A France Schengen visa is issued to foreigners that wish to visit France or the French territories for less than 90 days within a 6-month period. There are two types of the French Schengen visa:
- C-Visa – tourist visa or business visa
- A-visa – also known as the airport transit visa – ATV
A French Schengen visa, which is a short-stay visa, allows the holder to travel to France and the Schengen area. It can be issued for a single entry, or for multiple entries.
You can apply for a short-term visa if you are travelling for one of the following purposes:
- To visit France and other Schengen countries
- To participate in business and professional meeting, or a conference
- To make a family and private visit
- To enroll in a short-term training course
- To enroll in an internship (practicum)
- To transit through the French airport
Who Needs a France Schengen visa?
Nationals of certain countries are not required to have a visa in order to travel to France. However, there are many remaining nationalities who still are required to get e visa prior to traveling to France.
Where to Apply for a France Schengen Visa?
The application for a France Schengen visa is done at the French consulate or embassy in your country of residence. The candidate has to apply for the short-stay French visa only if the main travel destination is France. You are advised to apply for this visa at most 3 months before the intended travel date.
Required Documents for France Schengen Visa Application
When applying for a France Schengen visa, keep in mind that you will have to submit some documents at the embassy or consulate when you are applying.
Though the requirements vary from one visa to another, generally the required documents for a French Schengen visa application are listed as below:
- A passport- issued earliest 10 years before, and valid for minimum 3 months after the end of the visa period, holding at least 2 blank pages in order to be able to affix visa
- Photocopies of all important pages of the passport (picture, earlier Schengen visas, entry stamps, other)
- A duly completed standard short-stay visa application form
- Two recently made passport photos
- Travel Itinerary – which is a document to confirm having a reserved round trip transportation.
- Proof of accommodation – Hotel or hostel reservation. Also, the host must submit an original “Declaration d’Accueil” (guarantee document).
- French Travel Medical Insurance – The insurance or 30,000 EUR, has to cover the entire stay in the Schengen area.
Depending on the reasons behind your intended travel and the type of visa you are applying for, you will have to submit some of the following documents.
France Schengen Visa Types
Usually when a person obtains a France Schengen visa, they also allowed to enter the other Schengen countries. However, there are exceptions.
Based on the times a person is allowed to enter Schengen and the number of countries a person is allowed to enter, the France Schengen visa is grouped as following:
- Uniform Visas – that permit their holder to visit every Schengen Area member country, once inside the borders of the Schengen Zone. There are two types of these visas:
- Single entry – which allows its holder to enter once in the Schengen area, no matter which countries, and then once the traveler is out of the official Schengen borders, he or she cannot come back even if their visa is still valid.
- Multiple entry – the holder of this type of visa is allowed to enter France and the other countries of the Schengen area as many times as she or he wants, until the expiration of their visa.
- Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTV) – are the visas that do not allow their holder to visit any other Schengen country, aside of France when issued by the French embassy or consulate in their home country.
France Schengen visa types based on the purpose of travel
On the other hand, depending on the purpose of travel short-stay visa types are as listed and explained below:
Airport transit visa
An France Airport Transit visa, is issued to individuals who will transit through a French airport to another country, without entering into the territory of France. It is valid for 24 hours. Whether you need a Transit visa to pass through France, it all depends on the nationality you hold and whether you are in possession of any other type of visas.
France Short Stay Tourist Visa
The France Tourist visa is issued to persons who want to visit France with the purpose of tourism for a period shorter than 90 days. This type of visa, which is also known as a Schengen Visa, permits you to stay in France for 90 days at most per a period of 180 days.
Unless the visa is marked as a Limited Territorial Validity visa, you are permitted to travel with this visa to the other Schengen countries within the period of the visa validity.
France Short Stay Family Visa
The France Family visa makes it possible for non-EU family members of French residents that live outside of France come to France and meet their parents, children or spouse. This permits you to stay in France for 90 days at most within a period of 180 days.
This type of visa has a few subtypes, which are explained below:
France Schengen Visa to marry a French Citizen
If you are planning to marry a French citizen in France then you will have to apply for this type of visa. The main thing that you need to possess when submitting your application is a document regarding the intended wedding, which in French is called “Certificat de publication des bans et de non opposition”. In addition, you will have to submit information regarding the French citizen you are planning to marry.
