If you were very careful with your visa application and had all the documents together that they asked for, the processing time for the Long Stay Visa France should be less than 2 weeks. However, as with all visas, the times will vary depending on your situation. In this post, I’ll go over exactly how long it took for my visa to be processed and what each step looked like while I was waiting.
If you’re looking for the exact step-by-step process to applying for the France Long Stay Visa, read this blog post here.
What is the Processing Time for the Long Stay Visa France?
According to the France Visa Official Government website, the visa processing time completely varies depending on the nationality of the applicant, the purpose of the stay, and the local visa issuing conditions.
However, most visas are processed in about 2 weeks unless there was a problem with their application. In a later section, I will go over exactly how many days it took for my visa to be processed plus what happened when I had to fix something with my application during that process.
How Long it Took to Put Everything Together for the Visa
After spending a month or so finding a host and asking my in-laws to “sponsor” us during our trip and making sure that we had our birth certificates and marriage certificates all in one place, I only spent less than a week putting together the whole application.
This included printing multiple versions of each document, organizing them in order, and double and triple checking that we had everything we needed.
You only need one day to get your visa insurance coverage letter if you use Insubuy (I’ve used them both times I applied and still use them!)
It would have taken less time if I was only doing my application and not my husband’s as well.
Find out the financial requirements for the long stay France Visa.
How Long to Get a Visa Appointment
There are plenty of visa appointments so as soon as it was one month out from when I wanted an appointment, I hopped on the VFS site and made an account. I was able to book an appointment that same day with no issues!
I created my VFS account on October 2nd.
Then I booked my VFS appointment for December 3rd.
The Processing Time for My Long Stay France Visa
Here is how the process worked as we waited for our visas to be processed.
I booked my appointment a month ahead of time on November 12th. The appointment was for December 3rd.
I received an email on December 6th asking for a correction on some of my documents and asking for every page of my bank statements, not just the first one. So this was 3 days after my appointment at the VFS in Los Angeles.
After sending in all the corrected documents (which I did the SAME DAY I received that email since I was panicking), I received an email on December 11th saying that my application had arrived at the France Embassy in Washington D.C.
The next day, I received the following email that stated that my application had “been received from the France Embassy at VAC, Los Angeles.”
When I read this, I thought that meant that the application was ready to be picked up! So my husband and I drove from San Diego to LA just to find out that this email does NOT mean that the visas are ready to be picked up yet.
Then on December 13th, I received an email that stated that my visa had “been collected from France Visa Application Center in Los Angeles.” I emailed and called just in case, but didn’t get a super clear answer, but we went anyway and our visas were ready!
So that means that from the day I sent in my visa application to the day I received my visa was only 11 days! Less than 2 weeks! From December 3rd to December 13th.
Sunday 5th of June 2022
Hi Dayna, Love all your info, it's priceless. I filled out all forms with the consulate then created an account, but when i went to book an appointment it said no slots available? I looked at all 5 states here in Australia and ALL the sites say the same: no slots available... maybe I should have booked first? so strange how no one has any free slots in June and it's only the 5th today... any idea on where I have gone wrong? really appreciate any and all feedback and help..
Friday 10th of June 2022
Hey Sharon! Are there any slots available for the following month? The process might be slightly different in Australia, maybe instead of booking the same month, you have to book the month before? Let me know so I can add a note for those in Australia! Dayna
Tuesday 3rd of May 2022
First I want to thank you for such a wonderful and informative blog. We are in the process of applying for the French Visa and I had a question. Do the birth certificates need to be valid within a certain amount of time? Thanks in advance!
Saturday 14th of May 2022
Thank you so much for your reply. This is very helpful!
Thursday 12th of May 2022
@admin, So my story is a little long but will try to make it as short as possible. I know you're not an expert but any help would be greatly appreciated. We have been living in Thailand since the pandemic because of the pandemic and are getting ready to go back to the US. We are flying back to Miami at the end of June. All of our important documents (birth/marriage certificates) are in storage therefore we won't have access to them until we get back. Can we make an appointment from Thailand say at the beginning of June for the beginning of July? I was under the impression we needed to go to the embassy in Miami in person to make the appointment but I'm reading on your blog you can make the appointment online via the mentioned website? I'm a little unclear on this.
Thanks for your help!
Tuesday 3rd of May 2022
Hey Lesley! Does your consulate require you to get your documents translated? In LA, we didn't need to do that, but to renew our visas we got them translated here in France. If not, I'm not sure I understand your question. As long as you bring a copy of the original birth certificate, you should be good! (:
Sunday 9th of January 2022
Hi there! Did you submit you the application on the French website BEFORE securing an appointment at the visa center? It says you must make contact with the visa center prior to submitting the application. I went on VFS website to schedule an appointment in Washington DC and none were available. On the France Visa website it says the long-stay visa should not be submitted more than 3 months before departure. If I submit it now, it will be 2 months before departure. It also says you should make the appointment at least 1 month before departure. Do you think appointments aren't showing as available because I'm trying to make it 2 months before my departure? I'm panicking!! Thanks for any insight you can provide!
Monday 10th of January 2022
Hey McKenna! So you need to book your appointment first, then go back and submit it. I think you're good to book your appointment, but appointments only show up a month in advance which might be why it's not working for you yet! Are there any appointments available for the month we're in (January)? Just book one for this month and not for February and you should be fine! You can tell them the date that you want your visa to start so you won't be wasting any days. I hope that helps, let me know if you need more help!
Friday 5th of November 2021
Less than 2 weeks here, too! 9 days to be exact, including a weekend and FedEx shipping time. Super fast! Processed through VFS San Francisco.