Visas – Residence permits

Our organisation helps you validate your long stay visa or obtain your residence permit, for the first time or for renewing it. Your spouse/husband can also benefit from our services.

PLEASE NOTE: here is a checklist of important documents for French administration. Please bring the originals with you, translations in French and certified copies. Some documents require an “apostille” or “legalisation”.

How to validate your visa Talent Researcher or Family

You have a long stay (D) visa TALENT “CHERCHEUR” or “FAMILLE” valid for more than 3 months and up to one year. As soon as you arrive in Nantes, you have to validate your visa on the Ministry of the Interior’s offical website. To proceed to this formality together and to benefit from all the other services our organization provides, feel free to contact us.

Failure to complete this formality within 3 months after arrival would expose you to legal proceedings for irregular immigration, and would not allow you to reenter France in case of travel abroad.

On the Ministry of the Interior’s official website, you have a language menu available at the top right (French English, Chinese). Before starting or during the process, you’ll find the answers to most of your questions by clicking on “Help” (at the top right too).

You’ll be asked information regarding your visa (number, dates of validity) as well as your address in France and your email address. To declare the purpose of your stay, you should choose “Passeport Talent researcher” item or the code L 313-3 9°, or L431-16 10°.

To validate your visa until its expiring date, the tax to be paid is 200€. You’ll have to buy electronic stamps online with a credit card and a French cell phone number (click on “Débuter l’achat” then on “Titre pour étrangers”, write “200” and validate, and click on “valider mon panier”). You can register your data and complete the process later, once you’ve bought your electronic stamps. To complete the process you’ll have to write the number that appears on your electronic stamps.

Once the payment done, a document called “Confirmation de la validation de l’enregistrement de votre visa long séjour valant titre de séjour” will be issued. It’s important to save this document, to print it and keep it into your passport with your visa. It makes your visa valid as a residence permit. It will be required for any travel when reentering France, and for renewing your residence permit, 4 to 2 months prior its expiration date (see chapter “renewing your residence permit”).

Information for foreign driving licence: to drive in France, you may have some formality to do. Refer to our Driving Licence page.

1st application for residence permit Talent Researcher or Family

You have a long-stay (D) visa “PASSEPORT TALENT CHERCHEUR” or “FAMILLE” valid for 3 months with the mention “”PT4VLS” or “C. SEJ A SOLLIC.” (“Carte de séjour à solliciter” = Resident permit to be requested). As soon as you arrive in Nantes, you must apply for a residence permit on the official website of the Ministry of the Interior (see below), or contact us to complete this process together.

Algerian researchers should NOT submit their documents on the website of the Ministry of the Interior but send them to us by email. The list of documents can be found in this chapter under point 4. After checking your documents, you can come to our office with a copy of each scanned document and two identity photos (ordinary or e-photos). We will then schedule an appointment for you at the Prefecture in Nantes.

If you wish to benefit from our help to carry out this process together:

send us your documents by email for us to check them (see the list below, step 4). Then you can come to our office with your e-photos and your documents in a USB key or in your personal computer and we will process your application online together.

If you wish to apply on your own directly on the official website of the Ministry of the Interior:

You must first take e-photos in a suitable photo booth (example: the one at Fnac – place du Commerce – Nantes center)

On the official website of the Ministry of the Interior, you can choose the language at the top right (French, English, Chinese). Throughout the online process, you can save the information at each step: if you stop the process, you will then be able to go back to your last saved application and continue from there.

1) Account creation: You must first create your account. You will be asked for your visa number and its validity dates, as well as your email eddress. An email will be sent to you and you will have to create a password (more than 8 characters, with lowercase, uppercase and at least one sign). Back on the platform’s home page, you will then be connected to your personal account. You can now click on “Apply for a residence permit”.

2) Personal information: Complete your identity and contact information.

3) Main purpose of stay: Complete the information related to your professional situation.

4) Download your documents: It is possible to download 3 files per requested item.

