Visa Application Guidelines

The process for initiating a visa application is divided into several stages:

Seek information and a scertaining whether or not you will need a visa for your travel plans

This portal contains all the information you will need to put together and submit your visa application.

The visa wizard will help you determine, depending on your situation, the visa requirements to which you are subject, as well as the submission fee and supporting documents to be submitted.

If you have already stayed in the Schengen Space within the past 6 months, please use the calculator to determine the maximum stay duration for which you are still eligible (online calculator ).

Seek information as to which authority is approved to receive your application

In addition to the general information, pages specific to your country have been provided so that you can determine where and with whom to file your visa application.

Fill out the visa application form

To file a visa application, you must have access to at least the following:
  • A passport in good condition, issued no more than 10 years ago, the validity of which extends at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen Area, including at least two blank pages;
  • 2 recent ID pictures in ISO/IECI format (pdf);
  • The supporting documents (originals + copy) specific to your situation and purpose of travel;
  • Means of payment for your application required when filing your request.


  • If your country is eligible, use the convenient online application form using the necessary explanations provided on-screen:
    • You will be asked to create a personal account with your email address in order to save your partially- or fully-completed form, before validating it in full and printing it out with the list of required supporting documents, then making your appointment.
  • If your country is not eligible, please check the appropriate procedure on the page specific to your country.

Make an appointment with the visa application centre

Make sure you have left enough time before your departure date to be assigned an appointmentand have your application reviewed.

Check on the average appointment availability timeframes, ensuring that you are able to submit your application three months to two weeks prior to your departure date.

In most cases, the consular services use external service providers to receive visa applicants and their documents. The consular services nonetheless remain fully responsible for reviewing applications and making visa issuance decisions.

You will find the information you need to make an appointment on the page specific to your country of application submission.

Report for your visa appointment with your application

You will be expected to arrive for your appointment with your complete application in hand (CERFA and receipt).

The service provider (or consulate) will receive you, check your application, collect the visa fee, record your biometric data (photo and fingerprints) and keep your passport and supporting documents (copies) in order to forward them to the consulate.

This procedure at the service provision centre will take approximately twenty minutes.

Providing your Biometric Data

All visas issued by France are biometric visas.

Any visa applicant aged 12 or older is required to file their first request in person. The following biometric data will be required: a photograph, scanned or taken at the time of application submission, and 10 fingerprints, taken digitally.

However, it is also possible to have your previous biometric data re-used if you were issued a Schengen visa within at least the previous 59 months.

Advantages of biometrics

Biometric technology provides you with protection: the ability to compare your biometric data makes it easier to identify you. Should your travel documents be lost or stolen, biometric technology will protect you from identity theft and fraudulent use of your passport.

In some cases, the biometric data requirement can be waived:

  • If you are a child under 12 years of age as at the date of application;
  • If it is physically impossible to take your fingerprints;
  • If you were already granted a biometric Schengen visa in the last 59 months (at most) prior to your new request.

If this physical impossibility is temporary in nature, the applicant shall be required to provide an explanation for it and, where applicable, provide a medical certificate attesting to the condition.

Where it is possible to take fewer than 10 fingerprints, the maximum number of fingerprints shall be recorded.

Applicants for whom not all ten fingerprints can be taken due to temporary conditions must attend a subsequent visa issuance meeting, at which all ten fingerprints will be recorded.

Payable Fees

Visa application fees are composed of two parts:

  • The fees receivable by the French administration to process your visa application. This fee collected by the administration is non-reimbursable, even if your visa application is rejected (refer to the table of application fees by visa type (pdf));
  • Where application fees are received by an external service provider, this service provider is responsible for collecting fees. The service charge differs by country, but may not exceed 30 euros per visa application fee. External service providers are also authorised by the administration to offer ancillary services at cost.

You may be exempt from attending your visa application appointment in person if:

  • You have previously been granted Schengen visas and have used them in accordance with the law;
  • You travel regularly or frequently for the same purpose.

Track the progress of your application and collect your passport

Your visa application may be tracked via the visa centre with which you submitted your application. You will find further details on the Track the progress of your application page.

You will be notified when your passport is ready for collection from the centre where you filed your application.

In some countries, the passport can be sent by post.

Update : May 2018