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Greetings all -

I have been lurking here for a while, and I have to say, the information is fantastic!

My wife and I (both US citizens) are planning on going to France, in the spring, for an immersion French language program of approximately 4 months. We are in the process of filing for the long stay student visas.

We would like to take another month at the end of our studies and do some travel within the Schengen area as tourists. Can anyone advise as to the best way to work this from a visa arrangement? Should we attempt to include the time in the student visa, or just leave France and be on the 90 day US Schengen visa, or is there a better way?

Thanks in advance,
David
 

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I would check with the consulate (or with Campus France if you're going through them) but usually you get 30 days or so at the end of a student visa for touring.

As you have no doubt seen many places here on the forum, you can't "re-start" your visa just by ducking outside France. You have to go back home and re-enter from there to be on a "schengen" visa (i.e. like the US VWP visa-less visa status).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I would check with the consulate (or with Campus France if you're going through them) but usually you get 30 days or so at the end of a student visa for touring.

As you have no doubt seen many places here on the forum, you can't "re-start" your visa just by ducking outside France. You have to go back home and re-enter from there to be on a "schengen" visa (i.e. like the US VWP visa-less visa status).
With a slight correction, at the end of your student stay in France, provided you leave France, preferably for non-Schengen country (e.g. UK - so that you get some evidence of having left, like UK entry stamp), you can then re-enter Schengen zone for 90-in-180 days without a visa. This procedure is different from those who first arrive in France without a long stay visa (i.e. 90-day visa waiver), who cannot, as Bev says, 're-set the clock' after 90 days by leaving Schengen and re-entering soon after.
Procedure is similar if, at the end of your course, you still have some time left on your student visa. You can use that to travel in the rest of Schengen, then, if you want to continue travelling, preferably leave Schengen (for reasons given above) and then re-enter for further 90-in-180 days.
It may well be that you can just carry on travelling in Schengen zone after your course without first having to leave France, but by so doing (and getting evidence for it), you can demonstrate you have fully complied with your visa requirement for staying in France only as long as your visa is valid for, and you are starting a new tourist stay utilising 90-in-180 days rule. All that is required is to leave France - there is no need to return to US.
 
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