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Old 13-12-2019, 07:39   #1
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Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

Heeelp!!!

I am planning to sail from Panama to French Polynesia at the end of March 2020, sail in French Polynesia to about October 15, 2020, leave the boat in French Polynesia and fly home to the States for a number of months, return to French Polynesia by air in April of 2021 and sail in French Polynesia until around Oct. 1, 2021 when I plan to sail back to Panama.

I have been on numerous websites, including the official French Visa site trying to determine exactly what I need for a Long Stay Visa, how long it is good for, etc., but I still have a number of questions.

My questions are:

1. Can a get a single Long Stay Visa for the entire period from April 2020 to October 2021, or can I only get a Long Stay Visa for 1 year at a time?

2. If I can get a Long Stay Visa for the entire period between April 2020 and October 2021, will it be voided or adversely affected by my flying back to the States for a number of months in the middle of that period?

3. If I can get the Visa for the whole period, can I satisfy the medical insurance requirements by getting two different policies covering the actual dates that I will be in French Polynesia, or do I need one that covers the entire Visa period?

4. I have had a Yellow Fever vaccination but my wife has not. She will be have been in Panama with me, but she will return to the States by air and then fly from the States to French Polynesia to meet me when I arrive by sea. Will she still need proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination?

5. Can I fill out my application for the Visa online and even though I am an American citizen, have my interview in Panama?

I realize that these are technical questions and may be outside of the scope of what any of you are willing to opine about, but any information you can provide would be appreciated. I promise not to claim that I relied on it if it turns out that the rules have changed from what you know or if you are just mistaken. (Yeah, I know, spoken like a true lawyer, which is what I am.)

Thank you.
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Old 13-12-2019, 14:49   #2
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

A quick online check found this:
Document checklist for long stays in French Polynesia (more than 3 months) / Conditions for the entry of foreigners in French Polynesia / Démarches en Anglais [English] / Étrangers / Démarches administratives / Accueil - Les services de l'État en Pol
which says that you have to apply for the long-term visa at a consulate or embassy in your country of residence. If you reside in Panama, the embassy in Panama City is your go-to place. If not... Since you need to apply at a consulate or embassy anyway, addressing your other questions to them when you apply seems like the best and fastest way to get the correct answers.
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Old 13-12-2019, 14:55   #3
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

I have been all over that site and the one on which you make the application, which I began. I was also in Panama where a number of Europeans (not Panamanian residents) intending to make the passage had booked appointments for the interview in Panama, so I'm not so sure you're right about your interpretation, but I thank you for your response.
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Old 13-12-2019, 15:23   #4
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

Things have changed a lot in the FP long-stay visa process in the last year. Mine was several years ago, so can only offer what was the case then.

Longest available visa term (still seems the same) was one year, so you could not cover the entire trip with one visa (which then moots the question of whether or not you can do multiple entries on a single visa).

Health insurance must be valid for the duration of the visa. From the current website:

Quote:
Health insurance for the full duration of the stay. The insurance must cover the visa’s entire validity period (1 year at the most).
The whole visa process was outsourced in the last couple of years. It used to be that you had to apply in your country of residence, however, at least recently the Panama and Mexico French embassies will allow applications by other nationalities - despite the apparently official position that it must be done in the home country.

A few notes here, if you haven't seen them.
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Old 14-12-2019, 08:11   #5
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

Thank you.
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:58   #6
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

I remember watching a couple of "Gone with the Wynns" YouTubes from a year or two ago where they went through the process of getting a long stay F.P. visa while on the hook in Panama.

They were looking for 1 year, not 1+ years like you, but you may pick up some general info from those episodes. No video of their meetings inside the embassy, but they did discuss the application procedure during their trips to and from it. I think the process took 2 separate visits to the French embassy about a month apart.
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Old 14-12-2019, 12:55   #7
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

Quote:
Originally Posted by On the rode View Post
Heeelp!!!

I am planning to sail from Panama to French Polynesia at the end of March 2020, sail in French Polynesia to about October 15, 2020, leave the boat in French Polynesia and fly home to the States for a number of months, return to French Polynesia by air in April of 2021 and sail in French Polynesia until around Oct. 1, 2021 when I plan to sail back to Panama.

I have been on numerous websites, including the official French Visa site trying to determine exactly what I need for a Long Stay Visa, how long it is good for, etc., but I still have a number of questions.

My questions are:

1. Can a get a single Long Stay Visa for the entire period from April 2020 to October 2021, or can I only get a Long Stay Visa for 1 year at a time?

2. If I can get a Long Stay Visa for the entire period between April 2020 and October 2021, will it be voided or adversely affected by my flying back to the States for a number of months in the middle of that period?

3. If I can get the Visa for the whole period, can I satisfy the medical insurance requirements by getting two different policies covering the actual dates that I will be in French Polynesia, or do I need one that covers the entire Visa period?

4. I have had a Yellow Fever vaccination but my wife has not. She will be have been in Panama with me, but she will return to the States by air and then fly from the States to French Polynesia to meet me when I arrive by sea. Will she still need proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination?

5. Can I fill out my application for the Visa online and even though I am an American citizen, have my interview in Panama?

