Skip to Content

How to Apply for the Long Stay Visa France Using VFS

Welcome to the ULTIMATE guide for “How to Apply for the Long Stay Visitor Visa in France Using VFS.” This guide will walk you through EVERY SINGLE STEP and make sure that you don’t feel half as lost as I did during this visa process! Definitely bookmark this blog post to come back to throughout the process.

This might sound crazy, but when I opened up my passport, after all the hard work that went into this process, and I saw a beautiful full-page Long Stay France Visa inside, I started sobbing. Tears of actual joy.

I love my husband and everything, but I didn’t even cry on our wedding day!

As many will tell you, this process is not for the faint of heart. It takes a ridiculous amount of paperwork, every document that you’ve ever received from the government, and a little bit of luck.

But if I’m being even more honest, it was easier than I thought it would be. So with that paradox in mind, I think we’re ready to do this!

UPDATE: I followed this blog post to a T when I applied again from LA in 2022 and it went perfectly!

How to Apply for a Long Stay Visa: What Visa do You Need?

This blog post is geared toward people who are trying to apply for the Long Stay Visitor Visa or the Visa de Long Sejour Visiteur.

If you are trying to apply for a student visa, a talent visa, or a professional working visa, some of these things may apply to you, but the specific requirements for each visa vary a little.

Financial Requirements

You should be aware that this visa is somewhat difficult to attain and has certain financial requirements. This means that France expects you to be able to provide for yourself for a FULL YEAR without looking for work in France.

UPDATE: I have written a whole blog post that goes over the financial requirements in more detail with specific examples and exact numbers.

In fact, you are NOT ALLOWED to find work in France.

We are crazy savers and have actually saved over $18,000 while traveling the world. We had $32,000 in our Savings Account when we applied for the visa.

However, we were worried that they wouldn’t consider that enough, so we also had a host, guarantor, and paystubs and we were able to show that we had about $40,000 in credit (you just add up the credit limit from all of your credit cards to get this number).

(P.S. Right now, you don’t know what a host or a guarantor is, don’t worry, we’ll go over those in detail later).

There is a bit of a gray area here on this one.

I have a friend who only had $9,000 in savings but was able to prove that he makes over $3,000 a month with his online job (using paystubs), and had a guarantor and a host. Therefore, he had enough to show he could cover his expenses.

I can’t tell you what the magic number is. All I can tell you is to do EVERYTHING you can to look good on paper.

However, if you really want a number, this is what I found on the Schengen Visa Info Website:

Means of Subsistence for France Schengen Visa

It’s not official though and we had less than what was required, so it’s possible to still get the visa even without that much money!

Working Remotely in France

Another gray area is whether or not you can work remotely while living in France on this visa. However, I mentioned in my application that I would be working for VIPKID and writing for this blog, and they still gave me the visa.

This might not last forever. This used to work in Spain as well until they decided earlier this year that they were no longer going to allow it.

I am not going to advise you legally, I am just telling you what worked for me and what my friends have done.

Again, you cannot have ANY French clients or ANY money/job coming from France. However, if your money comes from the USA, or anywhere else, it seems to be okay for right now. Don’t quote me on this.

How Early Should You Start the Visa Application Process?

Since the application itself isn’t that difficult, it should only take 2 weeks to get everything together. You cannot apply more than 3 months before the date that you leave.

Should You Buy Tickets to France Before Applying?

This is up to you. Jake and I decided that we were going to go to France whether we got the visa or not. We didn’t want to wait until we got the visa because that would only leave us with a few weeks to buy the tickets before we left.

We use Pomelo Travel to get the cheapest flights, so as soon as I saw a deal, I jumped on it. Had we bought them later it would have definitely cost us more money.

Plus, we were able to tell VFS the exact date of arrival in France as well as showing that we already bought our tickets to France, further strengthening our chances.

What are the Passport Requirements?

Your passport should contain at least two consecutive blank pages and should not expire during the time you will be in France. You might need to renew your passport before beginning your visa application.

Pro Tip: Make sure that you ask for a 52-page passport, which is twice the length of the normal-sized passports but costs the same amount of money.

