France travel guide


France Travel Guide

Red tape & Visas

According to your nationality, time and the purpose of your trip you will require a visa to travel to France. EU citizens do not need visas, nor do many other country's residents - including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel for visits of up to 90 days. Except for the citizens of a handful of other European countries, everyone else must have a visa. To get a visa you will need a passport (your passport needs to have at least 6 months before the date of expiry), a return ticket to France, proof of money and the possibility of accommodation. You will also need two passport-sized photos, the visa fee in cash and proof of travel health/accident insurance with worldwide coverage.

Students, pupils, schoolchildren and high school students, in general from countries that need a visa, travelling on a school trip are exempt from an entry visa if they are on a list of travellers form However they will require a passport, a valid travel document with the authorization of his or her parents, and a ID card.

There are three types of visas:
 « Short stay visas: Up to 90 days
 « Temporary long-stay visas: Up to 6 months
 « Long stay visas: The residency permit obtained currently determines the length of the stay.

The Schengen visa was created in 1985 allowing its holder to travel freely to any other member country of the European Union. The member states of the European Union are until now: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal,Romania,Slovakia,Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the U.K

There are two types of Student visa, one is for a three to six months stay. A residence card is not necessary but the time of stay can be extended. The other one is for one-year, to stay more than six months. In this case the visa is only valid for three months but the residence card is important and it's best to obtain it within the first week of your stay. In some cases, the consulate may require proof of vaccination (e.g., against yellow fever, cholera…before a visa will be issued.

If the student is under 18, he or she will need a letter of authorization from the parents that assures the minor can travel and to stay in France. This document has to be authenticated by the student's counsellors office. Minors under 18 applying for a visa without their parents must produce a letter from their parents or legal guardian authorizing them to travel to and stay in France, and appointing the person who will be responsible for them. This letter should be duly authenticated by a solicitor or commissioner of oaths, or by a Consular Officer of the applicants nationality. Finally, one of the parent's passports must be enclosed with the application.

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