France is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Stroll through the awe-inspiring Louvre Museum and witness the incredible painting of Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci, visit the relaxing beach of Côte d'Azur, or be inspired by the breathtaking Mont Saint-Michel, which is located off the Normandy coast. It is safe to say that France offers an unforgettable travel experience. However, to enjoy everything France offers, you may need to apply for a France Tourist Visa.
In this in-depth guide, we'll talk about everything you need to know about your France Tourist Visa. First, we talk about who needs a visa and the visa-free requirements. Also, we discuss the required documents for your France Tourist Visa and how you can easily apply for your own France Tourist Visa. Finally, at the end of the post, we'll address some frequently asked questions many travelers tend to have.
In this post, you'll find:
A France Tourist Visa, also known as the short-stay visa or a Schengen Visa, will allow its holders to visit France for a short period. The France Tourist Visa is granted for non-essential purposes, such as tourism and short business trips. With your France Tourist Visa, you can visit France for 90 days per 180 days. Also, with your France Tourist Visa, you're allowed to visit and travel to any one of the Schengen Countries. If you plan to visit other Schengen member states, be sure to add the purposes of your visit and itinerary during your France Tourist Visa application process.
Note that if you wish to stay in France for longer, you'll need to apply for a different type of French visa, like a long-stay visa.
For the purpose of this post, we'll be referring to the France Tourist Visa as the France Schengen Visa. The France Schengen Visa is precisely the same as a France Tourist Visa, the only difference being the name.
Not all visitors need to apply for a France Schengen/Tourist Visa to visit France. Some nations enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel. To learn more about the different countries that enjoy visa-free travel, read our in-depth guide about the Schengen Countries.
Next, we'll briefly discuss who needs to apply for A France Schengen Visa...
If you are a citizen from the European Union, European Economic Area, or Switzerland, you don't need to apply for any type of visa to visit France or the French territories. Furthermore, citizens from these nations enjoy visa-free travel to France meaning, you don't need to apply for a France Schengen Visa.
Due to certain agreements between the US and France, US citizens enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel to France. As a result, you may visit France for a duration that does not exceed 90 days. If you wish to stay in France for more than 90 days, you'll need to apply for a visa that allows you to do so.
Later in this post, we'll talk about the requirements for visa-free travel.
Unfortunately, US Green Card Holders don't enjoy the same visa-free benefits as US citizens. If you are a US Green Cardholder, you'll need to apply for a France Schengen Visa to visit France. Luckily, US Green Card holders can apply for their Schengen Visa at the France Embassy or Consulate in the US.
Note that if you are visiting the US with a visitor's visa (B1/B2 visa), you'll need to travel back to your home country and apply for your Schengen Visa from there.
If you're a non-EU citizen (also non-EEA/Switzerland), you'll need to apply for a France Schengen Visa to visit France. You can apply for your France Schengen Visa at your local France Embassy. Later, we'll be discussing everything you need to know about the Schengen Visa requirements and the application.
As mentioned, some foreign nationals don't need to apply for a Schengen Visa to visit France. However, citizens from these nations must still present a few documents upon entry into France.
The following supporting documents must be presented at the request of the Border Police upon your arrival in France:
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date of departure to your home country. Also, it must not be older than 10 years and be in good condition.
French authorities may ask you to present proof of accommodation upon your arrival. You must have the supporting documents that indicate where you'll be staying for the duration of your trip. Proof of accommodation can include hotel reservations, Airbnb bookings, or a rental agreement. You can also provide a Certificate of reception "Attestation d'accueil." This is issued by a person who agrees to provide accommodation for you during your trip.
To be eligible to visit France, you'll need to prove you have the financial means to support yourself during your intended stay. If you don't have prepaid accommodation, you'll need to have a total amount of €120 per day. In the case where you have prepaid accommodation, the amount is reduced to €65 per day. If you can provide cheaper accommodation, the total amount reduces to €32.25 per day. Documents you can use to prove sufficient funds include personal bank statements, payslips, credit card statements, and traveler's cheques.
You must prove to border control that you'll be leaving France once your initial 90 are over. You may be asked to present a return flight ticket that indicates the exact date you'll be traveling back to your home country.
If you're on a professional trip, you must present a document that provides details on your profession or capacity. It must also contain details of the establishment or organization located in France that is expecting you.
