Applying for a short-stay visa
Date of update
As a citizen of a State outside the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, are you looking to visit or stay in France for a short period?
Typically, you should apply for a short-stay visa.
A short-stay visa authorizes foreign nationals to enter and stay in French territory for up to 3 months.
Short-stay visas can be single-entry for one short stay or multiple-entry for several successive short stays.
Obtaining a short-stay visa
Where to apply
Applications must be submitted to the French embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.
When processing visa applications, the visa authorities normally invite applicants to attend their premises in person.
Some formalities, such as arranging appointments and submitting applications, may be outsourced to external service providers. (VFS Global, TLS, etc.).
The application is initiated online via the official website france-visas.gouv.fr.
This first step allows the applicant to verify the need for him to obtain a visa using the Visa Assistant. The user can then apply for a visa via a personal account and then find out how to submit their file, often with the service provider from the Consulate or Embassy. Thanks to the france-visas.gouv.fr website, visa applicants can now follow the progress of their application directly online.
Where to apply if you are thinking about visiting more than one country in the Schengen Area
For successive short stays in more than one Schengen country, the authorities that can issue short-stay visas are as follows:
Do you need to travel in the overseas departments and regions?
The overseas departments and regions (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion Island and Mayotte) are not part of France’s European territory.
The Schengen agreements thus do not apply on these overseas territories.
- Foreign nationals holding a short-stay Schengen visa may thus not enter an overseas department, authority or territory;
- Foreign nationals issued a specific short-stay visa to one of the overseas departments, this visa does not allow them to enter the Schengen Area.
More details on the website of the Ministry of the Interior
You are planning to visit both the Schengen Area and an overseas department or region?
If stays are planned both in the Schengen Area and an overseas department or region, foreign nationals must submit separate visa applications:
Persons wishing to travel to mainland France or the Schengen Area from one of the overseas territories must also apply for a Schengen visa at the prefecture of their place of residence.
When to apply
Processing timescales for short-stay visas can vary from one embassy or consulate to another.
Applicants are advised to apply relatively early, but no earlier than three months before the planned date of arrival in France
Helpful tip: All documents must be submitted in French (originals together with a set of photocopies). Visa applications are not processed until a complete application has been received.
France-visas provides the public with a precise list of the documents to be provided in support of a visa application, adapted to the purpose of the stay and the personal situation of the foreign national.
To submit a short-stay visa application, applicants should typically present the following documents:
- A passport(or other travel document) meeting both the following conditions:
- Issued in the last 10 years.
- Valid for at least three months after the planned date of departure from French territory.
- Short-stay visa application form (Cerfa no. 14076*01) duly completed, signed and dated via France-visas website and France-visas receipt.
- Three standardized passport photos.
- Evidence of sufficient financial means:
- €32.50 a day for foreigners with an accommodation certificate.
- €65 a day for foreigners with proof of a hotel room booking.
- €120 a day for foreigners without proof of a hotel room booking.
- Proof of a guarantee of repatriationto the foreign national’s usual place of residence.
- Proof of insurance covering medical and hospital expenses up to at least €30,000.
- Evidence of the reasons for and conditions of the stay:
- Tourist visits: Hotel booking showing the applicant’s name, lease agreement, etc.
- Family or personal visit: Original and photocopy of proof of accommodation (accommodation certificate).
- Transit: Travel bookings, visa for final destination, etc.
- Business travel: Letter of invitation from the host (company, seminar or conference organizer, etc.).
- Internships and training: Internship agreement.
A full list of specific supporting documents to be submitted with a visa application, depending on the purpose of the stay and the foreign national’s personal circumstances, is freely available to the public at the France-visas website.
Proof of accommodation
Any foreigner wishing to stay in France for no longer than three months, especially for a family or personal visit, must provide proof of accommodation.
This can take the form of a hotel booking or an accommodation certificate supplied by a person hosting the foreign national in their home. The host must apply in person to the town hall in their place of residence, signing Cerfa form no. 10798*03.
Cost of a short-stay visa
Application and visa fees are charged when the application is submitted. They range from €35 to €60 depending on the nationality of the applicant, to whom a receipt is issued.
Fees can be found on France-visas.
Fees are not refunded if a visa application is unsuccessful.
Helpful tip: Some formalities, such as arranging appointments and submitting applications, may be outsourced to external service providers. Any fees they charge are in addition to standard application fees, and are payable by the applicant.
Applying for a short-stay visa
The process for initiating a visa application is divided into several stages as explained on the official website France-visas.gouv.fr:
Download the “Schengen” short stay visa application form Cerfa 14076*03.
Download the visa for a department
or an overseas territory application form Cerfa 15934*01.
Access to all the forms on the France-visas website
How to read a short-stay visa sticker
Visa territorial validity
The territorial validity of the visa in France is specified on the sticker.
When the sticker bears the indication “valid for France except TCOM”, the visa is valid for mainland France and the territories of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion and the community of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.
When the sticker bears the indication “DFA”, the visa is valid only for Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana, and for the community of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.
Lastly, if the sticker only lists the name of a single overseas department or region, it authorises entry only to this department or region. On the sticker, the mark is “DEPARTEMENT D’OUTRE MER (FRANCE)”, the visa entitles you only to enter the departement or region specified in the « REMARQUES / REMARKS » section.
Consular or diplomatic authorities may reject visa applications.
The reasons for rejection must always be given in writing.Le ressortissant étranger may informally appeal such decisions free of charge and ask the relevant authority to reconsider their application.
Applications can also be referred to the French Visa Application Appeals Commission (Commission de recours contre les décisions de refus de visa d’entrée en France – CRV).