Do I Need Visa For France

If you are a U.S. citizen and plan to visit France for a short trip, then you can use your U.S. passport for travelling purpose. You don’t need any visa to travel to France but you need a valid national passport with at least six-month validity for the duration of stay, 3 months for Republic of Ireland and 4 months for Canada.

I had waited for this visit long before I started the process, but when I finally had everything ready and started the journey, I realized how frustrating and unclear the guidelines were. I did quite a bit of online research, but that only made it more complicated and confusing! Today, I’m going to try telling you what you need to know to get your visa. While my article assumes that you’ve already decided to visit France and have been accepted in an exchange program (so you don’t need any other visa conditions than a Schengen visa), if you’re still unsure, you can start by reading our tips on finding study abroad programs .

Do I Need Visa For France

Quote “The application for a Schengen visa should be lodged with the Consular Section of the Embassy of France in your country of permanent residence. The French Consulate may request further documentation, such as birth certificate or marriage certificate.” Source:

France Visa Requirements, Fees and Guidelines for U.S. Citizenship and U.S. Passport Holders

Do US citizens need a visa for France?

As a U.S. citizenship holder, you do not need to apply for a France Schengen Visa! You are allowed to travel to France and to all other members of  the Schengen Area  for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa, as long as your U.S. passport is valid for at least 3 months after your planned return to the United States!

If you plan to work in France for up to 90 days, you are NOT required to have a visa except if you are:

  • a diplomatic / official passport holder on a mission or
  • a journalist.

However salaried employees are required to obtain a valid work permit by the French labour authorities before entering France. This document replaces the visa and should be presented during border control.

U.S. Official and Diplomatic passport holders

U.S. Official and Diplomatic passport holders must obtain a France Schengen Visa prior to arrival. You will not be allowed to enter France without a visa.

U.S. Permanent Residence Card or U.S. visa holders (except for B1/B2).

If you are a holder of the U.S. Permanent Residence Card (formerly Green Card) or U.S. visa and if you are a citizen of the countries from this list, you must apply for the France Schengen Visa which correlates with the purpose of your visit to France, as there are different types of visas available and specifically designed for your travel purpose.

France Schengen Visa requirements

  • A valid passport or Travel document. Please make sure:
    • your passport has been issued within the previous 10 years,
    • your passport will be valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit France or the Schengen Area.
  • A valid U.S. permanent residence card (“green card”) or a valid US visa with valid I-94 and/or valid I-20 or I-797 + 1 photocopy, or an Advance Parole document.  (The B1/B2 visa holders must apply in their country of residence).
  • One application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant (please read carefully the explanations)
  • One photo, which must be glued on the application form. Applications with stapled photographs will be rejected.
  • Bank and credit card statements for the last 3 months.
  • Official itinerary with closed dates of travel.
  • Travel Insurance stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation in France and in the Schengen Area (minimum coverage of € 30.000).
  • Hotel reservations or proof of participation in group travel.
  • You need proof of sufficient funds for the period of stay in France.  Generally, there are several recognized ways to prove your financial sufficiency:
    • A personal bank statement indicating your financial movements (for at least 3 last months)
    • Credit card
    • Cash
    • Traveller’s cheques
    • Pay slips
    • Proof of employment
    • Supporting document to attest sponsor’s readiness to cover your expenses during your stay
    • Proof of prepaid accommodation
    • Document about accommodation in private
    • Proof of prepaid transport
    • Other
    As the European Commission specifies, any foreigner seeking to enter France, since 19 June 2014, must be able attesting to the French Authorities possessing the daily money amount of 120€ if holding no proof of prepaid accommodation. If the applicant has a prepaid hotel, then this amount reduces to 65€/daily for the period of covered hotel accommodation, while the rest is 120€. Also, in case the applicant proofs cheaper forms of accommodation the amount decreases to 32.25€/ day.

For employees:

  • Reference letter of employment in the U.S confirming your salary, hire date, position and dates of vacation (business registration if self employed)

For self-employed persons:

Submit a letter from the bank that you do business with, stating that the company is in good standing.

For foreign students on F1 visas:

  • valid I-20
  • reference letter from educational institution (school/college/university)  stating that you are in good standing, your major and the expected date of graduation.

If Invited

If you are invited by a friend or family member you must submit: a original and copy of “Attestation d’Accueil” that your host has to request at the City Hall (Mairie) in France

Traveling to France for Business purpose

You must provide a letter from your employer in the US or from your host company in France stating that you are in France on behalf of the company, giving the name and address of the contact person(s) in France and guaranteeing full responsibility for expenses, lodging, and return to the United States.

France Schengen Visa Fee and Payment Methods

The French Consulate Authorities in the USA accept only cash and money orders. For France Schengen Visa Fee please click here.

Where and How do I apply for a France Visa in U.S.?

Applying for a France Visa in Washington

You can apply for a French Visa at the VFS Global Center in Washington if you are a permanent resident of any of the following: Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, or Washington DC.

Filing an application at VFS Global in Washington

Please note that you will have to make an appointment at VFS global in Washington in order to file an application. Applications can be filed from Monday to Friday, starting at 9am to 4pm.

Contact and address
1025 Vermont Ave NW, 2nd Floor, 20005   Washington DC

Call Center:   +1 2127846157
Call Center:   +1 3472523055

Applying for a France Visa in San Francisco

You can apply for a French Visa at the VFS Global Center in San Francisco if you are a permanent resident of any of the following: northern California, northern Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, or the islands of Pacific under American jurisdiction – Guam and Samoa.

Filing an application at VFS Global in San Francisco

Please note that you will have to make an appointment at VFS global in San Francisco in order to file an application. Applications can be filed from Monday to Friday, starting at 9am to 4pm.

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