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France Visa Application Requirements, Fees and Guidelines

France Visa Application Requirements:

Located in Western Europe, France is one of the most influential countries in the politics of the European Union and the world.

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France Visa Application Requirements

Aside of the French European Territory, the Republic of France also consists of two overseas territories, which are:

  • French Overseas Departments or Regions (DTOM)
  • French Overseas Territories and Collectivities (CTOM)

Metropolitan France has been part of the Schengen Zone since 1997 when it signed the Schengen Agreement. With an area of 551,695 km2 only in the continent of Europe, France is the top European destination for travelers around the world. With its sea, mountains, historical sites, amazing museums and monuments, food, and fine wine, France attracted around 89 million tourists in 2017.

In the same year, French embassies/consulates around the globe admitted and processed 3,684,404 Schengen visa applications to France. Permission to enter France, also allows you to enter the city-state of Monaco and the microstate of Andorra.

Depending on the purpose of your travel to France, there are different types of visas that will apply to the occasion. Whether you are planning to go on a visit, study, or work and reside in France permanently, you will have to apply for a different France Schengen Visa, accordingly.

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France Entry Requirements

Due to the abolished borders between the member states, EU nationals only need an identification document, to travel throughout the Schengen Area.

On the other hand, foreign nationals will need to present several statutory documents when they show up at the French port of entry. Find these documents listed below:

  • A valid passport or travel document. Issued in the last 10 years, it should be valid for at least 3 months after your departure date.
  • A visa – if you are subject to the French visa regime.
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your intended stay in France. France wants you to show evidence of attesting 120€ per day if holding no proof of prepaid accommodation, and 65€ per day in the other case.
  • A round-trip ticket to France and back.
  • Proof of accommodation. Covering the entire duration of the stay.

Keep in mind that the French border officer holds the final decision on whether you should be permitted to enter France or not. He or she will check your documents and may ask you a few questions about your trip to France like:

  • What is your purpose for visiting France?
  • How long do you intend to stay in France?
  • Where are you going to stay in France? Etc.

You will be permitted to enter France, and thus the Schengen Area if the French border officer is convinced that your documents and purpose of entry are okay.

Please, make sure that the French border officer stamps your passport when you enter France. Without a stamp, you could be fined or detained in France.

France Entry Restrictions in Response to Coronavirus

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, France and the rest of the EU and Schengen Area members imposed an EU-wide entry ban on third-country nationals in mid-March 2020. Entry restrictions are frequently changing based on the COVID-19 situation in other countries.

Who Needs a Schengen Visa to Enter France?

Because of the Schengen zone common travel area, part of which France is, the following will need to obtain a visa when traveling to the French territory in the continent of Europe for short-stays:

  • Passport holders of third-world countries that have not reached a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen states
  • Passport holders of third-world countries that have signed a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen states, but were rejected from entering France or any other Schengen country.

Please note that visa policies of French Overseas Territories, Departments, or Regions are a bit different from those of Metropolitan France.  Depending on your nationality, you may have to obtain a visa to visit these countries as well.

If you need a visa, then you will have to apply for a French long-stay National Visa. Apply for the long-stay French visa type that best corresponds to your purpose of entry to the French DROM or CTOM.

What Type of Visa Do I Need to Enter France?

Before starting your France Schengen Visa application, you should check what type of French visa for short stays you need. According to the reason why you want to enter and stay in France for up to 90 days, you can apply for one of the following Schengen visa types for France:

  • French Transit Visa. If you need to land in one of the French airports to take a flight that will take you to a non-Schengen country.
  • French Tourist Visa. If you wish to visit France for vacation or explore and sightseeing.
  • French Visa for Visiting Family or Friends. You will need to apply for this visa if you wish to visit friends or family members that live in France.
  • France Business If you need to attend a business meeting or other business-related activities in France.
  • France Visa for Official Visit. If you are part of a foreign Official Delegation invited to France for an official visit.
  • France Medical Visa. If you need to obtain medical treatment in a hospital located in France.
  • French Study Visa. If you wish to attend an up-to-three-month study country at an educational institution in France.
  • France Visa for Cultural, Sports, and Film Crews. If you are going to attend an activity in France that is related to sports or culture.

