Merchants, craftsmen and industrialists for France - long stay

Attention : Excepted citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, citizens of other countries who want to work in France as a merchant, a craftsman or an industrialist have to apply for a long-stay visa before going to France.

Each visa applicant must appear in person with an appointment (see below). The General French Consulate in Frankfort has sole competence in Germany to issue french visas to merchants, craftsmen and industrialists.


A merchant is someone who performs commercial acts, that is, who is involved in the circulation of wealth with a speculative intention and who does so on an ongoing basis ; this implies the repetition of commercial acts within the framework of permanent and ongoing activities whose main purpose is to make a profit. A merchant does business in his own name and on his own behalf, and at his own risk.

A craftsman is an independent worker who performs a manual craft in a limited-size business. A craftsman is essentially a manufacturer and a producer, as opposed to a merchant who performs commercial acts and who buys for the purpose of reselling, without any transformation.

An industrialist is a manufacturer who, like a craftsman and as opposed to a merchant, performs a production or transformation activity, in addition to buying and selling. An industrialist is distinguished from a craftsman essentially by the size of his business. Any business having more than ten employees is deemed to be part of the industrial sector.

If you wish to carry on your activities in an Overseas Territory or Community, please contact us.

Documents to be provided (originals + 2 copies of all your originals)

- 2 [*] long-stay visa application forms duly completed and signed ;

- 2 [*] identification photos, in colour, recent (less than three months), original in 35 mm X 45 mm format with clear and uniform background ;

- Original passport + photocopies of principal pages. Passport in good condition, with a date of expiration at least 6 months after the beginning of the visa, issued within the past 10 years and containing at least 2 blank pages. The visa is validated by a self-adhesive label that will be affixed to one of the pages of the passport ;

- Proof of legal presence in Germany + photocopies (Aufenthaltstitel, long-stay visa) ;

- Extract from the police record of the country of origin of the applicant and of countries where the applicant has resided during the past three years + photocopy ;

- Statement certifying that no criminal convictions are held in each country where you lived the past ten years + 1 copy ;

- Declaration of no previous bankruptcy in the country of origin and in each country where you lived the past ten years + 1 copy ;

- Form CERFA n°13473*01 + 1 copy ;

- Tax clearances - or at least tax situation slip - if the applicant lived in France and if he left it less than 4 years ago + 1 copy ;

- If possible, any document helping to establish the applicant’s ability to engage in the expected commercial, industrial or craft activity ;

- List of required documents within the framework of creating a business (only in french) ;

- List of required documents within the framework of an existing structure (only in french) ;

- Application fees (non-refundable) : 99 € payable only cash (200 € and 500 € bank notes are not accepted). Spouse of a european citizen don’t pay the visa fees (provide marriage act and proof of european citizenship of the spouse).

Attention : The Consulate reserves the right to claim additional evidence.


Because of the processing time, we suggest you to join an envelopp in order to send it per registered post (envelopps from DHL, UPS, ... are not accepted) for the return of your passport at home in Germany.
If you don’t wish to let your passport at the visa section, you will have to come back another day to pick up your visa.
Please see the timeframes

Make an appointment with the visa section

Each applicant who wants to live in France with his or her spouse and his or her children under 18 should begin the family reunification ("regroupement familial") OFII-procedure 18 months after his or her legal arrival in France and if he or she has got at least a one-year french residency card.

Attention : the delivered visa is a three-month D-Visa. After receiving it, you must apply for a residence permit in the préfecture where you live.

The Consulate reserves the right to require additional supporting evidence. Filing the documents does not systematically guarantee issuance of a visa. You should not leave your present job, sell your property or commit yourself in any way before receiving your visa.


Citizens from following countries must produce 3 long-stay application forms and 3 photos : Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaïdjan, Belorussia, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Liban, Libya, Moldavia, Ouzbekistan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraina.

Dernière modification : 05/10/2015

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