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visa application

Do I need a visa application to visit France?

Are you planning to visit France recently ? For citizens of certain countries, you may need to apply a visa to come in the France and/or in other European countries. This article aims to give you information about visa application to visit France, as of the rules applicable at the date of parution of this article (February 2018).

Do I need a visa application to visit France?

For most of the visitors, the necessary visa is a “Short stay (less than 90 days) visa”. That’s why we are mainly talking about this kind of visa application to visit France in this article.

Speaking of “France”, we need to identify 3 words :

– French European Territory

– French Overseas Départments or Regions (DOM)

  • Guadeloupe (and its dependencies: Saint Martin, Saint Barthélémy), French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion

– French Overseas Territories (TOM)

As a part of the Schengen Area, French European Territory requires short-stay (less than 90 days) Schengen visa. If you are visiting just The France, you should submit your application to a French embassy; but if you are planning to visit more than one country in the Schengen zone, you need to go to the embassy of your main destination (the country where you will stay most of your trip). However, if you are national or have a resident card of Schengen Area’s countreis, you won’t need this tourist visa.

visa application

visa application

If you want to go to DOM area, you need also a short-stay visa unless you fall under one of these situations :

  • Nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

– Holders of a currently valid residency document for France, regardless of their Citizenship;

– Nationals of the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Holy See, Singapore, Uruguay, Venezuela, Mauritius, Seychelles, Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis.

– Holders of passports from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (People’s Republic of China) and the Macau Special Administrative Region (People’s Republic of China).

– Facilitation for cruise ship passengers: besides the categories of foreigners that are already visa-exempt, cruise ship passengers meeting the following criteria may enter without an overseas visa during their stopover:

  • holders of a currently valid Schengen visa issued by France;
  • holders of a currently valid residency document issued by a member state of the European Union, the European Economic Area or by Switzerland, Andorra or Monaco;
  • holders of a currently valid residency document issued by Canada, Japan or the United States of America.


What do I need to apply for a visa?

In order to apply for a short-stay Schengen visa, you can check this list of necessary documents:

  • proof of your financial situation (cash, traveler’s cheques, international bank cards, etc.),
  • supporting documents on the guarantees of your repatriation (for example, return transport ticket, etc.),
  • an insurance covering medical and hospital expenses, including social assistance, for the care you may receive in France (the minimum coverage required is €30,000),
  • a reception certificate or a proof of accommodation in a hotel or host establishment, if your stay is carried out as part of a private or family visit,
  • or documents on the object and conditions of your stay in France, if your trip is for tourism or professional purposes or for the hospitalization or research work.

You can find additional information on the official website of the French Government for application for visas here.

How much does the visa application to visit France cost?

For different people and visa types, the visa application cost is also different:

      The regular Visa fee (in Euro)

             Airport transit visa                                                   60.00 EUR

             Short stay Schengen visa, less than 90 days       60.00 EUR

             Long stay visa, more than 90 days                        99.00 EUR

       The visa fee is 35 EUR for:

             Children between the age of 6 and below 12 years old.

             Nationals from Georgia, Kosovo, Russia, and Ukraine.

       There is no visa fee for:

  • Children under 6 years of age
  • Pupils, students, postgraduates and the accompanying teachers who are traveling for the purpose of studying or educational training
  • Researchers of the third countries (which are not in the Schengen Area) traveling for the purpose of scientific research
  • Representatives of non-profit organizations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organized by non-profit organizations.

visa application

How long should I wait for an answer?

Generally, it doesn’t take more than 48 hours to process your visa application to visit France. But for nationals of certain countries or during certain periods, such as school holidays, this process may take 14 to 21 days.

However, it is not necessary to apply too early neither. When you submit an application for a visa, you may request that the date of validity start either on the same day that the visa is issued or on another date no later than three months after the date on which the visa is issued.

Do hesitate to visit the official website of the French Government for visas applications to be sure to have updated information.


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