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I have been living and working in France for 2 months at a French university, but recently on a trip to visit family in the UK (I am a UK citizen) I tragically and stupidly lost my passport and the (long-stay) visa contained within it. I have obtained a replacement passport but I'm not sure what to do about the visa.

Is the only way to replace the visa to go through the whole visa application process again? And is there any way of replacing the visa that would allow me to remain resident in France during the process? I would like to disrupt my work as little as possible. I don't understand the logic of requiring me to go through the application process again if I can prove I'm the same person.

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    You have to apply for a replacement visa precisely because you need to prove that you're the same person. The evaluation of a visa replacement application proceeds differently from the evaluation of a new visa application.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 8:23
  • @phoog Would you say it proceeds faster? Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 11:41
  • I suppose it would. I presume that they look you up in the records, perhaps investigate the authenticity of the police report, record the loss of the original visa and cancel it, and issue a replacement visa. I'm not posting an answer because I'm unfamiliar with the specifics of the VLS, particularly under what conditions you must apply for a residence permit in France, or whether it would be possible for you to go to France and apply for a residence permit instead of replacing the visa.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 22:03
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    They gave UtilityMaximiser a visa. So somewhere they have recorded the fact that UtilityMaximiser was entitled to a visa valid for a certain time. So a process to determine this again is not needed. What they definitely need is make sure that the person requesting another set of visa papers is UtilityMaximiser and not a fraudster, but that should be a lot easier.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 23:35
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    @EmilyClay I live in Lyon so I contacted the Préfète du Rhone. They asked for a picture of my visa (luckily I had taken a picture before I lost it) and a picture of my hosting agreement (convention d'accueil). They then told me to apply for a titre de séjour and I received a favourable decision. This was all done online, I emailed them and explained my situation. Commented Apr 5 at 16:12

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I will record here how things have gone. When I contacted the French consulate in London the answer I got was very dire. They said because I had not obtained a French residence permit (titre de séjour) I needed to start the whole visa process again from the beginning. This would be extremely expensive and also extremely inconvenient for my work because they would take away my passport for several weeks so I'd be stranded in the UK. On the other hand when I contacted my local French prefecture authority they said I could still apply for a titre de séjour. (Note: to do this I needed to physically be in France because part of the application requires you to link a digital photo ID, which involves going to one of these "Photomaton" boxes they have in France.) The local prefecture notified me of a favourable decision fairly quickly (about a week) though I have still not been told when my in-person appointment will be collect my residence permit. My only worry is the consulate will have gone ahead and cancelled my visa and so interfere with the ability of the prefecture authority to issue me a titre de séjour. All in all, the prefecture authority was much more helpful than the London consulate.

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