FAQs - France
A Schengen visa (or short stay visa) is valid within the whole Schengen space. The following countries are part of the Schengen space:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
This visa allows you to travel to these 25 countries. It is issued for a maximum of 90 days per semester.
You will be able to submit your documents accurately. This will reduce the risk of your application being rejected due to inadequate or faulty submission of documents.
This visa can be valid between one and five years and entitles its holder to make several trips to France and to the Schengen space for a maximum stay of 90 days per period of 6 months. This type of visa is issued to people who make frequent trips to France.
If you are planning a trip to several Schengen countries, you have to submit your visa application to the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which you intend to stay for the longest period. In case the period of stay is the same in all the countries to be visited, the visa will be issued by the Embassy or the Consulate of the country where you would be entering first.
This visa is issued for business purposes with a maximum duration of 90 days.
If you are a frequent traveller and wish to apply for a long term validity visa, you can ask for it in the covering letter. The decision to grant a circulation visa remains with the French Consulate.
In accordance with the guidelines of the European Union, any Schengen visa application has to be accompanied by a payment of visa fees.
The fees (Processing + Visa) are to be paid to VFS on the day the application is being submitted. They are not refundable whether a visa is granted or refused.
Schengen visa: 60 Euros (as per current exchange rate) + Processing fees
Visas for overseas territories: 9 Euros (as per current exchange rate) + Processing fees
As of 1st June 2009, holders of long stay visas for France (3 months +) will be exempted from applying for a residence permit (carte de sejour) at the Prefecture after their arrival in France.
Beneficiaries of the reform
- foreign dependents of French Nationals
- temporary workers
As holder of a long stay visa, you no longer need to apply for a residence permit at the Prefecture. The applicant must enclose with his application a document called « attestation OFII » that will have to be posted by registered mail to the local “Delegation territoriale de l’OFII” within three months of arrival in France – Addresses can be found at the back of the Attestation OFII or online at website of the OFII. Note that this registration process is compulsory and non-compliance will result in the person being considered illegal by the French Authorities. Holders of one of these visas are allowed to travel in all Schengen States for a period of stay up to 3 months within the validity of the visa. Visa processing time will be about one week (depending on nationality and purpose of stay).
All visa applicants except those fewer than 12 years will be required to submit all ten electronic fingerprint impressions. At the time of the visa interview, applicants will be asked to electronically scan all five fingers of each hand.
Your visa sticker will have the validity of the visa and the number of days that you can stay in Schengen countries. Say your visa is valid for a month with duration as 10 days. This means that within one month you can stay up to 10 days only. You must leave the country before the visa expires / duration of your stay. A short stay visa permits you to stay for not more than 90 days.
A one year visa entitles you to stay up to 90 days once in six months.
If you wish to stay in France for more than 90 days (as a student, on employment, for research purposes etc) then you need to apply for a long stay visa (D type visa). If you wish to take short trips to France within the year (on business purposes etc.) then you need to apply for a short stay visa with longer validity. The decision to grant a longer validity visa lies with the French Embassy / Consulate.
You are encouraged to apply for your long stay student visa at the earliest. You can apply for your visa about two months prior to the commencement of your course. Please ensure you get the No Objection Certificate from an Education Attache (Officer) before submitting your application.
Since the 1st of June 2009, long stay visa holders are allowed to reside in France for up to 12 months according to the validity of their visa and purpose of stay. They will no longer be required to obtain a residence permit (“carte de séjour”) from the French local authorities (“Préfecture”) as long as their visa is valid.
However, long stay visa holders will have to register with the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) within the first three months of their stay in France.
Skills and Expertise residence card (La carte “Compétences et Talents”) is a temporary permit, valid for up to three years at a time on a renewable basis, enabling the holder to perform a salaried or business activity in France. It is designed for foreign nationals who have the potential to make a significant enduring contribution to economic development, particularly in intellectual, scientific, cultural, humanitarian or sporting fields in France and their native country. This permit also enables employees to work and/or executives to register their project with the Companies Register (Registre du commerce et des sociétés).
The criteria are defined by the “Commission Nationale des Compétences et Talents”, which meets in France at least twice a year.
The applicant must submit a credible professional project meeting the criteria set forth by the National Commission.
The applicant must supply proof that he/she is in every way capable of carrying out this project.
The application will be accepted/rejected based on:
- the project’s interest/quality
- the applicant’s motivation/commitment
- the applicant’s skills and qualifications
- the means to carry out the project.
- University graduates
- Qualified professionals, regardless of their level of education
- Investors in an economic project
- Independent professionals such as artists, authors, athletes, etc.
- Senior manager and high level executives employed by a French company that is part of an international group.
Tuition fees for French universities and colleges vary between �3,000 to �10,000 annually. Visa fee charged by Austria is INR 3571. INR 8500 has to be deposited in the BNP France Bank to get visa approval for French studies. Living Expense can be up to 500 Euros per month.