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France Visa

France is part of the Schengen Zone, so tourists from 25 or so countries (mostly class A passport countries, Central America, and a few Balkan states) can enter visa free for stays of up to 90 days out of any 180 day period. For other nationalities, student, business, work, or other visas, the applicant must [...]

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France is part of the Schengen Zone, so tourists from 25 or so countries (mostly class A passport countries, Central America, and a few Balkan states) can enter visa free for stays of up to 90 days out of any 180 day period. For other nationalities, student, business, work, or other visas, the applicant must apply for a visa in advance of entry with the specific Schengen country they plan to base themselves in.

Reader questions about visas to France

Can I go to England, return to France and get a new visa?
Dear Wade,

So here’s my situation

I’m an Australian on a student visa in France, my student visa expired as of the 7th of February it is now the 23rd of February, however I was planning to wander around France and London for the next three months, and my flight is booked home on the 27th of May.

However after hearing this and that, here and there I am utterly confused. If I was to go to a non Schengen state such as London and the return, will I be granted 3 months Holiday Visa or is this a little too easy. Alternatively if I was to go to America for two weeks then return, would this allow me to travel around…

I would thoroughly appreciate and advice you have to give, I love france oh so much and would hate to banned for eternity.

Merci monsieur



As you are on a student visa it is my interpretation that you can go to England and return to the Schengen region on a tourist visa without needing to be outside of the zone for any specified amount of time. But, as you have already overstayed your French student visa, there is a chance that you may be denied re-entry on these grounds.

Hi there.  I’m happy to find your website and hoping you can help me.  I’m American and have lived in France illegally for the past 5 years.  I’ve never had a problem at immigration points when coming and going back to the US for short visits there, even in Germany, but lately I’ve been concerned about having a problem in regards to the visa overstay.  I absent mindedly booked a round trip ticket to the US via Germany (found a good price and wasn’t concerned about this when I purchased the ticket).  I wouldn’t be terribly concerned if I was leaving Europe out of France but the German style has me concerned.  I’m a woman in my 40’s and look pretty average.  I need to return to France a month after leaving Europe.  Do you think I should look into cancelling my Lusfthansa flight and buy a ticket that leaves and returns via France?  It could mean a great deal of money lost, and I make a modest income.  Hoping to hear from you soon! -Jill

Hello Jill,

It is my impression, arrived at from receiving hundreds of letters from readers, that the German authorities are spot on as far as busting visa overstayers. If you take the flight that exits through Germany it seems to me that you should expect a three year ban from the Schengen zone and a possible fine. Even if you exit Europe on a flight out of France there is still a chance of you being busted for the overstay, but this chance is upgraded to almost definite if you go through Germany. Schengen visa is an index of pages that have more information about overstaying your visa in Europe.

Another idea is to lose my passport, if the French system cannot computer scan entry dates into Germany in 2009.  Do you think I should get a temporary passport replacement to be totally sure?

Technically, a new passport should not help your case much. This is a VERY common move for people who have overstayed their visas in Europe and it would seem to me that the US consulates should be getting pretty wise to it. But some travelers say that it works, others say that their entries and exits into the Schengen zone are put into the computer system and they get busted anyway.

Officially on the site I say don’t take the intentionally lost passport route as I suppose it is a form of fraud and could land you in trouble, but, on the other hand, some travelers claim that it worked for them. So I suppose this is your call. I have not yet received a report from anyone who tried the lost passport route and got busted with the US consulate. They all have been able to get new passports, seemingly without question.

At any rate, a new passport may be a good idea before returning to France, as you don’t intend to be out for the required 90 days.

Hi Wade

Thanks for your reply.  I have an appointment at the consulate for Wednesday and it’s already making me nervous.  Not sure if I’ll go through with it.  I appreciate getting your feedback. So you think it’s possible that the French database would have my entry date into Germany 13 months ago?  I didnt think they had things set up like that at this point. I will for sure have a new passport coming back into France – that is if all goes smoothly at the border on the way out next Monday. Again, many thanks – am looking forward to getting my situation fully normalized so that this will be the final year of this business.

It seems pretty hit and miss as to how complete their immigration systems are at this point. Some travelers have reported to me that they have been busted on stored computer data alone, but this does not seem to be very prevalent. Generally, they are going off of the dates in the passports.

