France Visa Guide

Securing a France Visa

Country Profile

The country housing the dream destination of many – Eifel Tower! This is probably how the majority of the people recognise France (Formal Name: French Republic). There is much more to this. The country is also famous for its culture, fashion, language, and cuisine. Also, it is known to be the tourist destination that is the most-visited in the world. The country lies at the political heart of Europe and is one of the founding fathers of the European integration. Paris is the capital of the state that is populated with 66.3 million people spread across a 551, 500 sq. Km. Area. The dominant language of the country is French, and the primary religion of the place is Christianity. The life expectancy of the men of the country is 78 years, and for women, it is 85 years. The currency used in the country is Euro.

The French economy is among the largest economies of the world. Today, France is known to be one of the highly modern countries of the world. The state has evolved from a much political crisis over the years. The current government of France is a mix of parliamentary and presidential systems. The most famous product exported to other countries is cheese and wine. About 75 million people visit France, every year. This is known to be the highest number of tourists visiting any other countries in the world.

How to Travel to France?

France is listed as a member state of the Schengen Agreement and the European Union. The country permits citizens of countries like Canada and Australia to travel in the Schengen Zone for 90 days, Visa-free, and all the EU nations for unlimited Visa-free travel. Citizens of countries like Russia, China, and all other Asian countries have to apply for a Schengen Visa. If citizens of countries that are granted Visa-free travels wish to travel for longer than 90 days, they also require to obtain a Schengen Visa. Although, EU nationals can travel for an unlimited period, if they overstay the 90 days’ timeline, they need to register with the local Mairie and apply for a long stay residence permit. Additional requirements like a 6 months validity on your passport and a return ticket would also be required.

Types of France Schengen Visa

Based on the purpose of your travelling to France, there are different types of French Visas. Be it your visit to the country, be it for studies, or be it to reside in the state permanently, you go to apply for varying France Schengen Visa accordingly. Also, the type of Visa is based on the duration of the stay as well as on the territory of France; the applicant intends to visit. As per the law, France is branched into three different territories that require distinct Visas for each, they are;

  • French European Territory
  • French Overseas Territories (TOM)
  • French Overseas Departments or Regions (DOM)

Uniform Schengen Visa (USV)

The USV is a permit to traverse or reside in the desired territory for a maximum of 3 months (90 days) every six months beginning from the entry date for one of the Schengen Area Member Countries. A Uniform Schengen Visa holder can travel to countries like Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Denmark, Malta, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy, Sweden, Poland, and Norway. The Uniform Schengen Visa applies to the below-mentioned categories (A and C) based on the purpose of travelling.

Category A

It is for the Airport Transit Visa that permits its holder to transit through the international zone of the Schengen country airport without going to the Schengen Area. This Visa is mandatory for the inhabitants who travel from one non-Schengen state to the other by changing flights in the Schengen country airport.

Category C

It is a short-term visa that allows its holder to lodge in a Schengen Area for a specific period, based on the validity of the validity Visa. Following the holder's purpose of the travel this category Visa can be procured in the following forms:

Single-Entry Visa

This Visa permits only one entry within the term (90 days) of its holder to the Schengen Area. This condition is mentioned on the Visa sticker that is affixed to the holder's passport. Once this Visa holder exits the Schengen Area, he/she cannot revisit the place with the same Visa even if the holder has not completed the permitted number of stays at the place. The area allowed to the holder to visit is mentioned besides the ‘Valid For' tag and the number of days permitted for the stay is mentioned besides the ‘Number of Entries' tag given on the Visa sticker.

Double-Entry Visa 

This Visa permits double entry within the period (90 days) of its holder to the Schengen Area. Here, unlike the single-entry Visa, the holder can revisit the Schengen region once more after the first exit. However, this number of revisits cannot exceed two, and the Visa holder cannot revisit the Schengen Area the third time even if the number of permitted stays are not completely utilised.