  • Visa and entry stamp in France
  • Passport: first page with identity details and validity dates
  • E-photos with electronic signature (you must first take e-photos in a suitable photo booth, such as the one at Fnac – Place du Commerce- Nantes). Please note, you sometimes have to wait 2 hours before you can use the e-photos number on the residence permit application platform. Any new application will require new e-photos.
  • Proof of residence dated less than 6 months: rental contract OR rent receipt OR electicity, gas, water, internet, landline or mobile phone bill. If hotel accomodation: hotel certificate AND invoice for the last month. If you are hosted: certificate form the host dated and signed, AND their valid national identity card or residence permit AND their proof of address dated less than 6 months
  • At least the Master’s degree, or temporary certificate.
  • The Hosting Agreement (“Convention d’Accueil”) dated and signed by the laboratory and by you.
  • For doctoral students (except Algerian nationals) who have a 3-year-doctoral contract, contact us before submitting your file, to review together the possibilities for the duration of your residence permit.

 5) Summary: If necessary, you can write down any additional information here in the “Comments to the administration” field. Check the information entered and downloaded documents. Once this step validated, you will no longer be able to modify your request application.

6) Validation : You will receive by email and via your personal account on the platform

  • a confirmation of the submission of your 1st application for a residence permit
  • then a certificate of extension of your visa, if necessary
  • then a certificate of positive decision that confirms the dates of validity of your future residence permit
  • finally a notification to pick up your residence permit at the Prefecture in Nantes. It should be ready about a month later.

?  On the platform, in “Need Help?” at the top right, you can find answers to some of your questions (in French) under “Votre demande de titre de séjour” FAQ and if not, contact us!

Spouses of researchers, with a “Passeport Talent: Famille” visa must apply for their own “Passeport Talent: Famille” residence permit on the same platform.

The date and place of marriage, the name / first name / date of birth of the researcher and his/her foreigner number will be requested. This number will be assigned to the researcher a few days after submitting his/her application, so the spouse has no other choice but to wait for the researcher foreigner number in order to submit his/her own application.

For the official document for children (DCEM) see our « family issues » page, chapter “residence permit for the family”.

Information for foreign driving licence: to drive in France, you may have some important formality to do. Refer to our Driving Licence page.

Renewing your residence permit

You have a residence permit OR a “long-stay-visa-valid-as-a-residence-permit” (VLSTS) that will soon expire : you wish to renew it with the status “PASSEPORT TALENT CHERCHEUR” or “FAMILLE”. Please check the list of documents needed. You can contact us by phone if you wish to make sure of your situation before coming to see us.

PLEASE NOTE: the renewal of residence permits must be prepared four to two months before the expiration of the valid permit.

There are several reasons for renewing: we strongly advise you to contact us to check which is the appropriate process according to your situation

Do NOT submit your application online if you have a “récépissé”, or an “APS” (temporary Authorization to Stay), or if you want to apply for a 10-year residence card: contact us.

Algerian researchers should NOT submit their documents on the online platform but send them to us by email. After checking your documents, you can come to our office with a copy of each scanned document and two identity photos. We will then give your file to the Prefecture and schedule an appointment for you with their services if necessary.

You must apply for a residence permit on the official website of the Ministry of the Interior.

To carry out this process together, send us your documents by email for us to check them (see the list below, step 4). Then you can come to our office with your e-photos and your documents in a USB key or in your personal computer.

You must first take e-photos in a suitable photo booth (example: the one at Fnac – place du Commerce – Nantes center)

On the official website of the Ministry of the Interior, you can choose the language at the top right (French, English, Chinese). Throughout the online process, you can save the information at each step: if you stop the process, you will then be able to go back to your last saved application and continue from there.

1) Account creation: If you never did it in the past, you must first create your account. You will be asked for your foreigner’s number (10 digits on your validation certificate of your VLS-TS) or your personal number on your residence permit, the validity dates of your VLS-TS or residence permit, as well as your email eddress. An email will be sent to you and you will have to create a password (more than 8 characters, with lowercase, uppercase and at least one sign). Back on the platform’s home page, you will then be connected to your personal account. You can now click on “Apply for a residence permit”.

2) Personal information: Complete your identity and contact information.

3) Main purpose of stay: Complete the information related to your professional siuation.

4) Download your documents: It is possible to download 3 files per requested item.

