Obtaining a visa
This introductory section summarizes the documents required for each type of visa application. The applications themselves, as well as appointment information, can be obtained at your local French consulate. For the differing reasons for applying for a French visa, consult the appropriate section for the visa that will meet your needs.
For each and every visa, you will need to apply in your home country or country of residence at the local French consulate. It is virtually impossible to arrive in France on one visa and change your status. This website http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/france/coming-to-france/getting-a-visa gives an overview on visas for France. For your country-specific regulations, please visit your local consulate (See the “Consulates abroad” section for contact information and websites).
For All Visas
Tips on completing your visa application properly:
- Forms: All forms must be completely and legibly filled out in black or blue ink, signed and dated.
- Photos: All photos must be recent (less than 6 months old), identical, passport size (35-40mm in width) and showing face front, the forehead hairline, and ears on a white background. The French prefer if you do not smile.
- Passports: It must be valid for at least three months following the last day of your stay in France. Be sure the passport has blank “visa” pages left to affix the visa.
- Medical Coverage: Proof of medical coverage can be a letter from your insurance company stating that you will be covered for any medical expenses, hospitalization and repatriation for at least $50,000 during your stay in Europe. If your current insurance company does not provide such coverage, you have to find an international insurance that does. Failure to provide this document with this exact wording will delay the granting of the visa.
- Airline tickets: No open tickets are accepted. Do not purchase tickets until the visa has been approved.
- Financial Guarantee (or proof of financial resources or support): This may be submitted in any one of the following forms; formal letters of reference from the applicant’s bank showing account numbers and balances or recent bank, savings or brokerage account statements, your last monthly bank statement (not a summary), your last 3 paystubs, a letter from your employer mentioning your annual salary, or - if your financial means are not sufficient – you may also provide a notarized letter from your sponsor stating he/she will be responsible for all your expenses and a proof of his/her financial means.