France Schengen Visa: How to Get it

France Schengen visa

Want to visit France? We have all the information you need to apply for a France Schengen visa. About 90 million people visited France in the year 2018. That made France the top tourist destination in the world.

You may want to explore the medieval architecture or waterfront cafes in Marseille. You may want to see the beautiful Tete d’Or park, the hidden passageways or local restaurants in Lyon. And Strasbourg is not left behind, it boasts of various attractions like museums, Gothic cathedrals and cafes. In Loire Valley you will find Chambord, Amboise, Rivau and other popular chateaux.  For world-class arts, beautiful architecture and shopping, Bordeaux is there for you. And Paris! Oh beautiful Paris is a city of light and love, the home of Fashion, Arts and Entertainment

travel to France

For many countries, their citizens need a France Schengen visa in order to enter France, whether the purpose of traveling is for tourism or short visit. If you intend to visit France for a less than three months, you should find out if you need a Schengen visa.

France Schengen Visa for a Tourist or Visitor

When you apply for a Schengen Tourism / Visitor visa to France, you will be able to visit France as well as other Schengen member countries. You should be aware that Schengen visa for tourism or visiting family and friends only serves the purpose for which it is named. You can use it only for traveling and sightseeing in the Schengen area, not for work or study.

Citizens of countries that can enter France visa free

If you fall among citizens of the categories of nations below, then you do not need a visa in order to enter France:

  • You are a citizen of the Schengen Area
  • You are a citizen of one of the countries that have established visa-free regime with the Schengen states (Note you will need to apply for ETIAS starts 2021)
  • You are currently in the Schengen Zone with:
    • a Schengen Visa valid for the whole Schengen territory
    • a National Visa issued by one of the member states
    • a Permanent residency of one of the member states

Citizens of countries that need a visa to enter France

If you fall among citizens of the categories of nations below, then you do need a visa in order to enter France:

  • You do not have a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen member states

You can find list of countries who need a Schengen visa here

Requirements for France Schengen Visa for a Tourist or Visitor

In order to process your France Schengen tourist or visitor visa to France, you will need the following documents:

  • Application form completed in English or French
  • Recent Passport size photographs
  • Valid national passport
  • Personal bank statements for the last three months
  • Schengen Travel Insurance.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Proof of flight reservation
  • Proof of financial means. This may be:
    • A bank statement not older than three months or
    • A letter of sponsorship by another person
  • Leave letter from your company (if employed)
  • A Cover Letter explaining the reason why you wish to visit France and for how long you will stay.
  • Proof of civil status. That could be a marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card (if applicable), etc.
  • Your driver’s license and/or utility bill in your name. This is required as proof of residence in the consular where you plan to apply for the visa

Where and when to apply for a France Schengen Visa

If you plan that France will be your only or main country of visit in the Schengen area, you can apply for your tourist or visitor visa at the French consulate or embassy in your country. Some countries also have visa centres where you can apply for the visa.

If you only intend to visit France as part of your tour in the Schengen areas, then you will have to apply for a visa at the embassy of the country of your main destination during your Schengen tour.

You can apply for a tourist or visitor visa to France not more than three months prior to your visit and not later than two weeks before your visit. The maximum number of stay in a Schengen area is 90 days and it is subject to consulate approval.

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