Whether you need a visa to France depends on:
- Your nationality.
- The purpose of your visit to France.
- Duration of your stay in France
First, you should know that there are two types of France visa:
- Short-stay (non-immigrant)
- Long stay (Immigrant)
When you visit France for up to 90 days, your stay is a short term. A few countries are free of France short-stay visa. But many more need it. If you need a France short-stay visa, you have to apply for the right type of visa.
When you want to visit France for longer than 90 days, your visit is long-term. Almost all countries need a visa or residence permit for long-stays in France. The type depends on the purpose of your visit. It could be studying, work, etc. you could find the appropriate type of France long-stay visa in the sections below.
Requirements for a France Visa
These are the required documents you need to apply for a France visa:
France Visa Application Form
There are two types of application form for a France visa:
- Short-stay form
- Long-stay form
You must complete the right application according to the purpose of your visit.
Two passport-style photos taken recently
Your passport must have been issued in the past ten years. It must also be valid for at least three months over the end of your travel. It must have two blank pages.
Copies of older visas
If you have had visas for other countries, provide a copy.
Travel Medical Insurance
You have to provide evidence that you have bought medical insurance. It must cover any health problem you might have in France and Schengen areas for €30,000.
It must include all the things you will do in France.
Proof to have enough funds
You have to declare how you will pay your expenses in France. So you must submit these documents:
- Bank statements.
- In case you will work in France, an employment contract.
- If you are retired, the retirement benefit plan.
- If you have income from a rented property, provide a copy of the documents.
- In case you are staying with a host, he/she must prove to have enough money to cover you in France.
- Any other evidence to prove you have the funds to cover yourself in France.
Proof of accommodation in France
It shows where you will stay in France. You could submit one of these documents according to the purpose of your visit:
- Hotel reservation.
- Rental contract.
- Certificate of owned property in France.
Criminal record certificate
It shows you have a clean police record.
Proof of paid France visa fee
Keep the receipt of paid visa fee.
Requirements Based on Your Employment Status
- Contract of employment.
- A copy of your bank statements for the past six months.
- Leave permission from your employer.
- Income Tax Return (ITR).
- A copy of your business registration/license.
- A copy of your bank statements for the past six months.
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
If a student
- Proof of enrollment
- The certificate of no-objection from school or university
- Pension statement of the latest six months
France Visa Required Documents for Minors
If your minors are traveling with you, you have to provide these documents for them:
- Certificate of birth
- Application form which is signed by both parents.
- Family court order. This is when only one parent has full custody of the child.
- Verified copies of IDs/passports of both parents/guardians.
- A certifies parental permission to travel to France, signed by both parents if the minor is traveling alone with another person.
You have to submit all the original forms of documents and their photocopy. If your documents are not in French, you should have them translated in English/French. Remember to have the original documents, their translation, and copies of both.
France Visa Application
The application process for a France visa is as follows:
Step 1. Choose the right Embassy, consulate or visa center
To apply for this visa, you have to submit your documents to:
- French embassy or consulate.
- A verified visa center
Yet, if you will visit other countries aside from France in Europe, you have to apply for a visa at the Embassy of the country where you will spend most of your time.
If you stay for the same amount of time in two European countries, you have to apply at the embassy of the country where you will be landing first.
Step 2. Gather the required documents
First, you should determine what type of France visa you need. The documents depend on the type of visa you apply for. But you can find the general required documents for a France visa here.
Step 3. Book an interview
When you made up your mind about where to apply, book an interview. In some countries, you can arrange an interview online. In a few ones, you could not.
If you don’t book an interview, the officials won’t’ accept you for the interview.
Step 4. Participate in the interview
Get to your interview on time. In case you arrive even a few minutes late, your interview might get canceled. Wearing something a bit official is wise.
The interview will take about ten minutes. The officials will ask you some questions about your trips and your intentions to visit France. Try to be calm and relaxed. Give honest answers.
When your application got approved, it will get into the online system of the consulate or embassy. The processing takes about 10-15 days. Then you will receive a printed copy of your application. Once you received it, check and approve the details are correct and sign them.
Step 5. Pay the French Visa fee
When you submit the French visa application, you should pay the fees. Once you have paid, you will get a receipt. Keep this receipt to show it to the officials during the interview. IF you don’t’ pay the France visa fees, your application won’t get processed.
