I have a question. I am a USA citizen, and will be studying with my university abroad in Rome for 80 days. That way my university does not have to deal with visas, since we will be within the 90-day tourist travel time. But I plan to travel and visit friends throughout the Schengen countries for the month of December, and then I am going to be taking off the spring semester to live in France for at least three months with one of my professors, also a USA citizen, and his family who will be on sabbatical that spring. I am wondering: Should I apply for a student visa for Italy, or a residence visa for France, or is there some other kind of visa? If I got a student visa would it last just as long as I was enrolled, and then would I have 3 months as a tourist? How long does it take to get visas, and is it likely that I could get a student visa for my semester in Rome even tho my university program is so short? Is there some year-long visa I can apply for just because I want to be there for a year? In other words, is living with my profs family a good-enough reason to be in France, or do I need to be doing something else there in order to qualify for a visa? Thanks, I am just so lost with all this and don't even know which country's embassy to go to!-lost student
A lot of questions in one message.
- Basic Schengen visa (rather, visa exemption): 90 days in a 180-day period. The consequences of overstaying are dire (fines, denial of future entry in all of Schengen, deportation, all depending on circumstances), so that wouldn't be a good idea
- There are no long-stay visa for European destinations, unless you come with a well-defined purpose (basically, work or study. For either the better part of the procedure runs through your future school/employer)
- Your total time in Europe: 80 days (Rome) + 30 days (travel) + 90 days (France) = 200 days. Ergo, that is not possible unless you have a valid ground to apply for a long-stay visa
I don't think you have one. You may want to reconsider not needing an Italian student visa; if you had one, you could use the 'regular' 90-day visa afterwards to do your travels and cover for a bit of your stay in France. But that's where it ends, because the French are not gonna give you a visa for just staying in their country.
Come to think of it, there might be a French visa programme for babysitters (we have one in the Netherlands, but I don't know about the other Schengen countries). If your professor has small kids, and is willing to sign the necessary forms, that may be an option.
1) The babysitter-program bentivogli mentioned is called Au Pair. I don't know about France, but in Germany you can only get an Au Pair visa for living with people whose native language is German. I think the same applies to France, as the purpose of Au Pair is to learn the language of the country you are staying in. Thus it would defy the purpose of the visa if you stayed with one of your professors.
2) I wouldn't dismiss the "visa for staying in France" option yet. It is right, just staying in the country is not enough. But I don't think it will be very difficult for you to find a language course and enroll in it. Then you got a reason to live in France. Check the website of the French embassy in Washington to be sure.
3) Similar to 2) above. Get in touch with the Italian embassy in the USA. Tell them about the 80 days student program and then tell them you want to stay after the exchange program is over because you'll be taking language classes. Check the website of the Italian embassy in Washington.
In general it should not be too much of a problem to get a residency permit (=D visa) if you can afford to live in France/Italy for the time you plan.
4) For a US citizen Germany is one of the easiest countries to get a residency permit. Pick a city you like and apply at the local Foreigner's Office (Ausländerbehörde). Again you need a reason to stay, easiest would be language classes.