Unfortunately, if you travel a lot, you will need a new passport every time you run out of pages, not just when your visa expires.

Which Application Center Should You Apply At?

You no longer need to go to the French Consulate to apply for your visa. They’ve outsourced the process to an Indian company called “VFS Global.”

You will actually never step foot in the consulate during this whole process. Instead, you will head to the nearest VFS Application Center.

There are VFS Centers in:

  • Washington D.C.
  • Boston
  • New York City
  • Atlanta
  • Houston
  • Miami
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco

Jake and I applied at the Los Angeles VFS Center. Each Center has slightly different requirements, but the basics are going to be the same. We’ll go over the requirements later in this post and I will list the ones that you should bring “just in case.”

Do You Need to Apply in Person?

Yes, you need to actually apply in person, which is a huge hassle (and very expensive) if you don’t live near any of those centers listed above. However, you only need to go once.

After your appointment, you can get your passport sent to you in the mail for $35 per passport.

Also, if you are applying for more than one person, no, they cannot put multiple passports in one envelope. I asked because I didn’t want to have to drive from San Diego to Los Angeles again, but it’s definitely PER PASSPORT, no matter how stupid that is.

So now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re ready to go through the actual steps and start applying for this dang thing!!

Step 1: Make an Online Account

First, you need to go to the actual French Consulate Visa website to make an account.

If you are applying for more than one person, you only need to make one account. In that account, you can create a Group Application.

You cannot apply more than 3 months before the date that you leave, however, you can make this account at any time since you are not actually applying until you go into VFS to hand in your application.

It should look like this:

Official France Visa Website

Up at the top right corner, you can see the “My Account” button. Click on that.

My Account Button on French Visa Website

It should bring you to a page that looks like the one below. Since this is your first time on this page, you would create an account. After the first time, you would just log in on the box to the right.

Create an Account on the Long Stay France Visa Website

I’m using a fake name to go through the steps again with you. Your first email should look like the picture below. It includes a temporary password that you will use to log in to your new account.

Email Confirmation from France Visa Website

Before we do that though, you will need to verify your account. You should receive a second email shortly after that looks like this:

Second Email confirmation from France Visa Website

In that email, just click on the link in English to confirm your email. From there, the verification code is already typed in, so you just need to press “Verify.”

Verify Email Address

After you verify, it should just bring you back to the homepage.

From there, click on “My Account” again and sign in using your email and temporary password. It will then ask you to create a new password that you will use from then on out.

Create a Password for France Visa Website

Then you’ll be asked to answer a security question. After that, you’ll be brought to this page:

Manage your applications on France Visa Website

Step 2: Fill Out the Long Stay France Visa Online Application Form

Again, if you are applying for more than one person, you only need to make one account. In that account, you can create a Group Application. However, it can only be for 6 people or less.

This is where we should be now:

Starting the visa process on France Visa Website

Press the “Access the Visa Application” button to get started! You’ll be going through and filling out the following sections:

Steps to follow on France Visa Website

Your Plans Section

The information to fill in is pretty straightforward. You will need your passport information.

However, for our specific visa, it is important to fill out these two sections on the first page correctly:

1 year Visitor Visa on France Visa Website

You need to fill in that the Visa Type is “Long Stay (>90 days)”, the city of the VFS application Center you plan to go to, and the Number of Months of Stay which is “Between 6 months and 1 year.”

UPDATE: Although I was able to get the 1-year renewable visa by choosing “Between 6 months and 1 year”, others have reported that you need to choose “More than 1 year” in order to get the renewable visa. I stated multiple times in my letters that I wanted the 1-year renewable visa, so make sure to include that if that’s what you want.

RELATED:  Is Nice Worth Visiting? Here's How to Decide

Then at the bottom of that page, you should fill out the form like this:

Visitor Visa

Since you are on the “Visitor” visa, make sure to only select that.

Make sure to press “Save” at the bottom, then go back and press “Verify.” You will want to do this process quickly since it might log you out and if you haven’t pressed “Save” then you will have to start over.

After you press “Verify” you will get a notice like this:

Confirm your passport number on France Visa Website

Double-check your passport number, then click “Yes.”