Remember that these visas permit you to stay in France for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. If you need a visa to stay in France for a longer period, apply for a French National Visa instead.

What Documents Are Required for a French Schengen Visa Application?

The statutory documents when applying for a short-term French visa are as follows:

  • French visa application form. Fulfill the form with your computer, print it, and sign it at the end.
  • Two passport photos. The photos should be identical and taken according to the photograph requirements & specifications for the French Schengen visa application.
  • Your valid passport. Make sure your passport is not older than 10 years, and that it has a validity of at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave France and the whole territory of Schengen.
  • Copies of your previous visas. If you have ever held a visa to France, the Schengen territory, or another country in the world, provide the embassy/consulate with copies of those visas.
  • France Travel Health Insurance. Purchase travel health insurance valid for the territory of metropolitan France and all of the other Schengen countries. Provide a document that confirms your insurance covers medical emergencies in this zone with a minimum coverage of 30,000€.
  • A cover letter. Explain clearly and truthfully in this letter why you wish to enter France, what you will be doing here during your permitted stay, and other details regarding your trip.
  • Round-trip Flight Itinerary. If you plan to enter France by the air, submit a flight reservation with the dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from France.
  • Proof of accommodation. I.e. Hotel reservation for the whole duration of the intended stay in France.
  • Proof of civil status. This could be a marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, etc.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay in France. You must show evidence you possess the daily money amount of 120€ if holding no proof of prepaid accommodation. On the other hand, if you have already arranged your accommodation and you do not need to pay anything upon your arrival in France, this amount reduces to 65€. Moreover, in case the applicant has cheaper forms of accommodation the amount decreases to 32.25€ per day.
Additional French Visa Requirements Based on Your Employment Status

Based on your occupational status, you will need to submit some additional documents when applying for a visa to France, as follows:

If employed:

  • Employment contract
  • Current bank statement for the latest 6 months
  • Leave permission from the employer
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary

If self-employed:

  • A copy of your business license
  • Company bank statement for the latest 6 months
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)

If a student:

  • Proof of enrollment
  • No-objection certificate from school or university
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If retired:

  • Pension statement of the latest 6 months

If applicable:

  • Proof of regular income generated by the property, for the last 6 months

Additional French Visa Requirements for Minors

Minors applying to get a short-stay visa to France, or parents applying for their minor child to get a visa, will need to add the following documents in their application file:

  • Birth certificate of the minor traveling to France.
  • France application form signed by both parents.
  • Family court order. In cases where only one parent has full custody of the child.
  • Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents.
  • A notarized parental authorization to travel to France, signed by both parents/guardians if the minor will be traveling alone.
Additional Requirements Based on the Purpose of Entry to France

Depending on your purpose for entry to France, you will need to provide some additional documents. Following find the extra required documents based on your purpose of traveling to France.

Required Documents for an Airport Transit Schengen Visa to France

If you need to land in one of the French airports, in order to take a flight to your non-Schengen destination country, you need to submit the following additional documents:

  • A valid visa (if needed) for the final country one is traveling to.
  • The flight ticket for the final country you are traveling to.
Required Documents for a Transit Schengen Visa to France

If you are reaching France by sea, in order to catch another vessel to another country, you will need to provide the following additional documents:

  • A valid visa (if required) for the final country you are traveling to.
  • The ticket for the final country you are traveling to.
  • Original and photocopy of Seaman’s book (required only for seafarers).
  • Letter from the inviting Shipping Company. Issued by the inviting Shipping Company in the Schengen country in which the seafarer will disembark (required only for seafarers).
  • Employment contract. Contract with the navigation company/ship in order to board the ship (required only for seafarers).
Required Documents for a Tourist Schengen Visa to France

When applying to obtain a French Tourist visa, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • Bank statement. Preferably for the last 6 months.
  • Travel Itinerary. A detailed elaboration of your trip, which includes the purpose of traveling, the time frame, and activities you will attend, as hotel reservations or proof of other forms of accommodation.
  • Proof of how you will be financing your trip to France.
Required Documents for a Schengen Visitor Visa to France

