[Sponsored article] French Connections HCB is a team of bilingual friends who specialize in helping people from all over the world settle in France. Some of them are French; others moved here years ago. But what all of them have in common is a desire to take away the stress of relocating and use their learned knowledge and experience of French administrative procedures to smooth the way for others.
Today, French Connections HCB shares some of their hard-earned tips for how to upgrade your status from visitor to resident.
Many of French Connections HCB’s clients arrive in France on a 12-month long-stay visa (VLS-TS) and the allocated year stretches gloriously ahead. Unfortunately, time really does fly when you’re having fun –especially when you realize that you want to stay longer.
Fortunately, that’s possible with the VLS-TS.
French Connections HCB has helped hundreds of people settle in France and the first step is to apply for residency in the form of a Carte de Séjour. The good news is that people who are here on the VLS-TS visa are able to do that without leaving the country. The only prerequisite is that you must start your residency application process at least two months before your 12-month visa expires.
Applying for residency is a quite long process, but it is almost always successful as long as you meet the necessary criteria and gather all the correct documents. And that’s where French Connections HCB comes in.
French Connections HCB offers a Residency Application service that takes care of the entire process, from start to finish. And as long as you contact them with two months left on your visa, they can process it quickly and efficiently.
First of all, the French Connections HCB team will invite you to talk to one of their friendly relocation specialists. They will discuss your current status with you to make sure that all the requirements are met before you start your application.
Then, they will ask you to provide the documents required by the French government for residency. All documents have to be certified French translations of any other language, including health insurance documents and marriage certificates. Some documents have to be original, so it is always a good idea to make a copy before handing them over. Your originals will be returned to you by the French public administration at the moment of your interview, which is the last step in the process (and much less scary than it sounds!).
Once French Connections HCB has everything they need, they will complete the online application form on your behalf, upload the documents and track your application as it makes its way through the administrative system. A new platform called ANEF (Administration Numérique des Étrangers en France) has been set up for online residency applications and it has the advantage of delivering detailed proof of your application.
When your file has been accepted, you will be invited to an appointment at your local préfecture, or administrative offices in English. There, you’ll be asked to provide your fingerprints electronically, plus three passport-style ID photos and any additional information, if needed.
After that, there is nothing more to do but to be patient. You will either receive your residency permit in your letterbox some weeks later, or be invited to collect it in person from the préfecture at a specific time and date.
From start to finish, the residency application process can take several months, but there is no need to worry if it drags on. Once your dossier has been accepted, you are legally entitled to be in France, even after your one-year visa has finally expired, while waiting. Very often, if the préfecture sees that they will not have time to process your application before your visa expires, they will provide an “Attestation de prolongation” directly through the ANEF platform to extend the validity of your visa for a few weeks until your residency card has been delivered.
Please note that if you are currently in France on a short-stay 6-month visa, you are not allowed to apply for residency or to extend your visa. You will need to return home and apply to your French Consulate for the VLS-TS 12-month visa in order to come back to France. Once here, as described above, you will be eligible to apply for residency ten months later.
If you need help with your visa or residency application, simply book a FREE initial 15-minute consultation by clicking here.
French Connections HCB looks forward to being part of your French adventure.
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