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Moving to France!

Travel Forums Europe Moving to France!

1. Posted by bluebird. (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y

I've been learning French for about a month now and decided to move to France from America once I become of age. I'm only sixteen at the moment, but I'm planning ahead of time to get a better understanding of things. My main concern right now is applying for a visa once I get there. Since I hope on living there, what visa do I apply for? What are the requirements? What's the cost of living? How would I attend schooling, especially for a field in photography? I'm a curious little thing right now, and want to be prepared. Knowledge is best!

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Oct-2010, at 12:53 by bluebird. ]

2. Posted by mpprh (Full Member 114 posts) 6y

There is some confusion about short stay (tourist) visas, transit visas, long stay visas, Schengen, and validity for various nationals visiting EU countries.

I've found a fairly clear description of the rules :

Schengen Visa

Schengen Zone

The Schengen Agreement was originally signed in 1985, but was not implemented until 10 years later in 1995. It removed the need for border control posts, allowing easy access between countries that are part of the agreement.

This is a list of countries participating in the Schengen Agreement:

Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland

Visa types

The countries in the Schengen agreement have a uniform visa regime that distinguishes 4 main types of visa. In addition, specific types exist for special groups (notably, refugees and diplomats), but these are not relevant to regular travellers.

Transit visa (A and B visa)
Transit visa are required for non-exempt third-country nationals passing through the Schengen area.

Both visa have a maximum validity of 120 hours.
The holder of an A-type visa is not allowed to leave the airport transit area.
The holder of a B-type visa is allowed to use overland transport for transiting purposes.
The visa may be subject to routing restrictions.

Short stay visa (C visa)
Short stay visa are required for non-exempt third-country nationals. The same rules apply to those who are exempt from visa application; they just do not need to apply in advance, but are granted the visa (in the form of an entry stamp) upon arrival.

The holder of a C-type visa is allowed to stay in the Schengen area for maximally 90 days in a 180 days period. This means you can stay in the Schengen area for at most 90 days, then leave for 91 days, then come back, etc. YOU CANNOT RENEW YOUR VISA / VISA WAIVOR BY EXITING AND RE-ENTERING IN LESS THAN 91 DAYS
C-type visa can be single-entry or multiple-entry.
Validity is printed on the visa. Validity may start either at the date of issuance, or at the date of first entry. This seems to depend on the issuing authority; make inquiries prior to booking flights etc.
C-type visa are not extendable beyond the 90-days-within-180-days limit.
Additional restrictions may be set by individual countries party to the agreement, especially concerning purpose of visit, financial means, antecedents, ailments, etc. The holder of a C-type visa has to comply with the additional requirements of each country s/he wants to enter.

Long stay visa (D visa)
Long stay visa are subject to regulations of the issuing state. They are not uniform Schengen visa, and come by many different names.

A D-type visa is required for every stay longer than 90 days.
D-type visa are not issued for purposes of tourism.
Usually, D-type visa only allow the holder to reside in the issuing country. Permission to work or study has to be obtained separately, and is often a prerequisite to enter the visa application process.
Typically, a D-type visa can only be applied for in the future holder's country of current residence.
D-type visa only give access to the issuing country. The holder of a D-type visa is not allowed to travel around the Schengen area. Note that third-country nationals exempt from visa requirements can travel outside the country they hold a D-type visa for, but for maximally 90 days in a 180 days period.

Combination visa (C+D)
Combination visa are meant to give the holder of a D-type visa the possibility of moving through the Schengen area. Both parts are subject to the regulations described above.

When the validity of the C-part starts, seems to depend on national regulations of the state issuing the D-part. In some cases, validity starts simultaneously with the validity of the D-part; in other cases, validity starts as soon as the holder enters another Schengen country; in still others, validity starts at the date of issuance. Make inquiries!
A single transit in another Schengen state is included in the D-type visa itself. If additional transits are necessary, a combination visa is required

Who needs a Schengen visa?

Countries can be divided in four groups as below. This website gives an up-to-date overview of which countries are part of which group.

Countries party to the Schengen agreement :
See the list at the beginning of the article. Nationals from those countries and their overseas territories do not require a visa. Resident non-nationals do, in most cases.

Countries subject to special provisions :
For a number of countries, special provisions are made in the Schengen agreement. Nationals from those countries and territories do not require a visa. This is the case for

Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
Greenland

Exemptions
Nationals from a number of countries do not have to apply for a C-type visa in advance. They are granted the visa upon arrival. This is the case for

all countries in North America and Central America, except Belize
certain countries in South America (notably Argentina, Brazil and Chile)
Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore
Australia and New Zealand
San Marino, Vatican City, Andorra and Monaco
The exemption is only granted to 'clean' nationals of the above countries. If you have criminal antecedents or a SIS registration, the exemption does not apply. You will be denied entry in those cases, and be repatriated at your own expense.

