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Discussion Starter #1
Quick question about French Student Visa & travelling into the country.

Will the consulate let me enter France over a month prior to my school start date? Ex. I leave 12/21 but school starts 1/28. If they will not allow my student visa to start a month prior to school, then how early will they let me arrive? Is it a possible alternative to first enter on a tourist visa then leave the Schengen area and return to start the student visa? The latter option seems risky given the statement below and as my passport will have the student visa clearly visible on it...

From the Consulate website- the following items are needed at the application meeting, which has me concerned:
Proof of departure to France
An airline reservation showing date of departure OR a handwritten statement from the applicant indicating the intended date of departure, as well as a formal commitment not to depart before that date. It will not be possible to modify the start date of a visa once the application is processed.

Any advice you have would be great as the consulat would not let me make an appt for questions!

Thanks,

Leah
 

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Normally all they want in terms of an "airline reservation" is actually a proposed itinerary rather than the actual reservation. You could always go in with your 12/21 proposed departure date and see what they say, offering to move it back to whatever they suggest. They will probably ask you why that date - and it may depend on how credible your explanation is for why you need the additional time.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Thanks so much for responding Bev! I already have my plane ticket booked. I'm going in advance so I can spend the holidays with my friends and boyfriend's family there in France. I will be doing some travelling from Paris to the South of France and maybe even Spain. I hope they will consider that a credible enough answer to arrive 5 weeks early.
 

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If they seem squiffy about granting your date, ask them for their advice (very nicely) how you should handle it. In theory, at least, you could possibly go on your planned date on the old Schengen stamp in the passport. You'd have to explain that you are coming as a tourist at that time so they don't stamp your visa (if it's dated later). Then you'd have to leave the Schengen area at least and re-enter on whatever date they're willing to give you.

Don't offer up this solution. Just ask them for their advice how to handle the situation. It seems to work better if you make things "personal" and don't seem to be telling them how to do their jobs. Just a suggestion, anyhow.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi, I am now having the same issue myself! I was wondering what the result was of this.
I would really like to travel the whole 90 days before my student visa officialy starts.. Did the consulate end up granting you the visa despite your ticket being for 1 month before?

Thanks!
Karen
 

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Hello Leah, Karen, and anyone else who can help:

My fiancee's daughter has the same problem you two had (have): How can she legally travel to France as a tourist this summer before her student visa kicks in late in August?

Were you able to resolve this? Can anyone else help?

Thanks!

Best,

Darryl
 
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