How To Get A Visa For France part 2 – Part one is here.
Requirements to Get a Visa to France
Visitors to France are generally granted a three-month tourist visa upon their arrival. Still, citizens of the following countries will be required to obtain a Schengen Visa prior to arriving in France if planning on staying for more than three months.
France is one of 26 member countries within the European Union that comprises the Schengen Area. The area operates under a single external border, and free movement is allowed for citizens of all member countries.
The Schengen area includes some European micro-states located inside the main territory, like Monaco or Vatican City, but excludes major European countries like Great Britain, Spain, or Germany.
Citizens of most South American countries can stay in France for three months without a visa. The following list details the required steps and conditions that must be met to receive a French Tourist Visa:
- Be an American citizen with a valid passport. The only exceptions for this requirement are Nigerian citizens under the age of 16 and over 65 and travelers entering France for humanitarian reasons.
- Fill out the visa application online at www.diplomatie.gouv.fr.After filling out the form; you will receive a confirmation email containing an appointment time for your interview at the nearest French Consulate or Embassy located in your state/region of residence within 7 to 10 working days. Please bring this confirmation email to your interview.
- You must schedule an interview at the French Consulate or Embassy located in the state/region of residence for which you will be applying. Travelers applying from a different area of residence will need to make a second visit without a pre-arranged appointment and pay a fee to process the application. You must plan to be in line for at least an hour prior to the embassy’s opening time.
- Prepare all necessary documents, which include: one completed visa application form, 1 passport-sized photo (taken within 30 days of your interview), a valid United States passport that is not expiring for at least three more months. The passport must have at least two blank pages for the visa, and one page is preferred.
- Be prepared to provide documentation detailing your reason for visiting France (i.e., French friends or family, tourism, business meetings, etc.). If you are traveling with a group of individuals coming together for similar reasons, you can prepare one letter detailing this information and simply hand it to the interviewer. If you are applying as a family, you will need separate letters for each family member.
- In addition to the above-listed documents, if coming to visit family or friends in France, you must also provide proof that the individual hosting you is a French citizen, a valid passport for at least three months beyond the date of your intended return to the United States and a copy of their residency permit or carte de séjour.
- Have a confirmation letter from an approved travel agency providing trip details. If you are traveling as part of a group tour, this can be a group letter, with details on each individual’s trip.
- Pay the application fee. The cost of the visa varies depending upon which country you are a citizen of and increases in price if applying for two or more visas at once. U.S citizens pay 70 Euros per person when applying for just one traveler and 74 Euros for two. If you are applying with three or more people, the fee is 60 Euros per person and 64 Euros for four or more travelers.
- Have your fingerprints taken. If you have never been fingerprinted before, the person taking your prints will take both index fingers and charge you 10 Euros per set.
- Keep in mind that all of your documents must be in French or accompanied by a certified translation into French. However, it is best to bring original documents (never copies), often accepted over certified translations.
Why Living In France As A Foreigner?
France, the country of wine and cheese! The world-famous destination for tourists, especially rich ones who buy fancy houses in Provence or Normandy! France the home to over 70 million people, though one-third are immigrants or descendants thereof.
It is also one of the most popular destinations for expatriation, but while many want to live in France, few manage. We will explain why so many want to move to France and what they should consider before doing so.
If you have ever met an American living in Paris, the chances are that he paid almost nothing for rent enjoyed free public transport and accessible healthcare. The truth is that many states in the US offer similar benefits to attract high-income people to live there, but the overall tax rate is so high that people pay more than their fair share of taxes.
2. Expensive Rent
Renting in France is expensive. There are many reasons for this, including high taxes, which indirectly increase the cost of housing. While most French people pay between 30% and 40% of their income on housing, it’s not unusual for a foreigner to spend 50 or 60%, especially in Paris.
Some ways to keep housing expenses manageable are to ask family members to house you or get a job in France before moving there, which will help you find an apartment.
3. The Language Barrier
One of the largest problems foreigners face when arriving in France is the language barrier. French is not an easy language to learn, both because of its complex grammar and over 100,000 words.
In some areas of France, knowing a few words of French might be enough to get you by, but in Paris or other major cities, people will generally only speak French. You can improve your understanding chances if you stick to simple sentences and avoid slang.
France is famous for its national pride, independent spirit, and patriotism, reflected in some of the world’s best art. However, this nationalism is often accompanied by closed-mindedness towards anything foreign.
People are generally lovely to foreigners but show little inclination to integrate them into French society. This attitude can be difficult to deal with, especially if you’re hoping to find a French wife or husband.
5. Things to See and Do
France is a world-class tourist destination, famous for its beautiful landscapes and architecture, good food, and diverse culture. Visitors will often tell you that France has the best food in Europe (or even in the world) and that many regions of this country feel like completely different destinations.
6. Traffic Jams
In many European countries, traffic jams are a regular part of life due to high levels of automobile ownership and inefficient public transport systems. France is no exception, with commuters from surrounding suburbs spending up to 2 hours each way in traffic. Traffic jams are particularly bad in Paris, Lyon, and Toulouse, where the number of cars on the road increases every year.
As a foreigner, the prospect of spending a year in France can be daunting. Although it’s not impossible, gaining a visa to come to France and immigrate for work or school is very difficult. But we’ve got you covered! Worry less, and refer to this article for more information.