Traveling to Europe for Extended Stay. Do I need Any Form of Authorization?
Question: I am traveling to Europe and wish to stay in France or Germany for an extended stay of five weeks. Is that permissible or do I need to get some other form of authorization?
Answer: Most European Union countries allow extended stay of six months or more with a valid U.S. passport. In the case of France, you may stay up to 90 days for tourist purposes. It is important to inspect your passport carefully prior to departure. Assume the longest period of time you intend to stay and be sure your passport will be current. Also, valid throughout your entire visit.
Importantly, the EU’s “Schengen” regulations restrict some travel to France and other EU countries. That is if your passport is valid for less than six months.
If you are traveling to one of those countries for purposes other than tourism (such as employment), you must obtain a visa for that purpose. In the case of France, it is nearly impossible to change visa status while in that country.
You may contact the French Embassy in Washington at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007, tel. (202) 944 6000, or the French Consulate General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, or San Francisco for the most current visa information.