How to apply for a long-stay visa
1. Open a temporary long-stay visa (VLS-T) application at france-visas.gouv.fr (Do this anything up to six months before departure)
2. Make sure you submit it up to three months before travelling, leaving time for any delays in obtaining an appointment to take in supporting documents and for processing
3. Scroll down to ‘Start your visa application’, where you will be invited to create an account
4. Choose a visa centre for taking in your paperwork and give the type of visa (‘long-stay’), your passport number and expiry date, and your plans (eg. ‘visitor’) and the main purpose of your stay
5. Click ‘verify’ to continue
6. On further pages you are asked for personal details, previous stays in France for more than three consecutive months, intended dates and plans
7. Put in the intended start day, and under ‘number of months’, choose ‘between three and six’
8. You are asked if you plan to travel with others (note: non-EU children also need visas)
9. Details of where you will stay are needed, and of how you will fund the trip (eg. ‘cash’, ‘credit cards’, etc.). Other options include funding by a host or a guarantor.
10. Once a first application has been submitted, it is possible to add further applications from up to six members of your group. If you do, you will be called in together to hand in supporting documents.
11. When you have completed your application, with payment of any processing fees, print the application form off, as well as the receipt that will be generated at the end of the process
12. The website will indicate supporting documents needed
13. You then book your appointment to take in original supporting documents