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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been visiting France regularly (from South Africa) for the past 11 years to travel on my boat on the inland waterways. To date, I have always applied for (and received) a 90 day Schengen visa. Occasionally I have been lucky enough to get one which is valid for 3 years, multiple entry but otherwise I get a single year 90 day visa.
I would now like to spend longer than 90 days on my visit (I am retired & have the time!) and have researched the Long Term Visitor Visa. I believe that I should satisfy all the criteria but understand that it would all be at the whim of French officialdom.
My unusual requirement is that I do not really want to stay in France for one year (or more). What I ideally want is to BE ABLE to visit France every year for about 4 or 5 months only, on each visit.
Having read a lot of useful stuff on this site regarding the new rules, visits to the OFII, medicals etc I am concerned that I may go through all of this JUST FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF STAYING ONE YEAR.
What are the chances (if any) of persuading the authorities to give me a Long Term Visitor Visa which has a VALIDITY of 5 or so years?
Or is there any other way to achieve my desire of spending 4 to 5 months a year, every year, in France?
 

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I don't think so, but never say never when it comes to French red tape!
Visitor is restricted to 90-in-180 days, with no extension allowed. As your 3-year visa shows, you can only stay 90-in-180 days each time - the only advantage is not having to apply for a visa for each visit. A long-term visa is for one extended stay beyond 90 days - not a series of visits each exceeding 3 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't think so, but never say never when it comes to French red tape!
Visitor is restricted to 90-in-180 days, with no extension allowed. As your 3-year visa shows, you can only stay 90-in-180 days each time - the only advantage is not having to apply for a visa for each visit. A long-term visa is for one extended stay beyond 90 days - not a series of visits each exceeding 3 months.
Thanks for your your input. Just some clarity on the 90-in-180 days. Does the cycle start on Jan 1st every year? So if I spent 90 days prior to June 30th (which would be the first 180 days), left the EU for a week (and went to the UK for example), could I return to France to spend up to another 90 days in the second 180 days? (from 1st July onwards)

Or does the 180 day timer start the first day you actually arrive in the Schengen country?

Or is it even more complex?
 

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Thanks for your your input. Just some clarity on the 90-in-180 days. Does the cycle start on Jan 1st every year? So if I spent 90 days prior to June 30th (which would be the first 180 days), left the EU for a week (and went to the UK for example), could I return to France to spend up to another 90 days in the second 180 days? (from 1st July onwards)

Or does the 180 day timer start the first day you actually arrive in the Schengen country?

Or is it even more complex?
Let me put it this way. Your 90 days start on the first day you arrive in a Schengen country, and over the next 180 days, you are only allowed to stay in Schengen for the maximum of 90 days. Once you've reached your 90-day limit (it can be a sum total of shorter stays), you have to wait until Day 181 from when you first set foot in Schengen to start your next 90 days, and so on. So in your example, if you entered Schengen on 1st January and have spent a total of 90 days by 30th June and then return to Schengen on 1st July, you can stay further 90 days in total until 31st December. If you re-enter on 1st August, you have 90 days ending on 31st January, and so on (give or take a few days as there are 365/6 days in a year, not 360 days). What you cannot do, as I'm sure you are aware, is to pop over to UK after 90 continuous days in Schengen in a bid to 'reset the clock' and return soon after to stay further 90 days.
Hope this clarifies!
 

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I think the problem you're running into is that, the assumption with a long-stay visa is that you are intending to become resident in France. But in your case, if you only stay for 4 or 5 months you aren't really becoming resident.

You might want to ask the consulate if there is anything you could do to get the sort of visa you are looking for. It's definitely a bit "outside the box" - and it's likely to confuse the heck out of them. As with anything that doesn't fit into one of their pigeon holes, they're likely to say "no" - but if they do, then you're just back to applying each year for your "long-stay" visa for 4 or 5 months. (And for a visa for less than 6 months, there is considerably less formality - I think the consulate is authorized to grant the visa, whereas anything for longer than 6 months has to go to Paris.)
Cheers,
Bev
 
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