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Nov 1, 2019

Update: New Changes Proposed to French Visa Validity Periods

Jonathan A. Grode and Andrew Clancy Rodgers

It was announced yesterday that the reciprocity schedules for various visa classifications for French nationals have once again changed. The visa categories which will be affected by this proposed change are as follows: E, F, H, L, and R.

The series of announcements regarding visa validity periods have been nothing short of a Shakespearean tragedy, though as of yet there has been no comic relief. According to a press release issued by Mr. Roman Lescure, Member of the National Assembly of France for the First Overseas Constituency (Canada and the United States) and Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee, the validity periods for E, F, H, L, and R will be reduced, and a reciprocity fee of $480will now be required for H visas.

More specifically, the reductions will be:

  • E visas: 25 months, down from 60 months;
  • F visas: 25 months, down from 60 months;
  • H visas: 20 months, down from 60 months. Will require a reciprocity fee of $480 (previously, there was no reciprocity fee associated with this particular classification);
  • L visas: 17 months, down from 60 months; and
  • R visas: 16 months, down from 60 months.

In the press release, Mr. Lescure states that he has confirmed with the U.S. Consulate General in France that the above-detailed changes are slated to take effect on November 12, 2019.

Our firm has been closely following changes to the E visa validity period since August 21, shortly after the announcement that E-1 and E-2 visas issued to French foreign nationals would be granted for a period of only 15 months, down from 60 months (or 5 years). The roll-out date for the implementation of the policy was then pushed to September 26, 2019, as opposed to the initially released date of August 29, 2019.

As recently as a few days ago, we confirmed that the proposed reduction in E visa validity periods would not take effect and expressed hope that this saga had come to an end. Unfortunately, as evidenced by Mr. Lescure’s press release, it seems that the reciprocity schedules are indeed going to be amended.

We will continue to monitor and share updates as they become available, not least because new, often contradictory, announcements are made daily. Green and Spiegel is offering free planning sessions to all current French clients in light of the proposed changes. If you have questions regarding for E, F, H, L, or R visa classifications, or if you wish to know more about the potential impacts of this policy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Jonathan Grode

Jonathan A. Grode

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