How to apply for a France visa from India ?

By: Axel Strauss 
Date: 19/12/2023

With an average of roughly 20 million visitors annually, Paris consistently ranks as one of the most visited cities on the planet. France itself, meanwhile, has been the most visited country in the world for decades — with a staggering 90 million international tourist arrivals in 2023 alone. 
Among these millions, many happen to be coming from India. Since France is also one of the founding members of the Schengen Zone, Indian passport holders require a Schengen Visa to enter its borders. So if you’re planning a trip to France from India any time soon — locals AXA have all you need to know below. 

How can I get a France visa from India?

To apply for a France Schengen visa from India, you’ll basically need to gather a few documents, fill out and submit an application form, pay a fee or two, and schedule and attend an interview at a consulate, embassy, or visa application center. 
So, overall, the process for applying for a French Schengen visa from India can be a bit tedious and time-consuming. But it’s also fairly straightforward — and similar to applying for a Schengen Visa from India in general

Meanwhile, here’s what Indian passport holders will need to do to apply specifically for France.

What type of France visa from India can I apply for?

First and foremost, you’ll need to figure out which Schengen visa works best for your France visit from India. And this will depend mainly on the nature, purpose, and length of your trip. 
There are four basic types of Schengen Visa you can choose from. The most common one is known as the short-stay — aka the Type C (or the “tourist”) visa. It is the go-to for Indians vacationing in the most popular country in the world. A Type C visa allows you to travel to France — and all 27 Schengen countries, in fact — for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. 

If you plan to work and/or study in France, then you’ll need to apply for either a business, work, or student Schengen visa. 
And if you plan to travel to France frequently, you can opt for a multiple-entry visa.

Is a French visa from India difficult to get?

Well, that depends. The world’s most visited country’s Schengen visas are obviously in high demand. And France’s also happens to be the most popular Schengen visa application among Indian nationals. As such, it also happens to have among the highest rejection rates. For example, nearly 30,000 applications — or about 20% of the total — were rejected in 2022 (according to thehindu.com). So while France is not among the easiest Schengen countries to get a visa for, it will ultimately come down to your particular situation. 
The best thing you can do is make sure you have all your ducks in a row for the application process. In other words — have all the proper and up-to-date documentation, make sure your finances, itinerary, and accommodations are in order, plan ahead, and give yourself plenty of time. And, of course, hope for the best! 

What documents do I need for a French visa from India?

The specific paperwork* needed to apply will also depend on your particular situation. But, generally speaking, you’ll need: 

  • a Schengen Visa application form 
  • two passport photos (taken within the last three months) 
  • your passport (issued less than 10 years ago, valid for at least three months after your planned date of departure from the Schengen territory, and with at least two blank pages) 
  • a photocopy of the passport page (or pages) with biometric data (if applicable) 
  • travel and medical insurance (covering you up to costs of €30,000) 
  • your full travel itinerary 
  • proof of paid visa fee (IMPORTANT: your application will not be processed if you don’t include the receipt from the required visa fee) 
  • proof of sufficient financial means (for your entire stay in the Schengen area) proof of accommodation (if applicable) 
  • a letter of invitation (if applicable) 

Make sure you make some extra A4-size copies of everything just in case too. And DO NOT staple any documents.

What if I want to get a France Visa to work or study?

If you are planning to work and/or study in France (for fewer than 90 days), you’ll likely also need: 

  • An employment contract;
  • A recent bank statement;
  • A no-objection letter from your Indian employer;
  • An income tax return;
  • Proof of enrolment at an educational institution in France;
  • A no-objection letter from your current Indian educational institution (if applicable). 

Meanwhile, if you plan to study in France for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a national study visa and residency permit — as well as provide proof of enrollment. And for work visas longer than 90 days, you’ll need to obtain a residency permit and provide evidence of a salaried employment contract in France. 

*IMPORTANT NOTE: While AXA is doing its best to provide you with the most reliable and updated information available regarding travel to France, be aware that embassies/consulates may modify their visa rules and regulations at any time. AXA can, therefore, not be held accountable for such changes.

So to learn more about exactly what documents you’ll need for your France visa from India, make sure to consult the official website of France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

How much is a France tourist visa fee from India?

Schengen visa costs are universal — no matter the visa, and no matter where you’re applying from. 

So a single adult Schengen visa for France will cost you €80 (or roughly ₹7,274.70). 
The fee for children between the ages of 6 and 12 is €40 (i.e., roughly ₹3,637.35). 
And children under the age of 6 can get a Schengen visa for France for free.* 

*In certain cases, the visa fee may also be waived for:

  • participants in certain seminars, conferences, sporting, cultural, and/or educational events (25yo or under);
  • students/teachers on study and/or training trips;
  • certain professionals traveling for scientific research. 

NOTE: You’ll also likely have to pay some extra administrative and/or service fees associated with your visa center and/or the corresponding officials. And these visa fees are not reimbursed if your visa is refused.

How much money do I need to go to France from India?

