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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, friends!

The website for the French consulate specifies that people applying for a long stay visa (visa de long séjour) need to present a "deed of [a] house/apartment in France."

From your experience, is it necessary for renters to present an actual signed and notarized one-year lease, or can we simply show evidence that we have secured some kind of rental (through Airbnb say, or some other service)?

In other words, what kinds of documents will they accept?

Thanks for your help.
 

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It can vary a bit from one consulate to the next, but generally speaking they want evidence of where you will be living for the first month or two on arrival. It usually suffices to assure them that you have a rental for, say, one, two or three months as long as you can honestly say that you will be looking for more permanent housing during those initial months.

On what basis are you going for a long-stay visa? Visitor? Spouse? Student? Scientific? Something else? To some extent, the type of long-stay visa will determine whether your housing plans are considered "reasonable" in light of what you plan on doing during your time in France.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your very helpful response. The housing requirement was causing some anxiety. I'll be retiring in France, and I didn't want to commit to a one-year lease until I was certain where I would settle down.
 

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Be sure you mention on your visa application that you intend on retiring to France. If they say anything about a short-term (i.e. couple of months) rental, you can explain that you will be looking for a long-term rental during that time in the area.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I would strongly suggest showing you have a place for at least three months. Because of the OFII requirement (they need an address to mail the letter). Not all places require this, but it seems to be a behind the scenes, often standard and better to be safe than sorry.
 

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I applied for my long term visa at the San Francisco consulate. I emailed them and asked if a three month rental agreement was acceptable. They said yes, and it worked out well. You might also ask the short term rental place about their cancellation policy. Mine was very flexible, which allowed me to move out early if I found a long term apartment.ITH
 
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