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French Student Visa- still in limbo, leave in a week!

French Student Visa- still in limbo, leave in a week!

May 18th, 2007, 01:11 PM
  #1  
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French Student Visa- still in limbo, leave in a week!

Hello, hope some wise fodorites can help me with this.

Four weeks ago I sent in an application for a short stay French student visa to the Miami consulate through my university. Still no word from them and I leave in a week!

What can I do about this? Would my senator be helpful? I would have had this done a lot sooner, but my study abroad program didn't tell me about this until last month.

Thanks!
darling121 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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what did the miami consulate say?
lincasanova is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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They haven't even started processing it yet.
darling121 is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 03:51 PM
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you are at the mercy of the Italians. The visa doesn't come from the US gov't so a Senator or congressperson could only make a courtesy call, if that.
janisj is online now  
May 19th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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if staying under 90 days or near that i wouldn´t even worry about it.

pretty poor organization your university works through. they should know first hand how tedious getting a visa can be.

however, the good ews is that they are obligated to tell you to get one.. but i guarantee you that MANY students who can travel to france on a passport with no tourist visa do not even bother to get the study visa once they see it won´t be ready on time.

how long is your "short stay"?

lincasanova is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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oops - WHERE did "Italians" come from. I meant the French. (But maybe the Italians have the visa application )
janisj is online now  
May 19th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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As a student, you can spend up to 6 months with no Visa. Anything later than that and you will need a Student Visa. I think my Visa was processed within a week both times, so 3-4 weeks seems a bit long. But, there is a major backlog I think, and this is the busy season. I will call the Consulate to see if there is a way to expedite the process. You may be able, for example, to use FedEx overnight (for a fee).
JoeTro is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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I will be in France for about 50 days.
darling121 is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 08:41 AM
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Why do you need a Visa? I'm confused.
JoeTro is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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Perhaps a student visa is needed to register for the classes?
nytraveler is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 11:48 AM
  #11  
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I am studying abroad in Paris, and my school told me that I need to get a short term study visa.
darling121 is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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Well, at least for the UK, you do not need a student Visa if you are staying 6 months or less. Good luck.
JoeTro is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 01:37 PM
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JoeTro - UK is 180 days, most of the rest of Europe is 90 days.

The French must be much more lenient than the Spanish. Last year my daughter had to appear in person at the Spanish Consulate to apply for her student visa, not once, but twice. The first was to apply (you had to make an appointment in advance which took a month to get) and again to pick up the Visa. They would not mail them.

The French Consulate website says if you apply by mail, you must send in your passport. So if you sent that as required, you won't be leaving without it. It doesn't mention how long it takes to process the Visa. Maybe you should make an appointment at the Consulate.
kybourbon is online now  
May 20th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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what would i do in this case?

as an amercian going to france for 50 days.. i would just play the "tourist" role.

your study abroad program is obligated to tell you to do this, but if there is no time.. just pretend to be a studious tourist.
lincasanova is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 04:40 PM
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So it seems like you do not need a Visa, but I'm guessing that you do not currently have your passsport, as you need it to put your Visa in, and you've sent this in with your application. Am I right?

If so, this obviously is not good, as you need your passport to travel. Perhaps contacting your Congressman or Senator would be helpful at this point. Good luck.
JoeTro is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 01:38 AM
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also.. we are assuming you are american.. but you could also be a foreigner residing in the USA,applying for french study visa, in which case.. perhaps for your nationality you DO need a visa even to be a tourist in france. who knows.

good luck with your quest.
not a fun way to start such an adventurous trip.

lincasanova is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 09:03 AM
  #17  
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Just wanted to give everyone a quick update- I have been in contact with the consulate and they said they are finishing my visa this week and will be sending it FedEx. Won't really be calm until it is in my hands, but am calmer than I have been. So keep your fingers crossed for me, if you will, that everything will work out!

P.S. I spoke to the Senator's office and though their website says they will help with travel visas (and someone who once worked there said the same thing) the woman I spoke to said no, and I had to convince her otherwise. So even if a congressman's or senator's office says no, it might be best to politely correct them and ask for a second opinion. As many other Fodorites have said, they are your representatives and they are there to serve you, there is usually SOMETHING they can do.
darling121 is offline  

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