How to apply for a visa to France from the U.K. after Brexit ?
Will I need a visa to travel to France from the U.K.?
If you are a U.K. citizen, you do not currently need a visa to travel to France if you plan on staying for fewer than 90 days, despite the U.K. leaving the European Union at the end of 2020, because there is a short-term visa-free travel arrangement between the EU and the U.K. From the end of 2022, those looking to travel to France without the need for a visa will need to apply via the ETIAS system facilitating visa-free travel to all Schengen Area states.
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How will I apply for ETIAS ?
You will need to fill out an ETIAS application form, which is expected to take about 10 minutes to complete online, with you answering various questions and providing personal details. The only document you will need is your valid biometric passport - preferably with an electronic chip. If successful, the ETIAS approval will be valid for three years or until the end of the validity of the travel document registered during the application, whichever comes first.
However, if you are a citizen of a country without a visa-free travel arrangement with the Schengen Zone, living in the U.K., you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa for short stays. After Brexit, British citizens will need to apply for visas to work, study or live in France.
If I need a French visa, how and where do I apply from the U.K?
Traditionally, visa applicants have gone through the embassy or consulate of the country they wish to visit. However, outsourced application centers now handle the process for some countries, including France.
Information about preparing, submitting and then tracking your France visa U.K. application, is available on France’s official visa application website.
The site also has an online portal, where you can create an account and complete an online application - guiding you through the process of applying for a visa to France from the U.K.
After completing your application, you will need to head to a TLScontact France Visa Application Center in either London, Manchester, or Edinburgh to book an appointment to submit your application. There, you must provide the supporting documents requested.
Then, your visa application for France Visa UK will be passed on to the French Consulate General, who will make the final decision. You may only submit your visa application within 90 days of your departure date but are recommended to apply at least 20 working days before you wish to travel.
For further information on visa applications and additional consular services in the U.K., check out the French embassy in London website.
You can find the TLScontact website, here: TLSContact.
What documents will I need for my appointment?
To obtain a short-stay visa, you will need a valid passport or travel document issued within the last 10 years that is valid for at least three months after the date you exit the Schengen Area. You will also require a valid U.K. residency permit or another form of identity card, one passport-style photo, travel and medical insurance which is valid in the whole Schengen Area and covers you up to costs of €30,000, a cover letter stating the purpose of the visit and your itinerary, including travel tickets and proof of accommodation, such as rental agreements, hotel bookings, or an invitation from friends and family, as well as proof of civil status, like a marriage or birth certificate, and proof of financial subsistence during your stay (€120 per day of your trip, or less with proof of accommodation), such as bank statements.
Additionally, for long-stay work, study, or family residency visas (to join a spouse in France) you also need an invitation letter from the firm or institution inviting you to France for work or educational reasons. A no objection letter from your employer or university in your home state will also be extremely useful in gaining your visa, if applicable. If you are joining a family member you will need to prove they are a citizen or legal long-term resident of France, with documents like a passport or residency permit, social security card, as well as proof of your relationship. To stay long-term in France you will also need to obtain your own residency permit.
Short-stay visas cost €80 for adults and €40 for children aged 6 to 12 years old, with those below that age exempt from the fee, as are spouses and family members of French nationals. Long-stay visas generally cost €120, with the residency permit either costing €200 or €50 if you are in an exempt category, such as students or those moving to France for the purposes of family reunification.
Related topics on the Schengen visa for U.K nationals
- Brexit : how to apply for a Spain visa from the U.K ?
- Brexit : how to apply for a Italy visa from the U.K ?
- What does Brexit change for bi-national couples ?
Frequently asked questions about applying for a visa to France from the U.K.
If I’m a resident of the U.K. but not a citizen - do I have visa-free travel to France ?
It depends on the country where you hold citizenship - the U.S. Brazil and Mexico all have visa-free arrangements but India and China do not -meaning you will need to apply for a visa.
What if I want to travel to France - return to the U.K - and then go back to France ?
You will need to apply for a multiple-entry Schengen Visa. These can come in double or triple-entry visas or longer-term ones that allow you to make multiple trips over a period of one or three or five years.
If my visa is refused can I appeal? And can I get a refund on my travel insurance ?
You can appeal and if your visa is refused AXA will provide a refund on your travel insurance.