How to Get a VISA to France

Embarking on a trip to France is an exciting adventure. Obtaining your visa is the first step towards experiencing the country's rich culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes.

Simeon Onaji
Simeon Onaji

Simeon is a Senior Editor at Tozome, an amateur wine connoisseur, and a mediocre Tennis player.

How to Get a VISA to France

Bonjour and welcome to the land of croissants, cheese, and wine! Are you ready to pack your bags, grab your passport, and head off on a journey to one of the most beautiful countries in the world? France has something for everyone, from Paris’s bustling streets to Provence’s rolling hills.

Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, an art lover, or simply searching for a little joie de vivre, there’s no shortage of adventures in this vibrant and diverse country. But first, what about a VISA? Without it, all of that may remain just a dream. Let’s find out how to obtain a visa to France!

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Before Anything Else: Check If You Need a VISA At All

Visa requirements for France - visa in France

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Before making any travel plans to France, it is essential to determine whether or not you require a French visa. Visa requirements for France depend on several factors, such as the purpose and duration of your trip, your nationality, and the country you currently reside.

Generally, European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) citizens do not need a visa to visit France. However, if you are a non-EU/EEA national, you may need to obtain a visa before your trip.

Before starting any visa process, check if you need one Here.

Determine Your Visa Type

Prior to initiating the visa application procedure, you must determine the appropriate visa category that aligns with the purpose of your visit. Many visa options are obtainable for trips to France, and your selection will depend solely on the duration and intent of your journey!

Choose Your Visa Type

African man showing his French visa

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Schengen Visa: This visa allows the holder to travel within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within 180 days. It’s suitable for tourism, business, or medical visits.

Short-stay Visa: This visa is valid for stays of up to 90 days and is appropriate for tourism, business, or family visits.

Long-stay Visa: This visa is for stays longer than 90 days and is typically issued for work, study, or family reunification purposes.

Student Visa: This visa is for students planning to study in France for over 90 days. It requires proof of acceptance into a French educational institution.

Work Visa: This visa is for individuals with a job offer or plan to work in France. It requires a work contract and proof of qualifications.

Family Reunification Visa: This visa is for individuals seeking to join their family members in France. It requires proof of family ties and accommodation.

Transit Visa: This visa allows the holder to transit through France on their way to another destination. It’s suitable for layovers of less than 24 hours.

Checklist Before Applying for a visa to France

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Before submitting your application, it is recommended that you complete a brief checklist and prepare all necessary documentation. Make sure to gather and organize all required documents.

Here’s the essentials list:

  • Valid passport – Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in France, with at least two blank pages.
  • Visa Application Form – Complete and sign the visa application form.
  • Photo – Provide one passport-sized photo that meets the France visa photo requirements.
  • Travel Itinerary – Provide a detailed itinerary of your trip, including travel dates, accommodation, and transportation plans.
  • Proof of Accommodation – Provide proof of your accommodation arrangements in France, such as hotel bookings or rental agreements.
  • Travel insurance – Provide proof of travel insurance that covers medical expenses and repatriation for your stay in France.
  • Proof of financial Means – Provide proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in France, such as bank statements or a letter from your employer.
  • Proof of ties to your home country – Provide proof of ties to your home country, such as a job offer or enrollment in a school, to demonstrate your intention to return home after your stay in France.

Depending on the purpose of your trip, you may need to provide other documents, such as a letter of invitation, employment contract, or proof of enrollment in a school.

It’s important to note that this is a general checklist, and the specific requirements may vary depending on the type of visa and your individual circumstances. Be sure to check the official website of the French Embassy or Consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information.

How to Apply for a Visa in France in 5 Steps

Schengen visa in a French passport - VISA to France

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After identifying the appropriate visa category for your needs, you can initiate the France visa application process. The application process for a France visa differs based on the type of visa you are applying for. While specific requirements remain uniform across categories, we give you the general steps you will need to follow:

Step 1: Determine your visa type: The first step is determining the appropriate visa type for your trip to France.

Step 2: Gather the required documents: Once you have determined the appropriate visa type, gather all the required documents, including a completed application form, passport, travel itinerary, proof of accommodation, and more.

Step 3: Schedule an appointment:  You must schedule an appointment with your country’s French Embassy or Consulate. You may be required to submit biometric data, such as fingerprints and a photograph, during your appointment.

Step 4: Submit your application & Pay: At your appointment, submit your completed application form and all required documents. During this step, you’ll also pay for the visa.

Step 5: Wait for your visa: After submitting your application, wait for the processing time to be completed. The processing time may vary depending on the type of visa and your circumstances. Once your visa is approved, you will receive your passport with the visa stamp.

If you think you might need help with the application process, you might want to use iVisa. They provide a service to directly order your visa and have it all ready within a certain amount of time without any hassle.

Order your visa with iVisa


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It’s important to note that the visa application process may vary depending on the country you are applying from and the type of visa you need. Be sure to check the official website of the French Embassy or Consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information and specific instructions on how to apply for a visa.

France Visa Fees

The visa fees for France vary depending on the type of visa and the duration of your stay.

Here are general prices as of 2023:

      • Adults: €80
      • Children between 6 and 12 years old: €40
      • Children under 6 years old: free

For long-stay visa to France, the fees are as follows:

      • Stay up to 1 year: €99
      • Stay over 1 year: €50

It’s important to note that these fees may be subject to change and do not include additional fees for services such as biometric data collection or visa application centers.

Be sure to check the official website of the French Embassy or Consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information on visa fees and any additional fees or requirements.

Visa Extension

The Elysee Palace in Paris

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Visa extensions in France are possible in certain circumstances but are not guaranteed. If you are already in France with a valid visa and wish to extend your stay, you must apply for an extension at least 2 months before your current visa expires.

The circumstances in which you may be able to extend your visa include medical, family, and professional reasons. To apply for a visa extension, you will need to submit a completed application form and all required documents to the French immigration authorities.

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How Long Does It Take to Obtain France Visa?

Colmar, Alsace, France

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The processing time for a France visa can vary depending on several factors, including the type of visa, the time of year, and the volume of applications. Generally, the processing time for a France visa is typically between 7 and 15 days for short-stay visas (up to 90 days) and up to 2 months for long-stay visas (over 90 days).

To ensure that your visa application is processed as quickly as possible, it’s recommended to apply well before your planned travel dates and to ensure all required documents are included in your application.

Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a seasoned explorer, France will captivate you with its charm and allure. So pack your bags, brush up on your French, and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime! But if you still have doubts about anything, you can always check the official FAQ section in France government’s website.

Disclaimer: This article is updated regularly to ensure we are providing you with the latest information on VISA to France, but the visa situation might and do change. Please always double-check the French Government website.

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