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I from North Africa, and only have my country's citizenship. I am doing my PhD in the USA. There is a workshop I want to attend in France, and I am confused as to which visa I need to go there. (It's one month long)

Last year I applied for a business visa, and the French visa embassy in Chicago insisted that I get a work permit or something. I had very short time to get this sorted out, and I ended up missing the workshop. I have some time this year, and would like to get it right.

So, what kind of visa should I be applying for?

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    Exactly what is this "workshop"? What will you be doing? Who is paying you? Sep 9 '16 at 3:28
  • It's a one-month long workshop. I will be attending lectures / seminars, and doing research. I am getting accommodation from the university where the workshop is taking place, and my department here in the USA is paying for me.
    – user50982
    Sep 9 '16 at 3:36
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    It is likely that "doing research" would count as "work" requiring a work permit. From other answers here it seems that even unpaid voluntary work often counts as "work". I guess the French embassy will be consistent in their response if the workshop seems similar to the previous one. Sep 9 '16 at 14:02
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    @RedGrittyBrick Doing research for a month or so does not usually count as "work", in my experience. It is normal for an academic to travel like this many times a year, and certainly I did so as a PhD student, spending a third of my time abroad. The host institution would not recognise you as an employee (or student) nor would offer you anything other than expense payments, and often not for the cost of the travel. The most akin situation is an extended visit to colleagues while your home company pays the salary.
    – Calchas
    Sep 10 '16 at 0:36
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Attending a professional workshop while being paid by your American university should fall under the standard short-stay visa.

This is the type of visa issued for tourism, business travel or family visits ; it is also issued so that you can come to France for a short training course, internship, conference, business meeting or be gainfully employed (in whatever way) for less than 3 months. [French government site]

My best guess is that someone thought you were applying for a much longer program.

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