Keep in mind that this type of visa does not grant you with the right to apply for French residency upon your marriage. If you obtain this visa and get married in France, you will have to return to your country and then apply for a long stay visa as the spouse of a French citizen.
Spouse of a French citizen
This is a visa issued to spouses of French citizens living in third countries, who wish to visit their spouses for a shorter period than three months. Among the main requirements that the foreign national has to submit in this case is the French marriage certificate called “Copie Intégrale de l’Acte de Mariage”, as well as information on the French citizen.
Once again, keep in mind that this visa does not entitle you to apply for residency upon your arrival in France, since you will need to apply for a long stay visa, in case you wish to obtain French residency.
Family member of an EU citizen
Every third world national that has an EU family member, spouse or parent, aside of French, can apply for this type of visa. Evidence should be submitted to prove the family relationship between the EU citizen and their family member.
The France professional visa is for applicants who will be gainfully employed during their stay in France. These applicants have to provide a Temporary Work Permit with their visa applications at the embassy or consulate of France in their home country.
Every individual that plans to enter research activities in France has to apply for a Research short-stay visa. The applicant must firstly obtain a document called “Convention d’Accueil” which is issued by the Research Centre or University where he will participate or carry out the research and have it approved by the local authority.
Members of the Christian confessions, Catholic or Protestant, can apply for this visa in order to enter France to carry religious duties. The applicant for such visa needs to submit a letter of invitation from the appointed representative of the religious order or institute, alongside the other documents. On the other hand, members of other religious confessions need to apply for the General Case Schengen Visa, which is explained below.
Short term study visa
The French short-term study visa is for international students who wish to come to France under study purposes that are shorter than 90 days. The short-stay study visa is not issued to students who want to attend a university or college, since one semester is at least 4 months long. These students have to apply for a long term visa instead.
Training for students or professionals
Students or professionals that have to attend a training in France, that takes less than 90 days to complete, will have to apply for this type of visa, and submit a document called “Convention de stage” issued by the inviting party prior to their arrival in France.
This is a visa established for minors going to France for a school trip. Among other main requirements, is that when applying for this type of visa the applicant must submit a letter from the school with all details on the trip, as well as the parental authorization.
Sportsmen or sportswomen that are planning to participate in some kind of training or participate in sport activities will have to apply for this visa first. Prior to their entry in France, these individuals will have to obtain a work authorization, since elsewise they will not be allowed to carry out their activities.
if you do not find your case in any of the groups of visa applicants listed above, then you will have to apply for a France Schengen General Case short stay visa.
France Schengen Visa Interview
Each applicant over the age of 12, needs to appoint an interview at the French embassy, consulate or visa application center.
Attend the interview on time, because if you are late the Embassy will probably cancel your appointment. Arrange your documents prior to the interview, so you will be prepared when you meet the consular officer. The interview will last around 10 minutes, during which you will be asked some simple questions regarding your visit to France.
After the interview, you will have you biometrics taken if this is the first time that you travel to the Schengen Area.
French Visa application processing time varies from on application to another, so you might get an answer for a day or a month, depending on your case.
What Can I do in Case of Visa Refusal?
In case of visa refusal you can submit a request for a re-evaluation of the visa application to the French embassy or consulate. Such request should be done if you have strong reasons to believe that the visa refusal was unjust.
The appeal against the decision should be submitted 2 months since the day of the refusal, in French, and the supporting documents attached to the case file. The results of the appeal could be an indirect refusal (no answer in 2 months), or a direct refusal by the commission.
The applicant can make an appeal for cancellation of that decision in no longer than 2 months at the Administrative Court of Nantes (only if visa was rejected from the appeal, or when ministers also confirm the visa rejection).
Can my French Schengen Visa be Revoked?
A French Schengen visa can be revoked, if you engage in:
- Working without having a work permit.
- Being involved in actions considered of danger to the public order.
- Attempting to settle in France
If your visa is revoked, you can appeal against the decision at the Prefecture and/or at the Minstry of the Interior, who may re-evaluate the decision for refusal.