How long do I have to be in France before my classes start?
June 30, 2012 3:21 PM   Subscribe

Do I have to BE in France for 3 weeks prior to my classes starting for the 2B Visa (Canada-France Youth Exchanges Agreement)?

This is a long shot, but I was hoping someone out there might know. On my visa application kit for my year abroad in France, it has the condition:

"Visa departure date to leave for France earlier than three weeks prior to the beginning of classes in France" (link to the full visa kit here).

I initially thought this meant I would have to be in France 3 weeks prior to my classes starting, which struck me as ridiculous and unnecessary. Then I thought maybe it means that the visa application must be submitted earlier than 3 weeks prior to my classes starting. My dad thinks it might mean I have to be ABLE to be in France 3 weeks prior to classes, but I don't have to be.

I did email the consulate about this but I am getting antsy waiting over the weekend to hear the answer from them.

Thanks, everyone.
posted by kansakwens to Travel & Transportation around France (5 answers total)
Best answer: I am not French or Canadian or speak French well, but if you look at the French version of the PDF you see:
La date de départ du visa pour la France ne peut pas être supérieure à 3 semaines avant la date de début des cours en France.
I believe that means you can't get there any earlier than 3 weeks prior. Meaning if you wanted to get to France a month early and see the country and sightsee, then that visa wouldn't work. At least that was the gist I got. A native French speaker might do better translating than my admittedly poor French.

In my experience with dealing with embassies and consulates of non-English speaking countries, that the English-language version their docs/webpages can have poor translations of some things and when in doubt look at the native language version to figure it out (which only works if you can speak or read, or know someone who does).
posted by birdherder at 3:51 PM on June 30, 2012

Response by poster: Oh man, that is totally what it means in French. That's ridiculous. The exact opposite. Thank you. I'll tell them they need to revise their translation. I didn't even think to look at the French version... Thank you thank you!
posted by kansakwens at 4:34 PM on June 30, 2012

Just to confirm, yeah, they have it backwards. You can /only/ come in three weeks or less before the date your classes start.
posted by Tamanna at 11:38 PM on June 30, 2012

Oh, and I'm a French translator, fwiw.
posted by Tamanna at 11:39 PM on June 30, 2012

Response by poster: You should work for the French Consulate in Canada... you clearly know what you're doing better than them! Jeez, even I do... haha.
posted by kansakwens at 1:09 PM on July 1, 2012

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