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Accueil » Visas For France » Short and Long Stay Visas » Short Stay Visas

Short stay visa for tourism, business, or familial visit (SCHENGEN visa)

1 - WHAT IS A "SCHENGEN VISA"?

A Schengen visa, also called "C" visa, is a short stay visa (up to 90 days per semester) valid for the 26 States member of the Schengen agreement unless indicated otherwise on your visa:
Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France
Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein
Lithuania Luxembourg Malta The Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal
Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland

Therefore, you don’t need to apply twice when you travel to 2 or more different Schengen countries.

  • If you intend to visit only one(1) Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of that specific country.
  • If you intend to visit more than one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of the country of your main destination, where you will be staying the longest.
    - Example #1: you arrive in France and stay for 5 days, then travel to Italy for 2 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the French consulate
    - Example #2: you arrive in France and stay 2 days, then travel to Italy for 4 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the Italian consulate.
  • If you intend to visit more than one Schengen country for the same amount of time, you must apply at the Consulate of your first entry.
    - For example: you arrive in France and stay 3 days, then you travel to Italy for 3 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the French consulate, as you arrive in France first.

B1-B2 visa holders: You must apply in the country of your residence. No visas will be delivered to foreigners holding U.S B1-B2 visas.

2 - DO YOU NEED A SHORT STAY VISA ?

- YES, if you are a citizen of the following countries :

Afghanistan Albania* Algeria Angola Armenia
Azerbaidjan Bahrein Bangladesh Belize Benin
Bhutan Belarus Bolivia Bosnia* Botswana
Burkina Faso Burma/Myanmar Burundi Cambodia Cameroon
Cape Verde Central Africa Chad China Colombia
Comoros Congo D.R. Congo (ex-Zaïre) Cuba Djibouti
Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea Ethiopia Fiji Gabon Gambia
Georgia Ghana Grenada Guinea Guinea Bissau
Guyana Haiti Hong Kong (except S.A.R.*) India Indonesia
Iran Iraq Ivory Coast Jamaica Jordan
Kazakhstan Kenya Kirghizistan Kiribati Kuweit
Laos Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya
Macao (except S.A.R.) Macedonia* Madagascar Malawi Maldives
Mali Marshall Islands Mauritania Micronesia Moldavia*
Mongolia Montenegro* Morocco Mozambique Namibia
Nauru Nepal Niger Nigeria North Korea
Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Nationals Papua New Guinea
Peru Philippines Qatar Russia Rwanda
Solomon Samoa Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia*
Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sri Lanka St Lucia
St Thomas St Vincent Sudan Surinam Swaziland
Syria Tadjikistan Taiwan* Tanzania Thailand
Togo Tonga Trinidad & Tobago Tunisia Turkey
Turkmenistan Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates
United States Re-entry permit United States Refugee Travel Document Uzbekistan Vanuatu
Vietnam Yemen Former Yugoslavia Zambia Zimbabwe

*ALBANIA, BOSNIA, MACEDONIA, MOLDAVIA, MONTENEGRO, SERBIA: no visa required if you hold a biometric passport

*TAIWAN: No visa required for holders of a Taiwanese passport with a "Personal ID number" (Taiwanese national ID number) written in the passport (found above the date of birth).

*HONG KONG SAR: no visa required for a stay of 90 days or under

- NO, YOU DO NOT NEED A VISA if you are a citizen of the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, or countries not listed above for tourism, business or family visit. You may stay up to 90 days over a period of 6 months. However, if the purpose of your trip is not tourism, business or family visit, then you may still be required to get a visa before your departure.

Note that not needing a visa for France does NOT necessarily mean that you do not need one to visit the other Schengen countries or to visit overseas territories (please check our website).

Diplomatic and official passport holders, please contact us.

WARNING : U.S. Refugee travel document holders: If you are transiting through a French airport in order to visit Germany or Belgium, you NEED a Schengen short stay visa ("C") visa from France (Germany and Belgium do not require a Schengen visa for US refugee travel document holders) Example 1: you are an Iranian refugee flying LAX-CDG-TEH: you do NOT need a visa. Example 2: you are an Iranian refugee flying LAX-CDG-Berlin: you NEED a Schengen short stay visa ("C") (NOT an airport transit visa).

3 - PROCESSING TIME

Processing time depends on your citizenship. No emergency visas will be issued. There is no expedite process. About 3 weeks is the average processing time if you are a citizen from :

Afghanistan Algeria Burundi Congo DRC Egypt
India Iran Iraq Jordan North Korea
Lebanon Libya Mauritania Nigeria Niger
Pakistan Palestinians Rwanda Sudan Surinam
Syria United States "Re-entry permit" travel document United States "Refugee" travel document Yemen Zimbabwe

For all other nationalities who need a visa, we strongly suggest to apply at least 2 weeks before your departure. Please apply in advance, do not wait for the last minute. You may apply for your visa no earlier than 3 months before your departure date. No emergency visas will be issued. There is no expedite process.

