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Are there Schengen rule exemptions to help care for elderly relatives?

There is no separate visa category for family carers, but there are ways to extend your stay in France. We explain.

Officially, there are no exceptions to the 90/180-day Schengen rules for taking care of elderly relatives Pic: fizkes / Shutterstock

Reader question: My 88-year-old mother lives in France, and UK-based family are finding it hard to offer her the support she needs under 90/180-day Schengen rules. Are any exceptions being granted?  D.H.

Officially, there are no exceptions to the 90/180-day Schengen rules for taking care of elderly relatives. Depending on the situation, however, it might be possible to obtain a visa allowing you to stay longer.

A visa de long séjour temporaire (VLS-T) is the main option in this case. It usually allows for stays of up to six months, with freedom to go back and forth between France and the UK. There is also the visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour, valid for 12 months then renewable via a residency card, but this is normally issued for those moving to settle in France.

The family members would apply for a ‘visitor’ category visa. They must pledge not to work while in France and show sufficient resources to support themselves.

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