The date is finally set for our visa appointment with the French Consulate in Houston, TX.  You can only obtain your visa 3 months in advance of entering the country, so we have taken the first appointment available for our intended departure date of 7/11/17.   Most of the requirements seem straight forward, but even though technically all the consulates require the same paperwork, you can tell from looking at the different consulate’s websites, and reading other people’s comments on various lists, that each is a bit different.  We will be applying for the long stay visa for non professional purposes.  This visa is for people staying over 90 days and not working.  There are various other choices, but for retirees – this is the choice.  The basic requirements are:

  • Valid passport good for at least 13 months.
  • Proof of private medical coverage.
  • A non criminal record certificate to be obtained at the police office of the city of residence.  (Can’t wait till we go in to our small town in Texas and ask for this!)
  • Deed/lease of apartment in France.
  • Financial guarantee that you have the means to support yourself. (This is one of the sticky wickets – they do not say what the minimum is.)
  • A letter saying we will not work in France.  (Although we can open our own business if we choose under another visa type – we can not work under the visitor visa.)
  • Application form, photo, and processing fee of 99 euros per person.