How did you decide where to live in France

It won’t be impossible, but will require advance planning and a few quid to get a visa.


So, if I were, say, a retired Aussie who had wanted to stay for 4-5 months this summer in a single visit to my French property (with perhaps some shorter visits thrown in for maintenance) what visa would I have applied for?

The temporary long stay visa is only meant for ‘one offs’ not regular visits and is primarily for students, workers or those who need to be here for family reasons.

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We had our passports stamped when we flew from Paris to Guadeloupe last year, the guy at Border Control merely shouted ‘Brexit and Schengen’ at me when I queried why.

How completely odd and unnecessary - as the UK was still a member state last year.

Oh well.

That’s what I was thinking - I’m not sure I see a visa type, either French or Schengen which is suitable for visiting a 2nd home for “months at a stretch” without moving permanently.

I imagine that sometime at the end of this year the French authorities will add another type of Visa D to the list that will be suitable. After all there are already a lot of Aussies and Americans who come here for the summer/winter on Visa D as well as those on the 3 month visa.

Visa D are 4 months to a year. And nothing says you can’t apply again the following year.

We had previously lived in Aude for almost 10 years and loved (proximity to the mountains and the sea (both an hour) and friends) and didn’t so much love (the wind!)various things about it. When we decided to come back from Oz again part of the reason was unwell (my dad), and getting older (MIL) people in the UK. We decided that it was just too long a trek all the way down south and that we’d try to be a bit further north. We also discovered that house prices down there were more than a lot of other places! We discussed both Brittany and the Dordogne. We wanted somewhere with interesting tourism in proximity (original plan was to stay a year while I was on maternity leave then go back and rent out newly done up house :rofl: - now 5 years later!) We were worried that Brittany’s weather would be too grey for me and decided to come and do a months house hunting here to see if a/ we liked it and b/ could buy something we liked with our budget. The answer was yes to both (even in the depths of a cold March - great time to house hunt IMO). My biggest criteria were being in / on edge of a village with minimum of school / PO / bar/resto / bakery / epicierie and we have fallen on a little gem! Lovely sized village (just under 1000) but only 20 mins to Bergerac, 30 to Perigueux and an hour (in not peak hour) to Bordeaux and within 45 minutes to all the main tourist sites here so really central!

As Tim says the "D visas " do not cover the situation described so the fact remains that without changes to the types of visa offered by the French as of next year 2nd home owners will either have to stick within Schengen rules or move permanently.

Personally I don’t think that is actually unreasonable - but it will clip some people’s wings.

It would be good if some Aussies popped in to tell us how they do it…

I know of one who originally just came in on a Shengan visa and ‘no one checks’ attitude. I believe she now applies for a visa but not sure which one as I don’t speak to her anymore!

Hi Paul, we’re an Aussie couple currently in France on a 6 month French visa with multiple exits allowed, obtained at the consulate in Sydney before we left. This visa is additional to the 3 months Schengen visa according to the consulate staff. So we have 9 months in Europe. Hope that helps.

What type - student/work/business/visitor ?

Visitor visa

Is this the first time you’ve obtained such a visa to visit Europe?

There is this buried in french visa website which doesn’t seem to be limited to young people…

Visa de long séjour temporaire : valable 4 à 6 mois
Ce visa a une durée comprise entre 4 et 6 mois maximum. Il vaut autorisation temporaire de séjourner en France. Il peut vous être délivré si vous venez en France :

pour suivre un enseignement court,
ou pour exercer une activité artistique,
ou comme visiteur (vous devez pouvoir vivre de vos seules ressources).
Durant la validité de votre visa, vous êtes dispensé de demander une carte de séjour en préfecture. À son expiration, vous devez regagner votre pays d’origine.

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Yes Tim - 1st time visa. We’re hoping we can somehow extend the visa as we’re stuck here until Australia relaxes border restrictions. We have no idea how but we’ll work something out…hopefully!