The visitor visas need proof of residence (we used our Airbnb itinerary for the first month and I attached a note to it explaining that we were staying here while searching for a rental.)
We also needed proof of funds. For this, we attached a letter from Carlos stating that he would be covering our costs and explaining that he would be freelancing. He wrote that he already had contracts and what he was already making from them. We attached the contracts and three months of bank statements. I also had to write a note saying that I will not be working in France.
Health insurance. The whole time we were planning this, we only needed this to cover the first three months. After three months we can apply for French health insurance. Well, that changes last minute. Now, visitor visas need to be covered for the length of the stay. We had to come up with enough money to cover us for a year. It was a mess, we were panicking. It wasn’t fun.
But we figured it out and we got it. The insurance needs to offer repatriation, emergency and hospital treatment, minimum of €30,000 in coverage and €0 deductable. We used IMG and once you purchase the insurance, they have a link for visa letters to prove that your covered.
For the minor visitor visas, we also needed birth certificates. Proof of enrollment in school was on the list, but we can’t enroll until we know exactly where we will live. They will be in French public schools. We had to sign something at VFS stating that we did not have this info. Hopefully that doesn’t hurt our chances.
Profession Libérale Visa
For the Profession Libérale visa, it was pretty much the same, but it didn’t say anything about insurance. We bought him a year though since the rest of us were going to have it. All the rest was the same; application, ID photograph, passport, proof of residence, proof of funds, and then the website just says to contact the consulate for exact requirements. This is what the consulate told me we needed:
“A business plan, clearly illustrating your project in France, as well as any documents justifying your ability to run such project (copy of degrees, CV, letters of interest/contracts from potential clients in France…)
Proof that you can generate enough income from your activity to fund all your expenses whilst in France”
We already knew he’d need a business plan, so that was ready to go. It was just a small business plan and we added in financial projections for the year. The proof of funds was easy, since he had the contracts, and bank statements showed the income from the company that’s already paying him. The only problem was that right now he’s an employee, so taxes are being taken out. That means that the amount on our bank statements is less than he’ll get paid once he switches to an independent contractor, so we explained that in a letter also.
A Few More Tips
That’s pretty much it. Just a few notes that will hopefully be helpful. Don’t worry about organizing your file with staple, paper clips and post-its. VFS removed every last one. The passport pictures we had worked for the ID photographs, but she mentioned that she had to cut them smaller. Also, make sure you are not smiling in these photos. Make sure your mouth is closed. We had to redo all the kids’ pictures there and it was $10 each. On top of that, Finn was completely snapping at this point so he was crying his eyes out while we tried to get a picture. He had to be standing against the wall, we couldn’t be holding him. It was a stressful day full of bored kids, trains and Ubers, 17 floor elevator rides, and so much waiting. I hope it will all be worth it and that we’ll be approved.
My biggest worry is that we didn’t have the amount equal to French minimum wage for a year in savings, but we have his income, which comes out to a bit over double that. I hope it’s enough. I’ll update this post as soon as we find out. 🤞