Your Information Section

This area is very straightforward and easy to fill out. You will need your Social Security Number to fill this part out. It is called your “National Identity Number” on the application.

You will also need to provide your address in this section.

Fill out "Your Identity" form on France Visa Website

At the bottom of this section, you will need to choose your Current Job and fill out the information about your job. This will be important later to prove that you are a responsible citizen and that you have enough money to come to France.

Fill out "Your Job" form on France Visa Website

Press “Save” again, then next to get to the next section.

Your Last Visa

Fill out "Your Last Visa"

Your Stay

This part is when you put your date of arrival in France. We put the 5th of France but then ended up buying tickets for the 12th.

At our appointment, they just had us change the date to the 12th directly on the printed-out form. (at the end of this whole process, it lets you print this all out, I’ll explain more later.)

Technically, you don’t have to stay in France for the full year. If 6 months is all you want, then you can put the “Planned duration” as only 6 months.

However, it will be difficult to find an apartment for only 6 months and the price for the visa is the same. Why not try for the year?

Fill out dates of your stay in France

After that part, if you are applying with a spouse or family member, then this part is important. Choose “yes” that you will be traveling with members of your family, and then a new section will appear for you to fill out about them.

Add members of your family onto your France Visa Application

You can add up to 6 members of your family here. If you have more than that, you will need to create a new account. After you have filled out all your family member’s information, click “Save” like always, and then move on to the next section.

Your Contacts

Okay, this is the first section that we might need to take a pause really quick to figure out what we’re gonna put here. The more that you provide on this application, the safer you will be.

So… this section is to provide your accommodation information, host information, and how you plan to fund your travel costs. Let’s break those down.

Also, it’s totally okay to not know these answers yet. After we review what they each mean, you can just save your application, go get the answers/people/help you need, and then you can come back and fill this out later.

Add your Contacts on your France Visa Application

Your Accommodation or “Host”

Each individual VFS Application center has a slightly different interpretation of this section. For Los Angeles, you didn’t need to get a lease ahead of time (yes, some countries like Italy require you to actually have a signed apartment lease in hand BEFORE you even get your visa…which is insane).

UPDATE: I’ve written a whole post further clarifying the accommodation proof you need for the visa. Read it here!

What they want to see is that you aren’t going to be a burden to France or become homeless during your stay. There are a couple of ways that you can prove this to them.

One would be to find an Airbnb with a return policy and book that for the full year. I didn’t want to take the risk that we wouldn’t get our money back.

So instead, I booked one full month on Airbnb (non-refundable, they usually aren’t) and decided that even if we didn’t get the visa we were going to spend a month in Nice, France anyway.

Then, we got ourselves a “host.”

A Host is a person who has residency in France (or is a citizen of France) who is willing to tell the French government that you are going to stay with them. You don’t actually have to stay with them, and nobody is going to check up on that.

However, a host can be great for your application since, in theory, you will need a lot less money in your Savings account for them to be happy since you won’t need a place to stay.

So what does the host need to provide you with?

  • front and back of their French ID
  • apartment lease in their name or proof that they own a house in France
  • utilities bill from the apartment/house in their name
  • a letter stating that you will be staying with them (but we’ll handle that part)
  • their address

All you need to do is find someone who is willing to do that for you. Find out if there’s anyone that you know living in France. If not, it’s time to hop on Facebook and join a few Facebook groups.

Don’t worry, these requirements will be listed again later, this is just so you can have an idea of what they would need to provide you.

Facebook Groups for Moving to France:

The first group is much better than the second and I wouldn’t ask any questions in the second group. It is run by some lady who will tell you that everything you are doing is illegal because she wants you to pay for her services.

But you can use these groups (by using the search bar) to find more answers to your questions. You can also comment on other people’s posts and ask if you can DM them to ask further questions. After you have a relationship with a few people, you can start asking if they’ll host you.

Luckily for us, a family friend moved to Cannes and we were able to ask them to host us. They were super helpful and understanding since they had applied for the visas themselves and understood the process.

I used the above Facebook groups for general questions, but I actually used a VIPKID “Teachers Who Travel” Facebook Page to find the friends who helped me fill out the application itself. I will include all of that in this blog post.

