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My family and I (American citizens) have been living in France on tourist visas for the past 87 (88?) days. We plan on staying in France long term. But as you might know, we have to leave the country because the 90 days permitted by the tourist visa are almost over. And you can't renew visas in France unless you leave the country (for 1 year to get another tourist visa, or if you can get a student visa or whatever you can come back immediately). So our plan is to go to Israel (for several reasons) and get residency.

The question: can we get french student visas in Israel (as residents) while being US citizens?

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    If you are planning to have a student visa you'd probably have to be enrolled in one of the accredited schools and probably have to pay for the courses too, so I have to question the wisdom of the arrangement you are proposing. – Karlson Jan 29 '12 at 21:06
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    BTW, the tourist Schengen visa is 90 days per semester. Which means 3 month out of the country for every 3 in. – Karlson Jan 29 '12 at 21:21
  • How do you plan to get residency in Israel? Besides, you've a 3 month cap on when you can come back in anyway. See Maximum validity of a Schengen visa for multiple visits – Ankur Banerjee Jan 29 '12 at 21:43
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    I would assume you just have to go to the French Embassy in Tel Aviv and apply. As for Israel if you qualify for Aliyah you can get residency and citizenship pretty easily (I know I did) – Zachary K Jan 30 '12 at 5:12
  • @AnkurBanerjee We plan on getting residency in Israel with work visas, but going there at first with 90 day tourist visas (they don't make you leave the country to change your visa, unlike France) – Daniel Pendergast Jan 30 '12 at 21:37
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For this answer, the most important thing is to know what are you doing in France for the long term?

  1. Study: first find the school and normally the French consulate in Israel should issue this after some red tape. Link to OFII

  2. Work: find the firm

You could also check this question: French rules for long stay visa: OFII

So you have to go to the local office of office francais de l'immigration et de l'integration. see the maps there

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You can only apply for a French visa (whether a national long-stay visa like a student visa or a Schengen short-stay visa) in a country where you are a resident (how you can document that depends on the country) but you don't need to be a citizen. So it's perfectly possible for US citizens to apply for a French visa from Israel but you need to have a way to become a resident there and, obviously, qualify for the French visa.

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