Approximately 90 million visitors enter France every year, making it the most visited country in the world, according to statistics revealed by French Desire.
The figure is almost 10% of the global tourist market, in terms of incoming international visitors. With 40,000 historic monuments and about 1,500 chateaux and much more, France contributes €80 billion to the EU GDP.
The country offers a variety of activities to for tourists, including ice skating, skiing, shopping at arcades and street markets, Tour de France cycling race, Seine river cruise, canal boating and a lot more.
Traveling to this country is definitely thrilling but before the thrill comes the challenge of getting a visa.
You need to begin by downloading and filling the France Visa Application Form.
Eligibility for French Visa
But, before you make further plans, first check if you are eligible for a visa. There are two types of visas, depending on the duration of your stay:
- Short Stay Schengen Visa:
If you wish to stay in France for not more than 90 days, you are eligible to apply for this visa.
- Long Stay Schengen Visa:
If you intend to stay period in the country for more than 90 days, you need a long stay visa. With this, you can stay in France for up to one year. You are, however, not eligible to travel to any other Schengen country under this visa.
Citizens of some nations are not required to apply for a visa, either long or short term. You can check whether your country is on this list here.
Specific Requirements for France Visa
Listed below are the requirements for each type of France Schengen Visa:
- If you are travelling to France only to change your means of transport, you will require a valid transit visa and flight tickets of the country you are heading to.
- If you are traveling for the purpose of pleasure, you will require documents like passport copies and bank statements.
- For business-related activities, you will require an invitation from the company you will be visiting, employer’s certificate approving your travel, partnership documents, trade license, and so on.
- Travel for medical purposes would require an invitation letter from a medical institution in France, information on the treatment, its length and cost, along with medical reports from doctors in your home country and so on.
- If you are travelling for any event, you will be required to produce invitation letters, details of participants and proof of duration of stay.
- For official delegates, details of identity, journey purpose, stay duration and official invitation are mandatory.
- If you are looking to visit France for temporary study, research or internship purposes, your enrollment slip and attendance allowance proof are to be produced.
In all the above-mentioned cases, one common document that is a must is your proof of your financial ability to meet all expenses that could be occurred during your stay in France.
This proof could be in the form of bank statements, credit and debit card balance and cash availability.
According to the specifications of the European Commission, a foreigner visiting France must have €120 to spend each day.
Related: How to apply for France visa
1. Who needs a visa to enter France?
While EU citizens can enter France freely, most non-EU nationals will need a visa to visit France, depending on their home country and the length and purpose of their stay.
2. How do I apply for a France visa?
You can apply for a France visa through the French consulate or embassy in your home country. You will need to fill out an application form, provide required documents, pay a fee, and may have to attend an interview.
3. What documents are required to apply for a France visa?
The requirements may vary depending on the visa type. Generally, you need a valid passport, completed application form, passport-sized photos, proof of accommodation, travel itinerary, and proof of financial means.
4. How long does it take to process a France visa?
It generally takes 15 calendar days from the day you submit your application. However, it can take up to 60 days for certain nationalities or in peak travel seasons.
5. How long is a France tourist visa valid for?
A short-stay France tourist visa is typically valid for 90 days within a 180-day period.
6. Can I extend my stay in France beyond my visa validity?
In exceptional cases, you may apply for a visa extension. However, these are rarely granted unless there is a compelling reason, like a medical emergency.
7. Can I work in France with a tourist visa?
No, a tourist visa does not permit you to undertake any paid activity in France. To work in France, you need a specific work visa.
8. What is a Schengen visa, and does it apply to France?
A Schengen visa allows you to travel within the 26 Schengen countries, including France, for up to 90 days.
9. Can I travel to other European countries with my France visa?
If you have a Schengen visa issued by France, you can travel to other Schengen countries.
10. What if my France visa application is denied?
If your application is denied, you will receive a notification explaining the reasons for the refusal. You can appeal this decision or correct the issues and reapply.