Hi, I’m a filipino citizen,am married with French natinonal in thailand. We planned to travel to France crossing syria, turkey and jordan and as ell we will pass by some of the europe country. My question goes this way, since we are going to stay any longer in the said countries which I have mentioned, what are the visas that I’ll be needing aside from Schengen that I need Schengen countries. Your Immediate response will be highly appreciated. -Mylove

Hello Mylove,

As far as I know there are no ways to extend a tourist visa to the Schengen zone. You can get a temporary residency permit by enrolling in a university or being sponsored for work, but to staying longer than 90 days within 180 in the Schengen zone is not permitted. But as you are married to a French national, why don’t you just apply for a marriage visa prior to leaving for Europe?

Do you have a Schengen visa question?

If so, then take a look at our Schengen visa community forum. It’s a community just for people who have questions or concerns related to Europe’s Schengen immigration zone.


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Filed under: France, Visas

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3722 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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54 comments… add one

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  • Wade November 1, 2010, 7:10 pm

    France is in the Schengen zone and therefore follows the same immigration policy as the rest of the region: 90 days for all 25 member states and then you need to be outside of the zone for 90 days.

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  • Awstrain November 10, 2010, 5:02 pm

    Dear Wade,

    i will be studying abroad in Rome next semester. I will not be on a student visa but just a typical US passport. I would like to travel in France after my semester is up, but I would have to overstay my 90 day limit to do so. Is there anyway to get a Visa extension or apply for a visa that will allow me to do this? If not how dangerous is it to overstay in France?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com November 10, 2010, 5:08 pm

      Very correct, you would be overstaying your visa. Visa overstays in the Schengen region currently hold penalties of at least a three year ban from the region. As of now, France seems to be a little more lax about enforcing the Schengen immigration laws, but this could change at any time. Also, if you do go to France and overstay your visa, be sure to note any connections in Europe on your flight out of the region — as they last European country you connect for a flight in is probably the one where you will be going through exit immigration. If your flight connects through Germany or Switzerland, there is a very high chance that you will be charged with the overstay and fined or banned from re-entering Europe.

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  • AWS November 10, 2010, 5:49 pm

    Is it possible to legally stay later, for instance could I apply for a student visa, or another type of visa? I only say this because there are certain places that I would like to visit in France, and if I don’t do it now I might not be able to for several years.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com November 10, 2010, 6:23 pm

      It is not my impression that it is possible to extend a tourist visa in the Schengen Zone, you must leave for at least 90 days before returning.

      This is a really stupid visa, man, one of the worst in the world. I understand your situation keenly, who wouldn’t want to travel around Europe after doing a semester of study? Three months at a time for 25 countries is not nearly enough. But these are the rules.

      It probably would not hurt to go into an immigration office in Italy and tell them your plan to see if they can get you an extension, as the whole region now acts as one immigration zone, though I would not keep my hopes up.

      I receive literally hundreds of questions from travelers who want to stay in the Schengen zone longer, and it is not my impression that a single one of them has ever successfully been granted an extension, and residency permits are often difficult and time consuming to obtain.

      Pity that I can’t be of more help.

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  • Katie December 30, 2010, 6:42 pm

    Hi, I would like to find out what the policy is on using a tourist visa after living in a country on a student visa. I am an American who has been in France since Sep 15/2010 and my student visa will expire on Feb 12/2011. I have an appointment to renew it, but not until march 15 (nothing was available earlier…I was assured at the prefecture de police that I will be legal during that extra month waiting for the visa appt.) But, I am leaning towards not renewing the visa as I don’t want to spend the $$ on tuition for the spring semester. Is it possible, then, to just roll over from a student visa to a 90 day tourist visa? Do I need to leave the schengen area to do this and if so, for what period of time–can I go to the UK for a few days or a week and then come back to France and stay for 3 more months? It seems like there should be a clear answer to this, but so far I haven’t found it by reading the numerous threads on here and a bunch of other sites, nor by consulting the French consulate webpages (no surprise there!) If you don’t know the official policy on this, could you let me know where to find out? I would like to be absolutely certain to respect the law. Thanks very much.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com December 30, 2010, 7:00 pm

      It is my interpretation that you are free to travel for 90 days in other Schengen countries within the span of your French student visa, but when the visa expires so too does your time in the zone. You need to leave, but, again this is my interpretation, you can return almost immediately to receive a tourist visa.

