There are several types of visa:
Short-stay visas (“Schengen visas”)
Short-stay or “Schengen” visas allow you to move freely in countries in the Schengen Area for 90 days per period of 6 months from your first entry to the Schengen Area. Schengen visas may be required for one or several entries.
This type of visa is for tourism, business travel or family visits.
Long-stay visas are for stays exceeding 3 months. The main reasons for receiving this type of visa are study, work and family reunion.
Where a long-stay visa is issued, you must, on arriving in France, register with the French Immigration and Integration Office (OFII) or, in some cases, apply to the relevant prefecture for a residence permit.
France allows citizens of many countries to visit without a tourist visa for 3 months. If you want to stay longer, you can apply for a French long-stay visa after you have returned home. If you need a Schengen or long-stay visa to enter France, then you must make an appointment with your local French consulate and provide the appropriate documents. Identify the specific French tourist visa requirements for your country. Depending upon your home country you may or may not need a tourist visa for a 3-month or long-term stay.
- If your native country is Andorra, Monaco or Switzerland, or it is part of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), then you do not need a tourist visa to France for any length of time.
- You will not need a 3-month tourist visa, if you are citizen of one of the following countries: United Kingdom, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, or the Special Administrative Region of Macao of the People’s Republic of China.
- If your country is not listed, then you will most likely need to apply for a 3-month Schengen visa to visit France. Countries that require a Schengen visa include South Africa, India, Algeria, Philippines, Ukraine, China, Thailand, Russia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan. The Schengen visa is based on an agreement between 25 European countries that allows tourists to enter 1 of the 25 countries and go between other Schengen countries without showing their passport.
Documents for a Schengen short-stay visa
To apply for a Schengen short-stay visa, you are required to present the following documents:
- A passport which is valid for at least 3 months after the date of the requested visa;
- A visa application form – duly completed and signed;
- A maximum of 3 photographs meeting requirements;
- Application fees. Visa application forms for a child under 18 years of age must be signed by a parent or legal guardian
All about getting a tourist visa in France. Find out how to get a tourist visa in France.Application fees are:
- 60 euros for a short-stay visa (one or more stays totaling to less than 3 months per period of 6 months in the Schengen Area) except for nationals of certain countries who benefit from a special rate agreed with the European Union (Bosnia, Moldavia, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia).
- 99 euros for a long-stay visa.