France – officially known as French Republic is a country situated in Western Europe. It constitutes overseas regions and territories in the Atlantic and Americas. Apart from the French European Territories, the Republic of France also comprise of two overseas territories:
- French Overseas Departments or Regions (DTOM)
- French Overseas Territories and Collectivities (CTOM)
The metropolitan France has been a portion of the Schengen Area since 1997, when Schengen Agreement is signed. Spread over an area of 551, 695 km2, France is the most preferred European destination for travellers. The mesmerizing views of mountains, sea, museums, historical spots, and good food to experience, France has captivating destination for tourists. When you allowed to enter France, experiencing the city-state of Monaco and the microstate of Andorra is just fantastic experience too.
Depending on the objective of your travel to France, there are varied visas that will be applicable according to purpose of your visit. Whether you intend to study, work, reside, or just looking to visit as a tourist, you will need to apply for different France Schengen Visa, accordingly.
France Entry Requirements
As a result of the removal of restrictions between the EU nation-states, people who are citizens of the EU only require a form of identification to move around the Schengen Region. On the contrary, people who come from abroad must submit a number of required papers when they appear at the entrance of France. The following is a list of those documents:
- A valid passport or travel document. Issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 months from the date of departure.
- Visa – if you are covered by the French visa system.
- Proof that you have sufficient financial means for your stay in France. France requires him to provide proof of €120 per day if there is no proof of prepaid accommodation, otherwise he will provide proof of €65 per day.
- Round-trip airfare to France.
- Proof of accommodation. Covers the entire length of stay.
Bear in mind that the French border official has the conclusive say in whether you are allowed to enter France or not. He or she will go through your records and could solicit some queries regarding your visit to France such as:
- What are your reasons for visiting France?
- How long do you want to stay in France?
- Where are you staying in France? etc.
You will be allowed to come into France, and thus the Schengen Zone, if the French boundary guard is convinced that your papers and motive for entry are in order.
Be sure to secure that the French border official stamps your passport when you enter France. Without a stamp, you could be penalized or confined from France.
Who Require a Schengen Visa to Visit France?
Due to the Schengen zone being a shared territory, including France, those from third-world nations lacking a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen countries will require a visa when entering the French region in Europe for short trips.
- Holders of passports from third-world nations that have not attained a visa liberalization pact with the Schengen nations.
- Holders of passports from third-world nations that have inked a visa liberalization pact with the Schengen states but were denied entry into France or any other Schengen nation.
It is worth mentioning that the visa requirements for French Overseas Territories, Departments, and Regions may be distinct from those of the Metropolitan France. Depending on your nationality, you may need to secure a visa to enter these areas.
If you call for a visa, it is necessary to request a French long-stay National Visa. File an application for the long stay French visa type that is most suited to your cause of entrance to the French DROM or CTOM.
What Type of Visa Do you Require to Enter France?
Before initiating your France Schengen Visa request, you should ascertain what kind of French visa for brief visits you necessitate. Depending on the explanation why you desire to enter and remain in France for a maximum of 90 days, you can apply for one of the following Schengen visa categories for France:
French transit visa. If you need to land at an airport in France to board a flight to a non-Schengen country.
French tourist visa. If you are visiting France on vacation or want to explore and visit.
French visa for visiting family and friends. If you want to visit friends and family living in France, you should apply for this visa.
France Business If you need to attend a business meeting or other business activity in France.
French visa for official visits. If you are part of a foreign official delegation invited to France on an official visit.
Medical visa France. If you need treatment in a French hospital.
France student visa. If you wish to study at a French educational institution for up to 3 months.
French visa for cultural, sports and film teams. If you participate in sports or cultural related activities in France.
Note: Remember that these visas allow you to remain in France for a maximum of 90 days within a six-month timeframe. If you necessitate a visa to remain in France for a prolonged period, you should apply for a French National Visa as an alternative.
What Documents are Required for French Schengen Visa Application?