If you are a digital nomad (someone who works online and travels) there are tons of Facebook Pages you could join that would help you make friends and find more answers.

If you plan to have a host and get an Airbnb or hotel, you can check both of those boxes on the application and they will open up to have you fill out further information.

Your Host Information Form

You can put your hotel or Airbnb information in here:

Your Accommodation Information form on France Visa Website

Funding of Travel Costs – Myself

You will definitely need to check this box. Then you will need to check all of the boxes that apply to you. These are the ones I would check:

Your Funding of Travel Costs Form

The ways that you can prove that you can provide for yourself are by providing a receipt for your pre-booked Airbnb, your plane ticket (although you don’t HAVE to buy it ahead of time), and your credit card limits (we’ll discuss this more later) and whatever money you have in Checking and Savings accounts.

At this point, all you need to do is check the ones that you plan to provide later. If you’re not sure, you can come back and do this later.

Funding of Travel Costs – By Another Guarantor

A “Guarantor” is someone who states that they would be willing to send you money monthly if for some reason you are unable to provide for yourself. This is completely hypothetical though, and won’t actually be required by that person.

The amount that the French government would like to see is $1050 (or more) each month.

Your Guarantor Form

For our Guarantor, we asked Jake’s mom. We are super lucky and blessed that we have someone in our lives that we could ask, however, this might not be easy for a lot of people.

It does not need to be a parent. Just any adult that you know that trusts you enough to know you’re not actually going to ask for this money.

They will need to provide you with:

  • front & back copy of ID
  • 3 months of Bank Statements (Savings Account or whatever account has the most $)
  • 3 months of Pay Stubs
  • Letter Stating that they would be willing to send you $1050 (OR MORE) monthly (we’ll handle this part)

Don’t worry about this checklist right now, I will provide this again later when we start putting together the documents.

For now, just use this list to try to find someone who would be willing to do this for you. Preferably someone who has at least $20,000 in their Savings Account.

If you get logged out or would like to save and continue doing the application later, you can log in at a later time and click the pencil button (edit button) to continue finishing your application.

Your Applications on France Visa Website

Recap Section (the Last Section of the Online Application)

After you’ve finished filling out all of the other sections, you will be brought to the Recap Section. Here you can go back and make sure that everything is correct before you turn it in.

After you have checked everything, you can check the box and then click “Continue.”

Recap section on the France Visa Website

Another pop-up will warn you that you won’t be able to change your application after you’ve turned it in. This isn’t nearly as serious as it makes it out to be, you can make changes to the application after you’ve printed it out.

Check all your information

But do your very best to make as few mistakes as possible since you don’t want your application to look messy.

RELATED:  How Many Days Should You Spend in Lyon? What to Know Before Booking

Supporting Documents

After the Recap Section, you will be brought to Step 2 of the Long Stay Visa France Online Application: Supporting Documents. It should look like the picture below, which asks you to bring your passport (remember the requirements listed at the beginning of this post) and the originals of all documents.

Supporting documents for France Visa

After that, you will see the list of documents you will need to bring with you to your appointment. However, this is an incomplete list and we will go over the full list later in this post.

Long Stay Visa Requirements List

You’ll notice that this visa costs $111. You will pay that at your VFS Center during your Appointment. It is $111 per person.


We’ve finally made it to the END OF THE ONLINE VISA APPLICATION!!! WOOHOO!! (Of course, we’re just getting started, but this is still something to celebrate! The page should look like this:

Make an Appointment at the visa center

If you read carefully, you’ll see that we cannot check the box at this time. We will need to make an appointment at the VFS Center BEFORE to check it.

So we can leave this alone for now and log back in later after we make our VFS Appointment. Let’s go!

Step 3: Make a VFS Appointment

Now we need to make our actual Visa Application appointment at one of the VFS Centers we listed at the top of the post. Once you’ve figured out which one is closest to you, you can do this next step.

When to Schedule the Appointment

Before we go to the website, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, this website is absolutely terrible. It can be unpredictable and incredibly slow.

It’s probably the slowest website that exists on this Earth.