      Let me know what you do and how it works out, the more information I am able to collect on this the better.



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  • Rae January 3, 2011, 3:50 pm

    My question is pretty similar to the latest being asked. I am a Canadian currently living in France and my visa expires on the the 2nd of July ’11. Do you know if I am allowed to travel outside of France after it expires, say to Spain? I’ve been hearing that if I leave the Schengen border then I can be given more travel time? True or false? Thanks for your time.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 3, 2011, 3:58 pm

      My interpretation of the Schengen immigration policy (mind you there are various interpretations) is that if you are living in the region on a temp residency permit or a student visa you must exit the zone prior to the visa’s expiration. But it seems to me that you can re-enter without needing to be away for the 90 days that you would if you had a tourist visa.

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  • Noreen January 15, 2011, 12:53 am

    My son is going to France to attend a high school for several weeks. I was initially told by the French school he did not need a Visa. Now things have goten more complicated and I can not get a straight answer. Here are the circumstances. 1. We traveled to Switzerland for a short visit over the holidays and returned on January 2nd. 2. I was planning on flying him in and out of Geneva for several reasons. 3. He was set to leave the USA on April 5th, study for several weeks and then travel when I arrive over there and leave on July 14th or so. That puts him over the 90 days. 4. The visa is proving to be difficult to obtain and may not be issued for more than 90 days anyway. So the question is can he just go to France without a Visa nd overstay by about a week or two? Should he fly in and out of 2 different places? Does the recent travel to Switzerland have an effect on all this? If the Visa option is too difficult what are our best optinos for handling this? Also important to note is that he wants to be able to go back to Europe over the years and maybe even to University over there. We ahve gotten different answers from the schools and the Embassy. Thanks for your help, Noreen

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 15, 2011, 1:18 am

      There seems to be a bit of a gray area regarding entering and exiting the Schengen region during the span of a single visa. Technically, it seems to me that your son would be re-entering the Schengen zone in April on the same visa that he was given when you took your family to Europe on vacation this January. The tourist visas are multiple entry and are valid for 180 days, of which you can stay in the zone for 90 days. So as your son would be re-entering Europe around three months after his previous visit, it is my interpretation that he would still be on the previous visa. Though he will still receive another visa stamp in his passport when he returns. I call this a gray area because it is indeterminable if the immigration officials he faces when exiting the region will count the days in January or start the count when he entered in April. Although this may not be technically correct, I suggest following this rule: 90 days within any 180. If you don’t go over 90 in 180 you should not be hassled.

      The counting of days inside and days outside of the Schengen zone is a truly an annoying part of this policy. It is simply confusing — so much so that the immigration officials of a very few of the member states really bother doing it. Switzerland is one though, and be warned that they WILL pull out a calculator and do the math.

      About getting a student visa, even if one is awarded it will only be valid for the term of study or up to 90 days. It is not my impression that they will give a longer duration visa so your son can travel after his study abroad program.

      Flying in and out of two different places will have no impact, the Schengen immigration authorities are use to processing travelers who enter and exit from various locales.

      As far as I know, there is NO grace period for visa overstays. As far as punishment goes, an overstay of one day is the same as one year. I have received mail from people who were banned for 3 years from a one day overstay. So, to answer your question, your son’s proposed two week overstay could be slapped with a ban and a fine.

      In general, the Swiss and German authorities are by far the most strict. If your son overstays and flies out of Geneva, I give it a 90% chance that he will be processed and penalized. The Swiss seem to be very enthusiastic about busting visa overstayers, and if you look through the related pages on VagabondJourney.com, you will find many stories of travelers getting caught overstaying when flying out of Switzerland.. The typical penalty seems to be a three year ban from Schengen Europe.

      But keep in mind that other Schengen countries — such as France and Italy — are currently much more lax about penalizing overstays (but this does not mean that they won’t do it).

      My advice is that if your son wants to return to Europe then he should not overstay his visa.

      Hope this helps. Thank you for the donation.

