All about how to apply for a visa to France

Table of contents

Do you want to find a job in France or have you been offered a job that you cannot refuse? Do you want to continue your studies in this country? If your country of origin is not part of the Schengen area, you will have to apply for a visa at the French Embassy of the country you are currently living in. If this is the case for you and you don’t know where to start, Moneytrans answers your questions and shows you the way and the type of visa application form to fill in according to your personal situation. Let’s make it easier!


What is a visa application?

A visa is a document that allows you to enter a foreign country for a specific period and a specific reason. For example, if you wish to study or work in France, the administration of that country requires you to complete a visa application form to be sent to the French Embassy in your own country. Once validated, this document will allow you to live in the desired country during the determined period. This application must be made up to 3 months before your desired date of arrival. In order for your application to be complete, you will also need to provide a number of supporting documents in addition to your application form. Please note that there are two types of visas:

  1. A short-stay visa for any stay of less or equal to three months.
  2. A long-stay visa for stays of between three months and one year maximum.


What are the conditions for obtaining a visa for France?

A visa is for anyone who wishes to settle in France for a specific period of time and to carry out a specific activity (holiday, work, etc.) without having French nationality. It is important to note that once you have decided to settle in France for a specific timeframe, you will need to attach a certain number of documents to your visa application form without which you will not be able to enter French territory. Indeed, documents such as a valid passport (valid for at least 3 months after the date of your planned departure from France), as well as 3 passport-size photographs conforming to the standards are necessary. These documents may vary according to the type of visa requested (short or long stay). In addition, you will probably be asked questions about your current employment status.


Where to find the visa application form in France?

When you start the procedures to obtain your visa, the first step is to fill in the French visa application form. Where can you find it? It is very simple; this document is available on the website of the governmental portal France Visa. There are two types, one for short stay visas (cerfa N°15934*01) and one for long stay visas (cerfa N°14571*05). All the information will also be available at the French embassy closest to you!


What documents do I need to provide to obtain a visa?

As mentioned above, to obtain a visa and enter France, you will need to provide several documents to complete your application. You will need to provide:

  • A passport (or other travel document) issued less than 10 years ago and valid for at least 3 months after the visa expiry date.
  • The application form for a short or long stay visa, depending on the duration of your stay, duly completed, and signed.
  • 3 passport photos that meet the standards.
  • Documents describing your situation and reasons for travelling.
  • A means of payment for the fees to be paid at the time of application.
  • A ticket guaranteeing that you will be able to pay for a return ticket before the visa expires.

Once your application is complete, you can make an appointment at the visa centre nearest to you. Please allow sufficient time for an appointment as it is sometimes difficult to get an appointment quickly.


Long-stay visa application form

When your stay in France will last between three months and a maximum of one year, you can apply for a long-stay visa. This is justified by:

The cost of this visa is 99 euros for an adult.


Short stay visa application form

If your stay in France will not last more than three months, you can apply for a short-stay visa. This is justified by:

  • A tourist trip.
  • A visit to your relatives living in France.
  • Professional reasons such as seminars, conferences, trade fairs etc.
  • Participation in a training course or work placement.
  • Possession of a temporary paid work permit (always less than three months).

The cost of this visa varies according to the country you are in. For example, some countries issue it free of charge for young people aged between 6 and 18. In most cases, it costs 35 euros for 6- to 11-year-olds and 80 euros for those aged 12 and over.


For people coming to work in France for less than 3 months

If you wish to work in France for less than 3 months, you must add to your file the attestation form of the foreign employer. This is compulsory and must be added to the short-stay visa application form. Then, the procedure is the same, you will have to send your file to the French Embassy in your country of residence.


How to fill in the form correctly?

In order to complete your visa application form for France, here are the steps to follow:

1. Name: family name as shown on your travel document (passport).

2. Birth name: only for people who had a different name at birth.

3. First name(s): the first name(s) listed on your passport.

4. Date of birth: to be entered in day/month/year format.

5. Place of birth: as shown on your passport.

6. Country of birth: as shown on your passport.

7. Nationality: indicate your nationality as well as your nationality at birth if different.

8. Gender: tick the box corresponding to the gender of the visa applicant.

9. Marital status: tick the box corresponding to your personal situation (knowing that PACS or cohabitation are considered as Other).

10. Parental authority/legal guardian (for minors only): enter the details of the legal guardian.

11. National identity number: the number on your identity card.

12. Type of travel document: which type of passport corresponds to the one you will use for your stay in France.

13. Travel document number: passport number (always in capital letters).

14. Date of issue: date your passport was issued (on the identity page).

15. Expiry date: date your passport expires (on the identity page).

16. Issued by the country that issued your passport.

17. Personal details of family member who is a national of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation: To be completed only if a member of your family is a national of one of the 28 Member States of the European Union (Schengen area), Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

18. Relationship: To be completed if you are concerned by the previous box.

19. Applicant’s home address, e-mail address and telephone number: here, enter your postal address (street, town, post code, country), your e-mail address and your telephone number.

20. Residence in a country other than the country of current nationality: if this applies to you, indicate your residence permit number and its expiry date.

21. Current occupation: must correspond to your job title as shown on your pay slips or employment contract (if you are unemployed, write “no occupation”).

22. Name, address and telephone number of employer: only if you are covered by the previous box (if you are a student, complete with the address of the institution).

23. Main purpose(s) of the trip: reason for your stay.

24. Additional information on the purpose of the trip: additional explanations to complete the previous box (optional).

25. Member State(s) of main destination (and other Member States of destination, if applicable): country of destination (‘Metropolitan France’). If you are going to one of the DOM TOM, you must specify it here.

26. Member State of first entry: only if you pass through another country before entering France, if so, which one?

27. Number of entries requested: specify whether you intend to enter France only once (“single entry”) or several times (“multiple entries”). In addition, specify your dates of arrival and departure from France so that we can determine the total duration of your stay.

28. Fingerprints previously taken for the purpose of a Schengen visa application: only if your fingerprints have already been taken, if so, specify the date of fingerprinting (if you have already applied for a visa, also specify its number).

29. Authorisation to enter the country of destination, if applicable: dates of validity of the visa concerned and its number if this country is not included in the Schengen area.

30. Name and surname of the person(s) inviting to the Member State(s): name of hotel(s) or place(s) of temporary accommodation in the Member State(s). You will need to specify the first name and surname of your French host (if it is a private visit) or the contact details (address and telephone number) of the place where you will be staying.

31. Name and address of the host organisation/company: name, address and telephone number of the company or organisation inviting you.

32. Travel and living expenses during your stay are financed: choose between cash, traveller’s cheque, credit card, paid accommodation, prepaid transport, other (specify).


Thanks to this step-by-step guide, you now have all the information you need to complete your visa application form for France!

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