I’m going to France to study French. My plan is take the course for 10 weeks and I enter it without a visa. I’m from a country that allows me to stay in the Schengen for 90 days without a visa.

Now if my French still need more practice, I would like to extend it. But since I enter it without a visa I need to apply for one.

My question is, can I apply for some visas (either student or maybe tourism) even after I enter it visa-free? Or do I have to first get out of the Schengen and apply there?


1 Answer 1


There is no easy way to extend visa-free entry. Generally an extension is only allowed if you cannot leave the Schengen area (force majeure) or you can provide “proof of serious personal reasons”. Otherwise you have to leave and re-enter, respecting the 90/180 day rule.

You could consider applying for a long-stay visa from your country of residence before you travel: https://france-visas.gouv.fr/web/france-visas/visa-de-long-sejour

  • 2
    In some Schengen countries, US citizens can apply for a residence permit after arriving as a visa-exempt visitor. The ones I'm aware of are the Netherlands and Germany. This privilege exists only for the citizens of a small subset of the visa exempt countries, not for all of them. But as far as I know France has no such privilege, so everyone who wants to stay for a longer time requires a visa to enter (apart from EU citizens and nationals of Schengen countries, of course).
    – phoog
    Feb 14, 2019 at 18:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.