The mandatory paperwork when applying for a short-term French visa consists of the following:
French visa application form. Fill out the form on your computer, print it, and finally sign it.
2 passport photos. The photo must be identical and taken according to the French Schengen visa application photo requirements and specifications.
Valid passport. Make sure your passport is valid for no more than 10 years and valid for at least 3 months from the date you intend to leave France and the Schengen countries.
Copy of previous visa. If you have held visas for France, the Schengen area, or any other country in the world, please present copies of these visas to the embassy/consulate.
France Travel Health Insurance. Take out travel health insurance that is valid in mainland France and all other Schengen countries. Please provide documentation confirming that your insurance covers medical emergencies in this zone with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000.
A cover letter. In this letter, explain clearly and honestly why you want to enter France, what you will do during your legal stay and any other details of your trip.
Round-trip schedule. If you are entering France by air, please provide your flight booking with dates and flight numbers indicating your arrival and departure from France.
Proof of your citizenship. This can be a marriage certificate, a child’s birth certificate, a spouse’s death certificate, etc.
Verification of sufficient financial ability for the length of the visit to France is required. You must furnish evidence of possessing 120€ per day if no evidence of prepaid lodging is available. On the other hand, if you have already made your lodging arrangements and will not owe anything when you arrive in France, this sum lowers to 65€. Additionally, if the individual has more economical forms of lodging, the amount decreases to 32.25€ per day.
Additional Visa Requirements for French Depending on your Employment Status
When applying for a visa to France, depending on your professional status, you will require to submit additional documents which are as follows:
- Employment contract
- Checking statements for the last 6 months
- Employer paid vacation
- Your income tax return (ITR) or income tax certificate will be deducted from your salary
For self-employed:Copy of business license
- Company account statements for the last 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
As a Student
- Proof of registration
- School or college clearance certificate
As a Retired:
Statement of pension of the latest 6 months
Proof of regular income generated by a property for the last 6 months
No Objection Certificate: No-objection certificate (NOC) from school or university or from your employer.
Additional French Visa Requirements for Minors
Minors who require a short-term visa to France or parents applying on behalf of their minor child must include the following documents in their application packet:
- Birth certificate for minors traveling to France
- France Application signed by parents
- Family court order. Where only one parent has sole custody of the child
- Notarized copies of parents’ ID/passports. Notarized parental authorization to travel to France signed by both parents/legal guardians if the minor is traveling alone.
Note: If you apply at the French embassy or consulate in your home country, your parent or guardian must accompany your minor child.
Additional Requirements Depending on the Objection of Entry to France
Depending on your reason for entering France, you will require some supplementary paperwork. Hereunder, identify the extra needed documents contingent upon your intent of journeying to France.
Documents required for Schengen visa for airport transit to France
If you land at one of the French airports in order to board a flight to a non-Schengen destination country, you are required to present following additional documents:
- A valid visa for the last country to travel (if required).
- Air ticket for the last country to travel.
For more information on French airport visa requirements, read our article.
Documents required To Transit Schengen Visa to France
If you arrive in France by sea, you will be required to catch another vessel to another country by presenting the following additional documents:
- A valid visa for the country you are traveling to (if required).
- Final country ticket you are travelling to
- The original and a copy of the sailor’s notebook (required only for sailors).
- A letter from the inviting shipping company. Issued by a shipping company that welcomes the Schengen member states where seafarers get off (required for seafarers only).
- Employment contract. Boarding contract with shipping company/ship (required only for sailors).
Documents Required for French Tourist Schengen Visa
When applying for a French tourist visa, you will need to submit the following additional documents:
- Account statement. Preferably within the last 6 months.
- Itinerary. A detailed description of the trip, including the purpose of the trip, the time frame, the activities you intend to participate in, such as hotel reservations, and evidence of other forms of accommodation.
- Proof of how you are funding your trip to France.