The sufficient funds required per day when traveling to France, meanwhile, vary as follows: 

  • If you have proof of booking a hotel room: €65 (roughly ₹5,831.08) per day of stay
  • If you do not have proof of booking a hotel room: €120 (or ₹10,765.80) per day of stay
  • If you're staying at someone's place and have proof of an acceptance certificate (or a attestation d'accueil): €32.50 (or ₹2,915.74) per day of stay.

How much money can I enter France from India with?

According to the official website of the European Union, if you are carrying a sum of money that is equal to or greater than €10,000 (or roughly ₹897,150.00), you will have to declare this to customs upon your arrival in/departure from France. 

Where and when can I apply for a France visa in India?

According to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, French Visa applications submitted in India are examined by the French consulates in Mumbai (Bombay), Puducherry, Kolkata (Calcutta), Bengaluru (Bangalore), as well as the visa section of the Embassy of France in Delhi. They add that “only the Consulates and the Embassy are authorized to take decisions about visas.​​​​​” 

But don’t worry. While the Consulates and Embassies do the processing, you can begin the application process from home, online, via the company VFS Global. Once you’ve got your documents in order and know what visa you want, just follow their simple step-by-step French visa application guide

Then, after you’ve completed the online portion of the process, you’ll be asked to book and attend an in-person interview — for biometrics collection — at a VFS Global center in one of the following locations:

  • Kathmandu (Nepal)
  • Pune (Poona)
  • Ahmedabad
  • Bangalore (Bengaluru)
  • Calcutta (Kolkata)
  • Chandigarh
  • Cochin (Kochi)
  • Delhi
  • Goa
  • Hyderabad (Haïdarabad)
  • Jaipur
  • Jalandhar
  • Madras/Chennai
  • Mumbai (Bombay)
  • Puducherry 

PRO TIP: But also make sure to explore VFS Global’s official India-France section as it has a ton of useful info regarding what to expect at the center, how to track your application, and more. 

Meanwhile, AXA has a bit more on where to apply in India in general and where to apply specifically in Mumbai too — just in case. 
As far as when to apply, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs stipulates that: “For short-stay visas, if you hold an Indian passport and are born in India, you must submit your application a minimum of 5 days prior to your scheduled departure. If you submit your application in Kathmandu, you must submit it a minimum of 15 days prior to your scheduled departure. For long-stay visas, you must submit your application 1 month prior to your scheduled departure.” 
And, as with any Schengen visa application, you can not submit it more than 6 months before the scheduled departure.

What is the current wait time for a France visa from India?

French Schengen Visa applications — like all Schengen visa applications — take around 15 days to process. And that’s both in India and anywhere else in the world. 

However, due to France’s high demand (particularly in India) and depending on your specific situation, it may take up to a month or two. Especially during busy periods (i.e., summer, holidays, and so on). 
So your best bet is to make sure to give yourself enough time to prepare all the documents above and schedule and be ready for your interview. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The overseas territories of France (i.e., French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, St Pierre and Miquelon, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, and Wallis and Futuna Islands) are subject to their own bilateral arrangements between the countries concerned. So if your destination is not continental France, you can — and should — learn more about the visa requirements for visiting overseas French territories here.

How to apply for other Schengen countries from India

And in case you’re thinking about visiting other Schengen countries from India, AXA can help you with many of them too. 

How can AXA help?

Well, along with all of the above — there’s one more vital way that AXA can help make your trip to France from India a reality. In fact, it’s a requirement for obtaining your Schengen visa from India, and it’s also what we do best — i.e., provide you with affordable quality travel insurance

AXA’s comprehensive Schengen travel insurance plans — starting at as little as 22€ (or roughly ₹1,973.58) — meet all the requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa to France — from India or anywhere else in the world. 

An AXA plan can be purchased online in a matter of minutes, and the AXA travel insurance certificate is accepted by all Schengen countries’ embassies and consulates (including France), as well as all the VFS Global centers in India. 
The certificate can be downloaded (and/or printed) online instantly too. 

AXA’s plans cover you in all 27 Schengen states (and beyond) — not just in France. 
And, finally, in most circumstances, AXA will refund your insurance fees if your visa application is rejected. We’ll only ask that you provide official documentation explaining why your visa was refused (from the relevant embassy, consulate, or visa application center). 

In other words, if you’re traveling from India to the most visited country on the planet — AXA will help guarantee that your journey is a bon voyage indeed.

What European countries are visa-free for Indians?

Out of Europe’s nearly 50 sovereign nations (Schengen and other), the only two that currently don’t require Indian nationals to have a visa to enter their borders areAlbania  and Serbia.

Are there any COVID restrictions for entering France from India?

No. As of late 2022, all COVID restrictions for visiting France have been lifted. But you should double-check the COVID section of France’s official Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs website for the latest info just in case.

What currency is used in France?

France is a member of the Eurozone — and its currency is, therefore, the Euro (€).

Can Indians stay in France for longer than 90 days?

Yes. However, to do so, you’ll need to apply for a long-stay Schengen visa.

What happens if I overstay my visa in France?

The consequences of overstaying your visa range from paying a fine, deportation, jail time, or even being banned from ever visiting France again. Fortunately, AXA is happy to help you avoid all of them.