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Do I Need a Visa to Travel to France?
France is listed among the Schengen zone of the EU, in which states have jointly agreed their visa requirements towards third country nationals. However, each state may enforce specific regulations concerning the travel documents it asks from citizens of different countries. Legally speaking French territories are divided into French European Territory, French Overseas Departments/Regions and French Overseas Territories where different visa rules apply outside of the Schengen area. French overseas departments consist of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion whereas the overseas territories are as follows French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna. European territory of France is the only part that belongs to the common Schengen zone. You can find out whether you need an entry visa to travel to France using the online visa assistant platform.
France Visa Types
There are different visa types including single-entry, double-entry, multiple-entry and airport transit visas that enable holders to enter France for stays up to 90 days in periods of 180 days. Single-entry visa grants one time entrance whereas double-entry visa holders may travel twice in designated times. On the other hand, multiple-entry visa allows for consecutive visits not exceeding the time constraints.
What is Schengen Visa?
Schengen visa allows its holder to move freely within the Schengen area for a short period. The Schengen area comprises of 26 European countries, namely the Schengen States, among which border controls are abolished. Therefore, passengers who wish to travel in the Schengen area either for business-related or touristic visits are obliged to obtain Schengen visa for stays up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. The complete list of Schengen States include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
France Category C visa- For Short Stay Visits
France Schengen Visa Types:
- France Airport Transit Visa: enables the transit at the airport for connected flights. It is valid only for the international zones. Citizens from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka are requested France airport transit visa. This requirement is not valid for holders of diplomatic passports.
- France Business Visa: is applicable to those who would like to apply for the Schengen visa with the purpose of doing business in the Schengen area. It is usually valid for stays up to 90 days.
- France Tourist Visa: is granted to third country citizens who seek to visit the Schengen states for entertainment and for stays not exceeding 90 days.
- France Visitor Visa: is required for the third country citizens who would like to travel to the Schengen area in order to visit family members, relatives or friends. In this case, a letter of invitation by the person you’ll be visiting is mandatory. Visitor visa is valid for 90 days within 6 months.
- France Cultural Visa: is obtained for short term cultural visits allowing the holder to attend culture, sports and religion events. The terms of stay are restricted to 90 days within 6 months period.
- France Medical Treatment Visa: enables the holder to receive medical treatment for healthcare reasons in one of the Schengen states and for stays up to 90 days. Patients may be asked to submit supporting documents on their medical needs or approval from the French healthcare center whose details can be reached online.
France Category D visa- For Long Stay Visits
France National Visa Types:
- France Student Visa: are granted to third country citizens who seek to stay in France for study purposes. Admission to a study program is among the prerequisites for applying a student visa. Holders of this type of visa are entitled to apply for residence permit for stays exceeding 90 days.
- France Employment Visa: are granted to non-EU citizens who fulfill the specific conditions to be eligible for working in Finland. An employment contract or binding offer is essential for the processing your application.
- France Job Seeker Visa: is given only to previous students who have studied and left France following a minimum qualification of master’s level at a French educational institution and who would like to return to France for seeking employment in four years after the graduation. It also allows setting up one’s own business.
- France Family Reunion Visa: is the type of visa that can be obtained by French residents’ family members who would like to visit France. The terms of application vary under specific circumstances such as whether the applicant is EU/EEA national, holding French citizenship or a foreign national residing in France. Further details can be reached online.
- France Researcher Visa: refers to guest scientist or visiting scholar visas granted to non-EU citizens who wish to engage in research activities in an established research institution for a designated time.
- France Freelancer Visa: is granted to third country nationals who seek to go to France to work as self-employed individuals in a liberal activity. Your supporting documents shall include economic viability of your project with sufficient financial resources corresponding to the minimum wage for full-time work in France. Your visa will entitle you residence permit as self-employed in regulated liberal profession upon validation following fifteen days of your arrival.
- France Language Course Visa: is an educational visa given to non-EU citizens who intend to enroll in a language course for a period of 3-12 months. Confirmed registration to the course along with other documents is required to obtain this type of visa.
- France Student Internship Visa: are requested from third country citizens who would like to do an internship in France. Therefore, an approval letter/ training agreement from your prospective employer and permission to work are among the documents to attach to your application file. You will be issued a short-term or long-term visa depending on the amount of time you will stay in France.
- France Partnership Visa: spouse of a French citizen holding his/her own country’s passport which does not have any bilateral visa free agreements with France are entitled to apply for an entry visa of such kind. Spouse of a French national is granted a short-term visa upon proof of his/her marital status and the nationality of the spouse along with the supporting documents.