Another requirement is that you obtain valid medical/health insurance that provides medical coverage across the entire EU for the duration of your intended stay. Your medical insurance must cover all medical and hospital expenses, as well as medical repatriation costs and expenses in the event of death. You can contact your French Embassy or Consulate General of France to learn more about the specific requirements for your medical insurance. In general, your medical insurance should provide minimum coverage of €30,000.
Due to the ongoing global pandemic COVID-19, you'll need to show the following additional documents upon arrival:
Proof Of Vaccination Status, or
Proof Of A Negative COVID-19 Test Result
Also, during your stay, you may be asked to present your ** "health pass" or Pass Sanitaire**. You can find everything you need about your health pass on the government's official website.
Unfortunately, if you don't enjoy visa-free travel and intend to travel from an overseas territory, you'll need to apply for a France Schengen Visa. Next, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about your France Schengen Visa application.
Before we talk about the Schengen Visa application process, we need to look at the required documents for your France Schengen Visa.
Note that different French Embassies may require you to collect and submit various documents. Therefore, we recommend contacting your nearest French Embassy or French Consulate to learn more about their exact document requirements.
The following documents can be used as a guideline for the documents that you'll need to gather and submit:
Ensure that the information you provide on the application form is correct and accurate. Incorrect information may lead to your visa application being denied.
Your passport photos must be in color and not older than 3 months. Later in this post, we'll be discussing the exact requirements.
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the intended date you plan to return to your home country. It must be in good condition and not older than 10 years. Also, your passport must have at least 2 blank pages available for your visa sticker/stamps.
If you have previously obtained visas for other countries, you'll need to provide copies of those visas.
You need to obtain valid medical/health insurance that provides medical coverage across the entire EU for the duration of your intended stay. Your medical insurance must cover all medical and hospital expenses, as well as medical repatriation costs and expenses in the event of death. In general, your medical insurance should provide minimum coverage of €30,000.Contact your French Embassy or Consulate General of France to learn more about the specific requirements for your medical insurance.
You must present an itinerary that indicates a list of things you'll be planning to do during your trip. The itinerary will help support the purpose of your trip. Also, your itinerary will prove to authorities that you intend to depart back to your home country after your visit.
You need to prove that you can financially support yourself during the duration of your stay in France. If you don't have prepaid accommodation, you'll need to have a total amount of €120 per day. In the case where you have prepaid accommodation, the amount is reduced to €65 per day. Note that if you provide proof of cheaper accommodation, the total amount reduces to €32.25 per day. Documents you can use as proof include personal bank statements, payslips, credit card statements, and traveler's cheques.
You need to submit documents that prove where you'll be staying during your visit to France. Documents you can submit include hotel reservations, a rental contract, or an Airbnb reservation. It is also possible to provide a Certificate of reception "Attestation d'accueil." This is issued by a person who agrees to provide accommodation for you during your trip.
You must provide a certificate that indicates you are not involved in any criminal activities and that you are not a threat to France.
You will need to pay a visa fee of €80 for your France Schengen Visa application.
In addition to the documents mentioned above, you'll need to submit a few extra documents that prove your employment status in your country of origin. The documents you need to submit are as follow:
You must provide a letter from the company you are employed at. The letter must include all your personal details, your profession, and a receipt of your salary for the past 3 months.
You must submit a certificate of business registration.
You must provide a letter from the employing company or a work contract including documents showing the receipt of salary over the past 3 months for the spouse (husband or wife) and a marriage certificate.
You must submit a document that proves you're retired, such as a certificate of retirement or any related document.
You must submit a letter from your educational institution. The letter should include your personal details, your enrollment at the educational institution, and your major.
Later in this post, we'll discuss what your employment letter should contain.
When submitting your documents, you must attach all copies to the original document. Also, if your documents are not in French or English, you must get them translated and certified by a certified translator. In addition to this, you must also ensure that you get an Apostille Stamp on documents that require it.
Next, we'll discuss how you can apply for your France Schengen Visa in a few simple steps.
The first thing you need to do is gather all the required documents for your Schengen Visa application. If you are unsure about the documents you require, you can contact your nearest French Embassy or Consulate, or you can use this handy tool that will determine the documents you require based on your nationality. We recommend you start gathering your documents as soon as possible, as some documents may take some time to obtain (like your criminal record).