      Walk Slow,


      Link Reply
      • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 15, 2011, 1:26 am

        Here are some related pages.

        Schengen visa on Travel Help

        Visa questions on the travel forum

  • Sisco March 8, 2011, 4:51 pm

    Hi, I just found your website and was very impressed on how helpful it is. I am now in France on a student visa which will expire soon after my graduation. I’ve already booked my ticket back to the US just before the Visa expiration date. The question is is it okay if I travel to the country outside Schengen area and re-enter France just 1-2 days before the end of Visa to catch my flight back to the US? I mean, I hold a student visa, so at the time I re-enter France, I’ll have no any supporting document for my visit. Or you think the flight booking should be enough for them to let me in? Many thanks.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com March 8, 2011, 4:53 pm

      Hello Sisco,

      When you return to France you should be given a tourist visa. No worries, keep the flight the same. Or you will just be readmitted on your student visa if it is multiple entry.

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  • Henrique May 31, 2011, 7:02 am


    On my frist trip to France, I’ve been here for 63 days and I returned to my country (for 1 month) to get an extension for more 90 days (for work). Now I’m going to overstay in 10 days, but I didn’t used my last 27 days of my first visit. Can I use them? I dont want to be punished.
    My departure will be by Paris (CDG).

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    • VJT Guides May 31, 2011, 11:37 am

      No way. It is not possible to save up time from previous visas and add it to current ones.

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  • Leah June 1, 2011, 9:08 am


    I was wondering if there were any “real” answers about staying the extra three months after your student visa ends. I am on a student visa, and I am apply for the teacher’s assistant in France. My student visa ends in May and the teacher’s assistant visa doesn’t start until October, but I have an apartment and such and would like to try to stay as much as possible in France. So does my tourist 90 days start when my visa ends? Or is this a grey area that I’ll pretty much have to figure out myself?


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    • VJT Guides June 1, 2011, 12:01 pm

      If you overstay your visa you can be banned from re-entering the Schengen zone for 3+ years. Staying on past your student visa is overstaying — there is no grey area that kicks in at the end of a visa, and a tourist visa does not begin automatically. Though it has been reported that you can exit the region and return to get a class C tourist visa.

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  • Luca June 4, 2011, 3:46 pm


    I was just reading your website and I find it extremely helpful, you guys are doing a great job. I wanted to ask about a french student visa for a US citizen.
    How early can I enter the country once I have it?
    Also, as for the beginning date on the visa..will it be the issue date or the date when the program starts?

    Thanks in advance,


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    • VJT Guides June 4, 2011, 4:04 pm

      Good question. It could be either, you have to ask the consulate. Generally, the student visa should be valid for the duration of your proposed program of study — starting around the time the program starts and then ending when it is finished — but there could be some leeway in the dates. Your questions are really case specific, so the issuing consulate should be consulted for this one.

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  • Ameya June 25, 2011, 6:23 pm

    Hi Wade,
    If my visa expires July 1, is it ok if I leave July 1 itself, or does it have to be June 30. Also, any update on exiting, going to the UK, and reentering as a tourist? Thanks a bunch!

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    • VJT Guides July 4, 2011, 9:35 am

      Yes, leaving July 1st is fine. If you are in France on a student or work visa it is often possible to leave and then re-enter on a tourist visa.

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  • Asmaa July 2, 2011, 6:49 pm

    Hi, I have question about student visa, i already accepted in the university in France. And the next step is that, i have to apply for the student visa, but i’m so worried about that. Some people told me sometimes the embassy can decline it , but without mention for the reasons.Could you inform me under which circumstances they can refuse it ? Because i’m really worried to death about that.
    Thank you so much

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    • VJT Guides July 4, 2011, 9:33 am

      They can deny you for absolutely any reason. This is the simple answer. But some things like a previous criminal record, too many visits to France, a previous visa overstay, a perceived lack of funds, or an assumption that you may attempt to illegally emigrate are all top reasons for denying the visa. Don’t worry too much though, as the student visas usually go through fine.

