French Long Stay Visa

And so begins the travel posts…

Yesterday, I received the email, I had been anticipating: My acceptance for a Long Stay Visa in France.

My French Visa
The application took longer and was more convoluted than I anticipated. Well, after the fact, it wasn’t so much convoluted, but figuring a few things out took some thinking.

Documents and copies

The Civil Liability (Responsabilité Civile) insurance was a bit of a noodle scratcher for me. In France, everyone has to have, in effect, personal third-party liability insurance. Most home or renters insurances have this kind of coverage. I am planning to move around a lot, so I won’t have this type of coverage. I purchased my “travel insurance” but it doesn’t have this coverage. I pestered various banks and underwriters trying to find this coverage. It dawned on me, that I should be focusing on French insurers, as this is a French law. After a few more phone calls, I was translating French insurance policies into English. I found MAE had the coverage I needed. Better still, you can apply on line. The kicker was, the insurance ended up costing only $40 CAD.

Around the time I was tracking this insurance down, I started freaking myself out. The application documentation references “your long term address”, or “the information of the people you are staying with”, or “renters insurance”. I am not planning in staying in one place for a long time, as it’s a big country with lots to see and do! I grew concerned that I was barking up the wrong tree in applying for this visa. Obviously, this is not the case. I used the address of the hotel I’m first staying at for the application process.

The background check was another point of stress for me. After two weeks of waiting for it to arrive, I called back east to Ottawa to see what was going on with my report. The woman said, it should arrive any day now, as “we just mailed it out last Friday/Monday.” I guess they wait to pick them up when there are enough to go out or at predestined times. She said my report was completed and sent to mail the day after it arrived, which was “good news”. In hindsight, I wish I can called right away and found out it was completed and waiting for Canada Post, instead of wondering.

Everything else was pretty straightforward. I notarized the “I promise not to work” letter, but not the socio-professional letter. I am impressed with the French governments responsiveness to my questions and quick turn around time on the visa. This is the first time I’ve interacted with them, and it was a painless process.

The Vancouver French Consulate gave me tip. Read the other Canadian consulate’s documentation. Reading, say Toronto’s, I realized the process is the same but it uses different wording. This helped me understanding what was actually the requested in some documents.

Costs for the application:

  • Affidavit Notorization – $40 CAD
  • Travel insurance – $1,649.00 CAD
  • Civil Liability insurance – $39.73 CAD
  • French visa application fee – $139.05 CAD ($99 EUR)
  • Fingerprinting and record check – $77.50 CAD

Total cost was: $1,945.28 CAD I could have gone for the cheaper Record check sans fingerprinting. C’est la vie.

Postscript: I know I’ve put a black bar on my eyes when the previous post is all pictures of my face. It struck me as funny when I was sanitizing the picture.