Multiple-Entry Visa 

This Visa permits multiple entries within the term (90 days) of its holder to the Schengen Area. This Visa holder can visit the Schengen region as many times he/she wants to visit. Depending on the frequency of your travel to the Schengen Area, the following are the types of multiple-entry Visas:

1 Year Multiple-Entry Visa

If you are an individual who travels to the Schengen region more often and you have at least one double-entry Schengen Visa, you can avail this type of Visa. You can travel to the Schengen area as many times as you wish to, provided you do not prolong your stay to more than 90 days. You need to submit a proof of your regular travelling to the place, and you also require to mention the reason for your requirement for this Visa.

3 Year Multiple-Entry Visa

This type of Visa permits you to visit the Schengen region as many times as possible within 3 years' term, provided you do not prolong your stay to more than 90 days. You must submit proof of your regular travelling to the Schengen Area, and you also need to mention the reason for your requirement of this Visa.

5 Year Multiple-Entry Visa

For people travelling the majority of the time to the Schengen Area, this Visa is issued. You are permitted to visit 26 countries in Europe for n number of times within the 5 years' term only if you do not violate the 90 days rule. For this, you require to submit reliable proof of frequent travelling to any of the 26 permitted countries and the reason for your travelling. Also, you need to provide a shred of evidence for the reason you need this type of Visa.

Limited Territorial Validity Visa (LTV)

This type of Visa permits you to travel through the Schengen state from which the Visa was issued or in the countries that are specifically mentioned at the time of applying for the Visa. Apart from the said states, travelling to any other states falling under the Schengen region. This Visa is issued in certain conditions wherein the Visa holder fails to possess a valid travel document or in case of any emergencies, due to any international obligations or due to humanitarian reasons.

National Visa

This Visa comes under the category D and is given to individuals who wish to study, work, or permanently reside in the Schengen Area. This is a single-entry visa provided for a specific period for a sole purpose after which they need to return to their country. There is also a facility to opt for a multi-entry national visa that permits the applicant to enter and exit the country as per their wish and also traverse through the entire Schengen Area without any additional requirements for Visa. However, the individual needs to meet certain conditions to get the multi-entry national visa.

Defined Purposes of Traveling

You will undoubtedly have some purpose for your travel to the Schengen Area. Following are some of the objectives and their significance:

Airport Transit

This type of entry is for the individuals who need to pause at the Schengen country airport but do not require to enter the Schengen country. The Schengen country has narrowed the list of countries of which the citizens need to possess this Visa. But, this list varies among different Schengen countries and so there are possibilities that you need this Visa while pausing in some Schengen countries and do not require it in the others.

Transit

This type of Visa is for seafarers who need to stop in the Schengen seaport for a short period.

Tourism

This is known to be one of the most popular reasons to travel to the Schengen region. If you like to visit the Schengen countries for experiencing the culture, cuisine, and tradition, you can opt for this visa.

Visiting Friends or Family

Individuals who have friends or family members are legally dwelling in the Schengen region can apply for this visa. The applicant must submit a letter of invitation to apply for this visa.

Business 

People who need to travel often to and from the Schengen countries for business purposes can receive a quicker appointment during the peak seasons of application of visa.

Official Visit 

If you are travelling to the Schengen region for an official duty even if you are going with multiple people with the same travel purpose and dates.

Medical reasons 

If you intend to travel to any of the member states of Schengen region for a medical treatment you can get medical care at any clinic for a continuous period of three months.

Study Purposes 

This Visa purpose is confined to pupils who wish to attend any type of educational institutions for university courses for a period shorter than 90 days.

Cultural, Sports and Film Crews 

This Visa purpose is primarily for the individuals residing outside the Schengen region who wish to travel to the Schengen countries for attending cultural, sports, and religious events for film crews. However, it is mandatory that the applicant must be a participant of the event and not just the audience.

Other Purposes

If your purpose does not match any of the purposes mentioned above to enter the Schengen Area, you can opt for other purposes. However, you will still require specifying the reason for your application.

How to Check Status of France Visa?

You can check the application status of your France visa depending on how you submitted your application. Let’s look at the different ways you can check your visa application status:

If you have submitted your application manually by visiting the consulate or embassy, then you can use the tracking toolInfoVISA to check the status.

