I have been sponsored to apply for a work visa in France which starts in September. However, I would like to move to France in August for preparation. So, I am considering the following plan:

  1. In addition to the work visa, I will apply for a tourist visa.
  2. Use the tourist visa to enter France in August.
  3. Stay in France until the work visa expires.

My questions are:

Q1. Is this plan legal/feasible?

Q2. Do I need to leave France and re-enter in September to ``activate'' the use of the work visa?

Thank you very much!

  • What's your nationality? You may not need a tourist visa.
    – phoog
    May 24 at 21:00
  • This belongs on Expatriates, but the answer is the same as to the very similar question asked very recently, Entry into France.
    – phoog
    May 24 at 22:44
  • @phoog the answer on that question appears to be for a Schengen Annex II national (no visa needed for short stays), while the question here seems to imply that a tourist visa is needed, so it may not be a duplicate, but there's not enough info to say for sure.
    – mlc
    May 25 at 0:08
  • @mlc that's why I called the question "very similar" (in fact, the asker of the question confirmed that he requires a visa in a comment on the answer below). The answer is the same, however.
    – phoog
    May 25 at 5:05

2 Answers 2


Typically, you cannot have two different visa for the same country at the same time; the second approval would invalidate your first visa. So your plan doesn't work.

Instead, apply for the work visa for a month earlier, with the perfectly ok reason you have.

  • The visas would not have overlapping validity, so they would not be "at the same time"; there's no reason to think that applying for one would invalidate the other.
    – phoog
    May 26 at 16:49

If you are from a non visa required country, you can enter into the France as a visitor for up to 3 months with a valid reason. Otherwise you need to apply for a visa if you want to travel before your work permit starts.

  • 1
    Thank you for the answer. I do need a visa and want to know if I need to do anything in the transition to the work visa. Say, I arrive with tourist visa, do I need to leave and re-enter for the work visa to take effect? May 24 at 22:09

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