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Under what circumstances do you need to validate a French visa?

There is one type of French visa which comes with this requirement. We explain

We look at the circumstances under which you must validate your French visa after arriving in the country Pic: gd_project / Shutterstock

Reader Question: My husband and I both have long séjour temporaire visiteur visas. I do not see anywhere on the visa the criteria the French government mentions for validating the visa online. 

Neither do I see the criteria that says I do not have to validate online. We were stamped into France on June 21 and are planning on staying up to six weeks this trip. Do I still need to validate the visas?

France’s visa de long séjour temporaire visiteur (VLS-T Visiteur) enables people to stay in the country for between four and six months. 

A person may be issued this type of visa if they are: 

  • Studying in France for up to six months

  • Taking part in an artistic activity

  • Just visiting

The VLS-T is different to the visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour (VLS-TS), which lasts for six to 12 months and acts as a residence permit. 

People who are hoping to move permanently to France might apply for a VLS-TS, while the VLS-T is for those who know that they will only be spending a certain amount of time in the country.

A VLS-TS must be validated and registered with the Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration (OFII) within three months of your arrival. This can be done through the interior ministry website.

This step only applies to VLS-TS visas, and not long séjour temporaire visas.

The French interior ministry states that: “The holder of [a VLS-T] is exempt from [applying for] a residence permit and from formalities involving registration with the OFII [immigration and integration office].”

Therefore, as you have a VLS-T, you do not need to do anything while you are in France. 

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