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Old 18-09-2019, 10:17   #1
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Visas for French Polynesia

My family and I are planning to sail to FP. What are your experiences with obtaining a long stay visa for FP? How much money do you need to have in the bank to qualify? Also, anyone ever sail in to FP for the 90 day visa, leave at the end of the visa and then return to FP for another 90 day visa? Is that a legit way to do it if you can't get the long stay visa? Thanks in advance.
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Old 18-09-2019, 19:35   #2
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

You should find all the info you need in Chuck and Linda's Sailing Jacaranda blog;

https://www.jacarandajourney.com/other-good-stuff

Ha ! My first post I that I could actually help someone. What do I win ?
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Old 18-09-2019, 21:27   #3
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

Friends of ours just imported their boat there, after many years of dealing with the hassles of being from somewhere other than FP. Here's their blog: https://my.getjealous.com/liward
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Old 19-09-2019, 00:07   #4
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

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Originally Posted by KailaP View Post
My family and I are planning to sail to FP. What are your experiences with obtaining a long stay visa for FP? How much money do you need to have in the bank to qualify? Also, anyone ever sail in to FP for the 90 day visa, leave at the end of the visa and then return to FP for another 90 day visa? Is that a legit way to do it if you can't get the long stay visa? Thanks in advance.


Most non EU boats sail to FP without a long stay visa. But you have to be out of the country I think for 6 months before you can re-enter. It use to be you could make a quick trip down to the Cooks and come straight back.

Importing the vessel (called papeetized) has nothing to do if you are on a long stay, short stay visa. The boat can stay 3 years. Most non EU folks can stay 90 days

What nationality are you?

Chuck
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Old 19-09-2019, 03:08   #5
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, KailaP.
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Old 19-09-2019, 09:09   #6
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

Getting a long stay visa for FP can be quite frustrating. I did it earlier this year. The two favorite choices are to apply in Panama or Ecuador as once you have the visa you must arrive in FP within 90 days ( or less if the visa processing is delayed). I got mine in Ecuador and while you are applying they keep your passport, so you canít leave without collecting your passport, which I believe aborts your application. I have heard that in Panama they do not keep your passport.

In FP they only review the applications once a month, so the minimum time for processing is 6 weeks and it could be 10 weeks. In our case it was about 10 weeks. The visa only grants you the right to apply for a Carte de Sejour when you arrive, which is the actual thing that allows you to stay more than 90 days. That only takes a few weeks to process, but the only high commission in the Marquesas is in Nuku Hiva, which is where you must go in person to apply. Once you have the CDS you can come and go as you wish for a year and it can be renewed in the final two months for another year. The boat is granted tax free stay in FP for 3 years upon arrival. Youíll need an agent to help you in Tahiti, who will collect you CDS and ship it to you if you want - I used Tahiti Crew and they were very helpful.

As I say, it is a trial, but worth it I think as FP is a great place to sail around slowly. The non-visa version is that you can stay for 90 days in every 180, just like France. So after the 90 days you cannot return for another 90 days.

Hope this helps. Check SVSoggyPaws.com for some more detailed docs.

Hamish
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Old 19-09-2019, 09:47   #7
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

Question Hamish, did you get the year Carte de Sejour because you had done the Long Stay Visa runaround before arriving in FP or can you get a year applying in Nuka Hiva??

We loved the Marquesas and Tuamotus and would have spent our whole year there. We had a 6 month visa which gave us the right to stay away from Papeete till it was up. Wish we'd gotten a years visa as the 6 months just wasn't enough. This is all history as things have undoubtedly changed. The thing is do whatever you can to get the longest stay possible if exploring out of the way places is your thing. There are so many Islands and places to go in the Marquesas and Tuamotus which are an upwind slog if you have to go to Papeete to get an extended stay visa.
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Old 19-09-2019, 09:51   #8
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

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Getting a long stay visa for FP can be quite frustrating. I did it earlier this year. The two favorite choices are to apply in Panama or Ecuador as once you have the visa you must arrive in FP within 90 days ( or less if the visa processing is delayed). I got mine in Ecuador and while you are applying they keep your passport, so you canít leave without collecting your passport, which I believe aborts your application. I have heard that in Panama they do not keep your passport.

In FP they only review the applications once a month, so the minimum time for processing is 6 weeks and it could be 10 weeks. In our case it was about 10 weeks. The visa only grants you the right to apply for a Carte de Sejour when you arrive, which is the actual thing that allows you to stay more than 90 days. That only takes a few weeks to process, but the only high commission in the Marquesas is in Nuku Hiva, which is where you must go in person to apply. Once you have the CDS you can come and go as you wish for a year and it can be renewed in the final two months for another year. The boat is granted tax free stay in FP for 3 years upon arrival. Youíll need an agent to help you in Tahiti, who will collect you CDS and ship it to you if you want - I used Tahiti Crew and they were very helpful.