Documents Required for a Schengen Visitor Visa to France
If you are applying for a visa to visit friends or relatives in France, you will need to submit the following additional documents:
Proof of financial means. Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in France. This could be:
Sponsor letter. If someone else is financially supporting your trip to France. Also known as an affidavit of support.
A combination of both
Itinerary. This is a description of your trip to France, including the purpose of your trip to France, your entry and departure dates, and your accommodation.
Invitation. Through relatives/friends living in France, I invite you to visit.
Proof of relationship with host residing in France
Certification d’accueil. This is an accommodation/hospitality certificate issued by the relevant French authority at the host’s place of residence in France. To get this certificate, French hosts must present the following documents:
Proof of identity.
Documents proving your status as owner, lessor or resident of the French apartment they host you in.
Proof of last residence (water bill, electricity bill, phone bill, or rent receipt).
Documents justifying their financial resources (last three salary slips, recent tax returns), and an obligation to financially assist foreigners in the event of shortfalls.
Any document regarding their capacity to provide you with French-standard housing requirements (security, cleanliness, and comfort.)
Documents required for a Business Schengen Visa to France
When applying for a French business visa, you will need to submit the following additional documents:
Invitation letter from the French company to be visited with its exact address and date of visit.
Certificate from employer. This letter should state the reason for traveling to France.
Business statement. Preferably within the last 6 months.
Articles of Incorporation and Memorandum of Incorporation. You must submit a certified copy (registered to a joint-stock company).
Trading license (originally issued and currently being renewed).
Proof of travel funds. Either the employer or the partner company must state in the letter or invitation that the applicant’s expenses during their stay in France will be covered.
Required Documents for Schengen Visa for Students to France
When applying for a French student visa, you will need to submit the following additional documents:
- Enrolment certificate that allows you to attend a course in France (school/university/language course, etc.).
- A letter of no objection from your current educational institution (if applicable).
- An internship agreement which is signed between the French company, the trainee and the establishment of origin.
Documents Required for Schengen Medical Visa to France
When applying for a medical visa in France, you will need to present the following additional documents:
- Local medical report – issued by a doctor, clinic, and hospital in your native country, certifying that you need treatment in France
- A medical certificate from a French hospital or doctor confirming the appointment date and health status
- Receipts for medical expenses paid
- Confirmation of appointment from the receiving medical institution
- Evidence of sufficient financial resources to pay for medical and other related costs during treatment.
Documents required for a Schengen visa to France for cultural, sports, film crew or religious purposes
If you apply for a French visa for the purpose of attending cultural/sporting/religious events in France, you have to submit the following additional documents:
Event information. As:
- Invitation letter from the competent French authorities, specifying the type of event or activity to be held in France.
- Event ticket
- Registration terms
- Detailed program of events in France
- Documents containing other information related to the event, such as the name of the applicant
- Evidence of previous performances. Participation in any previous festivals and ceremonies (cultural, religious), sporting competitions, winning certificates, proof of international rankings (sports).
Documents Required for French Schengen Visa for Husband/Wife of French citizen
If you apply for a French visa as a spouse of a French citizen/citizen, you will need to submit the following additional documents:
- French nationality proof (identity card or consular card or French nationality card or naturalization decree).
- French Marriage Certificate
- French family book
French Schengen Visa for Members of Official Delegations
If you apply for a French visa as part of an official delegation, you will need to submit the following additional documents:
- Official copy of the invitation.
- Evidence of the purpose of the trip (negotiations, meetings, intergovernmental organization events, consultations).
How do I apply for a short stay visa for France?
To complete the application process for a short-stay visa in France, you must complete the following steps:
- Choose the type of French visa you need, depending on the purpose of your entry
- Please check with the French agency responsible for visa approval in your country
- Fill out the French visa application form
- Collect the necessary documents for a short-term visa to France. Make an appointment for your visa interview
- Attend an interview at the relevant French Embassy/Consulate/VAC.
Where can I apply for a Short Stay Visa for France?