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  • Ernesto July 5, 2011, 1:32 pm

    Hi, this seems like such a wonderful and helpful page, I have a question regarding the request for visas. I am an American student and have applied to a one year (university) study program in France, and have not yet received the answer, but am positive about it. I was offered by a friend a free apartment in France for the summer, and because I have not yet been accepted, I have not been able to begin my student visa application. Can I go to France on a tourist visa and then apply for the student visa once I am there and have been accepted? Or can I return before the tourist visa expires and then receive the student visa right away and return to the country to start the study program? Or should I stay at home and wait for the acceptance, then apply for the visa, and then head out to France after months have passed while I wait? Does the country of origin and citizenship make any difference to the authorities in the region? I thank you in advance for any help you might be able to give me.


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    • VJT Guides July 5, 2011, 1:34 pm

      Visa status is very difficult to change from within the Schengen zone. It is best to just wait until all of your paperwork is in order and you have the student visa before going to France.

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  • Neel July 8, 2011, 12:31 pm

    I am stuck in a strange situation. I am on a student visa in France which expires on 25th August, and I will be in India at that time. I had booked return tickets 2 months back as I got a really good deal; the bad part : tickets are non-refundable 🙁 This happened because I was told by the OFII people to renew my carte séjour (residence permit) 2 months before the expirey, (so i was under the impression that the carte séjour would be renewed for another year by the 1st week of August when I plan to leave France) but now when I went to the prefecture last week, they are asking to come for the extension in August/September (when the new academic session starts) !!!! They aren’t worried abt me living on an expired visa, saying that I can stay with that for a month !!!

    I am trying to get some help from the international office ppl who gave me another certificate mentioning my course duration and scholarship…but I am skeptical that the extension will be possible before I leave France. I wonder why this strange behavior of the prefecture folks!!!

    So what are the options that I have now?
    Applying for a new French visa while I will be in India !?
    Should it be a student visa or a tourist visa?
    Is there something called as visa retour?
    Can the Indian embassy here help me?
    Is it possible to return to France 2 days before the expiry with my old visa ?

    Please help me friends…Looking forward to your suggestions,

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  • Kennedy Antwi February 11, 2012, 6:17 pm

    I am Ken a Ghanaian university student who wants to spend this coming summer holidays in France.Both my parents reside in Paris and i want to know how my dream of spending my holidays in Paris will be a reality.

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  • Anthony Graham March 12, 2012, 8:48 pm

    I am so glad to have found this website , I am so happy .I have learnt a lot from it .
    I am a Ghanaian on Student visa in France as I am doing my master study here.I have a one year visa which I hope to extend with extension of my study. What do you think is the best and smartest way to bring my wife and baby over to France to live with me ??

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  • Jay March 13, 2012, 9:26 am

    Hi, I am a student that is studying in france from canada. I cam here in september with a visa that expired in january! I was only suppose to study here from sept to december but decided to stay longer.. I went back to canada for 3 week and returned to france january 6th (my visa was already expired) I went to the prefecture here and they could not give me an apt to get a carte de sejour untiL april 27th! I have a trip booked to morocco on april 9th.. So I’m wonder how I can do this? I know there is this travel visa that I am allowed to be here for three months without visa, which means I could be here until april 2nd.. What are my solutions for this? I really want to go to morocco but I can’t get my carte de sejour until a week after I am due to come back from morocco.. What is this going to uk to reset the visitor thing about? I have no stamps on my passport saying when I re-entered france in january.. What advice can you give me? I’m desperate at this point and willing to do nearly anything!

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  • Tunga April 9, 2012, 1:09 am

    Hello! I am hoping you might be able to answer some questions I have been trying to get from embassies and other authorities so far. I am a non-EU passport holder, master’s degree student in Finland. This is my first year of the study, and I will be studying abroad in France for next semester from Sep-Jan. Finland says I do not need to renew my Finnish residence permit when I am away, and France says I need to have it renewed to get French student visa. I really do not understand this, and they have not been helpful in explaining. And another factor in this situation is that I may not need to come back to Finland for the rest of second year (except for few short visits to my advisor, presenting papers which I think can be done on French student visa since it should cover Schengen area), as I am planning to be somewhere else the last semester of second year. So I really do not need Finnish residence permit. Is there a better way to go about this than having to apply to two different residence permits? Thank you so much!

