Process in the Legion for visiting home country

Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
3
Ratings
2
Points
3
Home Country
India
#1
Hello.

I am from India. I am leaving for France to apply for the Legion in March on a tourist visa after entering France. If I get selected and stay after that the visa will get expire during basic training.

1. What is the process and how it works if I want to visit my home country on leave after working 2 years in the Legion because the moment I show up at Paris airport to check in for flight to India, the immigration authorities will arrest me seeing I came to France a long time ago on tourist visa and it had already expired?
2. Does the tourist visa gets converted into work visa or long stay visa while you are serving in legion?
3. Will I not be allowed to visit my home country in first 5 years while I m serving in legion?
4. After getting selected, will they change my name while signing the contract for first five years or is it my choice to change my name or sign the contract in my original name?

Any advice or suggestions would be really helpful.

Thank you.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
2,926
Ratings
815 3 3
Points
113
Home Country
New Zealand
#2
Hi Tihor hgnis,
I wouldn't worry too much about your visa running out in your passport because your passport will be kept safely in a strong room in Aubagne.

I get the impression that you are homesick before you have even arrived in France. You must remember that you are committing yourself to 5 years. You should think this over long and hard.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
3
Ratings
2
Points
3
Home Country
India
#3
(...) I get the impression that you are homesick before you have even arrived in France. You must remember that you are committing yourself to 5 years. You should think this over long and hard.
Hello Joseph.

It's not being homesick or anything like that. I'm just taking precautionary measures and trying to know the process. If I had been home sick then I wouldn't have added that I wanted to visit my country after 2 years.

From reading various posts here from active and former legionnaires, there are many in the Legion who have visited their home country on leave and got back in time after serving a few years but they were able to do that because they came from a country where you don't need a visa for getting into France and it can be obtained after arriving at any French airport which is also called visa on arrival so they didn't had any concern or problem regarding visiting their country during leave.

I do have this concern because I come from a country where getting a visa for entering France is necessary and one can't arrive in France first and later being issued a visa.

Sir also from reading some posts here I came to know that if one tries to do it by his own ways and if they get caught by French authorities then their time in the Legion is over like you end up doing time in prison and then your contract is terminated and you are kicked out of the Legion. So I'm just trying to know how the process works or does it works at all if one wishes to visit his home country after serving 2-3 years on leave.

Also you said that my passport will be kept safely in a room at Legion's responsibility. But what it has to do with validity of visa. At some point of time the visa is gonna get expired no matter where it is kept because tourist visa is issued for a period of 3 months to Indians who want to visit France.

Lastly sir I have spent my whole student life since childhood in a military school when I was studying in fifth grade and never ran from there leaving in between.

So I m just trying to take precautions unlike some Australian guy here who had posted that he got a temporary passport from his country's embassy in France when he wished to visit his country on leave and he said that so because to visit Australia from France or vice versa one doesn't needs to get visa in advance from respective embassy and it can be issued when one arrives at the airport so there won't be any problems if you tell the authorities that you lost your passport and it's a temporary one issued by embassy.

I'm just trying to know the process because if it's valid and appropriate then no issues but if it's not like that then I can end up in jail or getting out of Legion.
 

Tonyus

Hyper Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
1,799
Ratings
8
Points
38
Home Country
Romania
#4
Not an expert on the matter, but you shouldn't worry about a visa IF you are accepted in the Legion. I'm pretty sure they will take care of you and your permit to stay in France legally...
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
2,926
Ratings
815 3 3
Points
113
Home Country
New Zealand
#5
The Legion official website says clearly that you do not need a visa to join the Legion. All they are asking for is a valid passport. When you leave after your 5 years you will get a certificat de bonne conduite. This will be more than enough for the French immigration. What happens in between the time you sign on and the end of your contract does not concern the Legion, visa wise.

While you are serving in the Legion you will have a military Id card. When you go overseas you will have a ‘real/fake’ passport or more correctly an administration passport. This will be given to you when you get on board the plane and taken off you once you have been through immigration. Or just held by the sous-officier of the bureau major (company offices).

I understand your question, how can you sneak back to your country for a quick holiday. I don't have an answer. If you want to take the chance of applying for an emergency passport by saying that you've lost yours, that is up to you. It will be a new passport with a new number, but it will mean lying to the police which can get you into a lot of trouble. And you will need a visa to get back in.

Basically you will have to decide 5 years without going home or staying home.
 

