Whenever anyone discusses a trip to Europe or even romantic places on Earth, Frances’ name is bound to popup during the discussion. From food to fashion, romance and history, there is nothing that France doesn’t offer. It is a must visit for every traveller. Also, being one of the Schengen Nations, a France visa or France Schengen visa will not only give you access to France, but also to 25 other European countries that are a part of the Schengen region.  

A France visa is a single or multiple entry visa, issued for a period of three (03) months over the course of six (06) months. It means that you can stay for upto 90 days during the course of your visa validity of 180 days.

Applying for a France visa from India can be a daunting task. From different visa types to documents required, eligibility criteria and visa fees, there are many aspects to figure out before starting the France visa application process. That’s why we have provided you with a step by step guide to apply for France visa below:  

Step 1: Determine your Visa Type:

Depending upon your reason to visit i.e. tourism, visiting friends or relatives or business, find out which type of visa you should be applying for. There are two (2) types of France visas issued, 1. Short-stay France visa and 2. Long-stay France visa.

  1. Short-stay visa: Also known as Type-C visa, it typically lets you enter and stay in France for upto 90 days. There are various categories under Short-stay visa, such as:
  • Tourist visa
  • Business visa (For corporate meeting, internships, conferences, training programme, etc.)
  • Visit visa (for visiting family or friends)
  • Transit visa (Also known as Type-A visa. Needed in-case of flight transfers where you are require to stay at a hotel, or airport change of your journey to other countries. No longer required for Indian travelers since July 2018)
  • Visa for culture and sport activities
  • Visa for official visits  

2. Long-stay visa: Also known as Type-D visa, it allows you to stay in France for longer than 90 days (03 months). It enables the traveler to obtain a residence permit so they can live in France for longer periods. Common categories under Long-stay visa are:   

  • Study visa
  • Visa for medical reasons

Each of these categories have certain eligibility criteria you must fulfill to be eligible for a France visa.

Step 2: Apply Online

After determining your visa type and category, visit VFSGlobal.com and apply for visa by filling the online France visa application form. VFS Global is an exclusive service provider appointed by the France Embassy to facilitate France visa applications in India. VFS collects all the applications and documents, however the France Embassy is solely responsible for making decisions related to rejecting or granting France visa.  

Step 3: Book an Appointment

After completing the France visa application form online, you must now pay your France visa fee and book an appointment to submit your France visa application in person at the respective Visa Application Center (VAC). You are required to visit the VAC in order to provide your biometrics and digital photograph.

Step 4: Gather Your Documents

Make sure you have all the relevant documents available as per your visa type before the day of your appointment. Documents required for France visa application in India are:

  • Original passport with at least two  blank pages, six (6) months validity & old passport if any
  • Visa application form filled and signed
  • France visa fee receipt
  • 2 color photographs (France visa photo size).
  • Personal cover letter (in-case you are employed, you will need a cover letter by your employer too)
  • Sponsorship Letter (if being sponsored by parents or hosts in France, mentioning their relationship to you, their passport copy, bank statements and the extent of sponsorship provided)
  • Updated bank statement of last three (03) months, with sufficient balance
  • Income Tax Returns of last three (03) years
  • Travel itinerary (include your tentative traveling dates to and from France, hotel bookings, day wise itinerary of trip, including travelling plans, places to visit and other activities that will be done throughout the visit)
  • Travel Insurance (minimum coverage of EUR 30,000)
  • For a complete checklist of documents required, based on the type click here.
Note: From April 2021, in order to allow an accelerated process by the VFS, France-Visas (official visa website for France) has provided students applying for a Long-stay visa (Type-D visa), with an option of providing digital copies of their relevant documents. However, this does not exempt you from submitting all the original relevant documents on the day of your appointment. For further details regarding digital submission of documents (requirements and quality) refer here.

Step 5: Visit VFS VAC

On the day of your France visa appointment, you need to visit the respective VAC in person, to submit your documents, biometrics (finger-prints) and digital photograph. Submit all your relevant documents along with your completed and signed France visa application (two weeks to three months before traveling for a long stay visa and two weeks to six months before traveling for a short stay visa).

Step 6: Wait for your France Visa

France visa usually takes around 15 to 20 days to process in the France Embassy. While waiting for the results, you can check your status online, here.

After your application is approved, you will either have to re-visit the VAC to collect your passport, or it will be sent to you by a courier service.

Visa applications can be a daunting task, any mistake made while filling the France visa application form online or in the documents submitted, could result in rejection of your visa application. In this case, you can appeal or apply for a fresh visa again. Therefore, taking the help of a reliable travel agent is beneficial. 

We at Akbartravels.com, have been providing effortless visa services for over 40 years. From verifying your documents to getting your visa stamped, our Visa Experts will assist you with the entire process of acquiring a France visa. Apart from taking care of your visa, we also provide flight tickets, hotel bookings and holiday packages for your France trip.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our Visa Experts today to learn more about the France visa application process.

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