Normally, if a website doesn’t load in a few seconds, it never will. You just have to reload the page and try again. Not with VFS though.

After you type in the website, just leave the page open. If after about 10 minutes it’s not loaded, THEN you can try to reload the page.

Pro Tip: Only use this website on the BEST wifi that you have access to. That will make it less frustrating and hopefully will load faster.

Some people have had luck switching from Chrome to Firefox or even just not using a Mac. However, I used a Mac and Chrome to complete this whole process, just with a lot of patience.

As far as scheduling your appointment, it is hard to tell when the appointments are released. Meaning that you can’t just schedule an appointment whenever you want.

Generally, from what I can tell, appointments are opened on the first of the month for that month only. For example, if you want an appointment on December 15th, you would need to wait until December 1st to book your appointment.

I’ve heard cases in which the website lets appointments out early, but for the most part, you would need to wait until the first of that month to book your appointment.

There is also no shortage of appointments, so you don’t need to stress about not being able to get one.

Just set a reminder for the first of the month and hop on the website to get your appointment.

Pro Tip: The VFS employees, although they are helpful, are very understaffed. During the lunch hour (about 11:30 to 1:00) there was either one person working or NO ONE. Book your appointment for earlier in the morning or after lunch hour.

Another Pro Tip: Leave time after your appointment just in case they tell you that you are missing something. That way you can run and print it out before the VFS Center closes and they can include it in your application.

How to Schedule Your Appointment

First, let’s head to this page which lists all of the VFS Centers. Find yours and then click “Book an Appointment”

VFS Center in Los Angeles

This will take us to a completely different website. So, just to be clear, we are NO LONGER on the Official France Consulate Website.

Now, we are on the VFS website. Therefore, the login we created for the last website will not work.

So the first thing we are going to do is click “New User” and fill out the “New User Registration.”

VFS Global New User Registration

As always, you will need to go into your email and verify it before you can log into the VFS website. After that you should be able to log in using that information:

Appointment Login for VFS Global

Finally, you’ll get to an absolutely blank page. I don’t know why, but like I said, prepare yourself because this website is the worst:

VFS Visa Appointment Center

From here, you should click on the “Schedule Appointment” button and then fill out the following form like I show below. Then click “Continue.”

VFS Visa Information Form

This will bring you to the Applicant page, which looks like this:

VFS Global Visa Applicant List

Now, one of the most frustrating parts of this website is that after you click “Add Applicant” and then fill out a whole form, THEN you can see what appointments are available.

This website doesn’t save your information, so if you don’t see an appointment for the day/month that you want, then you will need to fill out the form again.

I recommend that after making your login, you should only go all the way through this process once it is in the MONTH that you plan to have your appointment.

You may read other forums or blogs that suggest that you should make more than one appointment, but since each appointment costs about $29 per person, I would just stick to one.

If you are applying with more than one person, you would add two applicants before continuing to book your appointment. It should look like this:

Add New Visa Applicant

Once you press “Submit” it will bring you to a summary of all the applicants you are applying with. If you are missing someone, you can press “Add Applicant” here before moving on.

Visa Applicant List

It will show you how much the appointment will cost after this page, but you aren’t going to pay until you’ve chosen an appointment, so just click “Continue” again.

That will finally bring you to the Appointment Booking part:

Calendar for Booking a France Visa Appointment with VFS

Don’t panic, this is only showing a part of the month because I’m writing this on January 8th. If I hopped on this website on January 1st, I would have had a lot more options.

Now you just click on the date that you want and then choose a time slot.

Choosing a Time Slot for Visa Appointment

At this point, my fake “Natalie Portman” is just waiting since the page isn’t loading…Unfortunately, if it doesn’t load after about 5-10 minutes, she’ll have to go through and do this whole process again.

But hey, moving to France is definitely worth it!

Luckily, it finally loaded, although it looks terrible and kind of spammy:

Appointment Summary from VFS Global

After you Confirm your Appointment, you are directed to pay the $29. Although it seems sketchy, this is the only way to do it!

