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France visitor visa: Must you promise not to work? What are the rules?

For long-stay visas, you have to pledge not to ‘engage in any professional activity’. We explain how it works

You will also need to show proof of sufficient funds to support yourself Pic: Media_Photos / Shutterstock

Reader question: I have seen the requirement for an attestation d’honneur for a visa request. What are the legal rules for this and does it have to be witnessed?

You are presumably referring to the document required for certain visa applications in which you promise not to work during your stay in France.

This is sometimes referred to as an ‘Attestation sur l'honneur’, or an ‘Engagement à n'exercer aucune activité professionnelle en France’ (a promise not to exercise any professional activity in France).

This is notably requested when applying for a visa de long-séjour temporaire (VLS-T) – a long-stay visitor visa which is usually valid for up to six months. 

This visa is often used by non-EU nationality second-home owners who want to spend up to six months at their French property.

Unlike other long-stay visas, you must provide proof of funds showing you can support yourself while in France and that you will not undertake any paid work.

You can check whether the document is required for the type of visa you are applying for here.

This document must be dated and signed, but otherwise there are no strict legal requirements. It does not need to be witnessed and the letter may be handwritten although this is not stated as a requirement.

Read more: Visas to stay in France for six months: Q&As on appointment process

There is no official model, but it should say something along the lines of:

Je soussigné(e) [Your Name] prend l’engagement de n’exercer aucune activité professionnelle sur le territoire français.

(I, the undersigned [Your Name] declare that I will not exercise any professional activity in France.)

You should also include your address and the town in which the document was signed.

Attestations sur l’honneur are often requested for various French administrative procedures. The official government website provides a model that can be filled in and printed according to your situation here.

Government visa guides state that the promise not to work may “if applicable [be]  accompanied by a letter explaining your plans”.

No additional information is provided, but if you decide to include a letter, this could feature details of your professional situation, your plans while in France, and how you plan to support yourself.

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