Should I lie on a visa application?
February 27, 2011 12:53 PM   Subscribe

Should I lie on a visa application?

I am applying for a French long stay tourist visa and the last question on the application form is if the applicant has ever stayed more than three months in France. I have, but since I entered France from other EU countries I did not pass through border control and the fact is not at all obvious. My ties to France are very deep and not getting a visa would be nearly catastrophic. I don't work in France and never have, but I do own a home there and have paid taxes there for a few years. Also, my wife has French visa and my children were born in France. On the other hand, my visa application is totally above board. My work is multi-national, I don't work in France but I do get to spend a lot of time there. I'm really at a loss about what to do!
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
"On the other hand, my visa application is totally above board"

...then why lie? You're just putting yourself at risk by trying to lie, and an unnecessary risk if you're not doing anything wrong in the first place.
posted by Diplodocus at 12:59 PM on February 27, 2011


I have, but since I entered France from other EU countries I did not pass through border control and the fact is not at all obvious.

No passport stamp + paying taxes in France + owning a home there = obvious, sorry. They look at these things very carefully. Being married and with kids means they'll also look at your family's residence. Lying would only make things worse.

Have you contacted an immigration lawyer? If not, please do. It's worth the money.
posted by fraula at 1:04 PM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I may be missing something obvious here, but... why would you hide the fact that you have been there previously? I don't see how having been there before would be detrimental to your application, but I do see why hiding a fact and then getting caught out will be.
posted by dougrayrankin at 1:07 PM on February 27, 2011


Should I lie on a visa application?

No.

I guarantee you, however much trouble you think lying get you out of, it's not worth the risk when it comes to dealing with immigration.
posted by kagredon at 1:08 PM on February 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


What you need to know is whether or not having stayed in France for longer than three months prevents you in any way from getting your long stay tourist visa. Is this explicit somewhere on the visa application form? Otherwise, why would it matter? Are you over thinking a question?
posted by meerkatty at 1:11 PM on February 27, 2011


meerkatty if the asker has stayed in France for longer than three months, especially enough to pay taxes, own a home, and raise children there, without a proper residence visa, they have (very, very, likely, IANAIL but I am an immigrant in France) broken French and EU immigration law. So yes, it would prevent them getting a long-stay tourist visa. Especially if they plan on earning money on which they'd pay taxes — it doesn't matter where the employer or the employee's bank account are located, but where the employee resides and spends their earned money. If that's France, a long-stay tourist visa isn't even possible, it should be a carte de séjour with a mention that states the right to work (earn income, in fact) has been granted. But again, IANAIL, the asker should consult with one (an immigration lawyer).
posted by fraula at 1:16 PM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't recommend lying. If you paid taxes there for a few years, it seems like they could certainly figure out that you were there more than three months -- and getting caught in a lie seems unlikely to go over well.

But most importantly, I think you should talk with a French immigration attorney. Considering how important this is to you, the expense of counsel is probably well worth it.
posted by J. Wilson at 3:17 PM on February 27, 2011


If having stayed there for more than 3 months is detrimental to your visa chances, there is probably a way to explain it with the help of an immigration lawyer. It would cost you a bit, but you'd probably still get a visa after a fine or a written apology (I have no idea what exactly, but what you did doesn't sound like a criminal offense).

But being caught with a lie like that is certain to have much more adverse consequences. Since you seem to have a lot at stake, please do not lie on your visa application.
posted by vidur at 3:26 PM on February 27, 2011


Having dealt with immigration in two countries: No. Do not lie. You will have an interview to get the visa in which you can explain your situation, but you will absolutely NOT get your visa if you lie. Even worse: you may not be allowed in the country for a period of time if you are caught lying on your application. Don't risk it.

Nthing contact an immigration lawyer to figure out exactly how to handle this, but lying is NOT the way.
posted by sonika at 3:59 PM on February 27, 2011


: "I don't work in France and never have, but I do own a home there and have paid taxes there for a few years. Also, my wife has French visa and my children were born in France. "

I think previous posters are mis-reading the question, making inaccurate assumptions, and hitting the panic button. The advice you are getting in this thread is bad. The only good advice you're getting is to consult a French immigration lawyer.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:59 PM on February 27, 2011


[comment removed - if you think you know the OP, please keep it to yourself, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:09 PM on February 28, 2011


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