Payment Method from VFS Global for $28.45 per Appointment

Once you’ve paid you will get an email that states this:

Appointment Confirmation Email

At the bottom of the email, it has your “Appointment Letter” attached, which is very important. You will need to print out a copy of this for every person who is applying with you (I will include this in our final checklist).

Step 4: Go Back to the Official France Visa Website

Now that we have our VFS appointment, we can head back to the first website we used. On the Official France Visa Website, you can log back into the first account we created. After logging in, you should see your application under “My Applications.”

If it’s not there, you might not have saved it. In that case, head back to the top of this post and complete Step 1 again.

From there, press “Continue.” Now we can click the box that says we have our VFS Visa Appointment already booked.

After that, it will tell you that you have been sent an email which should look like this:

Official France Visa Website Confirmation Email

Now click on the link in the email, which should take you back to your Account on the France Visa Website. From there, click on the magnifying glass button which should download your application and documents checklist onto your computer.

This document IS your application and is VITAL to your Appointment. The checklist at the end of that document is what they will use in your Appointment to make sure you have everything.

Step 5: Get your Documents Ready

Alright! We made it! Now it’s time to print, print, print. First, I suggest making a new folder on your desktop named “France Visa Documents” since it can get difficult to track all of the documents we will need.

List of Documents They Ask For

This is the list that is included at the end of the Application you just downloaded from the Official France Visa Website. We will use it as a guideline since not everything we need is listed. However, it is in the order that we need to keep our documents.

I recommend buying a Manila folder to keep all your printed documents in.

Pre-Requisites for the Long Stay France Visa
Purpose of Travel Checklist for Visa
Accommodation Checklist for Visa

Okay, now that we know what they want us to have, here is the OFFICIAL LIST of EVERY. SINGLE. THING. you need to bring to your appointment. I will mark the. ones that are considered “additional.”

Also, you do not need to have 2 copies of everything on this list, but I did. For both Jake and I. Seems insane and it was a bit much, but in some cases, it paid off. It’s up to you to decide.

Plus, keep in mind that the printing places close to the VFS Centers are going to rip you off.

The Official List of Everything You Need


  • Appointment Receipt from VFS (aka Appointment Letter)
  • Online Application (signed & dated for the day of appointment)
  • Official Checklist (at the end of Online Application)
  • Valid Passport
  • Scanned Copy of Passport (scanned ID page)
  • Scanned Copy of Birth Certificate
  • Scanned Copy of Marriage Certificate (if married)
  • 2 Passport Photos (2in x 2in)
RELATED:  10 Amazing Nice Boat Tours You Need To Book

Purpose of Travel/Stay:

  • No Paid Activity Letter
  • Letter from Employer ( Proof of Employment/Contract)
  • 3 Months of Paystubs (ADDITIONAL)

Travel Health Insurance:

  • Scanned Copy of the Medical Insurance Card
  • Confirmation of Coverage Letter


  • Airbnb Receipt (or Hotel Receipt)
  • Letter from Host
  • Host ID (front & back)
  • Host Lease or Deed from Apartment/House


  • Letter Explaining Personal Finances
  • 3 Months of Most Recent Savings Account Statements (include ALL pages, not just the first page)
  • 3 Months of Most Recent Checking Account (or whatever account your salary goes into)
  • Credit Card Statements Proving your Credit Limit (ADDITIONAL)

Supporting Funds:

  • Letter from Guarantor
  • ID (front & back)
  • 3 Months’ Bank Statements
  • 3 Months of Paystubs


  • Credit Card or Means of Paying $111 Per Visa at VFS Center
  • Scanned Copy of Social Security Cards (ADDITIONAL)
  • Scanned Copy of Driver’s Licenses (ADDITIONAL)

Alright, that’s it! lol. As you’re looking over this, I bet there are a few things that you don’t know how to do or that you have no idea what it means. I’m going to go over those things now, don’t worry!

I also made a printable checklist since I’m the type that needs something physical in my hand so that I can check everything off. You can download that for free below!

Download Your FREE France Visa Checklist
HERE! (:

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    Do You Need a Background Check?

    First of all, you do not need to get a background check anymore. At the VFS Center, you will turn in your documents and application, and then you will go into a small room to get your fingerprints done. They call it “Biometrics.”

