You got a long-stay visa for France – congrats!
All stays of more than 90 days in France, including immigration requests, must start with a long-stay visa.
The work isn’t over just yet though. You need to validate your long-stay visa online within the first 3 months in order to make your entire stay in France legal.
Doing this is very simple. You simply need to visit this website: https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr
Choose the first option: Je valide mon VLS-TS
From there you need to enter some information online about your visa. Make sure the postal address you use is where you’ll be for the next several months because you’re going to receive an important piece of mail there.
You’ll also need to pay a 250€ fee which you can use an American credit card to do so.
Once you do that, you can download a PDF which proves that you have validated your visa online.
The document will be titled: Confirmation de la validation de l’enregistrement de votre visa long séjour valant titre de séjour
Don’t lose this document if you plan on renewing your visa in France! You’ll need the “Référence” number listed there to renew your current visa if you wish.
After a few months you’ll receive a letter calling you to complete a medical exam in France. If you live in Paris, this will happen in Montrouge, just south of Paris near the metro line 13. I’ll share my experience with this process shortly!
Here are more articles from the French Long Stay Visa series:
I love your articles and appreciate you sharing your experience with others!
Question for you. Last summer I received “Long Sejour Temporaire V2 VLST” visa which I didn’t have to validate online. Now I am going back to the U.S. to apply for the same visa. For some reason, I didn’t think my kind of visa was good to validate, since I had to choose between options CESEDA R311-3 5 and CESEDA R431-16 16 online while going through steps (This drop-down is offered after “Motif” field – Visiteur). I didn’t have any remarks like this on my visa, so I didn’t validate it. With the new visa that I am hoping to get, I would like to try to validate, so I wouldn’t have to travel to the U.S. every year. Would you mind sharing your insight here?
Hi there! I love your content here. I’m moving to Paris next month on a long-stay visitor visa, and I have an airbnb for the first 2 months as I sort out my long-term apartment options. Have you heard of any virtual mailbox options or something similar in the city? I’m concerned about what to use for my postal address since I don’t plan to stay at my airbnb past the 2 months I booked.
Hi Laura! Unfortunately I am not aware of a virtual mailbox in France. I also had a temporary address when moving to Paris, so I was careful to find a more permanent solution fast so I could use that address when validating my visa. Good luck!
Hi There! Love your post – do you know if one needs to enter France directly with a passport stamped by French immigration control or can I fly into another Schengen country and continue with the validation process? Thanks!
I am not sure, but I believe that’s fine, as long as you get the stamp in your passport by the Schengen country!