Once you have gathered all your required documents, it is time to fill out the France Schengen Visa application form. If your country is eligible, this can be done online. If your country is not eligible, you'll need to download the application form, fill it out, and submit it at the Embassy in person. When you start filling out the application form, ensure that all details you provide are accurate and correct. Later in this post, we'll walk you through the application form.
After you have gathered your required documents and filled out your France Schengen Visa application form, you'll need to schedule an appointment at your nearest French Embassy, Consulate, or application center. Ensure that you have all your documents before scheduling your appointment, as you'll need to submit your documents at the appointment.
On the day of your appointment, you must travel to the Embassy to attend an in-person interview. Here you'll submit all your supporting documents and answer some simple questions about your trip to France. Ensure that you answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge.
After your interview, you're required to submit your biometric data. This includes a photo and your fingerprints.
Once your interview is finished, and the authorities have collected your biometric data, you'll need to pay the visa application fee. You can expect to pay around €80 for your France Schengen Visa.
Note that paying the fee does not automatically guarantee you your visa. The fee is used for the service being provided by the French Embassy or Consulate.
You're almost finished. Now you need to wait for feedback. Successful applicants will be contacted via mail or email. Once you receive feedback, you can travel back to the Embassy to collect your visa.
Congratulations, you can now legally travel to France with your Schengen Visa. Now, we'll guide you through the Schengen Visa Application form...
The application is split into five sections:
Previous Schengen visas (if any)
You can now save 15 hours and use Atlys to apply for a France Schengen visa on Atlys.
You're required to provide information about your travel documents and the place of application submission.
This step involves gathering your personal, family, and occupation information. Provide all details exactly as they are in your passport:
Sex - Male, Female, or Others
Date of Birth - DD/MM/YYYY
Place and country of birth
Last and first names
Next, enter your current address. You will be denied a visa if your address does not match the one provided in the proof of residence that you provide. Select 'Yes' for the next question and provide details about your residence status. The permit number is the unique number associated with your Green Card / H1B/ F1/ J1 visas, as indicated in the picture below.
While this section is self-explanatory, most people don't remember if and when they completed a previous Schengen Visa Application and if they had their fingerprints and biometrics taken. A good rule of thumb is that you got your fingerprints documented if you applied for a Schengen visa after 2016 since it was impossible to obtain a Schengen visa without doing so.
You can find your biometric visa number on the Schengen visa stamp.
The visa number is the 3-letter country code (issuing country), followed by a 9-digit number. Therefore, in the example above, the visa number is FRA005702202. If you've trouble finding the visa number of filling your application, use
France requires information on your intended travel dates. Please do not provide dates for the sake of getting a visa, as, more often than not, your visa granted would be +/- 15 days of your intended arrival date. For example, if your trip to France is between June 01-June 10, but write down April 01-10 in your Schengen visa application, you're likely to get a visa from April 01 thru around April 15. We suggest always opting for a multiple entry visa but know that it's unlikely you'll get one. There is, however, no downside or additional paperwork to ask for one. For travelers looking to get one, ** we've discovered a few hacks:**
Apply for a business visa and note that you travel multiple times
Provide multiple itineraries spanning the year, and mention them in your cover letter.
Show a history of travel, especially to Europe.
Apply through other Schengen states where your interview is directly at the Embassy, allowing for a more direct interface with the decision-makers. We suggest Germany.
While the section title is confusing, France is just asking for your contact information while you're in France. For most travelers, this is the contact information of their hotel/Airbnb. The name has to match the name of the establishment in your itinerary and hotel reservation.
Finally, you need to present evidence to prove that you can support yourself during your stay in France. You can select the option that works best for you, which has a balance equivalent to EUR 120 (if you don't have prepaid accommodation) x the number of days in France. For example, a traveler visiting France for ten days should show a minimum balance of at least EUR 1200 (120 x 10 days). You can select multiple options, but evidence of each is required. In the case where you have prepaid accommodation, you only need to have EUR 65 per day.
After reviewing your information, you will get a completed Schengen visa application. The last page consists of a unique registration barcode that you must print and present at the appointment.
The photo requirements for a French Schengen visa follow ICAO standards.
Two identical photos. Not older than six months.
Photo size: 35x45mm or 2 in x 2 in.
In color. No black and white
Head should cover most of the photo.
