Here are the requirements for the long stay visa application as listed on the French Embassy website if you apply in Washington D.C. (see Notes):
- Passport + 3 photocopies
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond last day of stay, with a blank page for the visa
- 4 long stay visa application forms
Filled out in black ink and signed
- 5 photographs
1 glued to each application form + one extra (see Notes)
- Financial guarantee + 3 copies
There is no official amount given, but the general consensus on the internet seems to be that you should have 2,000 euros per person per month. The financial guarantee may be any of the following:
* Formal letter of reference from the bank showing account numbers and balances
* Recent bank/brokerage/retirement account statements
* Proof of income from employer
- Medical insurance with coverage valid in France + 3 copies
The only acceptable proof is a letter from insurance company stating that you will be covered in France for at least $37,000. Your insurance card is *not* sufficient; you have to request an actual letter from the insurance company. This should be no problem if you have international or travel insurance; your insurance company in the US will probably not be able to do this for you (and may not even cover you), but give them a call to be sure.
- Police clearance + 3 copies
Document obtained from your local police station stating that you have no criminal record
- Letter certifying that you will not have any paid activity in France
Handwritten, signed, and dated
- Visa fee - 99 euros
Cash or credit card
Go to your local police station and ask about the police clearance, as that can take a couple of weeks. Then apply for your insurance and deal with the financial guarantee documents. You also need to figure out where you'll be staying in France - if it's a hotel, even just at first, make a reservation and ask them to fax you confirmation. If it's with a friend, you'll need a letter and a copy of his/her carte de résident - see Additional notes, below.
Once you have all of your documents in order, make a final photocopy of everything to keep for yourself. This is essential, as you will need it when you arrive in France and have to apply for your carte de séjour.
The Consulate at which you will apply for your visa depends on which state you live in, not necessarily which one is closest to you. Click here to find your Consulate.
Living in France Legally
Preparing your visa de long séjour application
Applying for a visa de long séjour
Applying for a carte de séjour
Renewing a carte de séjour
Additional notes and tips