Do I need a visa to go to France ?
If you are a U.S., Canadian or Mexican citizen you will not need a visa for France, as these countries are among those with visa-free arrangements with the European Union (EU). However, it is worth noting that from 2021, citizens will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver before they travel, which can be obtained online and will cost €7 ($7.82).
Citizens of countries without a visa waiver deal, including China, India, and all African nations, even those who are permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada or green card holders, will require a France Schengen Visa to travel to France. This covers travel in all countries within the Schengen Area of Europe (countries which have abolished border controls between each other).
I’m applying for a visa to France from the U.S. - where do I do this?
1. Information about preparing, submitting and then tracking your application is available on France-visas.gouv.fr, France’s official visa application website. The site also has an online portal, where you will be guided through the process of creating an account and completing an online application.
2. Once you have completed your online application, you will need to submit it to your nearest VFS Global visa center, details of which can be found on the France-visas website. There are nine of these centers in the U.S. - in Washington, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. From there, it will be passed on to the French Consulate in Washington D.C., where all decisions about visa applications from the U.S. are made.
3. Using the France-Visas website, you can track each step of your application, including important information like when to collect your passport and how to get ready for your trip to France. The day of your appointment at the VFS Global visa center, you must present a final paper version of your application - as completed on the France-visas website.
You are advised that during busy periods, appointments might not be immediately available, so it’s recommended you try to secure one at least 15 days before your date of departure if traveling on a short-stay visa, and a month for a long-stay visa. However, applications cannot be submitted more than 90 days before your departure date.
For more information on visa applications and other consular services head to the French Consulate in Washington website
What documents do I need to apply for a French Visa?
To obtain a Schengen Visa to travel to France, you will need to arrange a France visa appointment and provide your passport or travel document, an itinerary explaining the reasons for your trip, proof of accommodation, evidence you can financially support yourself during your stay, a recent photo, and a travel health insurance certificate proving you are covered for your trip. U.S. residents who are not citizens will require a Green Card or I-20 student form proving their right to work or study in the U.S.
Your passport should be issued no longer than 10 years ago and be valid for three months beyond the end of your stay. Proof of accommodation could take the form of a booking, a rental or lease agreement, or an attestation d’accueil (accommodation certificate) if you are staying with family or friends, stating that they will be hosting you. To show you can fund your trip, you should provide your last three months of bank statements, as well as a letter from your employer or proof of business ownership.
What do I need from my travel and health insurance?
To obtain a visa, your travel and medical insurance must be valid for the whole Schengen Area, even countries you have no plans to visit, and cover accidents, illnesses, and emergency treatment, as well as repatriation to the U.S. in case of death, for costs up to a minimum of €30,000 ($26,855).
Why choose AXA Schengen Insurance
The AXA Schengen Europe Travel Insurance offers an extended coverage wherever you travel in the Schengen area or in the wider EU region. It also provides the mandatory insurance certificate needed for a Schengen visa. The countries covered include the Schengen area and all European Union countries (UK, Ireland included) + Lichtenstein, San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City.