a flight into France and obviously no train ticket either. I asked my travel agent what I should do and she offered to just put a flight on my itinery from spain to France without me actually buying it, so I did. The guy at the consulate asked me specifically for the ticket into France and said it was a requirment and I showed him the itinery and he OKed it. One thing I didnt have was a return ticket to London from France although I do have a return ticket from London- Australia. Not sure if he missed this or it didnt matter.

The fact that I was holidaying for 6 weeks before entering France didnt seem to make a difference, however I didnt tell them that I wasnt planning to start working straight away which brings me to my problem and questions.

I entered France on Jan 13th. My Visa is valid from Jan 13th 2010- Jan 13th 2011. For the past 6 weeks or so I have been traveling around France both purely holidaying and helpxing (work in exchange for food and accomodation). I figured that helpx wasnt technically working because I wasnt getting paid and I didnt stay longer than 2 weeks in any one place.

It has been my plan to head to Italy next week and helpx there for a month before going to Nice and looking for work for about 3 months then going off and doing more travel in Europe until the end of November when I fly home. I would have carried on with this plan blissfully if the unthinkable hadnt happened earlier this week... I lost my Passport!!! I called the embassy in Paris and they calmly assured me that I can come in on monday when Im going to be in Paris anyway and get a replacement, phew. The other problem is that I need to get my working holiday visa re-issued with my new passport. I understand that I need to contact the Prefecture de Police to do this but when I call up I cant get anyone who speaks English. Im going to try and get the guys at the embassy to help me out when I go there on monday.

Anyway, while in panic mode I went back to the French consulate website and found this nugget:

"Long stay visas, regardless of their length, are valid for France only. When registering with the local immigration authorities, you will have to provide a proof of residence in France for the period covering the length of your visa. If you fail to do so, the police authorities may reject your registration and you will be ask to leave the Schengen territory after 90 days of stay. Long stay visas allow you to travel in Europe for short stay periods only and you will have to return to France directly after each trip. France has to remain your place of residence during the whole period of your stay. You cannot use a long stay visa to tour around Europe for more than 90 days."

I swear that this wasnt there last year when I was gearing up for my visa application because I combed that website for months prior.

Im worried now because this is pretty much what I had planned to do, and have been doing- travel around France and Europe with some work on the side in France to keep myself afloat.

I have a flight booked to Rome for next wednesday but if I cant get a new working holiday visa by then I dont want to go because if they check my passport (assuming the replacement has some indication of when I arrived in Europe) they'll see Ive been here longer than the 90 days and no working visa and boot me. On the other hand if I go and try and get the visa re-issued are they going to get angry that I have been in France 6 weeks without starting work?

Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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Aussie to Aussie

HELLO!

I somehow came across this forum when I googled 'Can an Australian apply for a France working holiday visa when in another country'.

Adym, I'd really love to know how this all turned out for you! I am also a 22 yr old from Australia and I have an around the world ticket that will get me to to France on June 13th, 2011.

HOWEVER, I will initially be travelling/working in the US and Canada between Feb 28th and June 13th, so it seems kind of impossible for me to apply for a French working holiday visa over HERE because I won't be in Australia the required 3 months before I intend to be in France, hence they will reject me off the bat if I apply now.

It is also my dream to live in Paris, and I'll probably only need a 6 month working visa, but aaaah, it is all so complicated. I guess I'll ring the consulate.

If anyone has any advice, it would be much appreciated. I'm glad I'm not the only one stuck on these STUPID visa rules.

-Charlie
 

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charlimerl,
Unfortunately, there is a long-standing rule in most of the French consulates that they will only accept visa applications from those who are currently resident in their region/jurisdiction. I suppose it's to prevent "consulate shopping" since the French consulates are well known for giving their officials pretty wide discretion.

I also suspect that you aren't going to be in the US and Canada long enough to establish the necessary residence to allow you to make any sort of visa application from there. Given that there aren't too many countries that enjoy the working holiday visa arrangement with France, your best chance is to apply through your consulate in Australia before you hit the road and hope they are able and willing to work something out for you.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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HELLO!

I somehow came across this forum when I googled 'Can an Australian apply for a France working holiday visa when in another country'.

Adym, I'd really love to know how this all turned out for you! I am also a 22 yr old from Australia and I have an around the world ticket that will get me to to France on June 13th, 2011.

HOWEVER, I will initially be travelling/working in the US and Canada between Feb 28th and June 13th, so it seems kind of impossible for me to apply for a French working holiday visa over HERE because I won't be in Australia the required 3 months before I intend to be in France, hence they will reject me off the bat if I apply now.

It is also my dream to live in Paris, and I'll probably only need a 6 month working visa, but aaaah, it is all so complicated. I guess I'll ring the consulate.

If anyone has any advice, it would be much appreciated. I'm glad I'm not the only one stuck on these STUPID visa rules.

-Charlie
Hi all,

I'm stumbled across this forum whilst googling the EXACT same thing as charlimerl. I am in a similar predicament.
The French Consulate website is quite frustrating and after hours of perusing over it, I have still not found the answer to my queries!! I'm glad that I'm not the only one that has had issues!!

I am currently still in Australia and my plan is to go to Thailand for 3-4 months to teach english and then to travel to Switzerland to stay with family and visit other countries of the Schengen area and then after 90 days I was going to head to Paris and commence my WHV. I don't plan on staying there for the full year- maybe only 6 months.

My issue is that the Consulate stipulates that applicants are not able to apply more than 3 months prior to their arrival in France. The consulate does not take any phone calls regarding visas and will not accept any email inquiries regarding visas! Is it best then to just book an appointment and let them know that I don't plan on getting to France until July/August or will I be able to apply while I'm in Thailand?

How did you go with everything Charlimerl? Adym? Did everything work out in the end? Any help from anyone would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!! :)
 

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I am currently still in Australia and my plan is to go to Thailand for 3-4 months to teach english and then to travel to Switzerland to stay with family and visit other countries of the Schengen area and then after 90 days I was going to head to Paris and commence my WHV. I don't plan on staying there for the full year- maybe only 6 months.

My issue is that the Consulate stipulates that applicants are not able to apply more than 3 months prior to their arrival in France. The consulate does not take any phone calls regarding visas and will not accept any email inquiries regarding visas! Is it best then to just book an appointment and let them know that I don't plan on getting to France until July/August or will I be able to apply while I'm in Thailand?
You realize, of course, that you are every consular official's worst nightmare. They are there to follow the rules, and your proposed plans don' t fit into their rulebook at all.

OK, one thing to consider is that you will be considered to have entered France when you enter the Schengen zone - which these days I believe includes Switzerland. That's the stamp in your passport that will determine when you arrived because you won' t get any further stamps in your passport as you travel around the Schengen area and eventually get to France.

As far as applying in Thailand, I seriously doubt you'll be able to do that. You must apply through the consulate where you are legally resident, and I doubt 3 or 4 months in Thailand is going to get you recognized as resident there. The other issue is that I don' t think France has a Working Holiday visa arrangement with Thailand and there's a distinct possibility that the folks working in the Thai Consulate will have no idea what you're talking about.

If you can cut your Thai visit a little short so as to arrive in Switzerland within 3 months, you' ll probably be ok, though.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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