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  • Jennifer June 3, 2012, 8:03 pm

    I have been in France for a little over 5 months now on a student visa. I have not overstayed my visa and do not plan to; however, I didn’t follow through with the OFII stamp. I sent my paperwork to the OFII office and received an attestation but have not payed the fee to get the stamp, I don’t want to spend that money. I will be traveling through Europe this summer and plan on coming back to France at the end since my flight back to the States is already booked (Paris-USA). Will I have a problem entering France again without the OFII stamp even though I am not overstaying my visa?

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  • Ellen June 11, 2012, 10:51 am


    I have a quick question. My student visa expires in July but I’d like to stay in France until August 31st. I just re-entered France from Spain. Can that re-entry date count to start the 90 days on my passport to travel in France, although my visa expires in July? And if it doesn’t, must I leave only French territory or the entire EU area?


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  • Tasha June 12, 2012, 9:41 pm

    Hi Wade,

    I Need some advise and information here pls. Currently Im from Malaysia and Iam 29 yr old but l do look younger from my age.
    FYI, year 2010 Oct, I went to Paris visiting my cousin and holiday for about 1 month, than after that I plan to visit my friends in London by taking a tube train. I buy return ticket Paris-London-Paris and the date was 31Oct departure London and return to Paris by Feb 2011 which is about 4month stayed. There is 2 immigration gate at Gare Du Nord, which is 1st one is Paris gate and then 2nd one London gate. Sudenly when I want to enter 2nd gate the immigration officer were stoping me and ask so many question such as where i want to go, why, and why i want to stay in London for 4 month?, check on my pasport, purse, cash and credit card. I have answered all his question saying that I going for holiday and visit my friend there. He said ok… and he ask me to wait awhile which is about half an hour, after that and he came out from his office and asked me my friend contact no. He call her but shes not picking up he said, and i told him that coz she must b working. Than he asked me to wait again for another hour, and he came out frm the office and come to me with the letter mentioned that they not approve and allow me to travel to Europe country. Than he draw cross a line on my pasport and advise me go back to my causin house,

    In this situation, i wanted to know why they crossed my pasport and how long I cannot enter europe country?


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  • M Zahid S June 21, 2012, 7:53 pm

    Hi Wade,

    I Need some advise and information here pls. Currently Im from united arab emirates and I am 28 yr old .
    i have my schengen visit visa for month but i can stay there 12 days ! I am planing to visit London for a week by taking a tube train Paris-London-Paris .
    so please let me know can i travel to london from Gare Du Nord !
    is there any visa required for going london ? or just i buy ticket and can travel there
    awating your kind reply asap

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    • Vagabond Journey Guides June 22, 2012, 2:50 am

      Yes, you need a different visa to go to the UK. I think you should be checking the official immigration websites rather than asking me for information about this.

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  • Malik June 22, 2012, 9:17 am

    I am here in UK i arived here 1 month ago on student visa, and next month i have vacation from my college and i want to visit europe, is this possible i can apply for europe visa. I heared alot, here and there that i have to stay atleast for 3 months and then i can apply but the thing is when i have vacations so its my right to visit. Is it ??

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  • Manju June 26, 2012, 5:39 am

    I was an international student UK pursuing MBA. My college was closed down by the time u finished my course. So I left the country before my visa expired. Now I heard that my roommates have misused my bank details and used my UK bank account to clear a fake cheque. I wouldn’t be bothered but I am afraid if this could affect my chances to apply for a spouse visa to France as my wife is studying there. Please help me out. Will the misuse of my bank account in UK affect my chances to France??

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    • Manju July 11, 2012, 5:01 pm

      Mr wade.. U seem to have missed my question..

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      • Vagabond Journey Guides July 16, 2012, 5:34 am

        Hello Manju,

        We no longer answer these types of questions for free.

  • bola June 30, 2012, 6:18 am

    Hi pls I jst want to find out if I can apply for a france visa now for a 10days holiday with my family in october

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  • Tenzing July 6, 2012, 6:33 pm

    Hi wade,
    I have a small question.. Can I overstay my student visa by just one day?? My visa expires on the 11th of sept and I saw a very good deal to fly back to my country on the 12th morning. I study in Paris. And yeah I lost my Carte de sejour couple of weeks back and I have my declaration de vol by police and by the prefecture, So I hope it wont be a problem traveling back. I have applied for a new one but they gave me a RDV for the 19th Sept which is way after my date of expiration. Please help me!!! Im en route to book my tickets. Thanks Teny

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    • Vagabond Journey Guides July 7, 2012, 5:04 am

      A one day overstay can be (and often is) punished the same as a one year overstay. Silly, but true.

