Published on: 1 July 2023
Join us?Get started
Certificate of accommodation in France: how do I get it?
For many foreigners, obtaining a visa for France is like getting the Holy Grail. However, France is mainly regarded abroad as a country with many complex administrative layers and requirements. Therefore, obtaining a visa can become a tedious task for foreign nationals. But it mustn’t be the case for you.
Rather, the paperwork is not that difficult if you get the right information at the right moment. And this especially applies on your visa application for France. Whether you apply for long-stay visa or a short-stay visa, the French authorities will ask you for a proof of accommodation.
This document is very important since its absence can imply a rejection of your visa application at any French embassy or consulate. This article presents you with useful information to know if you want to obtain your certificate of accommodation without stress.
What are the requirements to obtain a long-stay visa in France?
Before going deeper into the issue of the certificate of accommodation, it is useful to review the conditions to apply for a long-stay visa in France. Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a French visa or not. Those who don’t need a visa for France are the nationals of countries that are part of the Schengen area (mostly nationals from the European Union and Switzerland).
However, for the other foreign nationals, there are some documents that you must bring to the French authorities to fulfill your visa application requirements. The application for a temporary long-stay visa must start at least three months before the planned departure date for France. It must be done at the French embassy or consulate of your country of residence.
You must have a passport or other travel document issued less than ten years before your planned departure date from your country. Moreover, your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date from France.
Visa application forms
As a country member of the Schengen area, you must apply for a Schengen visa at the French embassy or consulate of your country of origin. You must especially fill in the relevant visa application form (Cerfa 14571-05 Form for a long-stay visa).
If you come to France to work, you may need to apply for a work permit, according to your situation. If this is your case, you must submit proof that you requested your work permit at the French Ministry of Interior.
Purpose and conditions of your stay
You must justify the purpose and the conditions of your stay with relevant supporting documents (e.g. if your stay is related to a private or business trip, proof of accommodation such as hotel booking or rental agreement, repatriation conditions, etc.)
You must have an insurance covering medical and hospital expenses, including social assistance, for the care you may receive in France in case you get sick. The minimum coverage required is €30,000.
Moral, legal, and ethical conditions
To enter the French territory, you mustn’t be flagged for refusal of entry in the Schengen Information System. The foreign nationals who are denied entry in the countries of the Schengen area are also registered in this database.
Moreover, you mustn’t represent a threat to public order, national security, public health, or the international relations of any country of the Schengen area.
You must have sufficient resources (cash, bank accounts, credit cards…) or be able to acquire them legally (e.g. having a proper professional activity, own a legal business…).
The level of resources required per day of stay in France varies according to the proof of accommodation that you chose:
- If you have a certificate of accommodation from a specific host living in France: €32.50 per day
- If you have proof of the reservation of a hotel room in France: €65 per day
- If you don’t have any proof of hotel booking: €120 per day
If you have any question about the visa application process for France, don’t hesitate to consult the Frequently Asked Questions section of France Visas’ website or the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
What is a certificate of accommodation?
A certificate of accommodation for French visa is a document enabling the hosting person to certify on their honor that the visitor will be staying with them for a fixed period lasting less than three months. This document is essential in your visa application process for France as it will serve as proof of residence during your stay in France.
The certificate of accommodation can be requested by all foreign nationals coming to France to stay with family members for a period of less than three months. However, there are some exemptions where the accommodation certificate is unnecessary:
- Nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland
- People having a visa with the mention “residence permit to be applied for within two months of arrival in France”
- Stay related to humanitarian reasons or cultural exchanges
- Urgent medical situation
- People coming to France to attend the funeral of a parent/relative
How to obtain a certificate of accommodation for your visa application?
You must designate a person that will be your host in France during your stay. The host must be over 18 and be a landlord or tenant of a home to prove that he/she can welcome you. Moreover, the accommodation certificate application must only be related to the main residence of the host. Finally, the host must offer you accommodation for free and not charge you anything during your stay in France.
Afterwards, the host must apply for a certificate of accommodation at the town hall of his/her place of residence. Here are the supporting documents to be enclosed with his/her application form:
- proof of residence proving the host’s status as tenant or owner (e.g. rent receipt, title of ownership, property tax notice…)
- a document proving the host’s identity (identity card, passport, or residence permit if you are not a French/EU/EEA citizen)
- the passport number of the foreign visitor
- proof of address of the host (electricity bill, rent receipt, telephone bill…)
- a document showing the host’s financial resources (tax notice, salary slip…)
- a €30 tax stamp bought on the Internet or tobacco shops
- if the certificate concerns an unaccompanied minor, the holders of parental authority must submit an affidavit specifying the duration and purpose of the child’s stay
After the host deposits the application for accommodation certificate, the town hall may decide to carry out an on-the-spot investigation. This is done to ensure that the accommodation is in good condition before granting the certificate. Once the application is submitted, the town hall may accept or refuse to grant an accommodation certificate.
In case of acceptance
Once the certificate is obtained and stamped by the town hall, the host must send it to you. Then, you will include it in your visa application documents. Also, you must present it when crossing the external borders of the Schengen area.
In case of refusal
The town hall may refuse to grant a certificate of accommodation. The refusal can be explicit (i.e. written and reasoned) or implicit (the town hall does not answer within a month). The refusal can be granted on the following grounds:
- the host is unable to submit the required supporting documents
- the accommodation conditions are deemed to be poor
- the particulars given on the certificate are incorrect
- previous applications show a clear misuse of procedure
In case of refusal, the host can file a hierarchical appeal with the prefect within two months after the refusal of the town hall. The prefect may either validate the accommodation certificate or dismiss (explicitly or implicitly) the action.
In case of dismissal of this hierarchical appeal by the prefect, the host may form a litigation before the French administrative court (tribunal administratif).
Studapart’s accommodation measures for foreign students
Are you a foreign student looking for accommodation in France? Then, Studapart does everything to facilitate your search for accommodation in France. All you must do is to go on our platform and book your accommodation.
As a student, you will be asked to provide a guarantor living in France to support your application. If you don't have a guarantor living in France, Studapart has the perfect solution for you. Indeed, we provide you with an accommodation certificate that you can insert in your visa application.
From now on, you know everything about the obtention of the certificate of accommodation for foreign nationals. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us.