The French government has administered and managed visa requirements and applications in various countries in a distinct way. Depending on the manner in which the French government has governed visa acceptance in your dwelling nation, you might have to make an application at one of the below:
- Embassy of France
- French Consulate
- Visa application centers commissioned by France to issue visas
- Embassies/Consulates of another Schengen country entrusted by France to issue visas
Who can Apply for a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy/Consulate/VAC?
Submit your French Schengen visa at the French Embassy/Consulate/VAC in your country of residence only if:
- France is the one and only country to visit in the Schengen area.
- Visitors will be visiting more Schengen countries, but France is your main destination, which means:
- The number of days spent in France is longer than in other countries.
- Equal number of days will be spent in each country, but you will visit Schengen Zone via France
In any other situation, you will require to submit your application to the Embassy/Consulate/VAC of another Schengen country. To apply for a short-stay visa for France, you must meet the below mentioned requirements:
- Citizens of the country of origin of the application.
- Foreigners who currently have a temporary residence permit in the country you are applying for.
You cannot apply for a French short-stay visa from a country where you currently have a visa.
How Long Does it Take to Get a French visa?
The processing time for a France Schengen visa can take up to 15 days. However, depending on the French visa application, this period may be extended by up to 30 days, or in exceptional cases up to 60 days.
For this reason, we strongly recommend that you submit your application for a short stay visa for France as soon as possible, at least 3 months before your trip to France.
How Much Does it Cost to Apply for a French visa?
The cost of French Schengen visa is €80 for adults and €40 for children under the age of 12. Kindly check the list of French Schengen visa fees since there are multiple categories where there is not required to pay fees, and other needs to pay a lower cost as well.
How Long Can One Stay in France Without a Visa?
Passport bearers from France visa-exempt nations are granted permission to stay in France and the other Schengen areas for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day time frame. It’s essential to be mindful of the 90/180 Schengen Visa Regulation.
Do not breach this regulation, not even for a single day. Regardless of your circumstances, you are prohibited from exceeding the 90-day allowable stay within the 180-day rotating term. Any violation of the regulations will incur specific punishments if you do not observe the rules.
For the people of nations yet to sign a visa-free contract with France and the other Schengen nations, they must obtain a visa before traveling to France or any other Schengen nation.
Is Schengen Visa Extendable in France
Absolutely, you may increase your French Schengen visa, however exclusively in extraordinary occurrences where new facts and extraordinary reasons arise after arrival in France. Depending on the kind of visa you possess, you should submit the request for extension to the following authorities:
- For visas affixed on usual passports, the Regional Governments are the exclusive authorities capable of augmenting the time period of validity/duration of stay of short-term visas.
- The Department of State Affairs is the only legitimate entity in charge of granting short-term visas for holders of diplomatic, official, service or unique passports.
Have a look to How a Schengen Visa can be Extended to know what circumstances and what stipulations you must meet in order to be eligible to expand your French Schengen Visa.
Can I Cancel my French Schengen visa?
Yes, if the suitable French officials come to the conclusion that the conditions for providing you with the visa are no more applicable, your French visa may be cancelled.
Moreover, if the visa holder is unable to deliver the necessary criteria for entry to the border policeman, then a conclusion to invalidate or revoke the visa can be taken, yet not compulsorily.
Can I Enter Monaco with a French Schengen Visa?
Due to the Monaco-France agreement on visa practices, a France visa permits you to come into Monaco as well. Moreover, no border control is conducted between France and Monaco. Everything is controlled by the Franco-Monegasque Neighbourhood agreement which came into effect on 18 May 1963.
To get more information with respect to this, have a look at the article Monaco Visa Submission Necessities, Costs and Regulations!
Can I Enter Andorra with a French Schengen visa?
The diminutive nation of Andorra conducts border controls with Spain and France. Still, it allows travellers to visit its borders by using France short-stay visa, but only when have a multiple entry visa.
For further information, please go to the France Visa for U.S. Citizens and U.S. Passport holders page.
Take notice! To ensure you have the most current France Visa demands, please contact the Embassy of France in your country!