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Note: This post is a sneak peek of a French Visa eGuide we’ve just published and are sharing for with anyone interested in applying for their first French Visa or renewing it.

On behalf of the Expats Paris Editorial team, I would like to express my gratitude to many people who saw us through this eBook; to all those who provided support, talked things over, read, wrote, offered comments, allowed us to quote their remarks and assisted in the editing, proofreading, and design. Without you, this book would never find its way to the Web and to so many people who dream of living in Paris. Should you be interested in getting this book? You can get yourself a copy right here


It is a well-known fact that France is one of the most popular destinations from all around the world.

Its popularity mostly comes as a result of country’s beautiful attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Côte d'Azur, etc. 

If you are planning a trip to these destinations, or you simply want to visit the country, you need the following legal documents:

● A Valid Passport

● France Tourist Visa

● A planned itinerary

A France Tourist Visa is the most important document to have whether you plan a business trip, a holiday vacation with your family or any other legal purpose of entering the country.

The vast majority of trips to France are between the months of May and September. 

In the case of visiting the country purely for tourist attractions, we suggest you avoid this period due to its increasing flow of travelers. Winter nights in Paris, for example, are very colorful, especially the area that is near the Eiffel Tower. It is guaranteed that you will enjoy France even in a non-peak month.


Here are some points to consider before applying for a France Visa:

1. You need a passport valid for at least three months after your last visit to France. Don’t forget to take some photocopies of it. We recommend you to bring at least three copies.

2. Have at least five images with your portrait profile. When photo-shooting for these, make sure to wear casual clothing and a white/transparent background for the entire image.

3. Show your financial status – you can get copies of these documents from your bank. Documents that can confirm this information are brokerage accounts, pensions, dividends, etc. Bring copies of these too.

4. Get a health insurance that covers the situations of injury and sickness. You might not need it but it is recommended to do so.

5. Clarify your visits’ purpose; if you travel to France for a business meeting, make sure to mention this at the submission of your Visa request. As a final step, legalize these documents at a public notary.

6. If your purpose of traveling is working, you need a legal contract approved by the French Ministry of Labor. Additionally, you will have to pass a medical exam, and both of these documents should be accompanied with a copy of the contract from the employer.

7. A medical exam is required, also, in the case of studying in France. The admission letter and enrollments certificates must be presented while applying for your study Visa. Make sure to bring copies that state your academic records.

8. Planning a marriage in France? In this case, you need to apply for a special type of Visa. A very important rule is to make sure that your spouse is a French resident before 40 days to the expected date of the wedding.

9. Note that you will be charged different amounts depending on the type of Visa you apply for. You can check the price with French consultants in your country of residence. After completing this step, you can freely submit your documentation to the French Consulate and wait for your Schengen Visa to be approved.


During the process of reviewing your file, some instances might delay the procedure because of some confirmation documents. In general, Visa applications might take some time before approval; this is why it is very important to determine your purpose of visiting France straight from the beginning. 

Optionally, you can apply for a Schengen Visa that offers you the possibility of traveling to 25 European countries without any restriction. This might come handy if you plan a trip to the Europe. You might not get a chance to visit some East European countries, but it is worth getting a Schengen Visa as opposed to a simple one.

Here are some France Visa types for you to consider before applying:

1. France Tourist Visa – can be issued for 90 days maximum. If you plan a visit to your friends or family, then this type is suitable for you. 

2. France Business Visa – also issued for 90 days. This is the best choice for business owners or business workers who need to attend corporate meetings in France.

3. France Transit Visa – requires you to stay in France no longer than a few hours or a couple of days. 

4. France Spouse Visa – mostly requested by couples who need to visit their spouse for a longer period of time. 

Each Visa type requires a certain set of documents attached to the application. It is a good idea to check with the French Embassy in your country for some directions or guides on preparing the right acts.


Over to you!

Is there any question related to the French visa that’s not covered in this chapter? Of course, not everything related to the French Visa is covered in here. That’s why we highly recommend you to download this French Visa eGuide for more detailed cases.

Download the French Visa eBook Now.


While Expats Paris editorial team has made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the information contained herein, Expats Paris and its publishing partners assume no liability with respect to loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused, by any reliance on any information contained herein and disclaim any and all warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of said information. Expats Paris makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation. It is the complete responsibility of the reader to ensure they are adhering to all local, regional, national and international laws. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the French & Schengen Visa.


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Last modified onThursday, 29 December 2016 08:25
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