Other foreign nationals

Other foreign nationals

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Do you want to enter France? Various types of visa are available to you, depending on your personal and professional circumstances and the reason for your stay.

First of all, you should be aware that a visa issued by the French authorities also gives you the opportunity to enter the 26 Member States of the Schengen Area.

Schengen countries

Source : touteleurope.eu

What is the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area is an area within which people may move freely between countries that are signatories to the Schengen Agreement.

An area of free movement

Once any individual, of whatever nationality, has entered the territory of one of the Member States, they may cross the borders of the other States without any controls at internal borders within the Schengen Area.

Controls only apply at external borders when foreign nationals first enter the Area.

The fact that France belongs to the Schengen Area means authorized foreign nationals can enter France and move freely between countries in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Within the Schengen Area, businesses and foreign nationals thus benefit from:

  • Harmonized conditions of entry and issuance of short-stay visas.
  • Abolition of internal border controls.
  • The principle of free movement of persons within the Area.

Schengen countries

French territory within Europe (i.e. excluding overseas départements, territories and communities) has been part of the Schengen Area since the latter was first formed.

All EU and EEA Member States are also part of the Schengen Area, with the exception of the following:

  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Ireland
  • Romania
  • United Kingdom

Documents to be presented upon entering French territory

The following must be presented:

  • A travel document:
    • A passport issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least three months after the planned date of departure from French territory; and, where applicable:
    • A visa and/or residence permit issued by the French authorities or those of a Schengen country.
  • Supporting documents in connection with the stay:
    • For tourist, personal and family visits: Any document explaining the reason for and conditions of the stay, including in particular its duration.
    • For business trips: Any document stating the traveler’s profession and providing relevant information on the establishments they will be visiting.
  • Sufficient financial means to allow the foreign national to meet the expenses associated with a stay in France, to be evidenced by presenting cash, traveler’s cheques, certified checks, international payment cards or any other means.
  • Repatriation guarantees such as a travel ticket valid for a return journey to the foreign national’s usual country of residence.

The French authorities reserve the right to refuse entry into French territory.


Helpful tip: Will you be coming into France from another country in the Schengen Area?
Upon entering French territory, non-EU/EEA/Swiss foreign nationals arriving from another Schengen country must declare themselves to the French authorities (border police, police station or gendarmerie) unless they can produce a residence permit valid for more than one year issued by another Schengen country.
A stamp stating the date of entry into France is then applied to the foreign national’s passport.



For further information:

Legal and regulatory texts:
Code for Entry and Residence of Foreign Persons and the Right of Asylum (CESEDA):