How to Renew a Long-Stay Visa in France

Long-Stay Visa in France

What you need to do to renew a long-stay visa in France? Why do you need to have a visa for France in the first place? Let’s explore!

You have probably discovered that France is one of the most amazing countries you have ever visited. Many people feel like you do and wish to stay longer. But, what if your long-stay visa in France is expiring? If you have already successfully moved to France and want to stay longer, you need to renew your long-stay visa! We will explore in the rest of the article how you can do it, what you need to know, and why you’ll want to get a visa in the first place.

Why get a Long-stay visa in France?

France is a beautiful country. It has a rich history, beautiful architecture; it is one of the world’s art centers, education is fantastic, and so on. So, it’s of little wonder why France is the most visited country in the world!

Also, it has a very high standard of living, as it is a developed first-world country. You can easily make a living here by doing almost any job.

Many people who visit this well-known European country wish to come back,  as our friends from say. Many of them even want to stay and live here. However, for this, you need to get at least a long-stay visa.

What is a long-stay visa?

A long-stay visa is a document that allows you to stay there for more than 90 days. However long you plan to stay in France, the duration of a long-stay visa has to be between three months and one year.

A long-stay visa allows you to stay up to a year in France.

During its period of validity,  the long-stay visa is equivalent to a Schengen visa. It allows you to stay and move around the Schengen Area outside France. However, you cannot stay outside France for periods longer than 90 days over any period of 180 consecutive days. So, it has the same attributes as the Schengen visa.

If you wish to stay longer than your long-stay visa allows you, you need to apply for a resident permit at a prefecture. This way, you become a full-fledged resident of one of the most important countries in the world!

Long-stay visas for Metropolitan France

France still holds several overseas territories, and different rules apply to them. However, most people work, live, and travel to Metropolitan France. Metropolitan France is simply the European part of the country.

If you want to get a long-stay visa for Metropolitan France, you need to check that your nationality does not exempt you from acquiring it.

In what case do you not need a long-stay visa for France?

If you are a citizen of the European Union, European Economic Area, Andorra, Monaco, Vatican, and San Marino, you can stay in France for periods over 90 days without a visa. This also applies to your family.

Citizens of some countries outside the EU are allowed to stay in France without the need for a visa.

So, how can you renew a long-stay visa in France?

Now we are getting to the gist of the guide – how can you renew a long-stay visa in France?

As we have already mentioned, if you wish to stay in France over your initial period, you need to renew your visa with the French authorities.

You had to have already validated your visa online after moving to France. Also, you had to have completed the required medical exam at OFII.

If this is the first renewal of your visa, then you’ll be switching to the physical Carte de Séjour. This card is separate from your passport. You should keep in mind that Carte de Séjour is an interchangeable term to Titre de Séjour. It is basically the same thing.

Making an appointment

Before the expiration of your current valid visa, you need to make an appointment within two months. You don’t have to worry if your appointment is after your visa has expired. As long you have a confirmation within those two months, you are good to go.

How to prepare the documents?

The Préfecture will provide you with a list of documents you need to provide for the renewal of your long-stay visa. You have to bring the original and one copy of each document. Any document that is in English needs to be translated by a certified translator –  a traducteur assermenté.

Documents and items

Here are some documents and items you need to bring to your appointment.


  • Passport and/or Carte de Séjour
  • A black ink pen
  • Three photographs of yourself. You can get those at official photo machines that are scattered all around larger cities. Every photo costs 5€.
Make sure to bring all the necessary items and documents to your appointment if you want to renew your long-stay visa in France.


  • Health Insurance. We recommend doing this in French.
  • Financial Resources. If you want to renew a long-stay visa, you need to show French authorities that you make more per month than France’s minimal wage. 
  • Passport Copy. You need to have a copy of your passport with all entry and exit stamps and a visa.
  • Birth Certificate. 
  • Proof of Address. Proof of address is called justificatif de domicile. For this, an electricity bill or Quittance de Loyer from your landlord is sufficient.
  • A statement not to work. You need to show French authorities that you won’t do any professional work while you’re in France.
  • OFII Medical Visit Certificate. 

After you get all the necessary documents and items, all you need to do is follow French authorities’ instructions. Ensure that you are always available since the call for an appointment can get to you at any time.

We hope this article is going to be helpful for the renewal of your long-stay visa in France. We wish you all the best in this beautiful country!