How To Apply For Your France Schengen Visa
The France Schengen visa application has to be filled online and takes about approximately 20 minutes to finish.
What Does The France Schengen Visa Application Process Entail?
The application is split into five sections:
- Your plans
- Your information
- Previous Schengen visas (if any)
- Your stay
Section 1 - Your Plans
You’re required to provide information about your travel documents and the place of application submission.
Section 2 - Your information
This step involves gathering your personal, family, and occupation information. Provide all details exactly as they are in your passport:
- Sex - Male, Female, or Others
- Marital Status
- Date of Birth - DD/MM/YYYY
- Place and country of birth
- Last and first names
Next, enter your current address. You will be denied a visa if your address does not match the one provided in the proof of residence that you provide. Select ‘Yes’ for the next question and provide details about your residence status. The permit number is the unique number associated with your Green Card / H1B/ F1/ J1 visas, as indicated on the picture below.
Section 3 - Previous Schengen Visas
While this section is self-explanatory, most people don’t remember if and when they completed a previous Schengen Visa Application, and if they had their fingerprints biometrics taken. A good rule of thumb is that you got your fingerprints documented if you applied for a Schengen visa after 2016 since it was impossible to obtain a Schengen visa without doing so.
You can find your biometric visa number on the Schengen visa stamp.
The visa number is the 3-letter country code (issuing country), followed by a 9-digit number. Therefore, in the example above, the visa number is FRA005702202.
Section 4 - Information On Your Stay
France requires information on your intended travel dates. Please do not provide dates for the sake of getting a visa, as, more often than not, your visa granted would be +/- 15 days of your intended arrival date. For example, if your trip to France is between June 01-June 10, but write down April 01-10 in your Schengen visa application, you’re likely to get a visa from April 01 thru around April 15th. We suggest always opting for a multiple entry visa but know that it’s unlikely you’ll get one. There is, however, no downside or additional paperwork to ask for one. For power travelers looking to get one, we’ve discovered a few hacks:
- Apply for a business visa and note that you travel multiple times
- Provide multiple itineraries spanning the year, and mention them in your cover letter.
- Show a history of travel, especially to Europe.
- Apply through other Schengen states where your interview is directly at the embassy, allowing for a more direct interface with the decision-makers. We suggest Germany.
Section 5 - Your Contacts
While the section title is confusing, France is just asking for your contact information while you’re in France. For most travelers, this is the contact information of their hotel/Airbnb. The name has to match the name of the establishment in your itinerary and hotel reservation.
Finally, you’ve to present evidence to prove that you can support yourself during your stay in France. You can select the option that works best for you, which has a balance equivalent to EUR 50 x the number of days in France. For example, a traveler visiting France for ten days should show a minimum balance of at least EUR 500 (50 x 10 days). You can select multiple options, but evidence of each is required.
Complete your Visa Application
After reviewing your information, you will get a completed Schengen visa application. The last page consists of a unique registration barcode that you must print and present at the appointment.
France Visa Photos
The photo requirements for a French Schengen visa follow ICAO standards.
- Two identical photos. Not older than six months.
- Photo size: 35x45mm or 2 in x 2 in.
- In color. No black and white
- Head should cover most of the photo.
- White background.
Provide Proof of Employment Letter for France Visa
A letter from your employer is required as proof of employment. The letter should state:
- Date of the letter.
- Employer name.
- Approved leave during your French visit.
- Position and title.
- A declaration that you will continue to be employed during your France visit.
- Contact and address information of supervisor along with their signature.
This is a letter from your university for students, and your academic advisor or Office of International Education can provide it. Please provide a letter of support from any individual/organization that is financing your livelihood for homemakers or those unemployed. This includes but is not limited to your spouse or parents too.
Obtain France Visa Travel Insurance
Because most Schengen countries provide public healthcare, travel insurance is required to obtain a French Schengen visa, so visitors don’t become a financial burden on France’s health system in the event of unforeseen issues. The insurance should explicitly meet these requirements:
- Coverage of at least EUR 30,000 .
- Be valid in all 26 Schengen States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
- Cover medical emergency expenses and anything connected with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention, and/or emergency hospital treatment or death.
- For those hoping to get a longer-term Schengen visa, it is advisable to provide travel insurance that lasts the whole year as per the EU directive.
Quick Note:“Applicants for a uniform visa for more than two entries (multiple entries) shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance covering the period of their first intended visit. In addition, such applicants shall sign the statement, set out in the application form, declaring that they are aware of the need to be in possession of travel medical insurance for subsequent stays.”
Traveling to France with Children
Even children require a Schengen visa to travel to France. In addition to all the standard documents, you’ve to provide the following.
- Application form signed by both parents
- Birth certificate of the child
- If a child is traveling alone, a notarized parental authorization is signed by both parents or guardians.
If the child travels with one of the parents, then there must be an official permission letter issued by a notary in English from the other parent. In case of the parents’ absence (divorce, death, etc.), a relevant official certificate (i.e divorce, death and etc.) must be presented. Additionally, copies of IDs of parents are also required.
While not required, it is preferred that for children who go to school - a reference letter from the relevant school: address and contacts of the school, signature, and stamp of the person in charge, and reference to the Embassy should be noted in the letter.