Surfguy

Super Active Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
814
Ratings
61
Points
28
Home Country
United Kingdom
#6
If you want to see family members it will most likely be easier to pay for their airline ticket with your Legion pay , you`ll be on a reasonable European wage so it shouldn't take too many months to save up , if you stay off the beer and smokes :)
 

dusaboss

Hyper Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2016
Messages
2,099
Ratings
322 5 7
Points
83
Home Country
Yugoslavia
#7
It should be possible to go home after 2 years. At the time you can apply for your real name to be given back and passport. As for getting back to France after home visit I would like to know that too but I'm pretty sure that is solved out in some way. (nobody wants to lose fully trained legionnaire because of a stupid visa problem.
I know that is possible to go home legally from story of my fellow countryman who served in time when we need visa for France.
 

Geneticcz

New Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
32
Ratings
16
Points
8
Home Country
Antarctica
#8
I'm curious about this too. I have seen plenty people post they went abroad on leave legally (and illegally early on or when denied permission). Obviously the Legion gives you an Id to remain in France, as Joseph said a military ID, but I doubt this works to enter/leave other countries.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Rapace

Moderator
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
5,394
Ratings
331 2 1
Points
83
Home Country
France
#9
That's a good question a not an easy one to answer. Actually, I'm not sure we have enough information to answer it properly, beyond some ‘educated guesses’. So, I'll try some educated guess too...
1/ If you passport is collected upon arrival at the Legion, you'll of course need to ask to retrieve it if you want to fly back to your home country, if you need it.
2/ Then you have the visa expiry issue. Even if you entered France with a legal visa, there's a significant chance that it will have expired when you want to fly out. Using your military Id may not be enough to exit France, all the more so if it's still bearing your ‘Legion Id’ (different from the real one on your passport.
3/ Assuming you can exit France, then the problem will be for re-entry, after your leave. You'll need to apply for a new visa which may or may not be granted (let alone the time it takes). Not sure the immigration police will let you in, with just your military Id.
4/ Actually I believe the only easy way will be to wait until you are ‘rectified’ (i.e. until you've officially recovered your real Id) and hope that then, you are also given a titre de séjour (like a residency card). In this case, things will be much simpler. If this is the case, with your passport and residency card you can exit France and come back without a visa. Giving legionnaires a titre de séjour was one of the recommendations made by MP Marylise Lebranchu in her report about the Foreign Legion issued in 2010, however I'm not sure if those recommendations were implemented in practice or not.
Currently serving legionnaire may tell us, what type of Id document they have.

P.s : all of the above of course applies only to legionnaires who need a passport and a visa to go back to their home country. For the others (those who only need a passport or, even more, those coming from a Schengen area country), things are much easier.
 

dusaboss

Hyper Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2016
Messages
2,099
Ratings
322 5 7
Points
83
Home Country
Yugoslavia
#10
Unfortunately i'm sing here glimpse of something what some old legionnaires told me that today's legion becoming.

What to say? But I'm clear see that some things ain't right.

After all, who I am I to talk about that?

Be well my friends!
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
3
Ratings
2
Points
3
Home Country
India
#11
I don't think this issue is as easy as it looks. Also I feel that the only option you have during serving in Legion is to get your family members come over to France or any other Schengen country where you can visit them.

There was a parent here of one of the serving legionnaire and I read his testimony. He said in 4 years his son never came home and they had to go over to France to visit him and they visited him twice in four years. So it can be seen that this maybe an example of what we are discussing here. Also I don't plan to just visit my family anytime I feel I wish to but if there arises an extreme emergency where my parents need me very urgently then I should have some way to visit them even if it's for like 4-5 days.

I strongly agree that once you get in Legion, they own you for 5 years but one should be given a choice between visiting his country or roaming around France on leave because if one is happy with his time in Legion then obviously he will come back for his remaining time in Legion. One of the guy here said that you are provided temporary passport to visit your home country but I strongly doubt that because issuing temporary passport means providing citizenship of France and they won't do that so soon under 3 years.
 

Rapace

Moderator
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
5,394
Ratings
331 2 1
Points
83
Home Country
France
#12
I don't think this issue is as easy as it looks. (...)
No it is not and that's what I tried to say in my previous post.

(...) Also I feel that the only option you have during serving in Legion is to get your family members come over to France or any other Schengen country where you can visit them. (...)
That may well be the case, at least, until you are ‘rectified’, that is until you've recovered your real Id (or your real Id has been verified) via the RSM (Régularisation de Situation Militaire) process. However, when that's done, you should normally be able to retrieve your passport, but that won't solve the visa issue, if you need one to re-enter France after your leave.