If you have applied for your France visa through CAPAGO, then you should establish communication with the application centre directly and check the status of your application

If you have applied for a French visa by using the services of VFS global, you can click here to access the VFS online application tool.

If you have applied for a French visa through TLS, you can click here to use the TLS Contact website.

Note: The Visa application centre is responsible for briefing you regarding the application status of your visa. The centre cannot give you information regarding the success of your application in any manner.

France Visa Document Requirements

In order to apply visa for France, you will need to have the following documents:

A recent and valid passport – It must not be older than ten years, it must be in good condition, and it must be valid for 3 months beyond the date of return. Also, the passport should have two blank pages.

2 copies of ID photos in the ISO/IECI format (You can find the guidelines here)

Address proof of applicant – The address proof can include documents like a copy of the deed of the house, a lease agreement for the house, utility bills, electricity bills, water bill, cable bill, or other bills such as a gas bill.

Proof of Travel Insurance – Tourists travelling to a Schengen area are required to have proof on their person regarding medical insurance of a minimum coverage amount of 30,000. The availed insurance should cover all Schengen stages.

Proof of a Booked Round-Trip – You will be required to present a copy of your round-trip flight ticket, which should contain the details of the airline, date, and your identification details.

A Cover Letter – you should attach a statement that discloses the purpose of your visit to the document. Alongside this information, the document must contain your travel plan within France, and the additional details regarding transportation modes and hotel/residence stay.

A proof of your civil status – proof of marriage, birth certificate of the child, death certificate of wife, and another relevant photo identification.

Proof of payment of visa application fees.

How to Apply for France Visa?

While it is possible to visit a Visa Application Centre or any of the French consulates in India to apply for a visa, you can also conduct the whole process online through their online portal. There is a pre-defined process to apply for France visa on their website, so let's look at all the steps one by one:

  • Figure out if you need a visa

    Depending on our country of origin and your requirement, you might need to discern if you require a visa or not. You can access the visa wizard available on the online portal, which helps you figure out if you need a visa. However, if you are planning to travel or stay for long and do not have relatives in France, you will most definitely need a visa. The visa wizard asks for details like your purpose of travel, duration of stay, and specific destination to figure out if you need a visa. It provides a detailed overview of your situation and guides you about the required documents, funds, and any other necessary things you need to carry.

    However, if you have lived in the Schengen area in the last 6 months, you can use the online calculator to check the number of remaining days.

  • Fill your application form

    If you are required to apply for a visa, the next step is to gather the required document copies to fill your visa application form. In order to submit your online application, you will need to submit a passport in good condition, recent photo identities, and all required document copies. Once your appointment is booked, you will need to visit the consulate with the required documents and fees. These are the locations of the consulate offices in India-

    • Consulate General of France – Mumbai: Wockhardt Towers, East Wing, 5th floor, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East
    • Consulate General of France – Puducherry: 2, rue de la marine
    • Consulate General of France – Kolkata: 21 C, Raja Santosh Road, Alipore
    • Consulate General of France – Bengaluru: 21 Palace Road, Vasanthanagar
    • Consular Section of French Embassy – New Delhi: André Malraux Marg, 2/50 E Shantipath, Chanakyapuri

    In case of the application for a short stay, you need to file your application at least 5 days before the date of departure.

  • Booking your visa appointment

    The next ideal step is to allocate a day that is significantly before your date of departure for your application review.In order to do so, you must check the approximate time of waiting for appointments, but an ideal time to fix the appointment is at least before two weeks of departure.The final authority of approving your visa application. In case you need to figure out the location and other necessary details for making an appointment, you can check here.

  • Submitting your file

    During your appointment, you must carry all the documents you are required to carry. The consulate will process your application, receive your fees, get your biometric data, and review your documents. This process takes at least 20 minutes to complete. During your file submission, you are required to pay all the necessary fees including application fees and service charge. You can check out this link to figure out this link for further details.

  • Tracking your application

    When your passport is ready, the consulate/application centre will contact you or send it to you by post. However, if you have not received your passport yet, you can check the status of your visa application on the online portal.

