France Visa Types, Requirements, Application & Guidelines
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.
You can apply for the France Visa since 1997 when France, as a Member of the European Union, also became a member state of the Schengen Area.
Monaco – a European micro-state/city-state located within France – is considered part of the Schengen Area although it did not officially sign the particular documents of the agreement. Besides, no border control is performed for the Schengen countries surrounding it!
On the other hand, Andorra as another micro-state located between France and Spain performs border controls, therefore to enter it you should obtain a multi-entry Schengen visa since you should enter the Schengen Area while going or leaving Andorra.
Stat: As per 2017, France has issued a total of 3,161,274 uniform Schengen visas from 3,684,404 visa applications received at French consulates and embassies around the world. The Visa rejection rate was 13.64%.
Who does and who don’t need a Visa to enter France?
Not to every foreigner and not for every territory of France applies the same visa policy. As such, visa exemptions are greatly influenced by dissimilar factors, where the major ones are: foreigner’s nationality, the territory of the France that the applicant seeks to visit, foreigner’s residence status in Schengen Area or specifically in France, the purpose of visit, as well as duration of stay.
Speaking of France territories, the law separates them into three following parts, subject to dissimilar visa policies:
- French European Territory
- French Overseas Departments or Regions (DOM)
- French Overseas Territories (TOM)
Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions?
The following foreign nationals are FREE to travel WITHOUT French Visa for a short stays (up to 3 months) to Guadeloupe (and its dependencies: Saint Martin, Saint Barthélémy), French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion:
- Schengen Area member countries,
- Costa Rica,
- El Salvador,
- Hong-Kong (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
- Macao (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
- New Zealand,
- South Korea,
- The Holly See,
- United Kingdom,
- United States,
- Uruguay and
*Note: Nationals of the above listed countries CAN enter and stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions WITHOUT a French Visa, except for the following categories of foreign nationals, who MUST have a French Visa to stay in those territories:
- Nationals of the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela or Singapore who aim to work in these territories,
- Nationals of the United States who: aim to study there, hold a diplomatic or official or other service passport and aim to stay in these French territories in a diplomatic or official mission there, as well as those who aim to stay there for journalism purposes
All other foreign nationals of the excluded countries from the above list, CANNOT enter or stay in French Overseas Departments or Regions WITHOUT undergoing the French Visa Application procedure and getting the appropriate French Visa.
Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Territories?
The following foreign nationals are FREE to travel without a French Visa for a short stays (up to 3 months) in French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and its dependencies, (Terres Australes et Antarctiques françaises (TAAF)), Mayotte, Saint Pierre et Miquelon:
- Costa Rica,
- El Salvador,
- Hong-Kong * (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
- Macao* (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
- New Zealand,
- South Corea,
- United States and
Nationals which can enter in the French Overseas Territories WITHOUT a French Visa but CANNOT stay more than three (3) months or ninety (90) days there, come from the following countries:
- Schengen Area member countries,
- Saint Marin,
- The Holly See and
- United Kingdom.
*Note: Nationals of the above listed countries CAN enter and stay in the French Overseas Territories WITHOUT a French Visa, except for the following categories of foreign nationals, who MUST have a French Visa to stay in those territories:
- Nationals of Brasil, Canada, South Korea, United States, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore meaning to get a gainful job in these territories,
- Nationals of the United States if they: aim to get a job there, or, entering and staying there for journalism purposes
- Nationals of Hong-Kong and Macao will need a French Visa to enter and Stay in Overseas French Territory of New Caledonia.
All other foreign nationals of the excluded countries from the above list, CANNOT enter or stay in the French Overseas Territories WITHOUT undergoing the French Visa Application procedure and getting the appropriate French Visa.
General required documents for a France Visa Application:
- Download the France Visa Application form, fill it completely and with sincerity. You can also fill the France Schengen Visa application form electronically and then print a hard-copy.
- 2 photos must be attached; the photo should be of passport format – a recent whole-face capture with a light background. Learn more about photo requirements and specifications for a French Visa.
- Your passport and copies of your previous visas – valid for at least 3 months beyond return date – are required. Your passport must have at least two blank pages.
- A copy of your return-ticket reservation. It is not recommended to purchase the ticket before obtaining the visa – if not otherwise required
- Travel visa insurance confirmation of minimum 30,000 € coverage within France and the entire Schengen area. In order to apply for a French visa, the French embassy/consulate requires a Schengen travel insurance policy that is valid in all Schengen countries. French embassy/consulate also requires the confirmation of coverage letter as the proof of coverage to be submitted along with other requested documents and France visa application.
- A cover letter stating the purpose of a visit to France and itinerary
- Flight ticket reservations. Find out how to get a flight reservation for France Visa Application without paying the actual flight.
