Individuals from India need a visa to be allowed to enter France. To apply for a France visa, you will need to meet the France Government’s entry requirements. With a France visa, you can travel to all 26 countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, receive medical treatment or for short-term studies or training.

In this article, we explain the essential information you will need to apply for a France visa from India – eligibility criteria, document requirements, visa fees, validity, processing time and duration of stay in France, the France visa VFS application center and much more.

  • The France visa application must be submitted from the country of origin.
  • There are two types of France visas, Short Term Stay and Long Term stay:
    • Short-Stay Visas – Also known, as Type C, the short stay visa is valid for up to 90 days and allows for travel to France and other Schengen countries for tourism, visit or business.
    • Long-Stay Visas – The D-type visa or national visa is valid for stays of over three (3) months and is issued for specific purposes, such as to study in France.
    • Both the Short stay and Long stay visas fall into a number of different categories such as tourist visas, business visas, study visas, working holidays, each of which has its own specific requirements.
  • The France visa fees are as follows:
    • Short stay Tourist visa – INR 7,199/- (6 months validity)
    • Short stay Business visa – INR 7,199/- (6 months validity)
  • Most tourists will need to apply for a short-stay visa (Type C visa). For stay extending 90 days, you have to apply for a long-stay visa.
  • Applicants can stay in France for a period not exceeding three (3) months within any six-month period with effect from initial entry into France.
  • Documents required for France visa:
    • Duly filled and signed visa application form.
    • Online visa payment receipt.
    • Signed Cover Letter explaining the trip details such as travel dates, places of visit, family members travelling etc.
    • Passport with at least three (3) months validity after you plan to leave France, have at least two (2) free pages, and not be older than 10 years old.
    • Recent colored photographs with white background.
    • Bank statement for the last three (3) months with sufficient balance.
    • Income Tax returns of last 3 years.
    • Additional financial documents such as fixed deposits, pay slips, property investments, other personal assets etc. (optional but advisable to provide additional financial documents to strengthen visa file)
    • Tentative blocking of flight tickets and hotels. (Do not book confirmed tickets and accommodation before grant of visa)
    • Detailed day-wise Itinerary stating travel dates, places to visit and any other activities that will be undertaken during the trip.
    • Travel Insurance valid for all Schengen countries and provide a minimum of €30,000 medical coverage with repatriation included.  
    • If employed: Leave letter from the organisation stating the employment details.
    • If freelancer: Documents relating to the profession. For eg: Certification, degree.
    • If retired: Pension statement.
    • If student: Student ID from school, college or university.
    • If minor: Birth certificate. If applicant is travelling without or with only one of the parents, both parents will need to sign a parental consent at the Embassy.  
    • Sponsorship letter if being sponsored by parents or spouse or host in France, accompanied by bank statements and ID (passport or resident permit) of the sponsor, if he/she is fully or partially sponsoring the trip and accommodation costs. The letter should state the type of relationship, duration of stay and the extent of financial support provided for the trip.
    • For family visits: Invitation letter from the host (family, relative or friend) in France stating the type of relationship, travel dates, purpose of visit and duration of stay, copy of host’s passport or resident permit and contact details in France.
    • For business visits: Invitation letter from the host company, Covering letter from the Indian company, business registration documents etc.
  • All documents must be presented in original with clear photocopies at the time of submission.
  • Step-by-step process to apply for a France visa:
    • Visit the VFS website and complete the application form online.
    • Book an appointment with the nearby visa application center for submission of documents.
    • Pay the France visa fee online.
    • Visit the VFS Visa Application Center on the appointment day and do not forget to carry all the important documents along with their photocopies.
    • Wait for the results. You can track your France visa application status here.
    • Receive your visa. Collect your documents (passport) from the Visa application center or get it delivered through postal services at an additional cost.  
  • You can apply up to 90 days prior to your intended arrival in France. To ensure that you receive your France visa within the time of your trip, you will have to start the application process at least one (1) month before your exact date of arrival.
  • You should have sufficient means to cover all the costs of the trip including the flight tickets, accommodation, sightseeing and so forth. You must prove your source of funding and how much is available to you. The France Embassy requires that you provide your bank statement with enough balance.
  • The France visa, which is a Schengen visa gives travellers access to 25 other European countries. If you plan to visit multiple Schengen countries, you should declare which countries you plan on visiting when submitting your application.
  • The documents should verify the intended reason of stay in France.
  • All visa applicant aged 12 or older need to submit their France visa application in person.
  • The processing time for a France visa is between 2–3 weeks. The French Embassy takes roughly 15 days or more to verify all the documents and process the application.
  • If you receive a visa rejection, you have a choice to reapply for the visa. The Embassy issues a letter providing the reason for rejection. If the reason is easily fixable, then you can submit a new application ensuring everything is included.
  • The France Embassy or Consulate has hired VFS Global to receive applications and documents. However, the France Embassy or Consulate nonetheless remain fully responsible for reviewing applications and making visa issuance decisions.
  • The France VFS Global will collect your documents, review your application, capture your biometric data (photo and fingerprints) and retain your passport and the copies of all your supporting documents in order to forward them to the France Embassy.
  • If you have applied for a Schengen visa with biometrics in the last 59 months or you are a frequent traveller, your previous biometric data can be re-used and you won’t be required to visit the application center in person for submission of documents. In such a case, travel agents can apply on your behalf.

For detailed information about the France visa application process and for a personal consultation, feel free to contact us anytime.

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