When applying to obtain a visa to visit your friends or relatives in France, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • Proof of financial means. Evidence that shows you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay in France. This could be a:
    • Bank account statement.
    • Sponsorship Letter. When another person will be financially sponsoring your trip to France. It is also often called an Affidavit of Support.
    • A combination of both.
  • Travel Itinerary. Which is a description of your trip to France, including your purpose for traveling to France, entry and exit dates, as well as where you will be accommodated.
  • Letter of Invitation. By a relative/friend residing in France, inviting you to visit.
  • Proof of relationship with the host residing in France.
  • Attestation d’accueil. This is an Accommodation Certificate/Hospitality Certificate issued by the relevant French authorities in your host’s city of residence in France. To obtain this certificate, your host in France must submit the following documents:
    • Proof of identity.
    • A document that proves their status as owner, tenant, or occupant of the apartment in France where they will host you.
    • Proof of last residence (water, electricity, or telephone bill or rent receipt).
    • Any document that justifies their financial resources (the previous three pays lips, the last tax return) and its obligation to financially support the foreigner if it has a shortage.
    • Any document about their ability to accommodate you under French standard housing conditions (concerning space, safety, hygiene, and comfort).
    • Issuance of Certificate costs 30€ paid with usual tax stamps.
Required Documents for a Business Schengen Visa to France

When applying to obtain a French Business visa, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • Invitation letter from the French company you will be visiting and their detailed address accompanied with the dates of your visit.
  • A certificate from your employer. In this letter should be stated why you will be traveling to France.
  • Business bank statement. Preferably for the last 6 months.
  • Memorandum and Article of Association. It should be submitted in original certified copy (registered with joint stock companies).
  • Trade License (first issued and present renewal).
  • Proof of trip financing. Regarding the applicant’s expenses during their stay in France, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.
Required Documents for a Student Schengen Visa to France

When applying to get a French Student visa, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • An enrollment certificate allowing attendance of courses (school/university/language course / etc.), in France.
  • No objection letter from the educational institution where you are currently enrolled (if applicable).
  • Internship agreement signed between the company in France, the establishment of origin, and the trainee.
Required Documents for a Medical Schengen Visa to France

When applying to get a visa to receive medical care in France, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • A local medical report. Issued from a doctor/clinic/hospital in your home country, confirming that you need medical treatment in France.
  • A medical attestation from the hospital or doctor in France, confirming the date of your appointment as well as your medical situation.
  • Receipt of paid medical fees.
  • Official confirmation of the treatment/appointment by the receiving medical institution (hospital/clinic) in
  • Proof that you have sufficient financial means to pay the medical expenses and other related expenses throughout your treatment.
Required Documents for a Schengen Visa to France for Cultural, Sports, Film Crew, or Religious Purposes

When applying to get a French visa for the purpose of attending a Cultural / Sports / Religious Event in France you must provide the following additional documents:

  • Event Information. As:
    • Invitation letter from the relevant body in France with details upon the nature of events or activities that are to be held in France.
    • Entry tickets to the event.
    • Enrollment conditions.
    • Detailed program of the event in France.
    • Other documents present the Names of the applicants (crew members) and other relevant information about the event.
  • Proof of previous performances. Participation in previous festivals and ceremonies (cultural, religious), sports competitions, winners’ certificates, and proof of world/international ranking (sports).
Required Documents for a French Schengen Visa for the Wife/Husband of a French Citizen

When applying to get a French visa as the spouse of a French national/citizen, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • Proof of French citizenship (ID card or consular card or certification of French nationality or naturalization order).
  • French marriage certificate.
  • French family record book.
French Schengen Visa for Members of Official Delegations

When applying to get a French visa as a member of an official delegation, you must provide the following additional documents:

  • The official invitation copy.
  • Evidence on the purpose of the journey (negotiations, meetings, events by intergovernmental organizations, consultations).
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