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  • Armand July 7, 2012, 5:53 pm

    Hi Wade,

    I have a question. I am from the Philippines and visas are required to be able to enter a Schengen state. I was able to get a Tourist Visa last March which allowed me to travel around France and Italy for two months last April and May.

    Now, I plan to go back to France and travel again in October. Do you think it’s possible to get a Tourist Visa again, considering that it was only 5 months that passed since they last issued a Visa to me? Do you think it is too soon to apply for a Tourist Visa again? I don’t want to get “denied” because that will be bad for my record as I plan to travel also to other countries which require Visas (like the U.S. and Canada)

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    • Vagabond Journey Guides July 9, 2012, 7:53 am

      I don’t think it should be a problem.

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  • Malisa August 20, 2012, 7:23 am

    Hello all,

    Maybe someone can help me here.
    I am Colombian doing an internship in France for a year. When I finish my internship I want to travel around France and Europe but my residence card (carte de sejour) expires by the end of the internship.
    Is there any chance to extend/get a visa as a turist being in Paris?

    Thanks and I appreciate any help,


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  • Sal October 8, 2012, 5:11 pm

    Hi Wade,

    I am going to apply for student long stay visa shortly, is it possible to apply for long stay visas for my wife and two dependent children (4 and 8 years old)?

    Also my wife’s sister is a french citizen by marriage and is willing to assist in providing accommodation and financial sponsorship whilst we are in france. Can this work, and on average what cost would be associated with sponsorship?

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  • John Hill November 29, 2012, 2:17 am

    I am a 74 year old American. I arrived in France in 2001, without any VISA and I have remained and resided in France continually since that entry date. Last year I applied for and was accepted under the French National Health program (CMU), using my date-valid (no VISA) passport. I have just applied for renewal of this insurance but am being denied for lack of a “Carte de Séjour” which I have never qualified for, since no VISA, etc. I have the support of my Maire and others, but no success to date. Further I am meeting with a representative of “Le Service d’écriture Publique” today to as for guidance to obtain continued residency, etc. Further, I am just today submitting my “Demande D’ACQUISITION DE LA NATIONALITé FRANçAISE”, hoping to qualify and obtain French Nationality status … again, hoping to remain here, my home, in France. I am being told many, many ideas, to include the most repeated one that I must leave France, return to the U.S., then apply for a French VISA (if I can quality???), return to France, obtain a Carte de Séjour, and restart my life… again! I need a/some “real good” advise(s) … NOW … to help me remain, and to obtain the legal services I have enjoyed for 12 years. As a ending note … I first came to France, 1959-1962+, as an American soldier! I am here again … finally … to live and appreciate this wonderful and “unique” culture … for all of my remaining years. I believe that I am one of France’s best ambassadors … and my many local friends would agree! I seek your experienced and professional advise. Merci, John

    I am now applying for

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    • Wade Shepard November 29, 2012, 3:59 am

      The stamp in your passport is a tourist visa. Needless to say it has long since expired. It is my opinion that it would be extremely difficult for you to obtain a Carte de Séjour under any circumstances — you simply don’t qualify (well, unless you can prove that you have a relatively large amount of money). My advice is to try to become legal while in the country — though it is my impression that this would be next to impossible. If France is your home then it is my informal advice to count your losses (I have no idea how you’ve been receiving services all these years) and remain there until they throw you out or leave the country and try to return at another date on a tourist visa — though there is a good chance that you will be slapped with a pretty hefty ban.

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  • John November 29, 2012, 11:33 am

    Many thanks for your immediate reply … “faster than a speeding bullet …”! … At my meeting today they were telling me the same thing … soooo, I will put on my ” “chapeau de pensée” and keep on trying to find a solution so that I may remain here. John

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  • YoungCanadian July 13, 2013, 1:04 am

    Hi there,

    I am a Canadian moving to France for 1 year. I have a “Youth Exchange Working Visa” (for 12 months) in France.