IMPORTANT: Due to a high number of applicants during the months of JUNE, JULY, AUGUST and DECEMBER, please apply in advance.

4 - APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Please provide us with the ORIGINAL + 1 COPY of each document PER APPLICANT including passport and relevant pages. THE VISA SECTION DOES NOT MAKE ANY COPIES. You must bring all the required documents and the photocopies otherwise your visa will be denied

One passport = one set of visa documents (i.e. a family of 4 visa applicants = 4 sets of visa documents)

1 — PROOF OF RESIDENCY IN OUR CONSULATE’S JURISDICTION

The French Consulate in Los Angeles only accept applicants who are residents from:
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Southern California, and Southern Nevada.
You will have to show us at least ONE of the following documents :

  • a valid driver license or state ID from one of these states, which must be located in the consulate’s jurisdiction (click here for a map) + ONE COPY
  • OR a valid student ID from a university located in one of these states (or a statement issued within the past 2 months from the registrar of your university, which must be located in the consulate’s jurisdiction). + ONE COPY
  • OR an original lease or rental agreement in the applicant’s name or a notarized statement from the owner or leaseholder plus a recent utility bill in the applicant’s name with an address located in the consulate’s jurisdiction. + ONE COPY

2 — ORIGINAL PASSPORT

- Original passport or travel document (+ ONE COPY of the identity and relevant pages)

  • Must be valid for at least three months after your return to the US
  • Has least two blank pages left to affix the visa (amendment pages are not suitable for visas).
  • Has been delivered less than 10 years ago date of first issuance (i.e. your passport CANNOT be older than 10 years after your travel in the Schengen states)
  • Be in good condition (ie. not torn or damaged)

3 — PROOF OF LEGAL RESIDENCY IN THE UNITED STATES

- A valid U.S. permanent residence card ("green card") or a valid U.S. visa with valid I-94 or valid I-20, or an Advance Parole document. (+ ONE COPY)

  • B1-B2 visa holders: You must apply in the country of your residence. NO VISAS WILL BE DELIVERED to foreigners holding U.S B1-B2 visas.

4 — PROCESSING FEE FOR A SHORT STAY VISA

To be paid in person on the day of the appointment (Visa or Mastercard ONLY).
Click here for a list of the application fees. NO cash, NO money order, NO checks. Visa / Mastercard ONLY.


5 — SHORT STAY "SCHENGEN" VISA APPLICATION FORM

PDF - 108.8 kb
Schengen Visa - Application Form (PDF)

One APPLICATION FORM filled out completely and signed by the applicant. (+ ONE COPY)

6 — PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPH

- One PASSPORT PHOTO. Do not glu or staple. More details on photograph requirements.

7 — PROOF OF SOCIO-PROFESSIONAL STATUS

- IF EMPLOYED: original, recent (no older than 1 month) and signed letter of employment in the U.S. confirming your salary, hire date, position and dates of vacation Note: offer letters of employment are not accepted. (+ ONE COPY)

  • AND your last 3 paystubs (+ ONE COPY)

- IF SELF-EMPLOYED: business license + recent tax returns. (+ ONE COPY)

- IF YOU ARE A STUDENT: a letter from your school or university confirming enrollment status and attendance (+ ONE COPY)

- HOMEMAKERS should provide their SPOUSE’s documents:

  • original, recent and signed letter of employment in the U.S. confirming salary, hire date and position (or if self-employed business license + tax return document); (+ ONE COPY)
  • last 3 pay stubs; (+ ONE COPY)
  • last 3 monthly bank statements; (+ ONE COPY)
  • original marriage certificate and official original translation if applicable (in English) (+ ONE COPY)

- If RETIRED: Proof of retirement funds AND/OR your last 3 recent monthly bank statements showing monthly balance and your name. Bank statements should show that you have enough money for the duration of your stay in the Schengen States. (+ ONE COPY)

8 — PROOF OF FINANCIAL MEANS

  • your last 3 recent monthly bank statements showing monthly balance and your name (checking and/or savings). Bank statements should show that you have enough money for the duration of your stay in the Schengen States. (+ ONE COPY)

9 — PROOF OF MEDICAL COVERAGE VALID ABROAD

  • a TRAVEL INSURANCE that can be reserved online valid for the Schengen States or valid worldwide

VERY IMPORTANT: the document MUST indicate in writing that it covers EACH of the following requirements:

- repatriation
- urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospitalization or death
- minimum coverage amount of 50,000 US$.
- your full name and the effective dates of medical coverage (+ ONE COPY)
- must be purchased from a travel insurance company, it cannot come from a personal medical insurance company

We will not accept any insurance that does not mention all of the requirements stated above.