Other countries
Nationals from all other countries have to apply for a visa in advance. This is the case for

all of Africa
all of Asia except Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore
all of Oceania except Australia and New Zealand
certain countries in western South America and the Caribbean
certain countries in the Balkans

How to apply for a Schengen visa
Applications should be made with the competent representation (i.e., the consulate) of the country of first entry, or of the country that is the main destination. The application process is handled by the party states, and is therefore not uniform. More information and application forms can be found on the respective consulate websites. Most countries' Immigration Services also have a webpage with more information.

Overstaying

Violating the conditions of your Schengen visa renders the visa invalid. Holders of an invalid visa automatically receive the status of unwanted alien; if you happen to come to the attention of national law enforcement while having said status, you will be deported out of the Schengen area at your own expense.

Overstaying is the most common visa violation. Be advised that you will always be found out, as your visa is checked upon leaving the Schengen area. Overstaying may be penalised with a substantial fine, payable on the spot. In addition, you will be registered as a visa offender in the Schengen Information System (SIS), which party countries and certain non-Schengen countries consult before granting you a visa. Registration in SIS will greatly diminish your chances to get another Schengen visa in the future. In addition, SIS registration may lead to trouble entering other countries, notably the US and Canada.

Also, many people are under the impression that, once they're inside the Schengen area, they are 'home free', and run no risk of being caught. This is not true. Even though border checks have been abolished, countries party to the Schengen agreement retain the full right to make sure that everyone on their territory has a valid reason for being there. Checks in public transport are common; some member states even allow random ID checks on the streets.

Peter

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. Please give answers that are relevant to the original question, don't just copy and paste! ]

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

Bluebird, moving to Europe is not easy, especially if you don't have any money.

You need two things to permanently live in France, the first is a residency permit and the second is a work permit. The residency permit is difficult, but not impossible, it is the work permit which is the really tough part.

Your best chance of getting both is probably studying in France and getting a university degree there. University graduates are normally given a chance to find a job after graduation, in such cases they usually get a work permit.

I don't know anything about studying photography in France, maybe somebody else can help you. It most definitely won't be easy.

The difficult part of studying at a university (regardless of the subject) will be paying for it. Non-EU students are allowed to work only part-time (around 10-20 hours a week), this doesn't give you enough money to make a living. As a consequence the money has to come from your savings or your parents. You are looking at around 800 USD per month for a period of 3-4 years. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is a lot of money.

For this reason many students from the USA choose to study in the USA and only do a semester abroad in France. Or they do undergraduate studies in the USA and then go to Europe for Masters or PhD. Alternatively, if you are mostly interested in the French language, consider a country with cheap cost of living that is mostly French-speaking. There are a few African countries that would be interesting, places where you could get by on around 350 USD per month or less. See www.francophonie.org

It is also important for you to know that you need to apply for the necessary permits for studying and working in France in advance - before entering France. You need to apply at the French embassy or consulate in the USA.

Try these links:
http://fr.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?rubrique103
http://fr.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?rubrique104
http://www.consulfrance-washington.org/spip.php?rubrique98

4. Posted by leonid11 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y

Quoting mpprh

There is some confusion about short stay (tourist) visas, transit visas, long stay visas, Schengen, and validity for various nationals visiting EU countries.

I've found a fairly clear description of the rules :

Schengen Visa

Schengen Zone

The Schengen Agreement was originally signed in 1985, but was not implemented until 10 years later in 1995. It removed the need for border control posts, allowing easy access between countries that are part of the agreement.

This is a list of countries participating in the Schengen Agreement:

Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland

Visa types

The countries in the Schengen agreement have a uniform visa regime that distinguishes 4 main types of visa. In addition, specific types exist for special groups (notably, refugees and diplomats), but these are not relevant to regular travellers.

Transit visa (A and B visa)
Transit visa are required for non-exempt third-country nationals passing through the Schengen area.

Both visa have a maximum validity of 120 hours.
The holder of an A-type visa is not allowed to leave the airport transit area.
The holder of a B-type visa is allowed to use overland transport for transiting purposes.
The visa may be subject to routing restrictions.

Short stay visa (C visa)
Short stay visa are required for non-exempt third-country nationals. The same rules apply to those who are exempt from visa application; they just do not need to apply in advance, but are granted the visa (in the form of an entry stamp) upon arrival.