As I say, it is a trial, but worth it I think as FP is a great place to sail around slowly. The non-visa version is that you can stay for 90 days in every 180, just like France. So after the 90 days you cannot return for another 90 days.

Hope this helps. Check SVSoggyPaws.com for some more detailed docs.

Hamish
I have been monitoring the FP LS visa for years and its the first time I have heard that the HC office in Papeete only processes visa's once a month.

Interesting news. I will need to update my FP LS document

May I ask where you obtained that information?

Processing the carte de sejour can take up to 5 months to process so you are very lucky to get it in 2 weeks Good on ya. When we first arrived 5 years ago they told arriving boats that the carte de sejour would take 2 months now the letter from the hc office states 6.

You do not have to go to Nuku Hiva to start your application for a carte de sejour. Tahtii Crew can do that for you if you send the necessary documents by air to them. Folks in the Gambiers often do start the process from there. As I explain in my write up on LS visa's you need to appear at the haute commissionaires office in person either when submitting or picking up.

Safe sailing

Chuck
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Old 19-09-2019, 09:54   #9
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Question Hamish, did you get the year Carte de Sejour because you had done the Long Stay Visa runaround before arriving in FP or can you get a year applying in Nuka Hiva??

We loved the Marquesas and Tuamotus and would have spent our whole year there. We had a 6 month visa which gave us the right to stay away from Papeete till it was up. Wish we'd gotten a years visa as the 6 months just wasn't enough. This is all history as things have undoubtedly changed. The thing is do whatever you can to get the longest stay possible if exploring out of the way places is your thing. There are so many Islands and places to go in the Marquesas and Tuamotus which are an upwind slog if you have to go to Papeete to get an extended stay visa.
You can only apply for a LS visa from outside French Polynesia unless your spouse is a EU citizen. If that is the case then you can apply when you arrive if you have a valid original marriage certificate.

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Old 19-09-2019, 11:14   #10
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

I can echo the comments that obtaining a long stay FP visa for non-EU nationals (or their spouses) is confusing and frustrating. In Vancouver, Canada, visa processing has been outsourced to a private provider that seems keen to maximize financial gain. They are particularly opaque about required documentation and are not able to guarantee or even estimate processing time. Their only advice is to be prepared to surrender your passport for up to 6 weeks.

Then, somebody makes a subjective decision to issue either a 6 month or 12 month visa, with no apparent reference to what was requested.

It is interesting to see how processing works differently in different places. This is not super unusual for government bureaucracies, but it is frustrating. We will be applying for another one in Wellington NZ. Fingers crossed.

Good luck, I hope that it works out well for you.
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Old 19-09-2019, 15:58   #11
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

We are American. We want to leave Cali in November and are going to Baja until about February. What I'm getting from my reasearch (other peoples sharing of experiences) is that it's been taking about 3 weeks to process and that I can only indicate the start date for the visa 3 months from when I submit the application, then I have three months to get there. We were planning to get to FP in March sometime, which means I should've applied for the visa last week? Thanks for all your input. Keep it coming. We may also end up doing the 90 days in 90 days out.
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Old 19-09-2019, 15:59   #12
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

Could we go to the Cooks and apply for LS visa from there? Hmmm
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Old 19-09-2019, 19:07   #13
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

I don’t think you can get a CDS upon arrival, you must apply for the Long Stay Visa outside the country before you arrive, when you apply for the visa you say how long you want to stay and we chose one year. You must show that you have annually renewable health insurance that is compliant and sufficient funds. There is a website that indicates the standard funds required per day per person for visiting France and we used that as a guide.
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Old 19-09-2019, 19:10   #14
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

.Tahiti Crew told me that the long stay visas are reviewed once a month.

It’s true that you do not have to go to Nuku Hiva, but you must either go in person to a high commission when you apply for or pickup your CDS. As we did not want to go to Tahiti to pickup the CDS, for us, the only practical option was to apply in person at the high commission in Nuku Hiva.
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Old 19-09-2019, 21:56   #15
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Re: Visas for French Polynesia

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We are American. We want to leave Cali in November and are going to Baja until about February. What I'm getting from my reasearch (other peoples sharing of experiences) is that it's been taking about 3 weeks to process and that I can only indicate the start date for the visa 3 months from when I submit the application, then I have three months to get there. We were planning to get to FP in March sometime, which means I should've applied for the visa last week? Thanks for all your input. Keep it coming. We may also end up doing the 90 days in 90 days out.


I think you maybe slightly confused on the timing. Have you had a look at my How to apply for a FP Long Stay visa document? www.jacarandajourney.com under other good stuff. I explain the timing. Happy to help answer any question you may have. Drop me a line via email.

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