  • the current residence permit will be requested, or the VLS-TS (“long-stay-visa-valid-as-a-residence-permit”) and its validation
  • Passport: first page with identity details and validity dates
  • E-photos with electronic signature (you must first take e-photos in a suitable photo booth, such as the one at Fnac – Place du Commerce- Nantes). Please note, you sometimes have to wait 2 hours before you can use the e-photos number on the residence permit application platform. Any new application will require new e-photos.
  • Proof of residence dated less than 6 months: rental contract OR rent receipt OR electicity, gas, water, internet, landline or mobile phone bill. If hotel accomodation: hotel certificate AND invoice for the last month. If you are hosted: certificate form the host dated and signed, AND their valid national identity card or residence permit AND their proof of address dated less than 6 months
  • At least the Master’s degree, or temporary certificate.
  • The Hosting Agreement (“Convention d’Accueil”) dated and signed by the laboratory and by you.
  • For doctoral students (except Algerian nationals) who have a 3-year-doctoral contract, contact us before you apply online, to check together your residence permit’s length possibilities

5) Summary: If necessary, you can write down any additional information here in the “Comments to the administration” field. Check the information entered and downloaded documents. Once this step has been validated, you will no longer be able to modify your request application.

6) Validation: You will receive by email and via your personal account on the platform

  • a confirmation of the submission of your 1st application for a residence permit
  • then a certificate of extension of your visa, if necessary
  • then a certificate of positive decision that confirms the dates of validity of your future residence permit
  • finally a notification to pick up your residence permit at the Prefecture in Nantes. It should be ready about a month later.

?  On the platform, in “Need Help?” at the top right, you can find answers to some of your questions (in French) under “votre demande de titre de séjour” FAQ and if not, contact us!

Spouses of researchers, with a “Passeport Talent: Famille” visa must apply for their own “Passeport Talent: Famille” residence permit on the same platform.

The date and place of marriage, the name / first name / date of birth of the researcher and his/her foreigner number will be requested. This number will be assigned to the researcher a few days after submitting his/her application, so the spouse has no other choice but to wait for the researcher foreigner number in order to submit his/her own application.

For the official document for children (DCEM) see our « family issues » page, chapter “residence permit for the family”.

Information for foreign driving license: to drive in France, you may have some formality to do.Refer to our Driving Licence page.

Changing your address on the residence permit

/!\ A change of address request can take several months to be completed by Prefecture. Any pending request of address modification on a residence permit will automatically block you from requesting a residence permit renewal. Therefore, we strongly advise you to apply for a change of address request ONLY if your current residence permit is valid for over the next 12 months.

You have a residence permit “PASSEPORT TALENT CHERCHEUR” or “FAMILLE”, you’ve moved house and thus address, and your residence permit is valid for over the next 12 months: you must upload your documents directly on this page of the Ministry of the Interior’s website:

  • the residence permit
  • the valid passport: first page with identity and validity dates Make sure it is still valid!
  • a recent proof of address dated less than 6 months :
    • rental agreement signed less than 6 months ago or energy bill phone bill or internet bill dated less than 6 months
    • or if not last bank account statement or any other recent document dated less than 6 months (letter from CAF, CPAM, insurance…)

If you are being provided accommodation at a third party, you have to provide:

  • a written certification of accommodation dated and signed by the person dated less than 6 months
  • his/her valid national identity card or residence permit
  • his/her proof of address (see above)

The process usually lasts more than 4 months. If your current projects/ applications require rapid processing of your change of address, then send us the number of your request filed online: our contact at the Prefecture will then process your request asap.

Once your request processed, the Prefecture will either issue a new residence permit (25€ fee), or a notification of address change (free).

Residence permits costs

Your residence permit must be paid in fiscal stamps to the French administration.
Fiscal stamps can be found in some tobacco shop, as La Pipe d’Ecume located rue de Strasbourg n°33 (tramway line 2, 50 otages station), or Le Rossignol, located Allée Brancas n°8 (Commerce station).
You can also buy them online on Timbres.gouv.impots.fr

  • Cost to validate your long stay (D) visa “PASSEPORT TALENT CHERCHEUR” or “FAMILLE” : 200€
  • Cost for a 1st “PASSEPORT TALENT CHERCHEUR” or “FAMILLE” residence permit: 225€, (free for Algerian researchers)
  • Cost to renew a “PASSEPORT TALENT CHERCHEUR” or “FAMILLE” residence permit: 225€
  • cost for a change of address: 25€ if a new residence permit is issued (see above the chapter “Change of address on the residence permit”). Otherwise, free certificate.

PLEASE NOTE: if you apply for the renewal of your residence permit less than two months before its expiration date, you could have to pay an extra fee of 180€ (for late submission).