- France Work Permit Visa: shall be obtained by people who are eligible to work in Finland.
- France Relative Visa: relatives of a French citizen may apply for an entry visa if they do not obtain EU/Schengen passport, residence permit or the passport of a country which has visa bilateral free agreements with France.
General Requirements to Apply for France Visa
France’s tourist visa requirements and application procedures are explained for specific categories below. In general, applicants must submit their applications comprising of the requested documents to the Diplomatic Mission or authorized visa application centers in due time. Please bear in mind that the necessary documents may differ depending on the term and purpose of your stay, hence the category of your visa.
France Visa Applications
- A passport with at minimum two blank pages and is valid for at least 90 days after the end of travel. Copy of the first page including personal data and previous Schengen visas if obtained.
- Completed and signed visa application form along with two biometric photos that are not older than 6 months.
- Proof of travel with confirmed both-way tickets.
- Bank account details proving that the passenger can sufficiently fund his/her travel.
- Evidence of occupation in the form of certified documents through employer letter, student certificate, document of registration or demonstration of pension funds.
- Accommodation details through an invitation letter or proof of your hotel reservation throughout your stay.
- Documentation of travel health insurance that will cover up to 30.000 euros throughout the period of travel and is valid within the entire Schengen area.
There are specific documents to attach to your application dossier depending on your status of employment.
- Employment contract (original certificate of employment indicating the position in the company and the salary)
- Bank account statement of the past 6 months
- Approval letter of leave from employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Proof of business license (company registration)
- Company’s bank account statement of the past 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- Documentation of University enrollment
- No-objection certificate from school management
- Pension statement documenting the past 6 months
- Proof of financial resources is nevertheless required
- If the person is not able to finance his/her own expenses, proof of a sponsor is mandatory.
What is Visa Sponsorship for France?
Students or unemployed/retired people who are not in a position to cover their own travel expenses will need to demonstrate support from a sponsor who will borne the full costs. The sponsor is entitled to certain requirements. Hence, only first grade relatives can fulfill this position. You can check our website for all the relevant details.
France Visa Rules
- Proving the means of substance, including a minimum of 120 euros per day if the applicant lacks accommodation bookings, is crucial for the application. If the lodgings are prepaid, the amount to be demonstrated shall decrease to 35 euros for each day of your stay.
- As a rule, applicants shall personally submit their visa applications in due time, with all the necessary documents, at the French Diplomatic Mission authorized in their place of residence.
- Your passport must have at least two blank pages left, and it shouldn’t be older than 10 years.
France Visa Requirements
In addition to above mentioned application documents, general requirements include:
France Visa requirements for Non-Europeans
The general requirements for non-Europeans wishing to enter the EU conform to above mentioned procedures. In case of an invitation to support the documentation process, contact details of the host organisation or private host such as name, address, relation to the guest, purpose and length of visit shall be included in the application. However, a formal invitation does not secure positive result of the application.
France visa for European countries
Citizens of European countries can benefit from visa-free travel opportunities within the borders of the European Union.
France Visa requirement for US, UK, and Canadian citizens
- US citizens holding US passports valid for at least 3 months from intended return date from Finland are not obliged to obtain a visa for touristic or business purposes as well as airport transits for stays up to 90 days.
- UK is not included in the Schengen area. Moreover, the UK citizens won’t have the right to freedom of movement in the European Union since the UK officially leaves the EU as of 31 January 2020. However, the UK citizens has not been asked for entry visas for France up until now. The details will be formalized following a possible post-Brexit transition period.
- Canadian citizens are not obliged to get a visa to travel to Schengen countries for stays up to 90 days within a period of 180 days.
France Visa Fees
You can find below fixed fees for different types of French visas determined by authorities as of March 2020. The visa fees includes consultation, submission and processing of your application. However, please keep in mind that under specific conditions some applicants may be exempt from visa fees or benefit from reduced prices. The visa fee is non-refundable, thus in the case of rejection of your application reimbursements are not available.
|Short-Stay Visa (Adults)
|Airport Transit Visa
|Children Between 6-12 Years of Age
|Children Younger Than 6 Years of Age
||Free of Charge
|Nationals of Countries which signed the Visa Fee Facilitation Agreement with the EU
NOTE: This article was prepared in March 2020. Please check up-to-date information published by official sources.
Frequently Asked Questions