The holder of a C-type visa is allowed to stay in the Schengen area for maximally 90 days in a 180 days period. This means you can stay in the Schengen area for at most 90 days, then leave for 91 days, then come back, etc. YOU CANNOT RENEW YOUR VISA / VISA WAIVOR BY EXITING AND RE-ENTERING IN LESS THAN 91 DAYS
C-type visa can be single-entry or multiple-entry.
Validity is printed on the visa. Validity may start either at the date of issuance, or at the date of first entry. This seems to depend on the issuing authority; make inquiries prior to booking flights etc.
C-type visa are not extendable beyond the 90-days-within-180-days limit.
Additional restrictions may be set by individual countries party to the agreement, especially concerning purpose of visit, financial means, antecedents, ailments, etc. The holder of a C-type visa has to comply with the additional requirements of each country s/he wants to enter.

Long stay visa (D visa)
Long stay visa are subject to regulations of the issuing state. They are not uniform Schengen visa, and come by many different names.

A D-type visa is required for every stay longer than 90 days.
D-type visa are not issued for purposes of tourism.
Usually, D-type visa only allow the holder to reside in the issuing country. Permission to work or study has to be obtained separately, and is often a prerequisite to enter the visa application process.
Typically, a D-type visa can only be applied for in the future holder's country of current residence.
D-type visa only give access to the issuing country. The holder of a D-type visa is not allowed to travel around the Schengen area. Note that third-country nationals exempt from visa requirements can travel outside the country they hold a D-type visa for, but for maximally 90 days in a 180 days period.

Combination visa (C+D)
Combination visa are meant to give the holder of a D-type visa the possibility of moving through the Schengen area. Both parts are subject to the regulations described above.

When the validity of the C-part starts, seems to depend on national regulations of the state issuing the D-part. In some cases, validity starts simultaneously with the validity of the D-part; in other cases, validity starts as soon as the holder enters another Schengen country; in still others, validity starts at the date of issuance. Make inquiries!
A single transit in another Schengen state is included in the D-type visa itself. If additional transits are necessary, a combination visa is required

Who needs a Schengen visa?

Countries can be divided in four groups as below. This website gives an up-to-date overview of which countries are part of which group.

Countries party to the Schengen agreement :
See the list at the beginning of the article. Nationals from those countries and their overseas territories do not require a visa. Resident non-nationals do, in most cases.

Countries subject to special provisions :
For a number of countries, special provisions are made in the Schengen agreement. Nationals from those countries and territories do not require a visa. This is the case for

Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
Greenland

Exemptions
Nationals from a number of countries do not have to apply for a C-type visa in advance. They are granted the visa upon arrival. This is the case for

all countries in North America and Central America, except Belize
certain countries in South America (notably Argentina, Brazil and Chile)
Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore
Australia and New Zealand
San Marino, Vatican City, Andorra and Monaco
The exemption is only granted to 'clean' nationals of the above countries. If you have criminal antecedents or a SIS registration, the exemption does not apply. You will be denied entry in those cases, and be repatriated at your own expense.

Other countries
Nationals from all other countries have to apply for a visa in advance. This is the case for

all of Africa
all of Asia except Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore
all of Oceania except Australia and New Zealand
certain countries in western South America and the Caribbean
certain countries in the Balkans

How to apply for a Schengen visa
Applications should be made with the competent representation (i.e., the consulate) of the country of first entry, or of the country that is the main destination. The application process is handled by the party states, and is therefore not uniform. More information and application forms can be found on the respective consulate websites. Most countries' Immigration Services also have a webpage with more information.

Overstaying

Violating the conditions of your Schengen visa renders the visa invalid. Holders of an invalid visa automatically receive the status of unwanted alien; if you happen to come to the attention of national law enforcement while having said status, you will be deported out of the Schengen area at your own expense.

Overstaying is the most common visa violation. Be advised that you will always be found out, as your visa is checked upon leaving the Schengen area. Overstaying may be penalised with a substantial fine, payable on the spot. In addition, you will be registered as a visa offender in the Schengen Information System (SIS), which party countries and certain non-Schengen countries consult before granting you a visa. Registration in SIS will greatly diminish your chances to get another Schengen visa in the future. In addition, SIS registration may lead to trouble entering other countries, notably the US and Canada.

Also, many people are under the impression that, once they're inside the Schengen area, they are 'home free', and run no risk of being caught. This is not true. Even though border checks have been abolished, countries party to the Schengen agreement retain the full right to make sure that everyone on their territory has a valid reason for being there. Checks in public transport are common; some member states even allow random ID checks on the streets.

Peter

Hello Peter

Thankyou for the details on the various VISA categories.
I have a query I hope you can help address.
Iam from India and on a 90 day Schengen VISA, in France. So this means I can either be on a single stay for a max. period of 90 days, or multiple stays for a cumulative period of 90 days, in a period of 6 months starting from the date of issue of my VISA. Am I right?
But I have also been hearing that Iam subject to a restriction of 30 days on a single stay.
What is your advise on this? Do I have to exit in 30 days on this VISA?

Your inputs are much appreciated.

Thanks,
B