  • France Visa Document Requirements

    Documents Required for Short Stay Visa

    • If you have applied for a short stay/tourist visa, you will require the following documents:
    • A properly filled application form
    • 2 Photographs in the required format
    • Proof of legal residency
    • Travel documents (these should be valid for at least 3 months after the planned return date)
    • In the case of packaged tours, you need to provide a detailed itinerary of your trip
    • A copy of the return ticket that is pre-booked
    • A proof of hotel reservation or proof of sufficient financial means to book accommodation (approx. 120 Euros)
    • Documents supporting personal income: Bank Statement of the last 3 months
    • Copy of income tax returns
    • Copy of international travel insurance (original document will be required for verification)
    • Copy of last 3 salary slips
    • For entrepreneurs- certificate of registration of the company
    • Contract of employment
    • If a minor is travelling alone, it will need to be authorised by the consulate authorities, and a copy of the parents' identification will be required
    • If a person below the age of 18 is travelling, then the birth certificate will be required.

    Documents Required for Assistant Visa

    An assistant visa is required when you visit France to meet/assist your relatives with the purpose of a long stay. Moreover, if you are going to France for study/work, even in that case, an assistant visa will be provided to you. While the documents of identification are similar to the requirements of a tourist visa, additional documents required for an assistant visa are as follows:

    • Copy of birth certificate
    • Civil status certificate that establishes a relationship with the relative in France
    • Documented proof of the continuity of relationship
    • Proof of enrolment in an educational institution (in case of study)
    • No Objection Certificate (in case of both work/study)
    • If you are accompanying your spouse, you need to carry a marriage certificate

    Fees Required for France Visa Application

    While the fees charged for application differ for each type of visa, these are a different set of charges usually applied during the visa application process.

    Type of Charge Fees (in Euros)
    Short Stay (Travel) 60
    Long Stay (for a Student visa) 50
    Airport Transit 60
    Long Stay 99
    Short Stay (for minors with age between 6 to 12 years) 35
    Charges for citizens of African nations 60

    France Tourist Visa

    The type of visa is applicable for travelling to France is a short-stay visa, which allows you to travel within France for up to 90 days. A short stay visa allows you to travel, work, attend meetings, as well as perform transit through France. This visa is also recognised as a "uniform Schengen short-stay visa, through which you are eligible to stay/travel across the listed territories within Schengen.

    Note: if you are planning to make multiple visits to France in a period of 6 months – 5 years, you should opt for a circulation visa, which allows you to make multiple stays in France according to your preference.

     

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    Is it compulsory for me to get a French Visa to travel to France?

    If you are an Indian citizen, you are required to apply for a French visa and apply for appointment at the French consulate.

    How can I apply for a French Visa?

    You can either visit the French consulates situated across India or apply for a French Visa online. However, you will still need to visit the consulate for final approval, as the visa is not granted for France without a face-to-face meeting.

    What should be mentioned in the cover letter to be submitted with my documents?

    You should mention why you wish to go to France, the province you will be going to, and any other information that relevantly describes the purpose of your visit.

    What are the payment methods for Visa fees?

    If you are going to visit the Kolkata consulate, you have an additional option of paying through bank draft. For all other consulates, you need to pay in cash.

    If my application is rejected, what should I do?

    The French consulate is not liable to provide a reason for rejection. However, you can re-apply after a period of 6 months ideally.

    Is it necessary to get travel insurance?

     

    It is always recommendable to take travel insurance during your trip. Travel insurance allows you to enjoy your travel experience rather than stressing over things that can go wrong. Moreover, it allows you an easy way to deal with emergencies that may arise during your travel.

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    Buying travel insurance from Bharti AXA is a straightforward and hassle-free process. You can get the policy online instantly without paper work involved. Furthermore, the comprehensive policy covers all major emergencies that can arise during travel. The important aspects of travel insurance policy is that it covers medical emergencies, personal accidents, loss of passport & documents, loss of checked-in luggage, flight delay etc.

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