(...) Also I don't plan to just visit my family anytime I feel I wish to but if there arises an extreme emergency where my parents need me very urgently then I should have some way to visit them even if it's for like 4-5 days.

I strongly agree that once you get in Legion, they own you for 5 years but one should be given a choice between visiting his country or roaming around France on leave because if one is happy with his time in Legion then obviously he will come back for his remaining time in Legion. (...)
Humm... Sorry to say it, but I'm not sure you have the right mindset. Remember that, historically, the Legion was made of men who were ready (and sometimes willing) to leave their past behind them and cut links with their previous life. I understand that in the XXIst century, with all the means of communication we have that didn't exist 50+ years ago, it may seem a bit awkward, but this idea is still pretty much ingrained in the Legion “DNA”. Not saying that if you join you'll never see your family again, but you must accept the idea that it won't be easy.

(...) One of the guy here said that you are provided temporary passport to visit your home country (...)
I haven't read that. Are you not confusing with the 'passport' the Legion provides you with if you're deployed overseas?
 

dusaboss

Hyper Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2016
Messages
2,099
Ratings
322 5 7
Points
83
Home Country
Yugoslavia
#13
Rapace, how is your status solved when you are a legionnaire? You gotta have some kind of working visa or something? As I said hear from guys who served when Serbia was not in the Schengen area that once you get your passport and identity back you are able to LEGALLY visit home.

(...) but if there arises an extreme emergency where my parents need me very urgently then I should have some way to visit them even if it's for like 4-5 days. (...)
Unfortunately the Legion does not have feel for emergency back home. If you are able to visit home that wouldn't be when you want or when emergency occurs. I heard guys deserted because of that. If they come back in decent time, do their punishment and move on.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SnafuSmite

Active Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
727
Ratings
264 2
Points
43
Home Country
South Africa
#14
I know and have accepted the fact that for my first 5 and probably 6 years that I will not have any opportunity to go back to South Africa. That is a reality I have come to accept and if you're from outside Europe better accept it as well. Travelling through the EU is like visiting a different province/state but travelling outside is probably not impossible.

If you're already planning a visit home and you haven't got there yet, it might be a better idea to follow a different path?
 

Surfguy

Super Active Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
814
Ratings
61
Points
28
Home Country
United Kingdom
#15
One could of course ‘lose’ their passport before going to France and the get another one , the ‘lost’ one could used as an Id for the Legion and the new one could be kept in a safe deposit box or with someone of trust, then allowing the legionnaire to travel freely when on leave. Probably not legal ? Or maybe I read too many fiction paperbacks ;) ?
 

Rapace

Moderator
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
5,394
Ratings
331 2 1
Points
83
Home Country
France
#16
(...) Travelling through the EU is like visiting a different province/state but travelling outside is probably not impossible.
Not the EU, but the Schengen area. Again, like said before, some countries belonging to the EU didn't ratify the Schengen agreement (most noticeable example being the UK, but not only). Otherwise it's true that travelling from one ‘Schengen country’ to another one is like a domestic trip.

One could of course ‘lose’ their passport before going to France and the get another one , the ‘lost’ one could used as an Id for the Legion and the new one could be kept in a safe deposit box or with someone of trust, then allowing the legionnaire to travel freely when on leave. Probably not legal ? Or maybe I read too many fiction paperbacks ;) ?
This ‘trick’ will not solve the visa issue, if one needs one to (re)enter France.
 

Rapace

Moderator
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
5,394
Ratings
331 2 1
Points
83
Home Country
France
#18
Yes true. Even better, ask currently serving legionnaires on the board (e.g. notatexan, DCLXVI, DownAnOut,...) to let the forum know what type of documents they've received and where they can travel with them.
 

Nickfury

Top Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
3,119
Ratings
63 1
Points
48
Home Country
San Marino
#19
Yeah but as far as I know they are guys who don't need visas to travel to and from their home countries. So they could just get a replacement passport at their embassy and not worry about anything else. I think it is rather different for guys from nations that need visas to travel to France and the EU.
 

Rapace

Moderator
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
5,394
Ratings
331 2 1
Points
83
Home Country
France
#20
Yes, that's correct, two Americans and a Portuguese, but maybe they could provide a partial answer. Otherwise, South African members would probably be able to provide more relevant information.
 

Most viewed threads of the week

Top