    Therefore, no more expensive background checks and no more needing to wait to get it back in the mail! Yay!

    Step 6: Get Health Insurance

    Basically, the only thing that you need to actually buy for your appointment is French Health Insurance. You could spend weeks researching the different plans and such, but I’ve simplified it here for you!

    UPDATE: If you need more information, here is a whole blog post dedicated to France visa health insurance.

    From multiple friends who have done this process before me and from hundreds of forums/blog posts/scouring Facebook group posts I have noticed that one company gets mentioned more than everyone else: Insubuy.

    They have the cheapest plans AND they guarantee that their insurance covers everything that the Visa requires. Because you can’t just show up with any old insurance.

    Your Insurance needs to have:

    • $0 Deductible
    • $50,000 Coverage
    • Repatriation (meaning if you die, it covers sending your body back to America. a little dark lol)

    It also can’t be just travel insurance. So save yourself the trouble and headache, here’s the answer on a silver platter for you!! You’re welcome (; Now, head to, and under the “International Medical” section, click “Schengen Visa.”

    Insubuy Health Insurance Website

    Fill out the “Instant Quote” form and then press “Get Quotes.” If it says that there is nothing for you, play around with the dates a bit until it goes through.

    Instant Quotes from Insubuy Health Insurance for France Visa

    If you are planning to stay for 1 year, like us, then the only insurance is the “Patriot International” Insurance. It cost us $700 for the full year for BOTH of us.

    Also, if you don’t get your visa, you can get it refunded. You just need proof that you didn’t receive the visa (ie all pages of your passport sans visa).

    After you pay for your insurance, you will receive an email with your Certificate #. You will need that to log in to your account and download your ID Card and Confirmation Letter which are both required for your application.

    There are conflicting opinions on how much of your trip needs to be covered by insurance. Some people believe only the first 3 months, depending on your VFS Center. I didn’t want to risk it, especially since refunds are possible, so we bought the full year upfront.

    As soon as you pay, everything is available immediately, which is a huge reason why this process can be completed so quickly.

    The rest of the process is done in-house (or waiting for your friends/family to send you documents) Let’s go to the next step!

    Step 7: Write the Letters

    You may have noticed that the documents list mentioned quite a few letters. I’m not sure why, but you will be writing quite a few professional letters for this application!

    Luckily for you (and for me!), my friends sent me templates to follow.

    They are 8 pages long and super awkward to put on this blog post. I seriously have spent a few weeks trying to figure out the best way to give these to you, and this seems like the only way!

    Download the FREE France Visa Letter Templates HERE!

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

      I’ve put together a PDF with all the letters you’ll need for your application as well as one additional template. The highlighted parts are what you need to change in order to make it your own! These seriously saved me and made the process SO MUCH SIMPLER! I hope you feel the same!

      Step 8: Print Everything & Organize

      Alright, now it’s time to kill some freakin’ trees. Sadly. But there’s no other way. They want you to print SO much crap.

      You don’t need two copies of each, but I brought two anyway. If you have a printer at home, that’s definitely the cheapest option.

      I applied in LA and we were missing a document that I had to get last second and print out.

      Since there was a bit of a time crunch, I just went to the nearest place which was right across the street by the Mobil gas station.

      They charged me almost $7 just to use their ancient computer that barely worked and print out 5 pages. SUPER EXPENSIVE. So come as prepared as you can, but know that there’s a backup just in case.

      How to Organize Your Papers

      At your appointment, they will take the checklist that you printed out (the one at the end of your application) and go down the list checking things off. It’s okay that you have extra documents as well, as long as you make sure to have all of the basics in order.

      If you decide to print more than one copy of everything, keep the second copy apart. Meaning you will only have your second copies ready in case they ask for it, but they aren’t in the organized papers that you give at the appointment.

      You should also buy a plain manila folder to keep your documents in.

      Alright, now you’re ready for your VFS Visa Application appointment! Check out this post for how long the processing time will be on your France Visa so you can prepare for your future in France!

      This post was already quite long, so I will have to split it into two.

