Visa, titre de séjour, carte de séjour… What’s the difference? I often hear these terms being used interchangeably, but they’re actually different! Here’s a little guide to visas and residence permits for France.
I arrived in France on a long-stay visitor visa, got married to a Frenchman, and applied for the carte de séjour “vie privée et familiale” (VPF) in Paris. This residence permit provides stability, allowing me to stay in France and work.
Those who have been following my story for a while know how tricky French bureaucracy is. Getting access to the national healthcare system is a BIG win in my book. I have a permanent numéro de sécurité sociale as well as the highly sought after green carte vitale. I’ve included all the steps for how I did it in this post.
In France, bank accounts are required for many essentials, including getting paid and paying taxes, paying rent and bills, participating in the national health care program, and signing up for a cell phone contract. You absolutely cannot live on a long-term basis in France without a French bank account. If you are a foreigner, opening a French bank account is a hurdle you must overcome in order to prove yourself and your merit to the French people. Only then will they let you stay!
As an American, exercising the right to vote is incredibly important. American citizens can vote no matter where they are in the world, and in some cases, even if they were born abroad and have never lived in the United States.
Within the first three months following arrival to France on a long-stay visa, you must register with the government in order to make your stay legal. There are a couple of steps to validating a long-stay visa, and the procedure you follow depends on the type of visa that you’ve been granted.
Preparing for marriage in France is a complicated process, even if you’re French. As an American, there were a few extra steps. Knowing that it was my intention to get married ASAP, I had many friends ask me on the regular if I had secured a wedding date yet. Read on to find out why it just isn’t that simple.
In general, my experience opening a French bank account was positive. We spent over an hour there, and I cannot tell you how many papers I signed, but the process was relatively smooth, despite scaring my advisor with my passport…
I am writing this post as an American, planning to marry a Frenchman and settle in France. In the summer of 2019, I applied for and received a visa long séjour valant titre de séjour (VLS-TS), a long-stay visa that acts as a temporary residence permit after validation.
It doesn’t sound very romantic, and we weren’t too sure about it at first, but we know it’s the only way.