Can I extend my 90-day visa-free period in France in an emergency?

Travellers from outside the Schengen area - including people from the US and the UK since Brexit - must adhere to the rules if they want to stay for longer within a 180-day period

Close up of Visa for France
You can extend your legal stay if you are stuck in France for reasons out of your control
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If you want to stay in France beyond 90 days then you need to have a visa or a residency card, but there are some exceptions to the rule. We look at the situations in which you can stay longer than 90 days and what happens if you stay too long.

Can I be fined for staying too long in France?

You are unlikely to be penalised for unintentionally overstaying in limited circumstances.

This is the case if, for example, you are under 18 and have nobody to accompany you home, or that this person cannot travel due to illness or disability.

Read more: New UK/France border checks: visas, residency cards and which queues?

How to get a French visa in exceptional circumstances

You can also extend your legal stay if you are stuck in France for reasons out of your control. 

This authorisation is called an autorisation provisoire de séjour and it cannot exceed 180 days. It is issued by a departmental prefecture in exceptional and unforeseen situations, for example if you are too ill to travel and need to stay to receive treatment.

It can also be granted in some cases to people who have had to delay their departure due to work-related or travel issues.

The Dordogne prefecture told The Connexion that people applying for this would be asked to provide:

  • Passport (and a copy)

  • Copy of their return ticket

  • Proof of home address

  • Address in France

  • Proof of exceptional circumstances (ie. medical certificate)

  • Proof of health insurance – such as an Ehic or Ghic

  • A €39 fee payable via timbres fiscaux.

Read more: What you must have in car for driving trip in France and points to check

Can I renew an emergency French visa?

If a visitor, or their dependent (such as a child), requires medical treatment they can renew an autorisation provisoire de séjour

The Dordogne prefecture told The Connexion that visitors will need to be able to prove that this is the case.

Such proof might involve, for instance, medical or financial documents or a declaration from the person they are staying with explaining their relationship with you and their willingness to take financial responsibility for you if required.