      The second part will be coming out soon and will tell you more details about the appointment itself, what to do after the appointment, and how to track and pick up your passport!

      Also, if you read all of this, you’re definitely disciplined enough to get this visa! And if you do, please comment here, I’d love to hear about it! Bonne chance mon ami!

      What to Do After You Get Your Visa

      After you get your visa approved, you’re not done yet! You have 90 days from the day your visa starts to find a permanent address in France and register your visa.

      They should give you a little piece of paper in your passport that explains how to do this. You’ll need to also pay the “Timbre Fiscale” which is your French tax on your visa. This costs around 200 euros per person.

      Renewing Your Long-Stay Visa

      You’ll need to renew your visa 2 months before it expires. Here in Nice, the process has been put almost entirely online, which was super convenient. This means that all I had to do was get my bank statements certified and translated.

      I highly recommend using Bilingual Minds for this since you can upload all the documents to their website and then you can get the documents back to you within a few days. You can receive paper copies or just digital copies if that’s all you need.

      I’ve used them for my birth certificates, marriage certificates, and bank statements without any problems and they’ve all been accepted by the French government. Yay!

      You can also always ask for a quote which might save you a bit of money instead of choosing one of the plans.

      The last thing I needed to do was go to a PhotoMaton in France, which is those little photo booths from the movies, where you choose to get government photos done.

      These have to come with a code that you type in on your visa renewal application, so make sure you choose the right option that comes with a code.

      These booths are all around the city, we found one in a Monoprix and the cost was $8 per person. Make sure you don’t smile and that your hair is tucked behind your ears, out of your face.

      More Posts About France:

      There’s a ton of information here, don’t forget to pin this so you can find it later!! (:

      How to Apply for the Long Stay Visa for France
      how to move to france for one year
      How to Apply for the Long Stay Visa for France


      Saturday 23rd of December 2023

      For your birth certificate did you take a copy that you scanned or did you request an official copy of your birth certificate? Or do I take my original birth certificate?


      Thursday 30th of March 2023

      Hi Dayna, my appointment is in 5 days and I am getting so nervous! I downloaded the letter template PDF which is so helpful but I didn’t see included the ‘Letter from Employer (Proof of Employment/Contract)’. Are you able to share that? I just want to make sure I get this perfectly right. It seems like one of the most important parts of qualifying for this visa as I am a remote worker for a US company. Thank you so much!!


      Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

      Hi Dayna, this guide is my life line right now! Thank you so much. I can't believe how comprehensive this is. I have been trying to find the answer to a simple question everywhere! And VFS never pick up the phone. I am applying at the VFS Los Angeles (same as you I believe). I have been printing everything at home (which is USA Letter Paper) but when I went to print the Visa Application Form through the French Visa Gov Website it's (of course) A4. I clicked fit to page but the barcode is getting cut off. That prompted me to worry that maybe all my papers should be printed on A4? I read somewhere that this is important. But I thought as I'm applying in LA it's okay to use Letter paper. Can you please let me know what you did? Either way, I will make sure all the paper is one or the other not a mix of both. Thanks so much!!!


      Friday 24th of March 2023

      @Dayna Brockbank, thank you so much for getting back to me! I met my partner in New Zealand when we were each traveling the world. And now that it's been over three years he wants to live in his hometown in Normandy for a bit to try running a shop there. Now I'm navigating the visa and reading your language learning blog posts as well! Thankful I already worked remotely for a US company to make one aspect of this adventure more straightforward. I've loved reading your story with Jake and seeing all your adventures.

      Dayna Brockbank

      Friday 24th of March 2023

      Hey Ciara! I kept resizing until the barcode fit, but if it doesn't look right they might reprint it for you at the interview! Here in France everything is A4, but luckily in Nice everything is online for renewals so I haven't had to print anything yet! So glad this was helpful, best of luck!!


      Wednesday 11th of January 2023

      Hi Dayna

      Just curious about your comments on health insurance. We have heard that the French embassy in the US has kicked back applications because of deductible. Our international insurance is from the UK but has a 1k deductible. My understanding is they require zero deductible health insurance. Comments? Thanks


      Saturday 7th of January 2023

      Great Write up!! Much appreciated