Step 6. France Visa Processing Time
Your France visa application will get processed in 5-20 working days.
But France’s long stay-visa will take longer than this. It can 15-20 days or up to two months.
The processing time for a short-stay visa to see the French Overseas territories is between five days to three weeks. Long stay visas to these territories can take up to two months.
Do You Need a Visa to Travel to France?
France is one of the EU and the Schengen Area. So the same rules apply in it as the other members. Whether you need a France visa or not depends on:
- Your nationality
- Duration of your stay
- The purpose of your visit.
Whether you need a France short-stay visa or not is a key element in France visa application process. The EU, EEA, and Schengen Area are free of France short-stay visa. Apart from them, there are also other countries that are exempt from France short-stay visa. They can visit France with a travel document or passport. For or long-stays, they need the right type of visa.
Almost all countries need a visa for long-stays in France. They might also need a residence permit as well.
Requirements for a France visa
When you know you need a visa to enter France, you should go through the application process. An important part of the application is gathering requirements. They will reveal everything about you. In case one part of the requirements is missing or faulty, your application takes longer. Visa denial due to fault in requirements is common.
The France visa types come in two categories:
- Non-immigrant visas (Short Stay)
- Immigrant visas (long-stay visas)
Non-immigrant visas (Short Stay)
France Transit Visa comes into the short-stay visa types. For foreign passengers who make a short stay in the international zone of a French airport, they can travel to another place. By a France Transit visa, you can only access the international area of a French airport. You may not enter Schengen territory.
You need this visa because Schengen law DOES NOT ALLOW foreigners to travel/stay in the French international zone without the visa.
France business visa is permission to enter the country and perform whatever business purpose you have. Under this visa, you can not get involved in any paid job. It’s just visiting. You can use a business visa to:
- Take part in conferences or meetings.
- Attend or provide training.
- Visit industries, companies, etc.
- Provide temporary services.
If you want to travel to France, the most visited country in the world for tourism, you might need a France tourist visa. It allows you to enter France and the other Schengen countries for up to 90 days. Please note that it’s easy to get a tourist visa, but it has a few limitations.
The non-EU students who want to visit France to study up to three months need a France Short-Stay Student Visa. It is not for students to attend colleges or universities. The short-stay student visa is only for:
- Language courses.
- Attend a university entrance interview.
- Take part in training as a student.
- Get training as a student
You should fulfill the requirements to be eligible for a France Short-Stay Student Visa.
Immigrant visas (long-stay visas)
The France immigrant visas (long-stay visas) are as follows:
If you have a relative living in France and want to visit him/her, you could apply for a France family visa. It allows you to stay with him/her for up to a year. The relative could be your family members, spouse, child, or parent. The family visa has special requirements and eligibility criteria. There are different rules based on your relative’s nationality and the situation in France.
In case you wish to continue your education in one of the French universities or education centers for longer than three months, you need a France student visa. It lets you stay in the country to complete your course. Also, you can work for a limited time. There are subcategories for a student visa depending on:
- Your course
- The duration of your study course
You should apply for an appropriate visa.
International workers who want to get a job in France for longer than 90 days need to apply for a France work visa. The French authorities are strict with their immigration laws. It is also true with a work visa. It has particular requirements and eligibility. There are different types of work visas, depending on the work you will do in France.
France Working Holiday Visa
The nationals of 13 countries that have signed France holiday program agreement with France can apply for France Working Holiday Visa. Its validity is up to one year that can not get extended.
The main purpose behind this program is to give a chance to the youngster in these 13 countries to:
- Visit France
- Learn its language
- Discover the culture
- Visit tourist attractions and make money during their stay.
Passport Talent Card
The Passport Talent Card is for foreign employees and self-employed people to work in France. Passport talent is for people who will make a notable impact on France’s economy through their skills or talent. This visa involves different categories and lets you stay for up to four years. You can bring your family, and they have the right to work.
Any foreign national who wants to stay in France for longer than 90 days need a Residence permit. If you don’t have a residence permit, your stay will be illegal.
Carte de resident
‘Carte de resident’ is a type of residence permit for such groups:
- Expats retiring in France
- parents of a French-born child
- Spouses of French citizens
- The people who have renewed
- The people who have just renewed their ‘Carte de Séjour’ for more than three years in a row.
Carte de Séjour”
It’s a residence permit for foreigners who want to stay in France for one year that can get extended up to four years. It has several subcategories.