I'm applying for a long-stay visa to France from the U.S. I read you must depart 3 months after application, but also am told it can take 1-2 months for application to be accepted, then need to do the interview, and again wait an undetermined time.

Do the three months to exit begin at the time the application is filed, or after the interview and the visa is granted? Clarification needed.

  • Where have you read that? I think the rule is subtly different: You're not supposed to apply more than three months in advance, the consulate would not entertain your application. I am not 100% sure but I think the visa should be valid from the date you entered on your application as your intended date of travel and there is no hard three month validity threshold.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 12, 2019 at 8:48
  • @Relaxed comment is correct. Applications are only accepted 3 months before expected day of arrival. Details on how long the visa is valid for use is then written on the issued visa. Nov 12, 2019 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


Technically it is 90 days (not 3 months) that you're allowed to stay while waiting for the process to be done and your visa is processed - this is technically the Schengen short-term stay visa.

It makes no sense for the 90 days to exit the country count after the visa is issued, since you'll have a long-term stay visa and no need to exit the country.

Note that you may be ellegible for "switching" your standard Schengen short-term visa for another type of visa (etudiants, vacances travail...) depending on your circumstances - more information here

After clarification of which country OP needs to exit: if your visa requires a switch to a residence permit, 3 months is the time you have to report yourself to the prefecture and obtain your residence permit. If you only require validation, that's the time you have to validate your VTS-LS. You're going to see that your long stay visa has an expiration date, it counts after it is issued.

  • i think there was a misunderstanding. i'm not referring to exiting France, but when i must exit the U.S. does the 90 days to exit the U.S. begin when application is filed online or does it begin once the visa is approved after i visit a VHS for personal interview and fingerprints?
    – marsha
    Nov 11, 2019 at 20:13
  • to clarify, a 90 day period is given to exit the country you are leaving for the country you have applied to for long term visa. i need to know when the 90 days begin. if still unclear on the question please let me know. thanks.
    – marsha
    Nov 11, 2019 at 20:17
  • 1
    Exiting the US has nothing at all to do with applying for French or Schengen visas. When you must exit the US depends only on the terms of your entry to the US and/or your visa status in the US. Nov 12, 2019 at 3:57

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