    In France, I am living in a city that is 15km from Geneva, so I booked my flights to and from Geneva. I’m worried because this means the Swiss will think I’ve stayed in their country too long, since I am flying in and out of their airport. (Eg. I am flying to France (through Geneva) in August, but when I go to fly home in December (through Geneva), won’t the Swiss say that technically my 90-day visa in Schengen has been over-stayed?

    In other words, does my 12 month French visa allow me to travel in and out of Geneva for more than just 90 days, or do I still need to respect the 90-day rule?

    Thank you very much!


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  • jimmy November 13, 2013, 4:29 am

    Dear Wade

    I am studying here at Parish. My wife got Long stay visa (D) along with 3 months visa. And it is clearly written in her passport that she must get her resident permit within 2 months after her arrival at France. But the things is that she didnt apply for the resident permit because she got some allergic and now she dont want to stay here and wish to return back. Her visa will expire after 2 weeks. Now my questions are:
    1. What if she return back to her country without the resident permit as she got long stay visa category (D)? Will it be consider illegal? or immigration at Airport will make this as an issue.
    2. What if she visit prefecture to get resident permit now? will it be possible to get resident permit because she is visiting prefecture after 2 months.? by showing medical report that she was suffer with allergic for long time.
    Please kindly answer my questions. it will be deeply appreciated
    Thanking you


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  • Ali February 1, 2014, 12:01 pm

    Hi Wade,

    Sorry for the short essay but I’m in a sticky situation and was hoping for any advice you might be able to offer!

    I came to France in September 2013 on a Visa Concours because I had to sit an audition before starting my studies. Not sure if you’re familiar with the Visa Concours but it’s actually a 3-month Type C visa (which is usually a tourist visa) but it, along with a letter from the French consulate in my home country, means I can receive a normal student carte de sejour once I pass my audition. And I need to do this at the prefecture rather than through OFII.

    My problem is that, while I did pass my audition, I’ve been unable to get my carte de sejour and I’ll be returning to Australia in March, just shy of 3 months after my visa has expired, and I’m concerned about having problems when leaving the country, e.g. getting a fine or worse. I’ve read on other blogs that there can be a certain grace period after a visa expiry but not sure if it would extend for 3 months…especially as, at first glance anyway, I was not on a student visa but a “tourist” visa.

    The reason I couldn’t get my carte sejour is crazy – the prefecture would not accept my justification domicile. They advised me to overstay my visa during all the to-and-fro that went on, and to return with a lease and said if I didn’t secure a proper lease I would need to leave France. I haven’t been able to do this yet (although I will keep trying until March) and due to a number of related and unrelated factors, I’m happy to leave in March and not return if need be – I’m just worried about having problems leaving.

    I often see advice along the lines of “go in to the prefecture and talk to someone else and you’ll receive a different answer” but there is only one prefecture office I can go to due to my visa type (I have tried all the other ones) and the staff know me now since I’ve been in so many times – I’m even at the stage where I can walk in and get seen to immediately because they know me!

    I suppose my other question, is that at this late stage, will they even still accept my application for the carte sejour? I see the actual rules are that once my visa has expired I’m no longer eligible for a CDS but I’m wondering if you know, anecdotally, how strictly they enforce this rule? If I get lucky and got a rental, would they accept my application or might it get refused because it’s so late? While the prefecture said I could provide a rental and things would be fine, they also originally said they would accept my justification domicile if I only got a letter, and as explained they did not honour this promise at all. Even though they told me to overstay my visa, I can see how an immigration officer at the airport would not care about that. I just didn’t think about this at the time.

    I’ve seen that, upon the expiration of a visa, one can leave the EU and return to activate the “visa-free period” that some people can get (and which I can get, being Australian). I wonder if that will go down as a legitimate excuse for staying so long past my visa? Could I claim that I had a visa, then used my “visa-free period”, then left the country after that? When I leave France should I hope they don’t notice me, or should I admit what happened and explain why I overstayed?

    Any advice you have would be so greatly appreciated!

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    • Wade Shepard February 1, 2014, 7:52 pm

      Hello Ali,

      We no longer do this type of consultation for free. Sorry about that. It’s just that we get so many requests that there is no way for us to possible reply to them all without working on this full time — which is not possible, because we need to make a living as well.

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