VisaGuide » Europe » France Visa » Visitor Visa
Guide to applying for a France short-stay visitor visa, categories of these visas, requirements and more relevant details.

France short-stay visas, among others, make possible for non-French and non-EU family members that live outside of France and the EU to come to France and meet their parents, children or spouse. There is a special category that has been established especially for visitors who wish to enter France and remain there less than 90 days, under the purpose of visiting a family member.

Of course, obtaining a French Family Visit Schengen Visa is not easy at all, even when you have family members waiting for you in France, whom you cannot wait to meet. All the visa application procedures may seem complicated and in many cases nonsense to you.

Do I Need to Apply for a French Visitor Visa?

Even when it comes to France Visitor Visas, whether you need or you do not need a Visitor Visa to visit France or its overseas territories, collectivities, departments, and regions, it all depends on your nationality.

If your country of citizenship does not have a visa facilitation agreement with France or the EU, then you will probably have to obtain a short-stay Visitor Visa in order to be allowed to enter France to visit your family member.

France Short Stay Visitor Visa Types

If one of your family members resides in France, either as a French citizen or EU citizen, and you have come to realize you need a visa to visit them, you just need to know that you will have to follow similar visa procedures depending on your situation, which still differ from each other at some point. That is why, before deciding under which Visitor Visa category to apply, it is better to figure out under which category your case falls.

Note: Keep in mind that obtaining a French Visitor Visa doesn’t grant you with the permission to stay in France beyond the visa period. If you wish to stay longer in France, you will have to apply for one of the French Long Stay Visitor Visas depending on your situation.

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 under the France short stay marriage visa, which permits you to remain in France up to 90 days within a 180 days period.

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.

France Visitor Visa for a family member of a French citizen

This is a visa issued to family members, children and 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”, children’s birth certificates, as well as information on the French citizen.

Under current French law, family members of a French citizen are defined as below:

  • Spouse.
  • Children up to 21 years of age.
  • Parents.
  • Parents and children of his/her foreign citizen spouse under foreign spouse’s charge.

France Visitor Visa for a family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen

Every third world national that has an EU family member, spouse or parent, residing in France (who is not a French national) can apply for this type of visa. Evidence should be submitted to prove the family relationship between the EU citizen and their family member.

Under current EU law, family members of a EU citizen are defined as below:

  • Spouse.
  • Children up to 21 years of age.
  • Parents.
  • Parents and children of his/her foreign citizen spouse under foreign spouse’s charge.

France Short stay Visitor Visa for relative of non EU/EEA/Swiss residents in France

You can apply for this France short-stay Visitor Visa even if your family member residing in France is not a French or EU national. In this case, spouses and children under 18 can apply for a visa that allows them to enter France and remain there for up to 90 days. In this case the family member living in France will have to prove they have the financial means to support the family members applying to come to France as well as to show they have enough room for each.

How to Get a French Visitor Visa?

The application process for all French visas is pretty much the same. It is mostly similar for all types of Visitor Visas as well. The sole difference lays in the required documents. If this is the first time that you are applying for a visa and you feel clueless how to do that, then follow the French visa application steps outlined here.

Documents to submit for a French Visitor Visa

No matter under which of the Visitor Visa categories you are applying, there are some commonly required documents that you will have to submit at the embassy on the day of your interview.

  • Completed French Visitor Visa Application Form. Make sure you complete the application form correctly.
  • Your valid passport. The passport must have at least two blank pages in order to be able to put the visa sticker on it. The passport must have been issued within the last 10 years and should be valid for a minimum of 3 months after the end of your planned stay in France.
  • Two photographs. You should submit two photos alongside with the other documents. They must be no older than three months and taken according to the Schengen Visa Photo Requirements.
  • Copies of older visas. If you have ever held any visa to any country in the world, submit copies of those visas.
  • Complete travel itinerary. A list of the things that you are planning to do while in France, including details about how you are planning to reach France. Attach supporting documents as a Round Trip flight, a railroad booking or a document of a booked organized tour (where transportation is included)
  • Proof of financial means. The French authorities want to know how you will be financing yourself while in France. That is why you should submit the following documents that apply to your situation, as a part of this requirement:
    • Recent bank statements.
    • Employment contract stating your salary, if you will be working in France.
    • Income from rented property.
    • Retirement benefit plan.
    • A letter of declaration from a sponsor stating the readiness to cover your costs for the period of stay, accompanied by documents that confirm possession of money of such sponsor (i.e. bank statements of last 3 months, other).
    • Other documents that prove you have the means to support yourself for the whole duration of stay in France.
  • Certificate of criminal record of the home country– showing that applicant has no open crime case involvement
  • Proof of paid visa fee. The fee for a French visitor visa is €80. However you should check this article for more details about French visa fees. The family members of French citizens, as well as the family members of a citizen of another Member State of EU/EEA and Switzerland are exempt from the visa fee requirement.

On the other hand, there is a number of category-specific documents that you will have to collect and submit, as following:

Additional documents for the spouse of a French citizen

  • Proof of nationality of the spouse living in France, which can be a passport or identity card
  • “Livret de Famille” – which is a marriage certificate upon the French civil registry

Additional documents for the foreign child /spouse of an EU citizen

  • Both biological parents’ passport
  • Proof of Guardianship – in case the child applicant in under 18 and trusted to a third person, then this person needs to possess an official document in the form of an authorization signed by both parents
  • Authorization by parent – if the child is traveling with only one parent
  • Court decision – if only one parent, has the sole custody of the child
  • Valid passport of the European citizen of the EU / EEA / Swiss National
  • Proof of accommodation –  This could be a hotel booking the EU/EEA/Swiss national, or a document called Attestation d’accueil – in case the visitors will be staying over at the French resident. This document issued by the local town hall off the host person residence, must confirm that the host has enough space for the visitor for their entire period of stay.
  • A sworn statement – from the EU family member, which states that the visa applicant is their dependent
  • Proof of relationship – between the child/spouse and the citizen residing in France

Additional documents for the foreign parent of a French child

  • Proof of the family ties between the applicant and the French child, full birth certificate.
  • Proof of the child’s French nationality, valid passport or CNIS.
  • Proof that you travel along or join the French national in France.

Also, all French short stay Visitor Visa applicants must submit a document that proves they have obtained a travel insurance policy that covers their entire stay in France or Schengen Area.

What Can I do If I Want to Stay in France Longer Than 90 Days?

If you have been planning to travel across France, but you think that a France visitor visa that permits you to stay there for three months would just not be enough, then do not worry since you can still apply for a French long-stay visitor visa, which is valid for up to a year and serves the same purpose.

A France long-stay visitor visa not only allows you to enter France to visit family and friends but also to seek medical treatment at a French hospital.

If you are planning to apply to go to France with a long-stay visitor visa, you should know that depending on your intended period of stay, you can apply for either:

  • A temporary long-stay visa that permits you to stay in France for 4 to 6 months. You will not be able to extend your stay under this visa.
  • A long-stay visa worthy of residence – that permits you to stay in France from 4 to 12 months, which you will have to validate upon your arrival in France.

Calculate the number of days you can stay in France through the 90/180 rule calculator.

Documents to submit

The specific documents required for a French long stay visitor visa, in addition to the generally required ones, are the following:

Stay longer for medical treatment

Before you apply for France long stay visitor visa in order to undergo a medical treatment, consult a doctor that advises you to seek medical treatment in France, due to lack of treatment in your home country. You will have to submit the proof in this regard, including a diagnosis of your illness.

Remember that the medical insurance will not cover your medical care in France and you will have to pay for it by yourself.

Did you find this page helpful?
Yes No
Scroll to Top