- Proof of accommodation for your entire stay in France. Book a hotel in France online!
- Proof of civil status (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card if applicable)
- Means of subsistence – Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay. As the European Commission specifies, any foreigner seeking to enter France, since 19 June 2014, when applying for France Visa must be able attesting to the France Embassy or Consulate possessing the daily money amount of 120€ if holding no proof of prepaid accommodation. If the applicant has a prepaid hotel, then this amount reduces to 65€/daily for the period of covered hotel accommodation, while the rest is 120€. Also, in case the applicant proofs cheaper forms of accommodation the amount decreases to 32.25€/ day.
UK residents, please read: How to Apply for a Visa to France in UK!
- Employment contract
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Leave approval letter from employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary
- A copy of your business license
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
If a student:
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months
- Regular income generated by property proof of the latest 6 months
*Note: The signed application form must be accompanied the rest of the above-mentioned mandatory documents and handed personally at the appropriate embassy/consulate or its representative in your home country.
Apart from the general documentation required, accompanying should be other additional documents depending on the purpose of your French Visa application.
List of additional documents required for the most frequent purposes of the France Visa Application:
French Tourist/Visitor Visa:
France Visa for Business Purposes:
- 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 stating/allowing your business travel
- If there were previous trade relations between the two companies, proof of such events must be provided
- Business bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Memorandum and Article of Association in original certified copy (registered with joint stock companies) Trade License (first issued and present renewal), Proprietorship/Partnership documents
- Regarding the applicant’s expenses during stay in the Schengen zone, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.
France Visa for Medical Purposes
France Visa for Medical Purposes is destined for foreigners who need to enter and stay in a French territory temporarily to get a medical treatment in a medical institution located in a French territory. Typically this visa type is issued to foreigners who cannot get the appropriate healthcare in their home country.
Apart from the general requirements, the following are the specific additional documents to apply for this French visa type:
- A Letter of invitation from the medical institution, or, A Formal Agreement of the French Hospital for Patient’s Admission – Both documents must include information such as the aim of the foreign patient’s consult, his/her current diagnosis, information about the therapy to take, the length of it, the appointment date, medical costs involved, the main doctor in charge, and so on. For critical or emergent cases, the invitation letter must be enclosed together with a formal confirmation from the medical institution – stating the readiness to treat the patient on a specific date of arrival.
- Evidence of a Prepaid or Covered Medical Treatment
- Payment receipt of medical fees from the French Hospital – A letter affirming the costs of the patient’s treatment are already covered.
- Detailed information on medical treatment fee – issued by the medical institution’s financial department (for uncovered medical treatment)
- A bank transfer slip confirming the payment of a medical treatment fee (for prepaid medical treatment of the applicant)
- A guarantee letter from the applicant – An affirmation certificate to assure the patient’s capacity to cope with the extra medical costs (when expecting unforeseen costs of medical treatment to happen)
- Verbal note from the Embassy of the home country of the applicant in France, or, Verbal Note from the Ministry of Health of the home country
The formal document must declare the readiness of the relevant government of the applicant’s home country to cover his medical treatment costs (for covered medical treatment by the Government of the home country of the applicant)
- A Letter of Confirmation from the Employer – i.e. A Bank Statement of the Employer – A letter confirming the employer’s financial capability to cover his employee’s medical treatment in a French territory (for covered medical treatment by the Employer of the applicant) – if applicable
- Birth Certificate (for a minor applicant) – The certificate must be provided in original accompanied with a copy
- Letter of Consent from the Other Parent (for a minor applicant travelling with one parent) – A formal document from a parent, translated in a French language and notarized, stating he/she has no objection about his child travelling
- Letter of Consent from the Both Parents (for a minor applicant travelling with a third person) – A formal document from both parents, translated in a French language and notarized, stating they have no objection about his child travelling.
- Copies of Valid Schengen Visas (of accompanying parent, parents or third person of a minor).
- Medical Report from A Doctor In Charge Of Treatment in the Country of Residence of The Applicant.
- Confirmed Hotel Reservation or Confirmed Accomodation in the Medical Clinic (for accompanying persons of the applicant).
- A certificate from the national medical authority for the incapacity of the country to offer the appropriate medical treatment for the applicant’s condition.
- Registration Certificate of the patient in the national list for organs and cornea transplant issued by the medical and surgical team performing the transplant (In case of transplant).