I realize that these are technical questions and may be outside of the scope of what any of you are willing to opine about, but any information you can provide would be appreciated. I promise not to claim that I relied on it if it turns out that the rules have changed from what you know or if you are just mistaken. (Yeah, I know, spoken like a true lawyer, which is what I am.)

Thank you.
Are you going as part of the "Pacific Puddle Jump" sponsored by Latitude 38 magazine? They provide lots of advice to the voyagers and some advantages to participate in the group. Give them a shout out.

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Old 14-12-2019, 15:17   #8
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

I went through the same things about a year ago and here are my observations...

1. Can a get a single Long Stay Visa for the entire period from April 2020 to October 2021, or can I only get a Long Stay Visa for 1 year at a time?
When you get your long stay visa, it just entitles you to get a Carte de Sejour on arrival in FP. Getting the CDS can take a few months, so I would not suggest planning to leave FP too soon. Once you have the CDS you can come and go as you want but it must be renewed annually, so plan to be in FP one year after you get the CDS so you can renew it for another year.

2. If I can get a Long Stay Visa for the entire period between April 2020 and October 2021, will it be voided or adversely affected by my flying back to the States for a number of months in the middle of that period?
See above

3. If I can get the Visa for the whole period, can I satisfy the medical insurance requirements by getting two different policies covering the actual dates that I will be in French Polynesia, or do I need one that covers the entire Visa period?
My advice would be to get an annually renewable policy when you apply. If your health insurance runs out after a few months you may not get a full year on your CDS.

4. I have had a Yellow Fever vaccination but my wife has not. She will be have been in Panama with me, but she will return to the States by air and then fly from the States to French Polynesia to meet me when I arrive by sea. Will she still need proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination?
I was not asked for any proof of vaccinations.

5. Can I fill out my application for the Visa online and even though I am an American citizen, have my interview in Panama?
No. You (and anyone else applying) have to go to the consulate to start the application process and you also have to go back to pick up your visa.

Check Jacaranda and Soggy Paws sites for lots of useful informations.
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Old 14-12-2019, 15:20   #9
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

Quote:
Originally Posted by psk125 View Post
A quick online check found this:
Document checklist for long stays in French Polynesia (more than 3 months) / Conditions for the entry of foreigners in French Polynesia / Démarches en Anglais [English] / Étrangers / Démarches administratives / Accueil - Les services de l'État en Pol
which says that you have to apply for the long-term visa at a consulate or embassy in your country of residence. If you reside in Panama, the embassy in Panama City is your go-to place. If not... Since you need to apply at a consulate or embassy anyway, addressing your other questions to them when you apply seems like the best and fastest way to get the correct answers.
This is not correct. You can apply in Panama no matter where you reside.
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Old 14-12-2019, 15:46   #10
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

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Originally Posted by HBrew View Post
This is not correct. You can apply in Panama no matter where you reside.
This seems to be something that is discretionary to each embassy/consulate. The best I can do reading my mediocre French is that regulations say you do have to apply in your home country. In the US Northern California residents have been unable to apply in Los Angeles, but instead have to go to San Francisco. The Panama and Mexico embassies seem more lenient.
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Old 14-12-2019, 18:25   #11
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
This seems to be something that is discretionary to each embassy/consulate. The best I can do reading my mediocre French is that regulations say you do have to apply in your home country. In the US Northern California residents have been unable to apply in Los Angeles, but instead have to go to San Francisco. The Panama and Mexico embassies seem more lenient.
Generally I think that’s true, but once you get the visa you have about 90 days to arrive in FP before it expires, given that people are sailing, it makes sense for them to offer these visas in Panama and they also allow foreigners to apply in Ecuador (where I got mine) but in Ecuador they keep your passport while its processing, I don’t believe they do that in Panama
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Old 21-12-2019, 06:50   #12
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

Quote:
Originally Posted by On the rode View Post

I am planning to sail from Panama to French Polynesia at the end of March 2020, sail in French Polynesia to about October 15, 2020, leave the boat in French Polynesia and fly home to the States for a number of months, return to French Polynesia by air in April of 2021 and sail in French Polynesia until around Oct. 1, 2021 when I plan to sail back to Panama.

Thank you.
We are currently looking into the crossing and a stay (next year) as well so ive been following along... but im actually more curious about two things in your plan:

- where do you plan on leaving the boat that you feel comfortable about its safety through the typhoon season with you away?

- sailing east from French Polynesia to Panama?? Yikes. and why?
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:47   #13
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

There is a lot of misinformation presented here. We put together a document that might answer your questions.

Information on French Polynesia including Long Stay Visa and 90 day visas. You may find answers to your questions

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

Happy to answer any questions you may have

Chuck
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:25   #14
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Re: Long Stay Visa for French Polynesia

We have updated both our French Polynesia Long Stay Visa and French Polynesia 90 day visa documents.

Long Stay Visa
There are some changes regarding your first carte de sejour and not being allowed to leave the country before its issued. Additional updates noted in the update notes

90 Day Visa
Added additional agents that maybe used to facilitate entry

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

Safe sailing

Chuck
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