10 — FLIGHT RESERVATIONS

- Your ROUND-TRIP FLIGHT reservation: with a complete personal itinerary or round trip ticket reservation with confirmed dates. Open tickets are not accepted. (+ ONE COPY)

Note if you are traveling to the Schengen area from the United Kingdom or another non-Schengen country, you must additionally provide flight or train reservation showing Schengen area entrance/exit.

11 — PROOF OF ACCOMMODATION

REMINDER:
  • If you intend to visit only ONE (1) Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of that specific country.
  • If you intend to visit more than one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of the country of your main destination, where you will be staying the longest.
    - Example #1: you arrive in France and stay for 5 days, then travel to Italy for 2 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the French consulate
    - Example #2: you arrive in France and stay 2 days, then travel to Italy for 4 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the Italian consulate.
  • If you intend to visit more than one Schengen country for the SAME AMOUNT OF TIME, you must apply at the Consulate of your first entry.
    - For example: you arrive in France and stay 3 days, then you travel to Italy for 3 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the French consulate, as you arrive in France first.

- Confirmed HOTEL RESERVATIONS for your entire stay in all of the Schengen states listing all hotel addresses and dates of travel. Your full name must show up on the reservations as a guest. (+ ONE COPY)

- or a letter from your travel agent stating that you are part of a tour (listing hotel addresses and dates of travel). Your name must show up on the reservation. (+ ONE COPY)

- or, if you are staying with FRIENDS or FAMILY, original of "ATTESTATION D’ACCUEIL" that your host has to request at the City Hall (Mairie) in France (+ ONE COPY)

** For a BUSINESS TRIP:

- (in addition to all the previous documents listed above) please provide a letter from your host company in France describing in detail your business trip activities, mentioning your dates of trip as well as the name and full address of the contact person(s) in France. (+ ONE COPY)

** For all MINORS under the age of 18 years old:

- Birth certificate (with an official translation in English, if applicable) (+ ONE COPY)

  • And if the minor is travelling without his parents or with only ONE parent:
    - notarized parental authorization from both parents or from the parent not travelling with the child, allowing the child to travel to France as a school trip, or authorizing to travel with the other parent
    - or notarized parental authorization from the parent exercising full custody of the child according to the divorce decree, please bring : certified copy of divorce decree stating that you have full custody of the child(ren). (+ ONE COPY)

12 — IF YOU WISH TO HAVE YOUR PASSPORT MAILED BACK TO YOU MUST BRING:

  • A self-addressed FedEx Express "US Airbill" or an online prepaid FedEx Airbill printed from the FedEx website
  • and FedEx enveloppe
  • for US Airbill, please fill out your own address twice (you are the sender AND the recipient):
Sender:
Your name and address
Select shipping preference
Recipient:
Your name and address
Billing information

- We will NOT accept other methods of delivery: (NO USPS, NO UPS, NO FedEx "Ground/Home" service))

DO NOT WRITE THE ADDRESS OF THE CONSULATE IN YOUR RETURN FEDEX AIRBILL

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The consular administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant.
- Please be aware that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee the approval of the visa.
- The French Consulate in Los Angeles can refuse the issuance of a visa.
- Please note that holders of Schengen visas are still subject to immigration control upon first entry into a Schengen country. The visa itself does not grant the right to enter the Schengen space.

5 - MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

Every applicant must apply in person and must make an appointment on our website. No exceptions. Fingerprints and a photograph must be taken in our premises in Los Angeles.
  • Children under the age of 12 are not required to be present if applying for a SCHENGEN visa (but an appointment must be booked under their name)
  • If you are not able to attend, please free a slot by canceling or rescheduling your appointment by logging back in the appointment system and click on “changing your appointment”. You will need your “LAX” confirmation number and passport number.

- One appointment = one person (for instance, a family of four = 4 appointments)

  • FOR MINOR APPLICANTS: a parent or guardian over the age of 18 must be present with the applicant on the day of the appointment , however the parent or guardian is not required to make appointment.
  • Due to the high number of applicants, the French Consulate reserves the right to cancel appointments made by the same person on the same day (or even on two different dates).

WARNING: To use the system, the following configuration is required :

  • Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer internet browser
  • Adobe Acrobat reader
  • Allow pop-ups
  • The appointment system is NOT compatible with Mac computers or Chrome browsers

CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE VISA SECTION

NOTE: FRENCH CITIZENS applying for a French passport or French ID please make an appointment at the FRENCH SECTION - DO NOT make an appointment at the VISA SECTION. Any appointments taken for a French citizen will automatically be cancelled.

Updated: August 21st, 2014

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