France Visa for Culture, Sports, Film Crew or Religious Purposes:
- Invitation letter from the above-mentioned authorities with details upon the nature of events or activities – purpose of visit, expense coverage
- Names of the applicants (crew members)
- Duration of stay in France
- Travel itinerary while in France
France Visa for Members of Official Delegations:
- The official invitation copy
- Identity of applicant
- Purpose of journey (negotiations, meetings, event by intergovernmental organizations, consultations)
- Duration of stay in France
- Place of accommodation in France
France Visa for Study, Training, Research, or other type of Internship Purposes:
- An enrolment certificate allowing attendance of courses
- Certificate of completion or courses attended
- Financial sustenance
France Visa For The Wife/Husband of a French citizen:
- 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 Airport Transit Visa:
- Visa or other type of entry permit in the transit country
- Copy of your valid visa for your final destination
For more detailed requirements, please read the following article “French Visa for Airport Transit“!
France Visa for Underage Children:
- Proof of parent’s regular income (work contract with specified monthly income or a bank statement or business license)
- Notarised travel permission from parent (parental travel consent)
- If one parent lives in another country – their notarised parental travel consent
*Note: When applying at the French embassy/consulate in home country, the guardian or parent should accompany their under-age children.
France Tech Visa (Available soon)
The French Tech Visa is part of the “Passport Talent ” scheme which was launched in 2016.
The French Tech Visa aims to attract foreign tech talents:
- Foreign start-up & scale-up founders and employees,
- Foreign talents joining a French start-up or scale-up,
- Foreign investors and business angels.
Read more: France creates a special visa for entrepreneurs, engineers and investors
French Visa Application Fee
A fee applies towards each applicant who submits a French visa application.
Regular application fees for submitting a French visa application:
- If required a short-stay or airport transit visa for France the application fee is 60€ (unless otherwise stated on the visa sticker)
- If required a short-stay or airport transit visa for a French Overseas Department or Region the application fee is 60€
- If required a short-stay or airport transit visa for a French Overseas Territories the application fee is 9€
- If required a long-stay visa for France the application fee is 99€
- If required a national long-stay student for French territory the application fee is 50€
- If required a national long-stay visa for France and other French territorial areas, for a foreign child legally adopted by French citizens the application fee is 15€
Reduced rates to 35€, are applied to:
- Children of 6-11 age (not including French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Mayotte and French Southern and Antartctic Lands
- Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia,
- Citizens of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Albania, Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro who DO NOT hold biometric passport yet
There are NO visa fees for:
- A foreign member of family or a citizen of another Member State of EU/EEA and Switzerland,
- A foreign wife or husband of a French citizen
- A foreign national holding a diplomatic or service passport
- A child below the age of 6 (not including New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Mayotte and French Southern and Antarctic Lands
- A student of primary and secondary school on a study visit to a French school, or traveling for other study purposes or educational training in a French territory,
- A foreign national, holder of French government study grants,
- A foreign national, holder of foreign governments, foundations or EU study grants,
- A foreign national, beneficiary of a youth mobility from a France-Canada agreement
- A foreign national, beneficiary of a working holiday from a France-Japan, France-Korea, France-Argentina or France Columbia agreement,
- A foreign teacher, accompanying groups in a study trip or educational training in a French territory
- A foreign scientific researcher
- A foreign seasonal worker
- A foreign national of Montenegro, Turkey and Serbia gainfully employed in a French territory and his family members from family reunification,
- A foreign national who teaches French (not including his family members)
- A foreign language assistant and teaching assistant
*Note: If the visa is denied, visa fee will not reimbursed by the French diplomatic office.
France Visa FAQs
Can I extend a Schengen visa in France?
Yes, you can extend your French Schengen visa but only in exceptional cases where new facts and special reasons arise after entry in France.
Please read How to Extend a Schengen Visa to understand in what circumstances and what are the conditions you must fulfill in order to be eligible to Extend your French Short-stay Visa.
Do US citizens need a visa for France?
Generally, the US citizens are NOT required to possess a France Visa for entering and staying in the French European territory, in the French Overseas Départments, or, in French Overseas Territories. However, they MUST possess a visa if intending to get involved in a gainful job in a journalistic activity in any of French European territories, Overseas Départments, or, in the Overseas Territories.
As well, US citizens MUST have a French Visa to enter and stay in French Overseas Départments if they intend to study there, possess a diplomatic, official, or other service passport, or, those who want to get involved in a diplomatic or official mission there.
How long can a US citizen stay in France without a visa?
Despite that US citizens enjoy the right to enter and stay in any of French territories without a visa, the allowed days of stay in these territories are limited though. The permitted days of stay, at once, for US nationals is 90 days or 3 months, considered a short-stay.
For more information please click France Visa for U.S. Citizens and U.S. Passport holders.
For more FAQs please click here!
Attention! Please consult the Embassy of France in your country for the updated France Visa requirements!
Last Updated on