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Hello, I am researching long-stay visitor visas and student visas from the US to France and I have a few questions, things don't make sense to me.

First, you're supposed to write a letter promising not to work while in France to apply for a long-stay visitor visa. Then, under Box 23 of the application form (and it's the same for many of the consulate web sites I've looked at), it offers a check box for the following:

23. I request a visa for the following purpose:
Studies Training period/education
Medical reasons
Family stay
Private stay/Visitor Re-entry visa
Official taking up of duties
Other (please specify):

Why do they have an option for employment or business if it's prohibited to work in France on a long-stay visitor visa? What does this even mean?

Second, what does "official taking up of duties" mean?

Third, why do some of the consulates ask for your work address and how much your income is? I understand they want to ensure that maybe you'll have a job to go back to, although I don't know many US companies that will hold a job for a year. You have to prove that you have the financial resources to live in France for a year without working, so why is the employer information relevant?

Just wondering if anyone had been through this or can decipher! Thanks!!!

50,461 Posts
First of all, trying to assign "logic" to some of these administrative matters will just make your head spin. But, to answer your questions:

They use the same application form for all long-stay visas. The type of visa you get ultimately depends on what your "reason" is for wanting to go to France, hence question 23.

If you have a job offer from a French employer, it's up to the employer to get the necessary permissions to hire a foreigner. Once the employer has these, the paperwork is sent to the French consulate where the foreigner currently lives and the foreigner is "convoked" to the consulate to apply for a visa. They have to fill out the same form - and in their case they would check the box for "Employment/Business" in which case there had better be the necessary paperwork from the employer on file at the consulate.

"Prises de fonctions officiels" (which is the original - French translations into English often leave a bit to be desired) could refer to someone applying for a diplomatic visa, I suppose. But it's definitely related to the notion that one application form is used for all possibilities in the long-stay visa range.

Third - depends again on what your "excuse" is for applying for a visa. They may want to know if you're planning on working remotely from France once you get there. They may just want validation of the financial information you've given them. Just as an example, university professors may go to France for their sabbatical year. They are still being paid by their employer (i.e. the university) and generally use that salary as their proof of financial means for their trip.
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