Depending on one’s nationality, as well as purpose of travel to France or any of French Overseas Territories, a traveler might need or might not need a visa.
In this article, we have explained why come countries need visas while others don’t in order to be permitted to enter France. In addition, we have also listed the countries that need or do not need a France visa.
Whether a foreign national needs a visa or not, it all depends in a few factors as:
- Their nationality.
- The length of intended stay.
- The French territory they plan to visit (Metropolitan France or the French Overseas Territories).
Who Needs a Visa for France?
The metropolitan France, or else known as the European France includes the French territories in the European Continent. There are different visa rules for entering the Metropolitan France in comparison to the
Who Needs a France Short-Stay Visa?
France Schengen visas allow their holder to enter France or any other Schengen country and remain there for up to 90 days (expect for the cases when the visa holder has a Limited Territorial Validity visa).
Because the Schengen member states do not need any type of visa to pass from one country to another, and since the Schengen Area has reached visa-free travel agreements with many countries the nationals of these countries are permitted to enter France for short-stay without the need to obtain a visa first.
The following categories also do not need a visa to enter France:
- Holders of France residence permit
- Holders of a residence permit of a Schengen country
- Holders of a valid long-stay visa of a Schengen country
- Holders of an EU family member’s residence or EU long-term residence permit
- Holders of a passport of a “British National Overseas”, “British Overseas Territories Citizen”, “British Protected Person”, “British Subject”
- Holders of a special residence card as a diplomatic or consular staff
The nationals of every other country not mentioned above, need a visa in order to be able to enter France even for short stays.
Who Needs a France Long-stay Visa?
France long-stay visas allow their holder to enter France and remain there for a period of time longer than three months but shorter than a year.
Only the nationals of the following DO NOT need a visa in order to enter and remain in France for up to one year:
- Third country nationals that hold a short-stay visa – marked as Famille de Français (‘Family of a French national’).
- EU nationals.
- EEA nationals (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein).
- Nationals of the principalities of Monaco and Andorra.
- Nationals of San Marino and the Holy See.
- Foreign nationals and their families who have acquired long-term resident status in another EU country.
- Students who have attended school in France without interruption from the age of 16 and are continuing their studies in the country.
Who Needs a Visa for French Overseas Départements and Regions (DROM)?
The DROM consists of all the French-administered territories outside the European continent, which are:
- Reunion Island
- French Guiana
- Martinique (the three départements in the Americas)
- Saint Martin
- Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
Since the rules for visiting one of these territories or departments are different from those to visit the European France differ, below find listed who needs short stay visas and long stay visas in order to visit these places.
Who needs a France DROM short-stay visa?
Only the following categories are exempt from obtaining a visa in order to be eligible to enter the a France DROM without a visa, and remain for up to three months.
- Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland;
- Holders of a valid residency document issued by country applying the Schengen agreements : you must travel with your valid residency document and your valid passport issued within the past 10 years
- Holders of a currently valid residency document or of a long-stay visa for a country covered by the Schengen agreements, like Germany ;
- Holders of a biometric passport from
- Bosnia and Herzegovina,
- North Macedonia,
- Montenegro and
- Serbia ;
- 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).
- Nationals of the following countries and holders of a Schengen-visa valid between 6 months and 5 years delivered by a French consulate can travel to French Overseas Departments without visa :
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
Nationals of the following countries:
|Andorra||Anguilla and British Virgin Islands|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Argentina|
|Bolivia||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Costa Rica||El Salvador|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Saint Vincent and Grenadine *|
|South Korea||Trinidad and Tobago *|
|Turks and Caicos Islands *||United Kingdom (British National Overseas passport)|
* only for Guadeloupe and Martinique
** except the French Guyana
*** only for Réunion
Who needs a France DROM long-stay visa?
Whereas, the nationals of the following countries DO NOT need to obtain a long-term entry visa in order to enter the DROM and remain for up to one year :
- European Union member countries
- European Economic Area (EEA) member countries
Who needs a visa for other French overseas collectivities and territories (CTOM)?
The French overseas collectivities and territories (CTOM) consist of the countries listed below:
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- Wallis and Futuna
- French Southern
- Antarctic Territories
Who needs a France CTOM short-stay visa?
Since the rules for visiting one of these territories or collectivities differ from those to visit the European France or the French DROM, below find listed who DOES NOT need short stay visas to enter these places.
- Holders of a french resident card or of a french long stay visa;
- Holders of a Dutch residency permit in Sint Maarten are not required to have an entry visa for Saint Martin
- Nationals from the following countries who are involved in income-earning activities :
- Australia (for Mayotte and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, exemption for one month only)
- South Korea
Nationals from the following countries:
|Switzerland ; Andorra||Argentina|
|El Salvador||United States|
Who needs a France CTOM long-stay visa?
Only nationals from the following countries are exempted from having a long-stay visa:
- European Union member states
- European Economic Area (EEA) member states