The application for a spouse visa is a significant stage in any international relationship. Having met the person with whom you intend to spend the rest of your life, obtaining a spouse/partner visa enables you both to live together and continue your lives. If your spouse/partner is a French citizen and you are from a country other than France, you must apply for a spouse visa in order to join them. The eligibility requirements and application procedure for a French spouse visa are as follows:
Who is eligible for a France spouse/partner visa?
The French spouse/partner visa falls under the family route and is available to those with a spouse who is a French native, an EU/EEA national, or a person of a third country resident in France.
The type of visa you must apply for will depend on your specific situation. This article focuses on applying for a spousal visa when the spouse is a French citizen or national resident in France.
If qualified, you will be awarded a ‘long-stay visa equal to a residence permit’ (otherwise known as a VL-TS); this allows the non-French partner to live with their spouse in France without the need to apply for a separate residence permit. The instruction states, “This waives the requirement to apply for a resident permit. The holder of this type of visa must register upon arrival with the OFII regional office in their place of residency.”
How can I apply for a spouse/partner visa if my partner is a citizen of France?
To apply, you must provide a ‘Copie Intégrale de l’Acte de Mariage’ (copy of your full marriage certificate). The visa requirements include, “You must justify your marital status, your spouse’s French nationality, your community of life with your French spouse, and your plan to preserve it in France.” For your paperwork to be recognized, your marriage must have been “certified by a French civil status officer or transcribed in the French civil status registries,” according to the requirements.
The VL-TS application is submitted online and will be handled by the visa application centre in the applicant’s home country, which may be an embassy or consulate of France. In most foreign nations, visa and immigration services are administered by third companies.
The first step of the application process is to fill out the online application form. You may complete and submit the online application no sooner than three months prior to your anticipated date of arrival in France. The application is also available in physical copy, which you can print and complete. In addition to the application, you must submit the following:
- Your passport from your home country, issued within the last ten years, must have a minimum of two blank pages and be valid for at least three months after your visa expires.
- Two passport-style photographs
- A police record check from your country of residence indicating no criminal record
- Payment confirmation for the visa application fee (€99)
- Marriage certificate/”Copie Intégrale de l’Acte de Mariage”/”Livret de Famille”.
What Happens Following My Application?
The interview is the second part of the VL-TS spouse visa application process. After submitting your application form and supporting materials, you will be instructed on how to schedule an interview with your local visa processing centre. At the interview, you will be asked questions to assist with the final application decision.
The total processing period for your spouse visa will vary based on the nation from where you apply. If approved, you will receive a one-year residence visa following your interview. Your current passport will then be affixed with a VL-TS sticker, allowing you to travel to France.
You will have three months to authenticate your VL-TS with the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration – OFII) upon your arrival in France. You must complete the online validation form at https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/ as part of this process. You may then be required to have a medical examination, followed by a welcoming meeting once you have been properly processed.
As the partner of a French citizen, you may apply for a multi-year private and family life residence permit (valid for two years) after the first one-year period of residency. You can apply for a ten-year resident card after staying in France for three years (including the initial year and the following two years).
The process of applying for a spousal/partner visa is relatively straightforward, but it is essential to verify from the onset that you are following the correct procedure based on your and your spouse’s circumstances. Given the importance of obtaining a favourable judgment on your spouse/partner visa application, it is essential to ensure that your application and supporting documents are complete and accurate, that you pay the proper cost, and that you follow the necessary procedures. This will maximize your chances of receiving a favourable decision without delay.