A letter from your employer is required as proof of employment. The letter should state:
Date of the letter.
Approved leave during your French visit.
Position and title.
A declaration that you will continue to be employed during your France visit.
Contact and address information of the supervisor along with their signature.
This is a letter from your university for students. Your academic advisor or Office of International Education can provide it. In addition, please provide a letter of support from any individual/organization financing your livelihood for homemakers or those unemployed. This includes but is not limited to your spouse or parents too.
Because most Schengen countries provide public healthcare, travel insurance is required to obtain a French Schengen visa, so visitors don't become a financial burden on France's health system in the event of unforeseen issues. The insurance should explicitly meet these requirements:
Coverage of at least EUR 30,000.
Be valid in all 26 Schengen States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Cover medical emergency expenses and anything connected with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention, and/or emergency hospital treatment or death.
For those hoping to get a longer-term Schengen visa, it is advisable to provide travel insurance that lasts the whole year as per the EU directive.
Quick Note: "Applicants for a uniform visa for more than two entries (multiple entries) shall prove that they own adequate and valid travel medical insurance covering the period of their first intended visit. In addition, such applicants shall sign the statement, set out in the application form, declaring that they are aware of the need to own travel medical insurance for subsequent stays."
France visa applications have to be submitted in person. However, you can schedule an appointment using the tool above or directly on Atlys.
Even children require a Schengen visa to travel to France. In addition to all the standard documents, you've to provide the following.
Application form signed by both parents
Birth certificate of the child
If a child is traveling alone, a notarized parental authorization is signed by both parents or guardians.
If the child travels with one of the parents, then there must be an official permission letter issued by a notary in English from the other parent. In case of the parents' absence (divorce, death, etc.), a relevant official certificate (i.e., divorce, death, etc.) must be presented. Additionally, copies of IDs of parents are also required.
While not required, it is preferred that for children who go to school - a reference letter from the relevant school: address and contacts of the school, signature, stamp of the person in charge, and reference to the Embassy should be noted in the letter.
You can expect to receive feedback from the French Embassy within 15 calendar days after you have submitted your application. Note in extreme cases, you may have to wait longer for your visa. This can be due to a sudden demand in the France Schengen Visa, new regulations and laws being implemented, or other political related reasons.
You can expect to pay around €80 for your Schengen Visa Application. If you want to learn more about other visa fees, you can take a look at this document.
With your France Schengen Visa, you are allowed to visit any one of the following Schengen Countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Other countries you can visit with your Schengen Visa include:
Liechtenstein, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City.
Many qualify however showing a bank statement is the most straightforward. You can also use one of these:
Short-term work visa: Reference letter of the U.S. employer mentioning profile, salary, date of hire, dates of vacation, and itinerary.
Self-employed: Your business existence proof and the client’s details you intend to meet in France. The proof of income from the business.
Foreign students on F-1 visa: A valid I-20, reference letter from an educational institution, education details, and expected date of the end of graduation course.
Family/friend visit: If you visit a friend or family, get an original and copy of “Attestation d’Accueil” that the host will request at the City Hall in France, known as Mairie.
The visa sticker contains information on the visa’s validity period and the duration of the authorized stay. A visa can be issued for one entry or multiple entries.
The maximum duration of stay is shown on the visa sticker, and it varies according to the reasons for your stay.
You must have left the Schengen area at the latest on the day on which the visa expires. You must not exceed the authorized length of stay during the validity of the visa. If you have an authorized stay of 90 days, you must not stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days in 180 days, this period not having to exceed the duration of the visa and the period of 90 days starting from run on the date of the first entry.
No, France does not provide a visa-on-arrival.
The Member State competent to handle a request visa and decide on it is the one whose territory constitutes the sole destination (or main) or the trips.
When the trip involves several destinations, the competent Member State is the one whose territory constitutes the main destination of the trip (s) in terms of duration. Suppose the main destination cannot be determined. In that case, the competent Member State is the one via the external border from which the applicant intends to enter the Member States territory.
You must apply for your visa at the French consulate because France is the main destination of your trip in terms of duration, even if you enter the Schengen area through another member state.
You must enter the nationality of the passport with which you wish to travel. When you complete your application form, you will need to indicate your nationality of origin and your current nationality (that of your passport).
Only in exceptional cases. We do not recommend this path.